My reason for revisiting the issue of shaping wood by hand is this: I think that it is very likely that people in general cannot spend a £120 on a rasp to make a project like say a spoon that they do not know if they will like producing more of into the future. We’ve…

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Three decades ago we used to pick up a four-in-hand rasp at any hardware store in the US knowing it would be good to go and at an economical price. They weren’t fancy, just functional. The farriers used them to trim and shape the hooves on horses during and after shoeing them. Not a fine…

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When is a rasp not a rasp? When it’s a series of saw blades strategically locked together to form an aggressive cutting tool for shaping wood. Sounds like a rasp but it’s not. Really it deserves its own title but then no one would know what it is because most of what we use is…

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When I used my first ever rasp I was disappointed with the results because the teeth seemed to go nowhere in the hard and dense-grained wood I was shaping. It put me off and I continued shaving wood with carving chisels and then spokeshaves too. Most of my shaping still comes from such tools and the…

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On rasps for cabinet making On many of my projects I use cabinet rasps and others for more detailed work because they remove stock fast and when well made surfaces shaped with them need only moderate refinement. I just finished off the latest video series on chairmaking where we make one of my designs in…

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Auriou rasps 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…

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  • Anthont on Edge Sharpening Under £10I found the 240 grit plate I have seemed to wear very quickly. I wonder if that is normal for them to wear for the first few sharpens, unless I’m unlucky?
  • Marty on MisnomersI'll be 61 this month and it astonishes me just how much the world of work has changed over the years. I started out as a commercial artist, but that occupation soon gave way to co…
  • Marty on Working AloneNot long ago the Mrs. and myself put an old metal cart in front of the house out by the curb with a sign: Free Stuff We were able to get rid of quite a bit of items we no longer ha…
  • Adrian Gamble on Working AlonePaul not only are you a bright star in the passion of crafting wood to your will, you have a wonderful philosophical view of the world around you. Please keep on inspiring others a…
  • Wayne Whalen on Working AloneLoneliness is mans greatest fear. Even as he grows older and looks for solitude he can't overcome loneliness. He goes into his workshop and he plays his music and has his dog to ta…
  • Bram on Why Suggest Economy Tools?I have a newish disston that I made a new handle for and for some reason thought it would be fine to hand grind a full length taper on with a vernier, some old stones and sandpaper…
  • Bill Webb on Branching outThe song is "Both Sides Now" by Joni Mitchell, a multi-talented Canadian.