Homemade tools

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Blog entry by A Slice of Wood Workshop posted 745 days ago 3207 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Yesterday I got a little adventurous, threw caution to the wind and instead of buying some tools, I made my own. I first made a cabinet scraper. I had to clean up the metal a little. After I got the metal almost all nice and shiny I had to make an edge on one side. I slapped a file in a vise and slid the scraper along it laying down. You have to make sure that the scraper to the file is 90° so the it creates burrs on both sides. This is how the scraper works. I got some little shavings while using it on a piece of red oak. I still need to fine tune my scraper, but I’m off to a good start. The dimensions are 5″x3 1/5″. It is right at a millimeter thick which is kind of thick for a scraper. I will see how it works over time.

One tool that I have been wanting for a while is a froe, or also known as a shingle splitter. It is a blade turned upside down with a handle. It is used to split wood, I believe into thinner pieces. Most of the blades I see come in about a 10-15″ length. I had a piece of metal that was about 25″ long. To start making my froe I first had to heat the metal up.

I ended up getting a descent hole for the handle. It isn’t perfectly round, but good enough to get a handle in there. To hold the shape a weld was done to connect the hole to the blade.

Well the fun is just beginning as we cool down the blade and get the rest of the rust off of by using a wire brush. I took it over to the vise and grabbed a grinding wheel and started to shape the blade. After that a coat of black enamel paint was applied to the whole blade to help with rust prevention.

Then came the final stage of making this blade. I let the paint dry and took it back over to the vise, grabbed a file and started getting the blade sharp.

Now I just have to make a handle for it and it will be ready for action.

-- Tim-; Twitter-@asliceofwood; Facebook-

11 comments so far

View bobasaurus's profile


1174 posts in 1781 days

#1 posted 745 days ago

Looks like you made a useful set of tools. With that cabinet scraper, try stoning the edge flat after filing, then using a hardened metal rod (a burnisher) to draw out then curl over the burr. You’ll get much better shavings.

I’m not sure if I understand what the froe is for, but it looks neat. I wish I could metalwork as well.

-- Allen, Colorado

View Mosquito's profile


4505 posts in 890 days

#2 posted 745 days ago

for bobasaurus a froe in action:

looks good! Hopefully you’ll get a lot of good use out of it, and the card scraper :-)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist -

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

886 posts in 1771 days

#3 posted 745 days ago

It’s helpful for making wooden shingles or splitting as log to make spoons.

-- Tim-; Twitter-@asliceofwood; Facebook-

View Don W's profile

Don W

14622 posts in 1165 days

#4 posted 745 days ago

Nice metal work.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Dave's profile


11142 posts in 1437 days

#5 posted 745 days ago

Cool tool build. I like that a lot.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View clieb91's profile


3251 posts in 2532 days

#6 posted 744 days ago

Nicely done. I have been eyeing a froe at Lee Valley for some time now. Wish I had the tools to make one.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

886 posts in 1771 days

#7 posted 744 days ago

Thanks for all the comments guys.

Chris- I have access to the tools. At my job they have to be able to repair trucks, so they have all the fun stuff.

-- Tim-; Twitter-@asliceofwood; Facebook-

View SugarbeatCo's profile


125 posts in 865 days

#8 posted 559 days ago

I have always admired those who make their own tools. Very inventive!!

-- Always one more tool away from being an excellent woodworker...

View JoeinGa's profile


3091 posts in 604 days

#9 posted 559 days ago

That could probably be made from an old lawn mower blade.

Just sayin’ :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Dave's profile


11142 posts in 1437 days

#10 posted 557 days ago

The froe “frow” has to have some what of a thick body to the blade. A lawnmower blade wouldn’t be thick enough. The blade itself was originally wrought iron, witch has a grain. That is a lot of the strength of the froe. The haft “handle” is only used as a lever. It is not hung on the iron permanently for ease of replacement and removal in case it loges itself and you had to apply a hit with a maul on the end that it is attached to.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View epbussey's profile


2 posts in 584 days

#11 posted 206 days ago

They use to make them from old car or truck springs ( the flat kind ). I have two of them and used them to make hand split tapered cedar shakes for the roof of a cabin I also used it to make cedar boards for a 5 foot high fence. Very useful tool

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