Mortising and Post

Timber too small for shingles may be fine for fence posts and rails. If you narrow and lengthen the bit on an axe, making it more like a chisel, you can work deeper into the cross-grain of a timber, excavating a deeper and narrower slot than is possible with the hatchet. The mortising axe is sometimes called a post hole axe because, with its shorter handle, you can notch and split out the holes for the rails to pass through fence posts. Single-bitted mortising axes look like felling axes with a Pinocchio nose.

Do you swing a mortising axe or strike it with a mallet? If a tool is made with enough mass to swing it, that's usually what you do with it. Mass is not an asset for a tool that you strike. A struck tool needs to be heavy enough to hold up, but not so heavy as to waste energy overcoming its own inertia.

Double-bitted, T-shaped mortising axes called twibils are always swung. One of the two bits will usually be larger or at right angles to the other. Twibils may be straight in the top of the T or curved to match the arc of the swing. They are powerful tools for roughing in—but challenging for exacting work. It's best to sit on the timber or raise it on trestles to waist high—and always be mindful of a forehead-twibil collision on the backswing.

A smaller tool also shares the twibil name. Five-bar gate hurdles are not so familiar to Americans, but in the British Isles these portable fence sections controlled the grazing of sheep within larger spaces bounded permanently by dry stone walls and hedgerows. The hurdle maker's twibil helps cut the mortises through the posts. It's an odd way of working; you slice the wood with the knife end, and then tear out the wood between bored holes with the leverage of the hooked end—a lever-edge kind of a tool.

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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