How to make a rasp?

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Forum topic by vcb posted 02-03-2010 12:14 AM 7217 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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02-03-2010 12:14 AM

Hi, I want to make my own wood rasp. I understand this is done using a “rasp punch”, but I can’t find any. Does anyone know where to buy a rasp punch? Thanks, vcb

5 replies so far

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#1 posted 02-03-2010 12:24 AM

No idea, but I needed a small one and made it once. I used a piece steel roofing metal and punched the holes with a 16 penny nail. I held the metal on a pieces of soft pine so the “teeth” would be rough and sharp.

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#2 posted 02-03-2010 12:40 AM

Pretty simple, and I think anything that works and is simple is clever. I’m looking for something more heavy duty for long term use. Apparently there are hollow punches that are whacked with a hammer, and they depress the surrounding metal, and leave a spike standing. That punch is what I’m looking for. From what I’ve read you use a heavier hammer to make a taller spike.

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#3 posted 02-03-2010 03:45 AM

I think what your looking for is a blacksmith tool.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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#4 posted 02-03-2010 04:13 AM

Thank you, vcb

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#5 posted 02-03-2010 02:45 PM

There are special rasp making chisels and the process of making the teeth is called stitching. These chisels look very much like a drift punch but a drift punch won’t stand up to the work. I’ve watched Michelle Auriou (I think that’s how his first name is spelled) demonstrate stitching a rasp. It’s quite a skill.

I had a long dinner with Michelle one evening and we discussed a lot of the process and steels. I learned a lot the times I’ve been around Michelle, once spent a couple days set up next to him at a woodworking show, but not enough to be able to recreate an entire old trade.

You can see some photos at the TFWW site at:

There’s also a little more info on the site at:

Steel selection and heat treating are critical. I’ve spent considerable time researching making hand cut files and have experimented with making the chisels for hand cut files. We have a pretty complete metal shop and my multiple experiments haven’t been successful. We were able to produce a few useful toothed plane irons but had to do that in mild steel and then case harden it. I’m not really fond of producing cyanide gas in our heat treating furnace, not just because it can quickly kill you, but because it also eats away the ceramic lining of the furnace.

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