Following up on my last post about adze design, I wanted to share a series of photos that show the procedure for my adze work. At the stage of the first photo (above), I’ve hewn and hand planed the upper and lower surface of the future bowl from a half of a walnut log. I have laid out the line of the inner hollow and the outer perimeter of the rim and handles. This one is around 21 inches long and 12 1/2 inches wide. I’ve hogged out much of the bulk of the hollow with the adze. The rough adze work to this point goes pretty quickly — maybe twenty to thirty minutes. Lots of fun and chunks of wood flying all over the shop. Then things ease up and slow down as I get closer to the line.
Once I am within an inch or so of the sides and bottom, I use the adze (often my smaller adze) to cut across the grain along the short axis of the bowl. This establishes an even curve across the width of the bowl and establishes the final depth (see photo below). It also lessens the possibility of having a split or cut run into the opposite side of the bowl as the far side is hollowed. This trench now becomes the landing zone for the final strokes of the adze as it cuts from upper rim to the trench. The rest of the adze work will be done in a direction generally perpendicular to the trench — cutting “downhill” with the grain.