Log to Cant using a Froe
I can only comment on my experience doing this with Larch. I'm sure other timbers would respond differently is some respects, maybe even easier. However I found splitting with a froe and wedges a quick way to process a log in to a rough cant for about the first 2.5 m (8ft) as long as there aren't significant knots.
Starting from the bottom end of the log, using the froe to split away a good strip saves quite a bit of axe work. The start of the split, for the first few feet is quite accurate, giving a good square end that can be used as a reference for the rest of the hewing. The split with the froe does run out towards the bark which isn't a surprise really as the section being removed is bending whilst the rest of the log is solid. On the column section this work out well as the taper of the log matched the taper of the removed section so the sides ended up roughly parallel.
I did however notice a consistent twist or winding in the split. This may have something to do with how the tree grows or it could be just because I used wedges from one side. I'll have to experiment next time to see if I can get a straight split.
Recomendation - The froe I'm using is hand forged by a micro business in Devon U.K. They sell these froes on ebay (look for the seller "fishchipsandpeas") They make some other great looking tools alongside traditionally crafted Gates, Fencing and Garden Furniture. You can see more of their tools, froes, hand adzes at www.quirkyquercus.co.uk. The Drawn Knife they make will be on my next Christmas List.