What is Hand Hewn Lumber?

For those who are familiar with the lumber industry, the term “hand hewn” is one that often comes up when it comes to customization and lumber options. These days hand hewn lumber is commonly known as reclaimed lumber that has been salvaged from old structures such as old mills, stables, or barns that were built many centuries ago. However, the term actually refers to a unique method of producing timber.

Hand hewn and polished beams. Old good wood. Texture background

What is Hand Hewn Lumber

Hand hewing in the past referred to the process of converting and squaring up lumber logs for usage by early settlers. These timbers were squared by hand using a special hand ax known as an adze. The adze was used to shape, score, chop, notch, and even decorate shapes into the wood. This is why each of the reclaimed pieces of lumber are unique, distinct, and one of a kind. Today, machinery and technology has improved to no longer require the adze method and be more sufficient in producing the style. We are now able to imitate the old distinct styles and feel of hand hewn lumber by the use of specialized machinery. For what would take settlers back then several days to complete, can now be completed within hours or less. That said, there are still craftsmen of the modern era who are capable of hand hewing with an adze.

Best Uses for Hand Hewn Lumber

Many of the best uses for hand hewn lumber are for aesthetic purposes to give certain spaces a rustic, alluring appearance. One of these places to implement hand hewn are ceiling beams, as people can see them but they are just out of reach to be disturbed. They give homes, churches, and restaurants a charming and warming feel. The second most common uses for hand hewn lumber are vertical beams or poles in entrances and pillars. In both uses, they can be used as simply aesthetically or as load bearing.

Hand Hewn Lumber Options

As you may have noticed or expected, softwoods such as pine and cedar are the most utilized materials to make hand hewn lumber. Although, there are options of hardwood being utilized as well. In many cases, it mostly depends on the area from which the wood was reclaimed from or the options available from the lumber manufacturer.

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