Riving Brake

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Project by TheGravedigger posted 01-19-2012 04:26 PM 7040 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Riving Brake
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This is my version of a riving brake originally made by Peter Galbert. It is constructed of southern yellow pine and plywood, with 3/4” pipe nipples for cross-pieces. My modification was to fully box in the lumber with plywood, trapping the nipples within. Since I have a tendency to run into things sticking out, this seemed the safest course.

For full construction details, see my pair of blog articles:

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

8 comments so far

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 3093 days

#1 posted 01-19-2012 04:31 PM

That’s a great piece! I’d love to see it in action because I don’t do much green woodworking and I’d love to know how it works.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View DaddyT's profile


267 posts in 3652 days

#2 posted 01-19-2012 04:55 PM

I dont know what it is or what it does, but it looks cool

-- Jimi _ Measure twice, cut once.......@#%#$@!!!......measure twice, cut....

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4166 days

#3 posted 01-19-2012 05:04 PM

Sorry, Daddy T, I guess I should have made that clear. A riving brake holds pieces of green wood while they are levered apart (rived) with a froe. Traditionally, a forked tree trunk was used to wedge the pieces for this process. Peter Galbert’s design makes it much easier to brace differently-sized pieces at the best angle for you.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View a1Jim's profile


117232 posts in 3719 days

#4 posted 01-19-2012 05:17 PM

Thanks for the clarification ,a interesting tool,well done.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View StumpyNubs's profile


7656 posts in 2942 days

#5 posted 01-19-2012 11:27 PM

Well done, indeed!

Thanks for posting!
-Jim; aka “Stumpy Nubs”
(The best woodworking show since the invention of wood.)

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Woodstock's profile


254 posts in 3429 days

#6 posted 01-20-2012 02:01 AM

I must be over-thinking this.

I did followed the links and I understand what you start with, and I understand that you end up with split boards that have a minimum of cut grain, unlike using a saw. But it isn’t coming together for me. (More coffee?)

Please explain (or even a link) to the process and how this device helps you get from a large piece of wood and down to the split blanks.



-- I'm not old. Just "well seasoned".

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4166 days

#7 posted 01-20-2012 04:46 AM

Rather than try to explain myself, let me give you some links to blog articles by Peter Follansbee, one of the foremost experts on the process that I know of. If these don’t immediately make things clear, a search for “riving” on his website will turn up a wealth of information on the subject. Hope this helps!

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View Woodstock's profile


254 posts in 3429 days

#8 posted 01-20-2012 06:58 PM

OK. That explains it. The “brake” helps to hold the wood blank in place while you split it with the froe. Makes sense now.

This is why I like Lumber Jocks. Always learning new (old school) things and techniques from others.



-- I'm not old. Just "well seasoned".

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