shingle froe used to split bowl blanks

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Forum topic by woodmaestro posted 08-06-2013 11:58 PM 2335 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View woodmaestro's profile


13 posts in 1368 days

08-06-2013 11:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question ash cherry maple walnut lathe turning

hi guys, i was wondering what you guys thought about using a shingle froe to split bowl blanks. i dont own one and i would like to know what your opinions are. it would be used to split a log down the diameter.
please let me know whether or not you have used one or if it is a good idea if you guys like certain brands, please throw them in too


9 replies so far

View TheDane's profile


4934 posts in 3082 days

#1 posted 08-07-2013 12:12 AM

Why not just buy a log splitter wedge … under $5 on

A shingle froe would probably work, but they cost about $60.

Personally, I think it is better to find a way to cut the log instead of splitting it … you wind up with a flatter surface to mount your faceplate/chuck/etc to.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1294 posts in 1368 days

#2 posted 08-07-2013 01:46 AM

View Wildwood's profile


1850 posts in 1554 days

#3 posted 08-07-2013 11:23 AM

Here is a picture of my $10 froe, made at local machine/welding shop here in town. Made from ¼” steel with 1 ¼” pipe welded to end for handle total length 15 ½ “.

No, not real good for splitting logs into bowl blanks. I do use it to help get my axe. maul, or wedges out gum logs. Will work if other wood species already half split. With practice can trim slats from bark side to make a flat surface.

-- Bill

View hairy's profile


2377 posts in 2951 days

#4 posted 08-07-2013 11:49 AM

They are good for spindle blanks. They split the wood where it’s weak to capture the strength.

-- stay thirsty my friends...

View AUBrian's profile


86 posts in 2090 days

#5 posted 08-07-2013 12:32 PM

Like Wildwood, I made my own froe, with the intention of using it to split bowl blanks, but part of what makes a froe work is the handle action, which bends the shingles away from the main log. When you’re dealing with a thick bowl blank, you get no bending, and it’s not very useful. Go with a maul, wedge, or something similar.

View woodmaestro's profile


13 posts in 1368 days

#6 posted 08-19-2013 07:54 PM

thanks for your help everyone


View bondogaposis's profile


3969 posts in 1770 days

#7 posted 08-19-2013 07:59 PM

Froes are made to work in easy to split straight grained woods like cedar, larch, etc. If your bowls blanks have anything other than straight grain it is not going to work real well.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View 2leggedtermite's profile


12 posts in 1393 days

#8 posted 08-21-2013 12:25 AM

I agree with Bondo.

If the log or blank has twisted grain it will never split in a straight line no matter what you split it with.

Best bet is a bandsaw or chainsaw.



-- A bowl gouge is like a packet of can't have just one.

View fredj's profile


185 posts in 1237 days

#9 posted 08-21-2013 12:47 AM

With logs that fit my band saw, I resaw if too big out comes the chainsaw. I’ve used a maul, it’s fast and safer, but the results tend to be iffy.

-- Fredj

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