A froe is a tool is used for splitting or riving wood. It is currently not a popular tool but was once considered the best tool by craftsmen who made shingles, clapboards, chair parts and many other products. Some people still prefer to use this smart old-fashion tool to kindle and make shingles because it is very precise allowing to split the wood exactly where you want. Safety is very important when using a froe as it is with anything else. So make sure that when you have the blade on the wood in one hand while preparing yourself to hammer into it, you have to keep your hand on the froe very firm and stable. This is very important to prevent the blade froe changing its angle and coming towards you. The risk of this happening is even bigger when there is a knot in the wood that the user is not aware of. Prevention is key, so remember and make sure that you're holding it firm and steady. You should also hammer with caution and start slow until you get the hang of things.
You should line the blade to the exact point you want to make the split. Hold the froe firmly and make sure that it is pointing away from you. Make a small hole in that point and use your other hand to hammer into the top of the froe. Start very slow assuring that it is going in the right direction and angle you wanted. Then slowly increase your speed until the piece completely separates.
There are three types of froes to consider and each has its specialty function. It is important to know the differences between them to find the one you that fits your crafting needs the most.
1) Straight Froes: this type of froe has a straight blade is it is known for how quickly ii divides short cross-sections of logs.
2) Curved Froes: These are also known as Cooper's Froes. They were used for making barrels but aren't looked as practical anymore. There were different sized curves. Each would make a different diameter for barrels and tanks. These are not sold anymore commercially.
3) Knife Froes: these are used to work on fine work. They tend to be heavier and have a cleaver shaped blade.
Froes are not very popular anymore and that is the reason why there are very few places to buy a froe. You should look online to buy a straight froe or a knife froe. These are sold for somewhere between $40 and $60. If you are looking for a curved froe or one for a cheaper price, try looking on ebay or an antique store.
My froe is from Highland Woodworking, and cost $50.00 plus shipping costs.