You can also use the froe to initiate the split when making shakes from dimension stock of straight-grained wood like cedar but only after you have squared the block to get rid of juvenile wood. In such a case you push or pull the handle toward the material you are splitting off the block. This causes the shake to taper as the split advances. You then turn the block over to start the second shake from the opposite end.
If you are splitting shakes from straight grain hardwood (like oak) you will usually find that it tapers very little and you will have to use a draw knife to create the taper you want. In this case you would usually not have to invert the block for subsequent splits. In most other uses of the froe, you are controlling the advancing split by pushing the froe handle toward the thicker part of the wood being split in order to get consistent thickness of the piece being split off the blocks.
nancy sutton wrote:What about that Japanese process of 'charring, toasting, singeing... " ? Maybe it only works on cedar? ? Too lazy to dig it out, but there's a thread here somewhere
Dale Gi wrote:One of the things we managed to salvage was a large number of cedar shingles. ... The message here is that many of the shingles were still good after about 100 years of exposure to Alaskan winters.