Froe Fixup

I picked up an old froe from a auction store last week.  A froe is a woodworking tool for splitting wood along the grain.  It was rusty and had no handle…but not for long.  Here it is as found.  I threw the ruler in for scale.  As you can see it is pretty large.


I picked one of the branches that I had left over from the ash tree I cut down.  It is larger than the eye in the froe and had a budge near the bottom I thought would work well to keep the froe in place.


I bandawed off the knots and limbs before taking it to the shaving horse.


Next came a lot of working with the draw knife.  I haven’t found a way to work the knots with the draw knife without getting really bad tear out.  To avoid them I worked around the knots and then hit most of the wood with a rasp. F4

When it came to shaping the part of the handle that would go into the froe’s eye, I slowly removed material and checked my progress.  After a little bit I had a good fit.


To keep the froe from flying off the handle I cut the end to insert a wooden wedge.  I also bandsawed a small wedge to fit.F6

The edge of the froe was pretty dull.  A few minutes with a white stone on the grinder resulted in a serviceable edge.  It could still use some touch up with a file though.


Next comes the joining of the pieces.  I tapped the froe into position and then flipped it over so I could hammer on the end of the handle.  This drove the froe head tightly onto the handle.  After that I tapped the wedge into place and oiled the handle.  The handle is longer than usually seen so I may cut it down after using it a bit.F8

This entry was posted in Modification, Repair, Tools, Woodworking and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Froe Fixup

  1. Eric says:

    My father, who prided himself on how sharp he kept most all of his tools, never sharpened his froe because it was used for splitting not cutting. His catch phrase for other tools was, ” as dull as a froe”.

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