The froe is the tool most woodworkers don’t realize they need. This Shingle Froe from Peavey will quickly become one of your indispensable tools if you split kindling and firewood. Woodturners will like it even more.
This simple blade of iron or mild steel will cleanly split a short bolt of straight-grained wood into halves. After you acquire the mystical skills needed, you may even make your own shingles, but other projects require less precise abilities. The froe blade lays across the end of the bolt of wood, and the craftsman drives the blade in with a wooden mallet. Levering the handle from side to side works the froe into the block. As splits get thinner, the work gets trickier, but an expert can control the line of the split by choosing the right levering direction and exerting exactly the right pressure.
Woodturners who need a cheap source of turning stock for the lathe use the mallet and froe to split blocks from what otherwise would wind up as fuel for the wood stove. With simple homemade jigs, you’ll be able to use square pegs split with the froe to make short wooden dowel pins for classic timber frame joinery. This 2-inch-wide American-made froe covers a bolt 15 inches in diameter and works as well on smaller stock. The 18-inch-long handle offers plenty of leverage. If you split wood with an axe or wedges, you’ll find that the froe saves considerable frustration when a splitting tool sticks in the block. Leverage with the froe slipped into the split often opens the block enough to work the other tool free.
See the Gransfors Bruks Splitting Axe for a perfect companion tool to the Shingle Froe.
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