Auriou Rasps

If you have yet to invest in a top quality rasp then buy the Auriou cabinet rasp; you will never regret it. All of their rasps are works of art and there is no substitute. But I just heard they were trying to raise funds to save their company from closing. This company needs us.

I don’t do this usually. Museums and living history have their place but here’s real life ancient craft business that defies mass making because hand stitched quality is impossible by machine. This is a living, working business that if it goes it may never return and I worried about losing it some years ago. Auriou is of course the famed rasp makers in France and it’s struggling and needs a shot in the arm to continue making the best rasps in the world for us woodworkers.

Its a 162 years-old with rasps second to none and its forge hosts a unique expertise in making hand stitched raps and other metal tools.
I use their rasps every day and they are the most amazing tools. Can we throw a few euros, dollars and pounds behind them as a charitable support so we don’t lose this amazing resource?
https://www.tudigo.co/don/sauvons-le-savoir-faire-auriou

66 comments on “Auriou Rasps

  1. I’ve had a pair of their rasps now for a couple of years and agree that they are very good.

    I’m moderately ashamed to admit I never figured out how to fit the handles so have been using them bald. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

    • I drill staged holes starting with 1/8″ to the depth of the length of the tang then 3/16 two thirds the way then 1/4″. Insert rasps and strike handle with a chisel hammer or mallet . see how far it goes. Once within 1/2″ drive it all the way.

  2. I am glad the “PS Team” have posted this link too. I was building savings to buy a set of Auriou rasps but instead I contributed the money. I am envious each time I watch Paul using the rasp. You can feel it in his hands, digging effortlessly, chewing the wood away. And the sound it makes too. “Love it! Love it!”. Sometime we have to compromise.

  3. What’s the best way to remove waste wood from a rasp Paul? I have one of the Auriou rasps but she’s a bit clogged and I’m afraid of damaging the cutting edge.

  4. There is something with their business model. I can see a lot of rasps and products on amazon.com but not on amazon.fr On amazon.fr I see only one rasp

    “Auriou Modeleurs Râpe 7 en Grain. 13 (main droite) par Auriou
    de Auriou
    EUR 224,38”

    No distributors in European countries!

    It’s not easy to buy their tools on the European continent and prices are very high. Same tools are available in USA and much cheaper. Where is the problem? We have a big problem in Europe.

    On the long term this should be fixed somehow.

    I’m not trying to be bad, my heart is bleeding when I see this decline. Something is wrong with us in Europe.

    • Unless and until this company comes up with a new business plan of sustainability (with the help of an outside agent, if you ask me), the current fund-raising drive is going to fail in time. Many American companies raised hundreds of million dollars in loans during court protections only to end the same way: closure, because they only bought time but could not deliver a sustainable business plan.

      The Auriou is not facing just a temporary funding problem or shortage of skilled technicians. It runs a lot deeper than that.

      • Richard, it’s sad to say it, but I agree with you. I think it’s clear their products are top quality and they themselves are highly skilled workers. But one would assume this extra money will need to be spent into organising the business much better.

        If you open the crowd funding link in a chrome browser it gives and option to translate. Here’s the aim of the process using google translate.

        “Our first goal is to reach the € 40,000 line. This amount represents one month cash flow and is expected to be achieved for the company. Basic material supply will be seriously eased.

        Should € 50,000 be reached, we will be in a position to renew and forge our machines for better processing for better productivity. We will be in a position to release a much better and attractive internet website.

        Finally, if € 60,000 cash amount is collected during this campaign, the company will be in a position, in addition to the first two achievements, to further develop the production tools and processes in order to meet a strong and raising demand for wood carving tools.”

        Clearly the above might not be quite right due to google translate.

        I wish them every success and hope they don’t have to be in this situation again.

        • One last one! This is where Thomas Lie-Nielsen and Lee-Valley deserve great praise and are an excellent role models for tool makers.

        • LIOGIER has a nice site, they should do the same.

