This is a hand forged log splitting froe ready for use.
Froes are used to split unseasoned wood or small logs into rough planks or
boards. This is done by resting the cutting edge against the wood and striking
the spine of the blade with a wooden mallet or 'froe club' (a small log with a
handle cut into it). This causes a split to form along the natural grain of the
wood. The froe is then twisted to finish the split.
This froe is 12" (30cm) long with a single-sided bevel along the cutting edge.
The removable wooden handle, or haft, is approximately 16" (40cm) long and is
tapered to fit into the haft socket. The total weight is approximately 1.6lbs
Froes have been in use since the middle ages. Traditionally they were used to
split wood, known as riving, to produce planks, shingles, chair/table legs,
wagon spokes, tool hafts or even as an alternative to an axe for making
kindling. There is little evidence for froe use in the Viking Age, instead they
used iron or wooden splitting wedges hammered into logs to split them.
The blade and haft socket are forged from a single piece spring steel which,
after heat treatment, provides the best combination of hardness and toughness.
The 'wrapped-eye' socket has been forge welded to the blade for strength. The
haft is made of Tasmanian oak hardwood finished with linseed oil.