Riving/Cleaving/Froe/Bodger's Brake/Break

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Re: Riving/Cleaving/Froe/Bodger's Brake/Break

Postby 81stBRAT » Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:23 pm

mstibs,
That small book you have brought to everyone's attendion is one of the most usful and informative books going.
Richard
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Re: Riving/Cleaving/Froe/Bodger's Brake/Break

Postby mstibs » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:18 pm

Oh yes! Loads of information and ideas for own tools. Just the printed quality isn't too good - seems the scans were not hi res. :cry:

Best! STIBS
Saxons. Were good wood-turners, they had to be because they were poor potters...from "A Short History of Woodturning with the Pole-lathe" by Brian G. Howarth; My bilingual (de/en) Blog: http://mstibs.wordpress.com
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Re: Riving/Cleaving/Froe/Bodger's Brake/Break

Postby ToneWood » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:01 pm

I'm going to check out those links later. Inspired by jrrcaim's earlier post, I decided to try to make a brake with a Y-post today. It worked fairly well - most importantly it handled the big, heavy, thick, knotty bits - but my version needs refinement.

My 2x Y-piece Brake
I cut a big Y-shaped post from 5" diameter sycamore that I had in my wood pile. Maybe 4 foot long - with a point on the end. I hammered it deep into the ground using my big 10lb sledge hammer. Then I cut a second, smaller Y-shaped piece - for a kind of staple: on this piece I left one of the arms maybe 2.5' long and cut the stem short, maybe 6" to absorb the hammer blows when the long arm was hammered into the ground. The other arm was left maybe 10"-12" long, to hold the workpiece down.

Brake #2, Y's.jpg
2x Y-pieces. Worked but the Y-pieces are too far apart.
The top of the smaller, inverted Y is just visible, middle-right.
Surrounded by ash foliage.
Brake #2, Y's.jpg (60.83 KiB) Viewed 12800 times


It worked but the 2 Y-pieces were too far apart, horizontally and vertically - which meant I had to move the froe between them, later in the split - which meant "froeing towards the fat" no longer worked (had to reverse the workpiece). The potential is there but needs refinement. The 2 piece need to be moved closer.
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Re: Riving/Cleaving/Froe/Bodger's Brake/Break

Postby ToneWood » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:30 pm

jrccaim wrote:I was about to undertake scanning in some images from Scott Landis's The Workbench Book (1998) a great book BTW. But once again Google has saved me the trouble. Google on "wood splitting brake" and click on the Scott Landis link...
Found it here: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=cjAn ... &q&f=false
Several interesting ideas there. Oddly I recognise a couple of the people in that book, from their respective websites.

The wooden sternum protector worn by Drew Langsner when using his draw knife is an interesting idea - I wear something like that when diving to reduce bruising when loading a speargun, mine is made from the tough, thick sole of a designer flip flop/(AmE "thong"), donated by a colleague who'd lost the other one before getting a chance to wear them. I used to do without a chest pad but one Summer went spearing 6 days in a row, just after fitting fresh, thicker rubbers - by the end of the week I could hardly bear to reload, the top of my abs, sternum and lower rib cage were black & blue with bruises (some spearguns include a loading pad on the gun, mine didn't).
81stBRAT wrote:mstibs,
That small book you have brought to everyone's attendion is one of the most usful and informative books going.
Richard

That Young Farmers coppicing booklet by F. Lambert is wonderful, packed with info but conise. Checked out of the library before I was born :D.
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Re: Riving/Cleaving/Froe/Bodger's Brake/Break

Postby Brian Williamson » Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:21 am

I'm glad to see this thread under way and I hope that everyone reading it has been keeping an eye on two threads under the 'Tools' heading; 'What makes a good froe' and 'How long should my froe be?'.

To my mind, 'froe and brake' should go together like 'hammer and tongs' or 'horse and cart'. The two should be pretty much inseperable.

I think that the froe is probably one of the most misunderstood and misused tools out there.

It should be used, along with its brake, for the riving/cleaving of long lengths of wood.

They should be a matched pair as well. Large brake/large froe. Small brake small froe.

Not all brakes need be (roughly) horizontal bars. A slot in the top of a block works well for small stuff.

Whilst a froe can be used for splitting firewood, chair legs etc, an axe will generally be a more appropriate tool.

