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.
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.
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.