The idea of a shape tool with it's blade at a right angle to the handle is most ancient. The earliest version of adze had a non-removable head and had to be sharpened with whetstone*, later versions had removable heads making it possible to sharpen the bevel edge with a grindstone. The adze was intended for beams that would be exposed because the adze would leave a smooth effect on the beam compared to a broad axe which would leave a ripple effect. There are a few different types of adze; carpenter's adze, shipwright's adze (which had a spur or nail punch), gutter adze (which is defined by the lipped and round blade) and finally the cooper's adze (which is a smaller version of the gutter adze). The Carpenter's Adze, Shipwright's Adze and the Cooper Adze is an implement we have here at the Backus-Page House Museum barn exhibit. The Cooper's Adze was used to make bowls or canoes by scooping out the inside or trees or burls*.
*whetstone: also called sharpening stones or water stones were used to grind and hone the edges of steel tools and implements.