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Reply by Tim

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Posted on Bandsaw alternatives (axe/froe, etc)

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Tim

3812 posts in 2131 days


#1 posted 04-27-2014 05:50 PM

A froe is useful for riving (splitting) longer pieces along the grain lines. You use the handle as a lever and you can direct the split either to the thinner or thicker side to some extent. Without a froe your split is going to run out to the thinner side because it’s weaker.

But if you don’t need longer thinner pieces then an axe and maybe a maul and some wedges could do fine. Depends on what you have. You can use an axe head as a wedge with a large wooden or even rubber mallet or wooden club and drive it into the end of a piece you want to split. Then you can use gluts (wooden stakes you use as wider wedges) to further widen the split if needed.
Curtis Buchannan does a lot of riving and splitting with wedges and gluts in his series, but be aware he doesn’t really follow safety recommendations.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kCejknF8bY

Or if you’re preparing bowl blanks you can definitely chop them with an axe. Watch Ben Orford talk about it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNty07IyOAQ
But you see even he cut out the blank on a saw.

Oh and lastly even the Lie Nielsen froe is only $85. Depends on what’s in your budget, but at least it’s not $400 like a new plane.


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