When riving long lengths with your froe and brake, it is not essential to try and divide into two halves. One third/two third combinations are quite do-able. Nor must the thick side always be down. As your technique improves you will find that you can rive upwards as well (I'll try and get a photo of this), which saves a deal of time.

If you're knocking your froe through the wood with some kind of a beater then I would suggest that you're using the wrong tool(s). If having a perfectly straight line through your wood is important, then by all means start with the froe, but continue with two small wedges (one on each side and underneath the froe blade). Otherwise starting with axe or wedges would probably be better.

I suspect that the various anecdotes of broken froes may largely be attributable to their being used in situations where wedges would have been better.

All this probably makes me sound very pious and pompous, so apologies. I have to admit to having been there and done it myself but I hope that I'm still learning and will go on trying to do so. I'll try and post up some pictures of my various brakes in some kind of use.

Carry on Cleaving.

Brian.
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Re: Riving/Cleaving/Froe/Bodger's Brake/Break

Postby gavin » Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:01 pm

Brian Williamson wrote:I'm glad to see this thread under way and I hope that everyone reading it has been keeping an eye on two threads under the 'Tools' heading; 'What makes a good froe' and 'How long should my froe be?'.

To assist those who may have missed those threads, I hyperlink Brian's text above to them.

Correct me if I am wrong Brian, but I think you diplomatically suggest that it is tedious to have the same topic raised multiple times ( possibly over different threads) by someone who has not bothered to use the SEARCH facility ?

Brian Williamson wrote:All this probably makes me sound very pious and pompous, so apologies. I have to admit to having been there and done it myself but I hope that I'm still learning and will go on trying to do so. I'll try and post up some pictures of my various brakes in some kind of use.

Do not apologise! You are a professional greenwoodworker and we are more than fortunate to have the comment of someone who gets his living by using tools in the most effective way he knows how.
Gavin Phillips


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Re: Riving/Cleaving/Froe/Bodger's Brake/Break

Postby Bob_Fleet » Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:26 pm

gavin wrote: I think you diplomatically suggest that it is tedious to have the same topic raised multiple times
The search is becoming less useful as there seem to be so many postings asking exactly the same questions and giving the same info as in previous threads.
Voodooalpaca is pulling some of these together in the 'Plans' area so that we don't get overwhelmed with duplication.
Robin Wood previously pointed out the numbers when you do some common searches, now up to 2640 for 'lathe' - whoops, there's another one now.
Google Blogger or Wordpress give folk great free blogs if they want and a few have got great blogs going.
It really is good to see that some of our regular contributors also have blogs where you can see their personal work and keep up to date with what they are doing.
Someone, who shall remain nameless, has great, informative posts on the forum and also a good blog for home stuff. A good balance I think. Nice to see that Alaskan greenhouse and planting and keep up the good work, you know who you are.
http://www.onegoodturn.co.uk

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Re: Riving/Cleaving/Froe/Bodger's Brake/Break

Postby ToneWood » Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:42 pm

Not sure if the Search comment was a dig at me but I've read both of those threads already and, although our discussions often wander off/around topic (I'm as much to blame for this as anybody) the original topics for both are quite specific (what makes a good froe/how long a froe to get). I originally raised this issue on one of the froe threads but decided to remove that post & instead start a new thread - to make it easier to find brake-specific info (hence the title designed to catch different naming & spelling options) and to avoid "polluting" the original discussions. As a couple of posters already pointed out, there is more than one way to skin this cat - perhaps as many designs as there for shave horses (the shave horse thread is amazing).

Brian, I found your post interesting and useful. Your suggestion to insert a couple wedges under the froe did occur to me - rather inserting a single wedge occurred to me - but I thought that might be considered copping out/"bad form". However,I did experiment with a couple similar ideas to free the froe. I tried an off-cut wooden wedge that was close by (I actually keep better shaped wooden wedges in my shed), above the foe, it worked up to a point (ooh accidental pun), but hammering in a 2" x 2' round above them worked a little better. I'll give your wedge technique a try - sounds like a good way to deal with difficult splits - and avoid froe breakage. Some of the logs I was splitting were probably rather too big/gnarly for a beginner, and perhaps would be rejected by a more experienced eye. Don't know if it makes a difference but I was splitting silver birch, rather than sweet chestnut/hazel/ash. It was available.

Would be interested to see pictures of your brakes. You guys must get/be pretty fit doing this day-to-day, I got warm doing maybe 5 or 6 logs and felt like I'd had a workout afterwards (my muscles confirmed the feeling this morning). I dare say you develop your technique to be more efficient that a rank beginner but it is quite a physical business.

