John Argo

To honour the memory of John Argo 1914-2002

A Life Well Lived

John Argo (A Lumberjack) Shows How  Squared Timbers Were Made

First, a series of notches, all equally deep, are chopped with an axe about 30 cm apart. They show how much wood to remove on that side. Here, outrigger stakes are nailed on to the log to stabilize it.

Chopping series of notches

One by one, sections between notches are broken away with a heavy axe, and then a broadaxe keeps the edge level. Finally the surface is smoothed with an adze.

Smoothing the side of the timber

With one side done, the log has to be rotated 90 degrees. A canthook is needed to level the log into position, with pieces of wood to wedge it in place.

Rotate the log to work on the next side

That done, at every notch break away the wood with the heavy axe and begin the steps again until there is another smooth surface. Repeat two or more times to have all four sides squared.

Accurate corners of buildings must have dovetails to fit exactly

Shape the corners
Shape with a swede saw, it takes careful and precise work all the way !!!

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Doug Mackey, 85:March 9, 2002 – John Argo left behind memories, stories, friends