Handy Tools – Little froe and doweling plate

I put a handle on a big froe last year, but I've been wanting to make my own dowels lately, and that's too big for splitting off small chunks of wood for dowels. So I asked my friend Jeff for a smaller tool. The result was this little froe.

Small froe on a workbench

When combined with a doweling plate from Lie-Nielsen, I can split a piece of oak or ash off a scrap, run it down the sizes to 3/16” and trim it to length in under ten minutes. I did a half-dozen this evening to peg the French cleat into my rasp and file till in under an hour, and that included the time to drill six 3/16” holes, too.

Small froe with doweling plate

The main problem with this setup is that longer dowels aren't really possible with it. A length of more than a few inches tends to wander a little and not be straight. But the solution for longer dowels is a Stanley 77, which I'll write about later.


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