          But, my problem is that they have great product, great history an European product. But, they are not selling in Europe. How a guy from Hungary or Bulgaria will buy a rasp? I’m sure they never go to Hungary to show their products. I understand it’s difficult we have a lot of languages in Europe, but if we don’t translate and respect peoples they will not buy. In all non english speaking countries majority doesn’t understand english at all. If this is a premium product, it should behave like this. European market has big potential because there is no alternative to this product, but it is not managed like it should be. And I’m not talking here about high European taxes, high delivery taxes and bureaucracy. And after all if product is european prices in europe shouldn’t be higher than over continents.

          Somehow they should first figure it out how to change their business model and increase sales in Europe. Maybe they should associate with other tool makers like them and reduce their marketing, sales costs.

          It’s something to think about, Paul is doing great job to keep traditional woodworking popular in Europe try to adapt it to new realities, they should do the same and collaborate more. Like cooking reinvented and have a good traction, crafts should do the same or die.

          • I do think it is a little shortsighted that European makers, and I include UK makers in the EU (for a while at least) see the US market as their main target buyers. In my view, the US seems to have done more than any other country in the pursuit of craft work as a whole and especially woodworking in amateur realms. Most of what is sold by way of hand tools and the companies producing would be out of business overnight if it were not for the amateur market.

          • I appreciate USA very much and glad they have the same products cheaper, I’m not agains USA. But european makers should not neglect Europe and learn a lot from USA how they use their market.

          • I think that maybe the US was more adventuresome. Back in the 70s when Fine Woodworking first went to press it offered a refreshing new look at serious woodworking. Then the Old Yankee Workshop and New Yankee Workshop came along with diversely different presentations. Nothing like them in Europe. now the magazines are dropping off of course but at one time they did have something to offer beyond being the sales outlets for the big boy machine manufacturers and playing to their consumerist tunes.

      • It sounds like you have some insider knowledge here, Richard. Is that the case? You know the owners? Member of staff? I cannot say what the situation is altogether. I do know that the alternative will be closure, loss of business, Unemployment and loss of skilled output. That means no Auriou rasps and tools to be made and unemployment is a miserable outcome if we choose to hold onto our few pounds and euros. Alternatively, €10 from a mere 2,000 strong, appreciative woodworkers needing such tools in decades to come, raises the funding to carry them over the threshold they need and perhaps with hindsight they may be able to make adjustments to their business management. Personally, I’d rather know that there is an underlying problem and still give my contribution anonymously as an act of good faith that they can indeed do this. I am not looking for a bandaid but a little breather. In my own history a couple of times when a couple of people funded elements of my quest it did me the power of good to stay in and develop a sustainable business for what turned to be a vision over decades and led to what I am able to achieve today.
        So, I endorse this not because they do have a great business plan but that they have been in business producing the highest grade of tools for over a century and a half. Who knows what can happen now. And frankly, whether they do have good business skills or not is really not my business because what I give doesn’t entitle me to that kind of insider knowledge. I do hope people will still contribute. It is a worthwhile cause.

        • Paul,

          I have no inside knowledge of this particular company, but I have had knowledge/participation of several companies (some similar to but most much much larger than Auriou) which had faced or are facing the difficulties Auriou is now trying to address.

          If you look at what the money is allegedly raised for, you will see the pattern: the money is to address operating issues like supplies, website, tooling, machines, etc. The owners think their current mode and model of business are still fine; to them, it is just a cashflow issue. If a business model is sound, cashflow issues can be resolved by going to a bank, and all will be good.

          Did they try to get a bank loan? No? Why not? Yes, but no approval? Why?

          Those are very basic questions for investors, or donors.

          Throwing money at anything which core activities stay unchanged is an act of buying time. The core must be examined first before money is directed at the symptoms.

          Obviously, the owners, you and many others would not agree with the above statement.

          Richard

          • Not at all, they must establish a better business practice and with the right help they could indeed do that. I think everyone is worth a little backing from a lot of people and if one in a thousand people turn their business around and indeed change their business model in the process we still have Auriou rasps, people in employment and a sustainable business.

