You might think hatchets are only good for chopping firewood. But truth is, they’re super useful for hand tool woodworkers.
Say you need to trim the width of a board.
It it’s too little material for a rip saw, but too much to quickly take down with a hand plane, a hatchet’s the tool for the job.
Don’t believe me?
Here’s how to cut to a line with a hatchet:
1. Mark your board with a layout line you’ll cut the new edge to. Hold the board from the top end grain edge and place the bottom on a solid surface (a hewing stump is best).
2. Adjust your body positioning so there’s no chance of accidentally swinging the hatchet into your knees. When you chop, only swing the hatchet straight down (not in a curve).
3. Starting from the bottom of the board, make steep-angled relief cuts towards the layout line. Multiple cuts close together is ideal. Try to get them to a decently similar depth.
4. Once you’ve got plenty of relief cuts, keep the hatchet head flat against the edge and slice down. Repeat until you have a relatively smooth and even surface.
With enough practice, you can get surprisingly close to your line with a hatchet.
And once you dare go no further, just finish up with a hand plane and call it a day.
For this type of work, a single-bevel hewing hatchet is ideal — like this hand-forged hatchet we now carry in our store.
The flat side of the head is ideal for jointing board edges. And it’s available in left and right-handed versions..
Plus, it comes with an embossed snap-on leather cover to protect the cutting edge.