Tools of the Trade 04 the Brake

A brake (or riving brake) is used in conjunction with the froe so I thought it would be apropo to mention it here. I have heard of these also being called a “cleave”.

there are several types:

upright A-frame,

A frame see Peter Follansbee’s blog and The Barn on White Run



horizontal or box like

box see Peter Galbert’s blog

fence like,

fence on Jennie Alexander’s Greenwoodworking blog

and one that is a sort of sideways fork.

fork see”The Woodwright’s Shop” by Roy Underhill

made from a tree fork.

They all get used similarly; you prop your piece to be split in the gap (after you have started the froe into the end) and push down on the thicker side of the split. Go slowly and watch incase the split wants to run one way or the other. this way you can get your weight into it without straining too much.

You need one, mine is like the boxy one. but don’t get carried away and make all of them 😉

be well


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