Patience

As I was using my adze to rough out some spoons this weekend, I was reminded by a few emails that folks are still having a tough time getting their hands on a good adze. This can be seen as a good sign. I think the smiths are making more than ever and there are more smiths making them. It just speaks to the wonderful fact that demand continues to grow. Judging by the difficulty of acquisition, I’d say bowl adzes are in more demand than iPhones! Next time somebody tries to impress you with their new phone, show them your adze.

I wish I could be more helpful in my response to the inquiries. I know there are a number of additional makers now whose products I haven’t tried. Others have changed their designs since I last tried them, usually for the better, it appears. Some adzes with which I have no direct experience look good to me in the photos, like they would work well. But until I start buying each of these adzes just to evaluate them, I can’t say for sure.

At this point the only current renditions of available adzes that I have direct experience with are those made by Hans Karlsson and Jason Lonon. Both are good, and both typically require some wait, as do tools from many other makers. I just heard from a fellow who was happy to receive the HK adze he had ordered through Kenneth and Angela at the Maine Coast Craft School. Eventually, it will come.

Meanwhile, I have posted a list of adze makers/suppliers to help folks in their search. You can find it at the bottom portion of this page. Many of the sites listed are based on some things I’ve heard from others and are just listed as potential options for you to investigate. One of my goals in writing the recent article “What to Look for in an Adze” in Fine Woodworking Magazine, was to help people evaluate and maintain whatever adze they are considering, no matter how the list of makers may change. A good adze will last well beyond your lifetime. It’s worth the wait.

Maybe some other helpful possibilities will turn up in the comments.

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14 Responses to Patience

  1. Jo Sweeting says:

    Robin Wood in England hand crafts excellent tools including axes and adze

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dave Fisher says:

      I agree that the tools are well made. Plus Robin and his team are lovely people. I already have Robin on the general tool links above the adze-specific section. I have his axe and hook knife and enjoy using both. However, Robin does not make adzes for sale (not yet anyway), at least not that I know of.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bob Easton says:

    Thanks for updating the list.

    When I went through your original list and found everyone out of stock, I happily discovered on my own Kharkiv Forge in Ukraine. You probably don’t have one of their adzes, but FWIW, I’m pleased with the one I bought. Like other places they have a wait, but is was less than 2 months (about a year ago).

    As a complete newbie, I’ve made a few bowls, using the adze as delivered. While I don’t have your experience and feel for these tools, it worked very well for me. Seemed natural. Recently, I shortened its handle to get a better “hang” as noted in your FWW article and now it swings even better.

    Like

  3. Brian says:

    I was inspired by your FWW articles to take up bowl carving. Finding a good adze was intimidating, and I put hours into online reading and searches. I eventually found Seven Pines Forge. Although I’m new to green woodworking, I’m a longtime hand tool cabinetmaker. I am impressed by the quality of these adzes. Other than arriving with handles that are too bulky and too long, these adzes pass all of the general principles from your article. And they cut great— my first bowl from dry Rock Elm is coming out nicely. I’m glad to see that you already have Seven Pines (aka Ted Ferringer) on your resources page. And thank YOU, in particular, for introducing me to this side of woodworking.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I had luck finding a blacksmith on Etsy. It was reasonably prices and works fantastic: https://www.etsy.com/search?q=Bowl+Adze

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Il love my adze from RovtarForge on Etsy. You can see pictures on my Instagram @danacasterbois. It comes really sharp and the edge last a long time before I hone it again. Merci

    Liked by 2 people

    • Greg Hott says:

      I agree. I bought one from eBay. I carved a bowl from spalted Red Maple using it and my Granfors Bruks carving axe. What a joyful experience.

      Like

    • Martin says:

      I recently got my adze from RovtarForge. Since it is my very first adze I cannot compare it to other adzes. However, it seems to be well designed as the bevel attacks in the right angle if the tool is pivoted about the wrist. I my opinion, the handle needs a minor improvement: The knob at the backside of the handle’s bottom disturbs the wrist’s movement. But that tiny adjustment shouldn’t be a problem for wood carvers 😉 The edge keeps it sharpness. All things considered, it is a well working tool for a very low price compared to other manufacturers. It is definitely worth a try. Keep in mind that I cannot compare it to other brands and I have used it for only one maple bowl so far…

      Btw, the sweep is an arc with an diameter of approximately 73 mm.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Mike Amphlett says:

    You forgot the great Swedish maker, Svante Djarv! https://www.djarv.se/djarvenglish/startsida.asp

    Like

  7. Paul Clark says:

    I just purchased an adze from a small US maker, Barr Specialty Tools, and it arrived quickly. I have experience with hand tools, and it appears well refined and sharp, though I can not speak to the working quality, being inexperienced. The bevel is on the inside. This may be true of many of the adzes sold. David, could you offer any thoughts on the process of applying a bevel on the outside of the adze. The inside bevel on this adze is about 45 degrees so I would think that would need to be completely removed first.

    Like

    • Dave Fisher says:

      At the Barr website I found the “hand adze” which I assume is the one you have, Paul. https://barrtools.com/product/hand-adz/ Problem is there are two different adzes pictured there. The two photos to the left show an entirely different head attachment style from the two on the right. The two on the right make more sense for a bowl adze and I’m guessing that that is what yours is.
      The description and the “additional information” also differ on the weight of the adze. One says 2lbs. and the other 3lbs. Even 2 pounds is heavier than my adze, and I’m guessing by the dimensions listed that this adze is meant to be swung with two hands on the handle. both the head and the handle are longer than a typical adze made for use with one hand. Given the size and geometry of the adze, I’d say it might work well for big bowls but may be a bit cumbersome for smaller to medium sizes.
      Regarding the bevel, it looks like the geometry is pretty good in terms of the relationship of the handle to the head. Considering the length of the handle and the droop of the head, the tool may cut well as is with no or very little outer bevel. But again, it may be best suited to cutting a relatively shallow hollow with that broader arc to the swing, or for reaching into larger bowls.
      An included edge angle of 45 degrees is more obtuse than I would expect. Something like 30 degrees or maybe 35 at the very most would be better I think. If you want to put on some degree of outer bevel, you don’t have to completely remove the inner bevel. Just grind straight back to create a flat on the edge, then grind the outer bevel down to meet the junction of the inner bevel and the flat. You may also want to decrease the angle of the remaining inner bevel to produce an included bevel angle of around 30 degrees. The article in the Dec. 2020 Fine Woodworking Magazine has a whole series of photos explaining how I go about the grinding.
      Keep in mind, I’m just going by what I can see in a couple small photos to help you out. Having the tool in hand might be different.

      Like

  8. hiscarpentry says:

    Does this sheath make my adze look big?

    Like

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