Hand Hewn, Reclaimed American Oak Beams

Hand-hewn beams, with their distinctive, rustic charm and historical authenticity, are a coveted element in interior design, particularly for creating warm, inviting spaces with a touch of vintage elegance. These beams were crafted using traditional tools like axes and adzes, resulting in unique textures and irregularities that exude a sense of craftsmanship and timeless beauty.

Their natural, organic look, often marked by visible tool marks and the wood's inherent grain, makes them a perfect choice for adding character to ceilings, mantels, and structural accents in a variety of settings, from cozy farmhouses to chic, modern spaces seeking an authentic, historical touch.


Species: Oak
Face and Sides (Solid): Standard Sizes, 6″ x 6″, 8″ x 8″, 10″ x 10″, 12″ x 12″, Custom
Face and Sides (Box): Any Size Available
Standard Lengths (Solid): 4′ to 50′
Standard Lengths (Box): Any Size Available
Box Thickness: 1″
Box Joints: Miter
Surface: Hand Hewn
Finish: Unfinished 


Hand-hewn beams, crafted with an adze and axe, were used in North America from the 1600s to the late 1800s. These beams show distinctive marks from the tools used to create them.

The tool marks on these antique beams were likely made with an adze or a combination of a broad-axe and adze. The smooth surfaces indicate that an adze was used for flattening, rather than just an axe.

Understanding these tool marks can help identify the type and age of the building framing and even where the worker stood when making the cuts.

Scoring Cuts:

  1. The worker used an axe, broad-axe, broad-hatchet, or adze to make a series of cuts along the log's surface.
  2. A chalk line was often used to guide these cuts, which were made to a specific depth and spaced up to two feet apart.
  3. The wood between these cuts was chipped out with the tool's edge.
  4. Additional cuts closer to the final line might be made, followed by more chipping.

Hewing Cuts:

  1. The worker then used an adze, axe, broad-axe, or broad-hatchet to remove the curved wood chips from the log surface.
  2. The adze was used to plane the surface smooth.
  3. The resulting smooth surfaces show the marks left by the adze.

In Colonial America, beams were typically finished with an adze, leaving flat, smooth cuts. This method provides a personal connection to the building's age and construction, allowing us to envision where the worker stood while using the tool.