    • Hello,

      at the monment I can find only one rasp on amazon.com, which is “Currently not available” – maybe that is some kind of that silly geolocation feature some sites use.

      This is aggravated by the fact that selling stuff on amazon isn’t free and amazon isn’t the only place to sell something.
      So I can understand that Auriou doesn’t sell on the large river.

      Anyway – buying Auriou products via their website is possible. They outsorced packaging and shipping to classichandtools.co.uk, which may change in consequence of Brexit.
      Nevertheless I definitively ordered Auriou rasps today instead of “perhaps some day” in the future as my type of support.

  5. The page gives no instruction for english speakers. It is pretty difficult to contribute when you cannot see where to do so…

    Any help?

    Thanks,

  6. Donation made. You have never given us bad advice on anything before and have given us so much for free as well. If you say a great company needs help, I believe you and will help.

    As an aside, as I child, we had four small locally owned hardware stores in my town of 70,000 people. Each had a slightly different specialty. I went to them often with my dad. Then, in the 1980s, in came the big box stores and all four closed. I am sure many of us would do things completely different now to avoid this happening in our towns. Donating here is a way of preventing that for a good company.

  7. I just bought a 12″ 10-grain Ariou from Lie-Nielson for $130 plus shipping. That is $30.00 US lower than Amazon, which seems to be a more expensive place nowadays.

  8. In my humble opinion I’d rather buy a tool (whish would generate cashflow) than throw this company money for almost nothing. Having my name or my picture on some wall is not enough motivation to give them money.
    People can do what they can and want with their money but I think you get too little for what you give.

    Luckily they’re very advanced on their crowdfunding so me being tightfisted won’t affect them much. Let’s hope they can manage their problems well.

  9. I’ve just contributed. Yes the payment form is in French but it’s not that hard to figure out.
    I don’t have one of their rasps (yet) but it would be such a shame to see a company like this go. I hope they pull through this crisis. Thanks for letting us know about it Paul.

  10. This is all so sad to read and even more sad when I look at the crowdfunding appeal and the Anjou website. Anyone with a modicum of experience in producing or assessing business plans will be immediately aware of the complete lack of substance. There is a vague mention of a possible partner. However, it is not clear if that is wishful thinking or if there is a person/company ready to invest the time and money needed to save Anjou. An astute investor only needs to wait for Anjou’s bankruptcy to get everything they need (machinery, people, expertise, sales orders etc) at the cheapest price as well as gaining absolute control.
    Richard has pointed out that they need a ‘new’ business plan with help from outside. I agree as, currently, there is no business plan of any kind! An alternative to his suggestion of an outside agency would be a partner with serious money to invest and plenty of time together with solid business experience.

    The mention of ‘Cash Flow’ in a struggling company will always set alarm bells ringing. Anjou is either teetering on the brink of a precipice or is already over the edge and plummeting downwards.

    The myriad of British manufacturers which went to the wall in the space of a couple of decades after the end of World War II often did so due to the lack of quality they believed they palm off on the British Empire. The empire evaporated, shoddy production was rejected and factories closed. The tragedy with Anjou is that they have maintained quality, craftmanship and integrity for over a century and half but now seem unlikely to survive.

    There will be no smug, “I told you so!” from me if my pessimistic prediction proves to be correct but I will jump for joy if I am proved wrong.

    • Not sure which is more discouraging, the antithesis of business minds seeing successes mainly in dollar sign sustainability as the end product or the hard working enterprise closing because people’s perspectives are only funnelled through the business world. I survived through fifty years as a not-so-good-businessman woodworker who clothed and fed his family on a single wage when everyone else I knew threw in the towel at every awkward twist in the road, mostly before they even finished their apprenticeships. I never made any money to speak of, no overage as far as money goes, but oh what joy I have now in knowing I made it to the other side of a worklife filled with rewards such as fulfilment, contentedness. Happiness living the alternative lifestyle many if not most may never know.
      You are right about smugness and the reality that they never saw the writing on the wall as the empire crumpled and crumbled, but I am not sure it is only the British–perhaps most of Europe a little??? We should in no way make any link of Auriou with those English makers in Sheffield. Imagine no quality rasps being made anywhere in Sheffield and only two forges in the whole of mainland Europe. How tragic is that when most of the former glory is now made to much lowered standards on another continent. I am hopeful that business plan or not, there will be enough hard work in the owners and staff to turn this around and I am prepared to support the effort.
      I agree that it is a difficult call, but what oif there is a tenacity in there somewhere just waiting to emerge? What if there is someone in the sidelines with time to invest to help out? Who knows? We certainly don’t!

