Thread: Boston FD Adze

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    Default Boston FD Adze

    I recall seeing a video several years ago of a Boston Firefighter swinging a tool described as an Adze during overhaul. Does anyone have any information regarding this tool and where I could find one?

    By the way I did an internet search and came up empty.

    Thanks for the help.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I recall seeing a video several years ago of a Boston Firefighter swinging a tool described as an Adze during overhaul. Does anyone have any information regarding this tool and where I could find one?

    By the way I did an internet search and came up empty.

    Thanks for the help.

    You ask and you shall receive!

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    http://community.fireengineering.com...Topic%3A174957


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    http://www.columbussupply.com/products/?productid=122
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    Indeed, the Boston Rake is the only thing I've heard of. Interested to see if there is a "Boston Adze?"
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    The adz is a woodworking tool that dates to the stone age. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, for a variety of applications. Most woodworking versions have a curved blade.

    Long before a Boston truckie thought of using one for overhaul, they were used in the building of log cabins and other woodworking. The FE link says that the firefighting version shown was developed in 1920 or so.

    Check out the handhewn beams in any very old building and you'll see the marks left by the adz while the beam was being squared or otherwise prepared for use.
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    Cap,

    The top one is the Adze and THAT is what I am looking for.

    The others are the Boston Rake. My volly FD has them and they are awesome.

    The adze has a handle like a sledge hammer or a maul and has a sort of hammer head on on end and a Adze blade like a Halligan except that it is about 15 inches long.

    Thanks
    Last edited by FyredUp; 09-07-2010 at 08:00 PM.
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    The Adz is just that, an Adz that was brought to the job by guys who did Demo work on the side. It certainly has its place but far too many guys now carry it when other tools, and in particular a rake, would do a better job.

    If I saw a firefighter using the adz to pull ceilings like the picture depicts I would tell him to get a rake. That's a nice & quick way to pull the head of the tool off. Also, I've never heard it called the "Boston" adz until I read this. Maybe some new guys call it that but it's the first I heard of it.

    Like I said it has its place but using the right tool at the right time is the way to go, not the tool that looks more glorious than a rake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FHJ718 View Post
    The Adz is just that, an Adz that was brought to the job by guys who did Demo work on the side. It certainly has its place but far too many guys now carry it when other tools, and in particular a rake, would do a better job.

    If I saw a firefighter using the adz to pull ceilings like the picture depicts I would tell him to get a rake. That's a nice & quick way to pull the head of the tool off. Also, I've never heard it called the "Boston" adz until I read this. Maybe some new guys call it that but it's the first I heard of it.

    Like I said it has its place but using the right tool at the right time is the way to go, not the tool that looks more glorious than a rake.
    I didn't mean it was called the Boston Adze, I was meaning that the only place I had ever seen it used was by members of the Boston FD.

    I am curious about it because I am always looking for better ways to do things and wondered if this might be something we could add to our repetoire.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I didn't mean it was called the Boston Adze, I was meaning that the only place I had ever seen it used was by members of the Boston FD.

    I am curious about it because I am always looking for better ways to do things and wondered if this might be something we could add to our repetoire.
    I didn't mean you, I was talking about that article and what was mentioned. Like I said it certainly is useful when used right. I used it for Demo work before I came on and used it occasionly when it was needed and I was on a truck. But some of that info is questionable at best and I would like to see it actually work. If you try to force some of these new steel doors with multiple locks and all the other security features that are found nowadays, you'll be there a long time or break the handle. Use the halligan &/or a hydraulic tool. Much easier and faster.
    As far as opening a roof it certainly works well on peaked roofs but we now are getting chainsaws that the guys I work with say are great and that they would only use the adz on a roof if the saw didn't work for whatever reason.

    But if your thinking of trying it I would recommend it, just use it where it's needed & it's the best tool for that objective.

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    Looks like it would be good for taking up T&G floor. I have used a pulaski with fair sucess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FHJ718 View Post
    I didn't mean you, I was talking about that article and what was mentioned. Like I said it certainly is useful when used right. I used it for Demo work before I came on and used it occasionly when it was needed and I was on a truck. But some of that info is questionable at best and I would like to see it actually work. If you try to force some of these new steel doors with multiple locks and all the other security features that are found nowadays, you'll be there a long time or break the handle. Use the halligan &/or a hydraulic tool. Much easier and faster.
    As far as opening a roof it certainly works well on peaked roofs but we now are getting chainsaws that the guys I work with say are great and that they would only use the adz on a roof if the saw didn't work for whatever reason.

    But if your thinking of trying it I would recommend it, just use it where it's needed & it's the best tool for that objective.
    Please tell me where you guys would use the Adze. My FD covers mostly a bedroom community of 1 and 2 story single family homes, but we do have some apartment buildings, and some commercial and governmental buildings.

    What exactly are the appropriate applications for this tool?

    Roof vent chainsaws, you have to love them. It has completely changed roof venting. It is so much easier and faster with the saw than it ever was by hand. Did you guys get yours with depth gauges or is the chain totally exposed? I prefer no depth gauge, but then again I have hundreds of hours cutting wood with a chain saw and the feel of the saw comes natural to me.
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    Don't get me wrong it's a great tool and has many uses, But I've broke a couple back when I was new and tried to use it where it wasn't appropriate. Even though I was used to it while doing demo work I still tried to use it where it wasn't called for. I'm sure we have all done the same thing, you think muscle beats technique & try to force a tool to do something it wasn't called for. I would say use the best tool for the job the right way. Why over exert yourself?

    Anyways, Fyredup, I certainly didn't mean to come off like I was attacking you it wasn't my intent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FHJ718 View Post
    Don't get me wrong it's a great tool and has many uses, But I've broke a couple back when I was new and tried to use it where it wasn't appropriate. Even though I was used to it while doing demo work I still tried to use it where it wasn't called for. I'm sure we have all done the same thing, you think muscle beats technique & try to force a tool to do something it wasn't called for. I would say use the best tool for the job the right way. Why over exert yourself?

    Anyways, Fyredup, I certainly didn't mean to come off like I was attacking you it wasn't my intent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Please tell me where you guys would use the Adze. My FD covers mostly a bedroom community of 1 and 2 story single family homes, but we do have some apartment buildings, and some commercial and governmental buildings.

    What exactly are the appropriate applications for this tool?

    Roof vent chainsaws, you have to love them. It has completely changed roof venting. It is so much easier and faster with the saw than it ever was by hand. Did you guys get yours with depth gauges or is the chain totally exposed? I prefer no depth gauge, but then again I have hundreds of hours cutting wood with a chain saw and the feel of the saw comes natural to me.
    Any wood frame building would be great for the tool, it really is versatile. You can force doors (That are not too substantial), pry up a threshold to drain water, open up around window & door frames, pull walls & ceilings (not too high), use as a hammer (striking tool) we use to to use it to open up hoods at car fires (use the striking end to crease the hood down the middle and then break off the hinges). But my officers almost always said if you got to raise your arms use the rake, save your shoulders.
    One issue now, IMO, is guys using it/ carrying it when another tool would be best. I had a box in a high-rise where 1 Ladder Co. arrived & reported to me with all members with axes or adzs? What they hoped to accomplish is beyond me. I think some guys think it isn't cool to carry a rake. Or maybe I'm getting cranky as I age!

    We have depth gauges on ours. Guys in my District who have good time & experience have told me how much they like the saws. No more killing yourself to get a hole opened. Plus as more & more buildings get renovated you see less & less of the old style roof coverings and support members.

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