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Ultimate Froe.

Discussion in 'Kit Chatter' started by Wayne, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. Wayne

    Wayne BCUK Welfare Officer
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    I’m looking for the perfect froe.

    One of mine has disappeared and needs replacing.

    I’m after a really good froe capable of cleaving Ash Poles. 6-8 inch in diameter.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    Find a good smith and have one made. Next to impossible to buy, beg, borrow or steal here.
    So I had one made from 2" x 3/8" x 16" with a full shank into simple handle scales for splitting cedar for carving.
    A bashworthy thing of beauty. I am very happy with what I got.

    Things are no better now. Back in that day and time, I had my froe made some 1,200 miles from here.
     
  3. Dave Budd

    Dave Budd Gold Trader
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    if only you knew a tool maker who normally has froes in stock
     
  4. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Looking on the stuff Dave makes, a froe is easy for him, me thinks!
    :)
     
  5. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    Dang! My searching skills are abyssmal.
    Mr Budd: May we see examples of your froes, please?
     
  6. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Check out his website.
    Impressive.
     
  7. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    I did. And exactly like I said, I did not find a froe. Typical and I offer no other reasons or excuses.

    Every other Dave Budd edge for wood carving is to die for.
     
  8. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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  9. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    That's a fair price, better finished than mine.
     
  10. Dave Budd

    Dave Budd Gold Trader
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    ]

    I do tend to be a bit rubbish at keeping my website updated or functioning (technology, what can I say?!). I appear to not have any good pictures of the froes that I currently make, so I shall take a picture for you tomorrow :)

    I make them in lots of sizes, but the two I normally do are about 12" blade (40x8mm) and 8" blade (30x6mm), they are fully wedge shaped cross section and have welded eyes, spring steel obviously. I do them with or without handles
     
    #10 Dave Budd, Oct 30, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
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  11. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    Thanks Dave. I would not hesitate to invest in a second froe ( Go two and froe??)
    I use it primarily to split large chunks of western red cedar in to useful pieces for wood carving.
    Can you estimate your wedge angle when you post a picture? I'd need 12" at the very least.
     
  12. Dave Budd

    Dave Budd Gold Trader
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    i can make pretty much any size you like! The angle is based on the thickness and width, it's a bit convex for the last 1/4 of the width, so a little more obtuse than a straight triangle. I've never bothered measuring the angle, so long as the thing is sharp and fine enough to get into the wood, the cleaving action is more down to the width of the blade really. They aren't knife sharp btw.
     
  13. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    Mine has approx 1/2mm blunt edge. I'm well aware that I need the wood to split ahead of the edge without any cutting whatsoever.
    With the single bevel, I asked for approx 40 degrees total included bevel since cedar splits easily anyway.
    Doesn't need a whole lot of leverage from the bevel to pop the bolt open.

    The first strike with the mallet has to be an almighty one to keep the dull edge from bouncing!
    Very pleasant wood-working tool to use.
     
  14. Dave Budd

    Dave Budd Gold Trader
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    one way to get around the bouncing of a dull edge, is to make a froe with a slightly curved edge rather than dead straight ;-) Mine froes are a little sharper than that, you can see reflected light along the blunt edge but you wouldn't want to ride bareback along it! The froes that I use myself have been left outside for so long that I suspect the rust has dulled it to a rounded 1/2mm anyway

    I forgot to take any pictures today and I'm teaching the next two days, so I'll try and remember to take piccies at the weekend
     
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  15. slowworm

    slowworm Settler

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  16. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    At the moment their all 'potentials' :)

    A few of the 'quarters' are straight enough for long bows, others will be greenwood chair legs and the like. I was hoping to get a decent 'plank' out to make a paddle but that hasn't worked and I'll be using the chainsaw mill for that.

    It's surprising how twisted an ash tree will grow - what looks like a perfectly straight and useful young tree can twist 360deg up a 4 metre length :(
     
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  17. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    If your froe has showed you the spiral grain, a saw-cut plank goes cross-grain and as a paddle, too weak to be useful.
    Make something else from the wood. You break that paddle in the middle of nowhere and you have an instant problem.
    You have to put your faith in each and every paddle you use. Don't even think about it.
    Every paddle that I've ever seen is beautifully straight grained, even the one that I used to stir 45 gal batches of wine.

    Some of the cedar that I carve from shake blocks is quite weathered and potentially sand-dirty from outdoor piled storage.
    I need to split off 1/2" or so from all faces to clean it up. My straight froe could use a little bit of a grind for a finer edge
    but as for now, it splits very well. Of course, there isn't much else that splits as easily and cleanly as Canadian western red cedar.
     
  18. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    I agree - sorry, I wasn't very clear. I'm not trying to make paddles out of twisted ash - it's just my skill (lack of) with the froe wasn't producing a good enough plank; they were 'running off' before I'd got the length - more practice required :)
     
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  19. dave53

    dave53 Full Member

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  20. slowworm

    slowworm Settler

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    I understood you.;)

    I've got plenty of 25 year old ash thinnings to practice on and thinking what else I can use if for apart from logs. I've also found the wood on some trees can be twisted or just very hard to split due to the way it's grown.

    I have some decent sized cypress-type trees that might make usable shingles, so a decent sized froe will be useful.

    I will keep plenty of ash for tool handles etc, in a few years it might be hard to come by.
     

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