A froe looks cool! One can be made easily at home with a
welder and a grinder but they usually sell cheap, since they have fewer
uses than other pioneer tools. I always wanted one. Now I have two and
they just set back in the corner. Really, unless you decide to make
your own wood shakes or shingles (same thing), this tool is not very
useful. You might be better off buying other tools that are needed for
cabin construction and waiting patiently for a cheap one to come along.
In my area we do
not have good wood for making shingles so I have only done it
occassionally for the experience. I have tried oak, but it does not
want to split easy at all. The wood that might work here is white oak.
It is worth more as lumber, though. No matter what, you need wood with
a very straight grain and no knots. The most common, of course, is cedar. Some people use redwoods too.