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Riving & Hurdlemaking Weekend 

Splitting logs & practical applications, with Peter Follansbee and friends.


An essential skill for getting optimal results from greenwood.
Process oak beginning with the log, and use the resulting stock to build hurdles — traditional English moveable fence sections.


Learn how to select the right log, and how to split it with wedges and mauls. Meet the froe, a once-ubiquitous and now neglected tool perfectly suited for further breaking the wood down into useable stock.

Find out how to “read” the log to best orient your splits, and explore a couple different ways to arrange a riving brake—the apparatus used to secure the stock for better results—for the most effective mechanics for partnering it with the froe.

After learning these fundamentals, participants will work in groups to rive stock to build hurdles. This project involves chopping through-mortises in the upright members, and trimming the long horizontal rails to fit, giving participants hands-on experience with hewing hatchets, drawknives, a brace and bit, and chisels and knives.

Working together we will be able to make several sections of hurdles—ideally one for everyone to take home.

Besides hurdles and other types of garden fencing, applications for riven stock include clapboards, furniture parts, tool handles, and much, much more.


For your next project, be it heirloom furniture or a garden trellis, bypass the lumberyard altogether.

Your registration includes delicious and satisfying lunches.
Want to make a Pinewoods retreat weekend out of it?
Add the sleepaway option for Friday and Saturday nights.
You get: 
  • rustic housing (possible roommate & shared bathroom)
  • breakfast before class
  • hot shower
  • evening fireside carving
Bring a sleeping bag or bed linens and a towel. It's a fabulous place to get away. 

The instructors

Peter Follansbee, Pret Woodburn & Rick McKee have spent decades mastering the use of riven oak, and have taught innumerable beginners how to finesse big heavy logs into some of the most perfect oak that you can't buy anywhere.

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