Homemade tools

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Blog entry by A Slice of Wood Workshop posted 07-09-2012 02:10 PM 7685 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Yesterday I got a little adventurous, threw caution to the wind and instead of buying some tools, I made my own. I first made a cabinet scraper. I had to clean up the metal a little. After I got the metal almost all nice and shiny I had to make an edge on one side. I slapped a file in a vise and slid the scraper along it laying down. You have to make sure that the scraper to the file is 90° so the it creates burrs on both sides. This is how the scraper works. I got some little shavings while using it on a piece of red oak. I still need to fine tune my scraper, but I’m off to a good start. The dimensions are 5″x3 1/5″. It is right at a millimeter thick which is kind of thick for a scraper. I will see how it works over time.

One tool that I have been wanting for a while is a froe, or also known as a shingle splitter. It is a blade turned upside down with a handle. It is used to split wood, I believe into thinner pieces. Most of the blades I see come in about a 10-15″ length. I had a piece of metal that was about 25″ long. To start making my froe I first had to heat the metal up.

I ended up getting a descent hole for the handle. It isn’t perfectly round, but good enough to get a handle in there. To hold the shape a weld was done to connect the hole to the blade.

Well the fun is just beginning as we cool down the blade and get the rest of the rust off of by using a wire brush. I took it over to the vise and grabbed a grinding wheel and started to shape the blade. After that a coat of black enamel paint was applied to the whole blade to help with rust prevention.

Then came the final stage of making this blade. I let the paint dry and took it back over to the vise, grabbed a file and started getting the blade sharp.

Now I just have to make a handle for it and it will be ready for action.

-- Follow me on YouTube-

11 comments so far

View bobasaurus's profile


3711 posts in 4157 days

#1 posted 07-09-2012 04:00 PM

Looks like you made a useful set of tools. With that cabinet scraper, try stoning the edge flat after filing, then using a hardened metal rod (a burnisher) to draw out then curl over the burr. You’ll get much better shavings.

I’m not sure if I understand what the froe is for, but it looks neat. I wish I could metalwork as well.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Mosquito's profile


10694 posts in 3265 days

#2 posted 07-09-2012 04:03 PM

for bobasaurus a froe in action:

looks good! Hopefully you’ll get a lot of good use out of it, and the card scraper :-)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

1118 posts in 4146 days

#3 posted 07-09-2012 04:21 PM

It’s helpful for making wooden shingles or splitting as log to make spoons.

-- Follow me on YouTube-

View Don W's profile

Don W

19841 posts in 3540 days

#4 posted 07-09-2012 04:59 PM

Nice metal work.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Dave's profile


11435 posts in 3813 days

#5 posted 07-10-2012 12:25 AM

Cool tool build. I like that a lot.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View clieb91's profile


4163 posts in 4908 days

#6 posted 07-10-2012 04:33 PM

Nicely done. I have been eyeing a froe at Lee Valley for some time now. Wish I had the tools to make one.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

1118 posts in 4146 days

#7 posted 07-10-2012 11:32 PM

Thanks for all the comments guys.

Chris- I have access to the tools. At my job they have to be able to repair trucks, so they have all the fun stuff.

-- Follow me on YouTube-

View SugarbeatCo's profile


142 posts in 3241 days

#8 posted 01-11-2013 11:48 PM

I have always admired those who make their own tools. Very inventive!!

-- Always one more tool away from being an excellent woodworker...

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2980 days

#9 posted 01-12-2013 01:42 AM

That could probably be made from an old lawn mower blade.

Just sayin’ :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Dave's profile


11435 posts in 3813 days

#10 posted 01-13-2013 04:28 AM

The froe “frow” has to have some what of a thick body to the blade. A lawnmower blade wouldn’t be thick enough. The blade itself was originally wrought iron, witch has a grain. That is a lot of the strength of the froe. The haft “handle” is only used as a lever. It is not hung on the iron permanently for ease of replacement and removal in case it loges itself and you had to apply a hit with a maul on the end that it is attached to.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View epbussey's profile


2 posts in 2960 days

#11 posted 12-30-2013 05:37 PM

They use to make them from old car or truck springs ( the flat kind ). I have two of them and used them to make hand split tapered cedar shakes for the roof of a cabin I also used it to make cedar boards for a 5 foot high fence. Very useful tool

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