Hand-Hewn Beams

View our past projects using hand hewn reclaimed beams and antique beams here.

Hand-Hewn Beams are logs that are felled and hewn into shape using only hand-held tools. Basically, hand-hewn beams are any long pieces of timber that have been transformed from round wood to square using a broad ax or adze. When sawed to different lengths, these timbers can be used not only as beams but joists or trusses as well.

Originally, shaping a log into a beam with hand-held tools was the only method back then. The earliest patents for hewing machines are as far as the early 19th century. While the invention of steam power, rough sawn beams became more available, carpenters and builders continue to hew by hand up to this day.

So why do people prefer to use hand-hewn timbers instead of machine-cut lumbers?

Well, aside from the fact that it can give your home a natural ambiance and fantastic look, hand-hewn beams have never gone out of style. They are beautiful, durable, elegant, and provides a different look than wood that has been cut by electric log cutters.

Moreover, most hand-hewn beams are also antique, which only means that they are over a hundred years old. Most of them have been reclaimed from older buildings and have been reused over and over.

And even though the woods of hand-hewn beams have been used for centuries to build homes, it is still highly desirable for its structural and aesthetic qualities.

How Can You Tell If Your Wooden Beams Are Hand-Hewn?

To know if a beam is hand-hewn, you can examine its straightness, weight, and wood patterns. Here are some different ways to determine whether a wooden beam is hand-hewn.

Look For Grain Patterns

To determine whether the wooden beam is hand-hewn, you need to put the timber itself in full, natural light first. In this way, you can see the grain patterns of the wood, which indicate that the beam is hand-hewn.

You might also want to compare the beams to some of the other stock. The patterns and markings on a hand-hewn wood should be unique. Thus, the beams should not have the same grain patterns on it.

Look for Marks of an Ax or Adz

Ax and Adz are the hand-held tools that were traditionally used to create timbers and beams. You should see some gouge marks on the wood if it is hand-hewn. And, you can quickly identify and differentiate the marks whether it was from a hand-held tool or a mechanical log cutter.

Examine the Weight

Another way to determine if the beams are hand-hewn, try to pick it up and examine its weight. Hand-hewn beams should be heavier compared to the logs that are cut by machine.

Check the Edges of the Timber

Checking the edges of the timber will let you know the authenticity of the wood. The sides of the hand-hewn beams should never have any sharp edges and corners. It should not be perfectly straight as well, nor have the perfect right angles. If it does, then it is certainly wasn’t cut by hand.

Want Hand-Hewn Beams For Your Next Project? Give Us A Call!

If you would like to know more about hand-hewn timbers, send us a message or give us a call. Our team of timber specialists can help you with your next project. We guarantee the unbeatable quality, craftsmanship, and service. Contact us for a free consultation.