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How are adzes used to kerf wood?

How to use an adze to kerf wood?

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What is kerfing?

Image to show how a piece of kerfed wood can easily be bent Kerfing refers to the process of bending a piece of wood by cutting slots that don’t make it all the way through.
Image of a box with kerfed edges Sometimes these slots are cut into a specific shape. Box makers use this technique to create the sides of a box out of one piece of wood rather than four.

Using an adze for kerfing a box

Image of a hand adze with a straight blade, used for kerfing wood To kerf the inside edges of a box, you will need a hand adze with a straight blade.
Image showing how the kerf lines should be marked out on your box

Step 1 – Mark out divisions

You’ll need to mark three lines along your piece of wood to mark it into four equally sized sections.

Image showing the shape that needs to be cut into your wood when kerfing a box

Step 2 – Note shape of channel

The shape that needs to be channelled out with your adze is quite specific. It’s the same shape as your adze blade!

Diagram showing the shape that needs to be carved into each section of the wood

Step 3 – Carve

Carefully carve out the shape in the diagram along all three of the lines you have marked.

Image of a carpenter folding a kerfed box into shape

Step 4 – Assemble your box

Once all of these lines have been hollowed out, you’re ready to fold the piece of wood into a box shape and nail it together.

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