      • This company has produced excellent products for generations and, for that, they are to be congratulated. However, the business is ailing and needs professional help.

        When we are ill, we consult a doctor, take the prescribed medication and follow the advice. Auriou needs to act in the same way.

        In spite of my pessimism I have contributed to the cause. (My logic being the same as I would use as a first-responder finding someone badly injured or very ill – i.e. one does what one can regardless of the likely outcome). I sent a message of support to Auriou – but have also urged them to obtain professional advice and act on it.

        I remain pessimistic but will still be delighted to be proven wrong.
        ____________________________
        For the benefit of the person making comments about ‘Trolls and Armchair Economists.

        No one is Trolling. A couple of us with different backgrounds and experience from others have expressed honest opinions. Nothing more – nothing less.

        • You have done all you can do, Ken. With a little faith we can all hope their will be a trigger mechanism to trip the switch on that hydraulic drop hammer in the image and see them keep on stitching our rasps. I appreciate your contribution and any notes of caution. Thanks.

  11. It saddens me to read that once more another fine quality company is on its way out while the producers of garbage continue to thrive. This is the price we pay for being a niche market, but I will add this what I feel is an important point and what makes the world go round and that is; “price.”

    As I once upon a time produced clocks for just under 20 years and I did so all by hand, I could not charge high prices because I chose to make it by hand. My decision to be competitive and price each clock according to the market value of a machine made clock kept me in business for all those years. I know that these rasps are hand stitched and that’s what makes them so good and I too swear by them as I own some however, they are expensive and out of reach for most. Aurio may possibly be selling their products to Lie Nielsen at very low wholesale prices which I don’t know and it’s not my business to know however, Lie Nielsen in the US is selling them at $100+ and LN Australia is as high as $279 for a 10″ and the cheapest being at $145 for a 6′ rat tail.

    It truly amazes me how anyone on a normal salary can afford this. If I were to start all over again there would be no way that I could afford to do this.

  12. You would hope, in posting this appeal, that anyone’s response would be “help” or “not help”.

    …but that’s too simple for the armchair economist concern troll who thinks “ I must share my opinion that helping out the “unsound” is evil because it only prolongs their misery and undermines our wonderful economic system that would function perfectly and provide well for all the deserving, smart, hardworking people if we could only free it from the fetters of regulation or taxation.”

    • Oh, I’m used to it, Paul. No sweat! Mostly they will miss the whole point. I just hope it doesn’t deter those people who would have from dipping in and donating ten euros or more. I think it is deserved of support just based on the reality that I have not yet found a better tool and the world will be much worse off if they disappear and there is no replacement; that’s aside from job losses and families suffering too.

      • Paul and Paul,

        This will be my last contribution to this thread. First, I am not an economist or a management consultant, but I have worked with three either world renowned or nation-wide consultancy firms in several businesses facing dire financial situations. One reason why I suggest outside help is that owners, especially small and family owners, have emotional attachments to their mode of working. They are blind to their own problems and will refuse to accept the obvious fallacies. They were successfully for 20, 30 or even 40 years and trust their own instincts and conviction and believe any temporary upset is temporary. That is a fatal mistake I have seen in at least three companies I was involved with (telecomm; oil, and investment). All dead as of today, after holding on through rounds of IPOs (selling the private company ownership in the listed market). They bought in outside too little to late. All together, at last 600 people lost their jobs, many nearing retirement from their employment. Not big companies, but their fate was the same as Sears, Toys-R-Us, etc.

