A cleaving tool with a handle at right angles to the blade.
- Shafts could be ripped by handsaw from one-inch planks cut with a pit saw, or they were sometimes split from a billet with a froe, or wedge.
- A beetle and froe were used for cleaving the sawn pieces, then a hatchet and drawshave were needed to roughly shape the lengths of wood; finally a pole lathe and various turning chisels finished off the work.
- Unfortunately, the froe has become virtually obsolete since power-driven splitters were introduced.
Late 16th century: abbreviation of obsolete frower, from froward in the sense 'turned away'.
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