Vintage hand forged froe.A froe is a blade, about 1/2″ thick on top, tapered to a knife’s edge that’s used to split wood in a controlled manner.  I say in a controlled manner becuase the splitting maul is an axe used to split wood but without the accuracy required to make tapered shingles.  The blade of the froe can be anywhere from 6″ to 24″ long.  The handle is 90 degrees to the blade.  Straight grained billets of wood are split by driving the froe into the wood by hitting the top of the froe with a wooden maul. The maul takes a beating (it’s sacrificial) so don’t use a good mallet. Drive the froe into the log to start the split, then push or pull on the handle to split a piece of wood off. The froe can be used to make shingles, shakes, and clapboards.

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