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Shop Made Traditional Froe and Mallet (Riving axe)

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Project by seandietrich posted 1625 days ago 6460 views 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made a froe (riving axe) and mallet for myself using wood from a tree that fell in our yard, and an old lawnmower blade.

I used my angle grinder to shape the blade, which took a while because a lawnmower blade is not perfectly straight. After much sweat and grinding, I bolted it to a handle that was made from a branch from the fallen tree. I also made the mallet entirely from one piece of wood by shaping it with the axe.

The froe doesn’t need to be very sharp, as it is for splitting and not cutting. It really works nicely, and I am glad to have saved the cost of another tool.

-- "Unless workmanship comes to be understood and appreciated for the art it is, our environment will lose much of the quality it still retains." -- David Pye





10 comments so far

View RobS's profile

RobS

1334 posts in 2933 days


#1 posted 1625 days ago

resourceful… What type of wood are they?

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View seandietrich's profile

seandietrich

28 posts in 1625 days


#2 posted 1625 days ago

Southern Yellow pine… They’re everywhere down here in FL.

-- "Unless workmanship comes to be understood and appreciated for the art it is, our environment will lose much of the quality it still retains." -- David Pye

View StevenAntonucci's profile

StevenAntonucci

355 posts in 2565 days


#3 posted 1624 days ago

Great reuse of good steel. I will have to remember to look in the shed for the old blade off of mine, and fire up the forge to form mine… save me some grinding.

-- Steven

View D1st's profile

D1st

289 posts in 1667 days


#4 posted 1624 days ago

Thats sweet. Gettin’ Old School. Im gonna replicate this if you dont mind.

-- http://www.furstwoodworks.com/

View seandietrich's profile

seandietrich

28 posts in 1625 days


#5 posted 1624 days ago

Not at all! i am honored that you found any bit of this useful! I had a hard time finding out anything about making froes on the net when I was looking into it. The only thing I found about making a froe, which was too concise to be of any useful good, was a Mother Earth News article from the 70s.

-- "Unless workmanship comes to be understood and appreciated for the art it is, our environment will lose much of the quality it still retains." -- David Pye

View michaelray's profile

michaelray

196 posts in 2081 days


#6 posted 1624 days ago

Nice use of on-hand materials. I think is was Roy Underhill I was watching one time that had a froe made from the leaf spring of a truck.

-- http://dbcww.wordpress.com

View rdlaurance's profile

rdlaurance

361 posts in 1974 days


#7 posted 1624 days ago

Thanks sean for a great idea… I’ve been thinking about finding a used froe lately and your pics and input here reminded me that I just put on new mowerblades on my tractor mower last autumn. That and a barn full of elm logs waiting to be worked says I just need to get out my angle grinder and ‘let the sparks fly’. Thanks ever so much for sharing that with us!

-- Rick, south Sweden

View seandietrich's profile

seandietrich

28 posts in 1625 days


#8 posted 1623 days ago

Hi Rick! Thanks for the kind words! I was just thinking this morning, how I draw so much enthusiasm, ideas, inspiration, and confidence from seeing other’s online.

Just last night I was up late researching the Tage Frid stool design. I stumbled on another woodworker who built one, and posted it online. I woke up this morning inspired, started chiseling, and finished building it just a few minutes ago.

This is all because of seeing someone else do it online first, I can’t describe how wonderful it is drawing energy from other woodworkers online.

-- "Unless workmanship comes to be understood and appreciated for the art it is, our environment will lose much of the quality it still retains." -- David Pye

View seandietrich's profile

seandietrich

28 posts in 1625 days


#9 posted 1623 days ago

Reminds me of the story of the world’s record heaviest bench press back in the 1940’s. No one had broken the record of 500lbs, and many said it was just impossible for man to lift that much weight. But it was finally broken by some Russian guy. As soon as the record was broken, 3 others lifters broke the 500lb barrier within only a few months.

Its as if once I see it done, albeit online, half the battle is already won.

-- "Unless workmanship comes to be understood and appreciated for the art it is, our environment will lose much of the quality it still retains." -- David Pye

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1742 days


#10 posted 1615 days ago

great idea
to recycle
that iron
to a froe
thankĀ“s for sharing

Dennis

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