Do you ever have an idea that has been in the back of your mind? I was a draftsman for years. I still use CAD (computer aided drafting) But when I have an idea it starts in BAD (brain aided drafting). This design had gone thru many different revisions. I bounced my idea off a coworker and he had a great suggestion that got me thinking down a different design path. I knew that it was going to be exactly what I wanted. A froe that could fit in my pocket.
Step 1: What Is a Froe?
What is a froe? It is a traditional green woodworking tool and is not pocket friendly. I made an Instructable on the froe I made: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Fro...
Step 2: Why a Pocket Size Froe?
I love pocket tools. I love camping. I wanted a wood splitting tool that would fit in my pocket. You could use a pocket knife to split wood, but a froe is made for splitting wood, so a pocket froe would be perfect.
Step 3: Materials
I used all stainless steel.
(1) 1/2" x 6" long pipe nipple
(1) 1/2" elbow
(2) 1/2" couplings
The blade was cut out of a 1/8" thick piece of stainless steel
Step 4: Tools
Very few tools were used. A grinder to cut and shape the blade and a bench grinder to sharpen the blade. A TIG welder was used to weld the pieces together.
Step 5: Safety
You will be grinding and welding. You need to wear safety glasses and gloves. When you are welding, you will need to wear a proper welding mask suitable for TIG welding.
Step 6: Cutting and Welding
One coupling is welded to one end of the elbow. One coupling is welded to one end of the pipe nipple. The other end of the pipe nipple is screwed into the other end of the elbow. DO NOT WELD THIS CONNECTION. Use this assembly to determine the size to cut and shape the blade. The blade height should be from the top edge of the bottom part of the elbow to the top of the coupling welded to the elbow. The length should reach from the edge of the coupling welded to the elbow to almost the end of the coupling welded to the pipe nipple. You will have to make a notch in the blade for the elbow, or grind off that part of the elbow to fit flush with the end of the blade. Once you are happy with the fit of the blade, weld it to the elbow and coupling welded to the elbow.
Step 7: Sharpen the Blade
Use a grinder or angle grinder to sharpen the blade. Also round off the opposite corner of the blade to fit comfortably in your pocket.
Step 8: Using the Pocket Froe
Take the froe out of your pocket. Unscrew the handle from the elbow. Screw the handle into the coupling welded to the elbow. Hold the handle of the froe in one hand and with the other hand, use a stick to hammer the blade into another stick. You can hit the blade on the end or near the handle. Once the blade is hammered into the stick, pry on the handle of the froe to pry the split open and split the stick. When you are finished using the pocket froe, unscrew the handle and screw it back into the bottom part of the elbow.
Step 9: Video
As Always, I made a video.
Thank you for watching.
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