        We are not calling on people to stop donating to this crowd funding, but urging the fundraiser and owners to look deeper than the cashflow issues. For one thing, please please do not make your web site better at this stage, it is a waste of the hard earned dollars raised, unless the objective is to help some, short-term employment (which is not really your job).

        Why outside agent? If they are good, they will not only help you diagnose what is wrong, come up with a strategic plan, but also “force through” the implementation despite die-hard resistance in the company. Imagine how could a company with 30,000 professional and non-professional employees with diversifying vested interests move an inch of change with just an internal memo calling for change? How could you as the company’s chief operating officer convince the 85-year owner and chairman who built the business from scratch that his way of responding to the market changes no longer works?

        I am in North America and the kind of change to our retail industry I am witnessing is fearsome. The iPhone/cellphone is where we will make all our shopping decisions within 10 years, including payments. A lot of retail companies will get taken over or simply die, including many medium size woodworking tool makers, if they still sit tight with their 70s, 80s or even 90s business mentality.

        Auriou must not use whatever money they have raised to only patch up the existing way of doing things or think some minor tweaking in the name of better productivity will solve its problems. I have seen enough to guarantee that such a strategy will fail, as cold as the warning is.

        • Thanks Richard. As much as it saddens me to read about the position Aurio is in, I don’t feel that any amount of money would change the inevitable outcome, only delay it unless they change their management strategies. Lie Nielsen is a medium sized business that also caters towards a niche market and even though their tools are very expensive, their business is still running strong. I like to use them as an example because while many have come and gone they have survived them all and continue to thrive and be strong.

        • Ultimately this is the essence of the problem. If there is no longer a sufficient market for their products at current, expensive, prices, and if they cannot adapt the business to what is a very fast moving environment, no amount of socialist, sentimental tosh will save them.

          Good luck to them, I own 3 of their rasps and they are exceptionally good, but they are also very expensive, and a relative luxury for an amateur woodworker who, truth be told, won’t use them very much. If I was Sam Maloof I’d definitely get my money’s worth, but I’m not.

          • And while I’m thinking about it, this whole hand stitched thing. If you own one of these rasps and look at it under a magnifying glass, the teeth are very linear, the variation is minor to say the least. We’re the market for these things larger, sine bright spark wouldn’t take long to design a machine that would have no problem replicating the slightly random pattern, then the prices would become very much more reasonable. This may be the best way to spend whatever money they may raise.

            Also, in case Richard isn’t already aware, the French government takes approximately 55% of GDP in tax, an almost unbelievable amount. How any manufacturing business survives in that environment, buried under red tape and regulation, is a miracle. The place should be an absolute socialist dreamworld, only it isn’t.

    • Absent the whole story and all the relevant financial and operational info there is no way to really know the companies prospects. I view it the same way as gentleman with the parent comment. These folks have asked for help. I bought one of their rasps and love it. I also love the idea of actual people making tools. Donations may or may not make a difference in the long term. Nevertheless, I kicked in my small amount. Maybe it will help them survive. Maybe it will help them close shop more gracefully. maybe it won’t help. Is this a different set of outcomes than one tends to see with any charitable act? I don’t think so. I wish these folks the best and hope they find a way to continue operations. Selfishly, I want to be able to buy more products from them in the future!

    • Ben, thanks for sharing. Brilliant video showing the craft and quality and that was never in doubt. If you have a moment, take a look a Liogier’s work https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pzK2Ei19t4 and their website too http://www.liogier-france.fr/ Paul has given a very supportive review of their rasp https://paulsellers.com/2016/12/a-rasp-by-liogier/ . I made a donation to them a while back in terms of purchasing one of their rasps thanks to the extensive reviews and quality of their work.
      Richard and Salko make excellent points in their last posts. I think we all want Auriou to succeed and hope they go on to be a success but I have to admire that Loigier have yet to raise funds by crowd funding, especially as I would imagine they have faced nearly all the same issues as Auriou.

  13. What size of rasp is good for finishing i am thinking a 12 inch rasp but what grain size

    PS i find your videos and blog very informative.

