These adz marks, the result of work in the shipyard to trim and fit timbers together, are very flat and smooth, the sign of a real artisan, whose tool had a nick in the blade, leaving us a signature of his work. By measuring these marks, we can determine the size of the adz used. Next to the adz marks are caulking scars. The caulkers used a narrow tool to fill the seams between planks with a combination of oak fibers and a paste-like substance of fat and lead, which helped to minimize leaking. Even without the exterior hull planks, the caulking scars on the frames would have marked their former location.
Photo: courtesy of the Texas Historical Commission.