Adz Marks
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.

Caulk and adz marks On this timber, the shallowly scalloped adz marks are angled diagonally from lower left to upper right; a well-formed one lies just above the hole. Striations running diagonally from lower right to upper left mark the blade's cutting edge. The caulking scar is the vertical line in the left of the image.

Photo: courtesy of the Texas Historical Commission.