    • Do a search in Paul’s blog he gives the specifics from memory. I opted for two 10″ cabinet rasps, grain 5 and 13.

  14. I have three of their rasps and enjoy using them. So much better than others I’ve tried over the years. I would like to donate a bit but cannot figure out their go fund me page. Is there one a fella from the states can use?

  15. I’ve hankered after a decent rasp for a while (all I had were cheap mass market ones) and I had Liogier or Auriou as my choice of ‘high end’ hand stitched types based on Paul’s descriptions and high praise. Well I kept putting a purchase off due to the high price but now after hearing of Auriou’s plight I have just ordered a 12” cabinet makers rasp as my contribution toward the company’s recovery. If their sales book filled surely this would assist in this company’s recovery. I hope so.
    €135 for a rasp is a big investment for me as it’s a tool that I won’t be using every day but I hope it knocks the socks of my cheapo rasps when I do need to use it and if Auriou subsequently gets onto a more secure footing then perhaps my custom went a tiny way towards that hopeful outcome.

  16. I just saw Auriou rasps featured on Sky Discovery’s “How It’s Made”. 22:30 8 Aug.
    Nice overview of the production methods but like many of these short video’s there’s not much overt advertising allowed (Trade Name etc) into the final cut.

    • Just received my 12inch Aurio cabinet rasp today 13th Aug. It was ordered on the 7th. The order was placed on Forge de Saint Juery website but was effectively transferred to Classic Hand Tools UK for onward shipping to Ireland (all at the same price €135.60).
      I’ve just tried it out very quickly on a scrap piece of teak and my immediate impression is that it cuts so easily and leaves a pretty good finish. It does feel a whole lot different to my cheap mass produced rasps – no vibration and so much better to control. I can honestly say that I feel that I have invested well.
      I hope Auriou recovers soon as this kind of quality tool availability should remain for future craftspeople to avail of. I can now see why Paul endorsed this tool and look forward to using it seriously in the future.

      • Just a side issue. Teak is the worst wood for using non-resharpenable tools on as it is very high in silica and dulls all tool edges faster than any other wood. That includes machine edges too.

  17. Ordered one on the 3rd from Lie Nielsen and got it today! Shocked they even had it in stock, I figured I might never get it. Very nice tool, problem is it was so expensive I’m afraid to use it.

    • There are a number of simple answers to your fear of using the rasp.

      1) The money you paid is now gone, you have the rasp – so the price is already an historical footnote and of no consequence. Ideally no tool should be purely an ornament. – so, use the rasp and enjoy using it. Every time you enjoy using it and enjoy the results you achieve with it, remind yourself that this was a good purchase (and therefore value for money)
      2) No harm will come to the rasp if treated with the same care and respect I am sure we all accord all of our tools.
      3) Many (perhaps most) of us on here, have at least some second-hand tools we have taken time and care to restore and sharpen. We use our tools, old and new, frequently and become attached to them like old friends. The loss of any one of them, at any time and for any reason will always bring sadness and regret. This will be as true for a bench plane bought for peanuts and renovated as it is for your nice new rasp.

      Use it and enjoy it in the making of things you will be proud of.

      Best of luck!

      • Ken that was beautiful if you do not mind I am going to copy it and print it out an put it on my shop wall. Even my wife said that is very well said.. thank you

  18. I have several rasps from both Auriou and Liogier. They are all wonderful tools to work with. I bought all of them directly from the manufacturers’ websites. Long term they are well worth the money. Especially for someone like me, who is left-handed. Both companies offer their rasps in left-handed configurations. And, boy, do I appreciate that. And at no extra charge. For the record, Liogier offers an inexpensive brass wire brush for cleaning the rasps and it works quite well. So now seems to be a good time to support both businesses. At the very least, you will end up with some extraordinary rasps, well worth the cost. Hopefully, Auriou will be able to turn their fortunes around. But I agree that an updated business model is probably called for.

  19. They seem to have hit their target for funding, I only donated a tenner but I hope they pull through, I love the rasps they make.

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