Google can be useful for searching into this forum.
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Re: Riving/Cleaving/Froe/Bodger's Brake/Break

Postby ToneWood » Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:09 pm

[Moved from Hurdle thread]
Good picture of a simple brake on the Lakeland Coppice website: http://www.lakelandcoppiceproducts.co.uk/lcpdiary.htm - although it appears to be used as a clamp for draw knife shaving off the bark (same as the Jack Hargreaves coppicing video on youtube). Is the same device used for riving?

This link features a novel "cleaving break"/"riving brake", it took me a while to see how it was arranged: 3 vertical posts arrange in a triangle + 3 cross-bars making a triangle, you place the work-piece over the front bar and under either of the other cross-bars. Article also features a novel post-vice, with foot pedal. http://allanshepherd.wordpress.com/2008 ... rdle-gate/
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Re: Riving/Cleaving/Froe/Bodger's Brake/Break

Postby Brian Williamson » Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:28 pm

gavin wrote:
Correct me if I am wrong Brian, but I think you diplomatically suggest that it is tedious to have the same topic raised multiple times ( possibly over different threads) by someone who has not bothered to use the SEARCH facility ?


Whilst I wasn't setting out to suggest this Gavin, I do agree with you as a generality that the search facility might be used more often than it appears to be. Perhaps we should all be reminding ourselves of this more often and referring others to relevant threads.

No, in this case I was simply trying to reinforce my message than froe and brake go together and that these three threads could usefully be read together.

Brian.
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Re: Riving/Cleaving/Froe/Bodger's Brake/Break

Postby ToneWood » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:13 pm

Brian Williamson wrote:...
When riving long lengths with your froe and brake, it is not essential to try and divide into two halves. One third/two third combinations are quite do-able. Nor must the thick side always be down. As your technique improves you will find that you can rive upwards as well (I'll try and get a photo of this), which saves a deal of time.
.....
Yes, I notice the split does not always dive down toward the fat/bottom. :(

I came across a link with an old Japanese craftsman splitting using a slot cut into a big old log as the brake, as you mentioned. That design quite appeals to me but finding a suitable log and getting it to my work area (up narrow steps) would be challenging. I believe it was in that article that it described the "froer" splitting the wood into thirds (rather than splitting in half), his technique involve alternating between the splits - presumably as a way to keep the splits straight. I did think about trying this, as some of the logs I split were quite large - but in the end I decided to keep things simple to start off with :D.
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Re: Riving/Cleaving/Froe/Bodger's Brake/Break

Postby ToneWood » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:32 pm

This chap seems to be using a brake rather like Peter Follansbees & the tripod designs above but cleverly utilizing a tree as the back prop of the tripod (top, middle image): http://www.greenmanwoodcrafts.co.uk/ (love his gates).
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Re: Riving/Cleaving/Froe/Bodger's Brake/Break

Postby trollwumple » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:19 pm

Tone

If you take a look at Peter Follansbees post, "june 10th splitting a 9 foot log" here http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/, this is a much better way to split larger logs/wood, once you have halved and quartered it you could then put your much smaller sections in your break/brake and go at it with your froe, I dont consider using a wedge as cheating, when you think about it a froe is just an elongated wedge with a handel on it.

will
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Re: Riving/Cleaving/Froe/Bodger's Brake/Break

Postby Brian Williamson » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:23 am

[quote="trollwumple") when you think about it a froe is just an elongated wedge with a handel on it.
[/quote]

Like the Psychic Pig - no, really, it isn't.

Much of the time you want as little wedging action as possible. If you're dealing with fine, thin materials you need to get the froe in with as little opening up of the split as possible, so that you're in control of the direction of split as soon as possible.

You could make a froe to resemble a wedge with a handle and it might well be a useful tool, but that is really not what they are.

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Re: Riving/Cleaving/Froe/Bodger's Brake/Break

Postby Brian Williamson » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:30 am

trollwumple wrote:Tone

If you take a look at Peter Follansbees post, "june 10th splitting a 9 foot log" here http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/, this is a much better way to split larger logs/wood,


Now I've just had a look at Peter F's post. This should be the standard practice when cleaving good,large logs, and it shows it very well. I'd describe a large log as anything over 6" diameter and I'd consider using wedges on smaller stuf than this quite routinely.

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