From Implement tine to Froe

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I've made a few items from these implement tines including a knife. Here i made a couple Froes. I sold all I had last year, including my user at a flea market, so it was time.

This was the first time using the forge at my new shop, so it took some setup as well, but it took all day for these four.

The handles are air dried hickory. I rived each handle using the actual froe they would go on. I draw knived to rough shape, the used the 2x72 with 36 grit to refine them. I hand sanded with 150 grit and soaked them in BLO overnight. 

There is a 13", a 14" and two 15" froes. 

-- There is nothing like the sound of a well tuned hand plane. - https://timetestedtools.net and https://diy.timetestedtools.net

17 Comments

Neat project, and they look great too. Well done.

Main Street to the Mountains

Nice!  I bought a vintage froe a couple years ago at a garage sale but cannot seem to get the right edge on it to make it work well.  The blade is pretty thick and it came with an edge whose bevel has a pretty wide included angle and I was afraid to grind it too much since it was obviously used like this.  

--Nathan, TX. Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

Nice, Don! I find I get more use out of my baby froe than I do out of the larger one. But then I’m doing more small work than large lately, so I guess that makes sense.



Nathan, one that’s this size will let you fiddle with the bevel more easily, I think. I’ve tuned and tweaked this one a fair amount before I was completely happy with it. I generally have a dubbed edge on it, rather than hollow-ground. Seems to work better for what I need.

May you have the day you deserve!

@dave, I’ve made and sold a few of these. I almost made one yesterday. Somewhat similar to yours

https://bladesmithing.timetestedtools.net/knife-6-kindling-froe/


-- There is nothing like the sound of a well tuned hand plane. - https://timetestedtools.net and https://diy.timetestedtools.net

Spindle chair makers will rejoice!

Impressive work Don!
Yeah, that would be similarly useful to me. I just don’t need my bigger froe all that often. When my buddy forged that one, he figured both of us would be experimenting (he was right) and having more blade to possibly sharpen away would be good if we had “issues.”

May you have the day you deserve!

Nice Don, I do like a froe, they look good.

Don't sharpen it too much Nathan, or you'll end up cutting the fibres instead of splitting them, it's more of a blunt force trauma tool :) I'm not above cutting a notch with an axe if it won't sink in.
Start on the edge of the log to start the split, then level it out.
I'm intrigued by the ability to cut straight grain wood. Perfect for bending.
Thanks Mike.  I mostly just  used a coarse stone to sort of scrape away the rust to bring it barely to an edge and left it alone.  I suppose, if I tried, it is sharp enough to cut my finger but just barely.  I assumed that you need at least some sharpness to get between the fibers to start a split.  The top of the blade is over 1/2" thick, making a pretty heavy wedge and can take some significant whaling.   Once the weather cools off some next month, I will try again to rive some of the short logs and turning blanks I have collected. 

--Nathan, TX. Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

Bigger logs I'll use wedges and a sledgehammer to split them - which gives you a pretty good idea of how hard you need to hit it :)
Froe's are generally better on smaller stull, the whole idea is that you can control the direction of the split, which is near impossible on larger logs - wedge the log with a brake and lever the handle to twist the iron in the direction you want to split.
If I can, I'll normally wait a month or so until a split naturally forms as the log dries, then use that as the start point so the froe or wedge doesn't need a sharp edge at all for that.


You made me climb up into the attic and root through my olde shipwright toolchest. Brought out my lignum vitae beetle and No. 12 scrapper plane while I was up there.

Some of my most creative moments have been when I've had to cover up an error in my woodworking.

Nice work on those.  Before I started dabbling at blacksmithing I hired a blacksmith to make me a froe.  It still works fine so I have not taken on the task of making one for myself.  Maybe some day I will.
Very nice Don, they should hold up well.

"Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

Nice work Don. They look like good users.

Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

Makes me wonder what ever became of the ten pound solid aluminum mallet that kept my froe company.  Glad I only had to use it once in a while (my buddy owned about five cedar mills and the spalt pile left me an unlimited quantity of cedar for small projects).

My babbling aside, nice job.  

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