For more information on rasps, see our beginner site Common Woodworking.
Some times I am amazed by a new or old woodworking tool, but not too often any more. Most of the time tools are a remake of something that once was, be that planes or saws, nail sets, chisels with ergonomic handles that shed their rubber grips like autumn leaves after about six months. They all fall into one of two categories, cheap or expensive. The haves and the have nots buy them accordingly.
A few years ago I used an Auriou raps for the first time. It was a fine tool in the hand and could cut and shape wood in a heartbeat. These rasps are not cheap and at first glance you may think them over priced; that is unless or until you use one. Then you’ll likely change your mind.
These are top-notch tools and well worth every penny.
Buying better quality tools might depend on how often you use them and for what task. if you do a lot of a particular work, you might be willing to pay a higher price. If the intent is just to make one thing, then the price might be prohibitive and you would likely feel to be a lesser quality reflecting a lower price.
I ordered three Auriou rasps from Highland Hardware in Atlanta, Georgia because I have some serious blogs coming up on making pieces that need good quality tools that will remove the wood fast. I was not at all disappointed in their quality and how they work.
Over the next few weeks we will be making several products that require some higher priced tools. That’s not usual for me because I am trying to work with what gets people started, so that they don’t get discouraged at tools they cannot afford. For the main part that really works, but this time I recommend that you invest in one good rasp, to if you can make it work.
Auriou rasps are indeed hand stitched and in a pattern that produces results. To twist a walking cane or staff like this takes about an hour with the right tool and this rasp works like no other I ever used. I also used a smaller rasp on spoons too and was ecstatic with my results. With the round on one side and flat on the other, the tool works for both concave and convex work. I used it for functional hand grips and for decoration too. Combining this with a Veritas card scraper or three I was well under way in carving a spoon to completion in about 45 minutes. I was really looking for safe tool for young people to work with and although this tool is not a child’s tool, under proper supervision ( and all children should be well supervised) for the safety of the tool and its safe use, this is ideal for encouraging up and coming young woodworkers with. Of course the main difference is that these tools work where machines cannot or where the inherent danger all woodworking machines are known for are of minimal concern by comparison, which is why hand tool workshops work so well for everyone.
the bottom line?
If and when you can afford one, buy an Auriou rasp according to you task or need. You won’t regret it at all. Highland hardware has quite an exhaustive range and the staff are very knowledgeable. Here is their contact details for their website.
Much more on this to follow as we build.