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How do you use an adze for planing and debarking wood?

How to use an adze for planing and
debarking wood?

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Image to illustrate the regular forward and backward swing of an adze Through a series of repeated pendulum-like swings, adzes can smooth off the surface of a piece of wood or clear it of bark.
Image of a food adze with a straight blade, perfect for debarking and planing wood For this kind of task, you will need to use a foot adze with a straight blade.


Image of a DIYer standing with their feet apart, ready to start planing or debarking with their foot adze

Step 1 – Stand correctly

Stand with your feet apart, on either side of the area that you’re planning on planing.

Image of a DIYer using diagonal strokes to plane wood Adzing diagonally across the wood will prevent the blade from digging in.
Image of a smooth surface after some hard work from a DIYer

Step 2 – Smooth out

Each adze swing will shave off some of the wood. Once the surface is looking smooth, you are ready to move along your piece of wood.

Image of a DIYer who is in the process of smoothing out the surface of a piece of wood using a foot adze

Step 3 – Repeat

Repeat steps one and two until the whole piece of wood has a flat surface.


Image showing a DIYer shaving the bark off a tree using an adze Adzes can be used to debark wood before it is planed using a similar method.
Image showing how bark is best removed by following the length of the wood When debarking the wood in this way, the adze stroke should follow the length of the wood rather than going diagonally across the grain. This is so that more bark can be removed with each swing.

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