Gutter adze, ca. 1650


This is an adze clearly manufactured by a blacksmith working directly from the bloom; it shows the telltale silica inclusion of reworked bog iron. A distinct welded forged iron cutting edge extends 4 1/2" to a narrow flat polled body. It is a classic example of a rare form of a colonial era adze. It was probably used for making rain gutters and wooden drains. It was found in a circa 1885-1900 New England carpenter's tool chest, but is much older than that.

Adzes are used for removing heavy waste, leveling, shaping, or triming the surfaces of timber. It is swung in a circular path in a manner and direction and the worker uses his chest or thigh as a 'stop' to prevent the arm from swining too far. A gutter or guttering adze (also called a canoe or spout adze) is a two-handed adze with the bit and cutting edge formed into a hollow curve approaching a half circle. It was used to hollow out wooden gutters, troughs, sputs and similar long workpieces.

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