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The froe is a simple but highly accurate tool for riving timber along the grain. Traditionally started with a roughly hewn green wood club, once established you can usually just encourage the split to continue by levering the handle of the froe and sliding the blade forward.
Riven timber is much stronger than sawn, although it does require a little more effort to prepare and can be quite plain in appearance, it is excellent for making unusually delicate components. Interestingly, all of the furniture in the Palace of Westminster was made from riven timber and it is still included in the specification to this day.