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- a tool for shaping wood, which is basically an axe with a curved blade, pointing inwards at right angles to the handle. In skilled hands the adze can achieve a very smooth surface. It was used not just for shaping long timbers such as roof beams, but for furniture building ranging from table tops to the seats of chairs. When using an adze to square a log to form a baulk, there are four basic steps, marking, notching, juggling (forming a rough surface) and finishing.