The froe is used to split wood into slabs or thin wedges. The cooper used the froe to quarter split a block of wood into wedges to make staves. The froe is held with the metal head against a piece of wood and the handle in the air. It would then be hit with a mallet to create a clean, rectangular split in the wood.
Froe, 19th Century, iron, wood, H: 12 x W: 14 x D: 2 in. The Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown, New York, F0026.1969.