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Antique froe.

A froe (also riving axe and 17th century: lath axe) is a woodworking tool that in profile looks like the letter L. One arm of the L shape is a wooden handle, the other a metal blade upon which the bottom edge is sharpened.

Froes are used for the splitting of wood, usually in conjunction with a maul or mallet. The are used by placing the blade at the required section of a piece of wood and striking the back or inside edge. This drives the blade into the wood and then is levered to open up the wood and then pushed further forward or froeward. The direction of the split maybe controlled and the froe is used to create shingles.

The froe is now considered obsolete by modern builders and are difficult to find except in antique shops. There are a limited number of companies that produce new froes, most notably Gransfors Bruks.