Word of the Day – Tuesday, November 27th



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ADZE (adz)

An ax-like tool used to cut and shape wood
Common clues: Wood-shaping tool; Cooper's tool; Axe relative;
Wood trimmer; Curved carpenter's tool; Wood dressing tool; Wood cutter
Related crosswordese: ADZ
Crossword puzzle frequency: 3 times a year
Frequency in English language: 60416 / 86800
Working with adze on a large burl

The tool known as the adze serves for smoothing rough-cut wood in hand woodworking. Generally, the user stands astride a board or log and swings the adze downwards towards their feet, chipping off a piece of wood and walking backwards as they go, leaving a relatively smooth surface behind. However, in general it can be used for various cutting operations.

The head of the adze is oriented to the haft like a hoe, or plane, and not like an axe, whose cutting blade would be perpendicular to the blade of an adze.

Modern adzes are made from steel with wooden handles, and some people still use them extensively: occasionally those in semi-industrial areas, but particularly 'revivalists' such as those at the Colonial Williamsburg cultural center in Virginia, USA. However, the traditional adze has largely been replaced by the sawmill and the powered-plane, at least in industrialized cultures. It remains in use for some specialist crafts, for example by coopers. Adzes are also in current use by artists such as Northwest Coast American and Canadian Indian sculptors doing pole work, masks and bowls.

"Adze" was frequently mentioned by William F. Buckley as one of the most obscure words in the English language.

One of the most common tools used in the fire service today is the Halligan bar. This is a multipurpose pry-bar used most commonly in forcible entry of a structure. One end of the Halligan bar is called the adze end. It has an adze along with a 4-inch spike on one end and the other end has a pry fork.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Adze".