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cleaving brake

 
paul wheaton
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Robert Ray
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A cleaving brake is what I am used to calling a froe.  I have also seen wedges called cleaving brakes.
 
paul wheaton
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My impression is that a fro is a tool that has a foot long edge and a handle at one end.  And a cleaving brake is something that holds one end of your stick while you are doing something with the fro on the other end.
 
Robert Ray
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Looking up bodger tools I see where they are calling a cleaving brake either a forked tree/branch or two pieces of wood that they use to hold a piece while they use a froe or wedge to split the work piece. So I guess it would be a rudimentary friction vise.
 
paul wheaton
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Well ... this is a bit of a blind leading the blind sort of thing ...

So I imagine that there is a purpose to it.  I guess I'm curious as to what that purpose might be.

 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Never heard of it.

But the first Google result is pretty interesting.  I think the last section answers your question, but the parts near the middle are of more interest to me.

http://handbooks.btcv.org.uk/handbooks/content/section/3762
 
paul wheaton
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Joel Hollingsworth
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Thank you for asking.  I would have never thought to search for that term otherwise!
 
paul wheaton
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Well, I subscribe to about eight really cool magazines.  And my favorite, by far, is "living woods".  And every issue appears to have a cleaving brake, but, until now, I didn't understand what it was for.

 
Joel Hollingsworth
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paul wheaton wrote:
I subscribe to about eight really cool magazines. 


I wonder how many of those would be open to an endorsement deal.

You get a lot of traffic, and it sounds like you would be happy to support them.
 
paul wheaton
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Well, I think most folks think I'm crazy.  So the value of my opinion is pretty small.

Back on topic:  I just tried a youtube search for "cleaving brake" hoping to see a demo and got stuff featuring "cleavage" or the brakes on cars.

 
Joel Hollingsworth
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I wonder if a youtube search for "froe" would yield instructions on how to do your hair with a pick.
 
Erica Wisner
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paul wheaton wrote:
Well, I think most folks think I'm crazy.  So the value of my opinion is pretty small.

Back on topic:  I just tried a youtube search for "cleaving brake" hoping to see a demo and got stuff featuring "cleavage" or the brakes on cars.



reminding me just how much more useful Google searches are, especially for terms that are unique when enclosed in quotes.
 
                                  
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To cleave is to split the break is simply a steady tool to assist. you could also use a billhook to "split" or cleave a cane of hazel or willow so the could be used for building wattles fences and basketry. many products made from a coppiced forest
 
                        
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you can search for "riving brake" as well.

if you do an image search you'll see them in use.

the only real one i've ever seen was in a chair makers yard. just a couple of offset 2x8s in his fence line.
 
                        
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http://www.westoverwoodlands.co.uk/Cleaving/Splitting.htm

There is a photo at the bottom of this page of someone using a cleaving brake and a froe to split a log.
 
                        
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http://www.koanga.org.nz/articles/134783.html

According to this, the cleaving brake is the support used for the log while cleaving it with a froe.
 
Dan Boone
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Some of the useful links in this thread are broken so I searched out the Internet Archive versions.

Joel Hollingsworth's link about cleaving brakes: https://web.archive.org/web/20090416061417/http://handbooks.btcv.org.uk/handbooks/content/section/3762

Wobat's cleaving brake link: https://web.archive.org/web/20100525215125/http://www.koanga.org.nz/articles/134783.html

And here are the cleaving brake graphics from those links:



 
Chadwick Holmes
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The shave hoarse is to the draw knife as the brake is to the froe


Care should be taken when riving in a brake, it is easier to allow the split to run out, and you have more control if it does, but it takes a lot of experience to control it well.

The best ones for me are made of three hardwood tree crotches, that's the one I have, if the trees are large enough the weight of them allows for more work to be done more efficiently.
 
Peter Ellis
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When searching youtube it is worth trying the term "riving brake".
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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