A New Froe

The first Froe that I made didn't seem to work real well, So I made a new one.

The original Froe is on the left and the new one on the right.

The first Froe was just a leaf spring that I heated and hammered a loop at the end for an handle. Then ground an edge on it. From the cutting edge to full width is about 3/8ths of an inch. When I drove this Froe into the wood, it didn't really cut the wood as much as force it apart. I think that is part of the reason I had such poor results with it.

For the new Froe, I had to fire up the propane forge. It took a lot more heat and hammering. The curve is a result of hammering the cutting edge thin. Since hammering to thin the edge spreads the metal it forces the blade into a curve. The effect is about twice what you see. Before hammering the edge, I put a reverse curve in the blade by heating it and hitting the anvil with what would be the cutting edge. Thinning edge took all that curve out and put the above curve in. 

From the cutting edge to the full thickness of the new Froe is about 1 1/2" .

You might be able to see the difference in these two pictures

I also took a little more time in forming the hoop for the handle.

When I tried the new froe on the log it was much easier to drive into the wood and seemed to be cutting the wood instead of ripping it apart. It's still a LOT of work though. Maybe it would be easier if the wood was dry, instead of green.

Splitting the boards