Turning with Rasps?

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Forum topic by esmthin posted 06-24-2015 05:29 AM 890 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View esmthin's profile


77 posts in 991 days

06-24-2015 05:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: oak lathe turning

My friend and I are going to be doing some turning on a lathe that he just bought off Craigslist. He doesn’t have any turning chisels yet. My questions is, could we use rasps and files to do the turning? We won’t be doing anything very advanced, probably just small handles. Is this ok to do, if so, are there any extra safety precautions I should be ware of?
Thanks in advance!

-- Ethan,

5 replies so far

View Rick_M's profile


10451 posts in 2190 days

#1 posted 06-24-2015 06:44 AM

Go buy a set of turning chisels and watch some videos on how to use them. You could use a rasp but it will be slow and leave a very rough surface. Some people use regular chisels because they are too stubborn to buy the proper tools, they work if you are careful.


View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1230 posts in 1524 days

#2 posted 06-24-2015 07:03 AM

For a quick test rasps can work ok – and they can be just the perfect tool for a difficult detail. But you are newer gouing to get a feel for what woodturning should be like. At a bare minimum get yourself one gauge for roughing out.

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Slemi's profile


116 posts in 1352 days

#3 posted 06-24-2015 07:23 AM

If You will use rasp/file, have a wire brush at hand for frequent unclogging the rasp/file.

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4006 posts in 2372 days

#4 posted 06-24-2015 06:59 PM

Harbor freight has a cheap set for under $50 I think and it really would be best to use that. Also a thing to remember when turning is do not be afraid. When I first started and turning a square 2×2 it made a terrible racket and I thought I was doing something wrong but it will until it is round.

Good luck on your future turning.

-- Please help me help other Vets click..> is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 1147 days

#5 posted 06-24-2015 07:39 PM

If you are patient, you can probably turn on a lathe with a hot dog or polish sausage. Sorry, couldn’t help it. ;)

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

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