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Home Forums DIY Colonial carpentry tools you can make yourself Reply To: Colonial carpentry tools you can make yourself


How to make a Froe

Ok, so what the hell is a froe? i know youre saying that, dont lie.
a froe is the old tool used for splittin shakes, shingles,barrel staves and planks out of log sections
just a strange shaped heavy knife with a big stout perpendicular handle
you drive the froe thru your wood with a special mallet and control the cut with the handle
by tipping the blade you can change how thick or thin the plank or shake is cut, then you chock it in your shaving horse and finish it up with your drawknife

now to the nitty gritty part, makin one
an old truck leafspring, one offa heavy truck, works best
they are thick enuff and the steel is unbeatable

first, if it has an ‘eye’ on the emd you will wantto open it out flat
heat it up and hammer that eye right out flat and true

next make a bigger eye, about 2 inch inside diameter, tapered out on one end. this will be the bottom ot cutting edge of your froe
use a drift inside the eye to shape it, if you have one

now mark the length of your blade with a soapstone, measure out from your eye about 28 inches. Heat it up andcut it off with your hammer and hotcut

heat it back up and round off the top corner at the end, the top is the side with the smaller end of the eye

set your fullers up and heat the bottom edge, you need to draw it ou into a cutting blade. dont make it a loong drawn out thin taper, keep it heavy for prying on, just draw out an edge you can sharpen
do the whole blade like this

make it nice and even, dont make it ‘curl’, keep it straight

once you have it all hammered out, quench it good
now cut a 2 footlength of good hardwood around 3 inches diameter
shave it down to a taper so most of it slides thru the eye of your froe, all but maybe an inch. the long part of the handle should be opposite your cutting edge

congratulations, you just added a very important and useful tool to your collection