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I really want a froe. They are hard to find in my area and when they do exist they are expensive.

If I want to cleave a log, e.g. ash, what other options could I consider? I could use axe heads but that wouldn't work well as I would not be able to get them deep enough into the wood and they are too wide anyway.

Any suggestions for froeternatives alternatives that I could use for cleaving? I have some ideas about Finding the right metal for making a froe but in the absence of the tool what else could I do?

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You can make one from a car leaf spring (available at auto salvage yard) keep the eye end to mount a handle and grind one edge with a double bevel. It will be curved slightly but not bad over the length you are using. The springs are usually 1095 steel (which is a high carbon steel) that has been hardened and tempered. Cutting with an abrasive wheel will be easier than a hacksaw.

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  • Keep the edge cool (frequent water cooling) while grinding the edge to protect the tempered strength of the metal leaf.. – Ashlar Apr 1 '18 at 14:58
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What could I use instead of a froe when cleaving?

You can of course do a lot of splitting with a small hand axe or hatchet, but a much closer substitute would be a strong machete, thick-bladed knife or cleaver*.

All of these can be used for batoning, one of the primary techniques used in froe work, knives quite directly mimicking the blade of a froe (so the thicker they are at the spine the better).

You won't of course have the same leverage available to you as the long right-angle handle on a froe provides, so don't expect to be able to forcibly lever open logs or parts of logs in the same way. But you will still be able to do some pretty respectable splits.

In Defense of Batoning
The Complete Guide to Batoning


*If possible whatever is chosen should have a full tang for maximum strength in the handle area.

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Go to a welder (or if you can find one, a blacksmith), and have one made. The more detailed pictures you bring him, the better the tool.

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