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Forum topic by onoitsmatt posted 05-20-2017 10:53 PM 1250 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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onoitsmatt

367 posts in 1015 days


05-20-2017 10:53 PM

I’m curious about rasps. I read a fair bit of the modern American hand tool thread that dealt with rasps. Special orders from Europe and Logier and others. I’ve been eyeballing the grammercy saw handle makers rasp but someone said they wear out fast.

Seems the good ones are very spendy and the bad ones aren’t worth owning. So wondering about old rasps. I’ve heard good things about old Nicholsons and they can be had for $50+/- on eBay.

If I see old ones in the wild, what should I look for? Any brands to look for? I know hand stitched is better than machine. How can you tell if a rasp is worn out?

Let’s talk rasps!

Because, you know… what could be more exciting?

-- Matt - Phoenix, AZ


22 replies so far

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Loren

9635 posts in 3487 days


#1 posted 05-20-2017 11:29 PM

You can get them resharpened. It’s a chemical
etching process I think. You can buy the
compounds to do it yourself too, but sending
them out is not expensive.

I think Iwasaki files are a great bargain in
rasps. The cut fast and leave a nice surface.

I have a couple of Nicolson pattern-maker’s
hand-stitched rasps but I use the Iwasaki
files more often.

If the tips of the rasp teeth are shiny in a used
rasp that’s a bad sign I think. It means
they’ve been worn smooth by use or banging
against other tools in a drawer.

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TheFridge

8333 posts in 1325 days


#2 posted 05-21-2017 12:25 AM

I think they use acid to take a layer of metal off. Technically sharpening them.

I have some of the corradi. good stuff.

Really hard to find a good used rasp in the wild. I’ve only found 2 and luckily they were serviceable. I asked a tool dealer about acquiring some and he told me they’re disposable like files nowadays but not as numerous and a lot easier to dull the teeth.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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Mr_Pink

19 posts in 211 days


#3 posted 05-21-2017 02:18 AM

I have one of the plastic-handled, hand-stitched Lee Valley rasps. I can’t compare it to any other rasp, but I’m happy with the purchase.

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TheFridge

8333 posts in 1325 days


#4 posted 05-21-2017 03:00 AM

I have a fine Narex from amazon for 20-30$ that works well but it’s more of a medium cut really. Still. It does it’s job.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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Fred Hargis

4766 posts in 2332 days


#5 posted 05-21-2017 11:48 AM

I have a few of the Auriou rasps, but to be honest I bought one of these Shinto rasps use it more often. I don’t worry about ruining it since it’s so inexpensive. Here's the Schwarz take on which ones you need , tho.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Combo Prof

3206 posts in 1117 days


#6 posted 05-21-2017 01:26 PM

After a good cleaning I sharpen rasps found in the wild by soaking them in Vinegar (a mild acid) for 24 hours (or more). I have found 3 good ones so far. One was a farriers rasp but it still works on wood. All I have foud have been rough cut.

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

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Tim

3683 posts in 1801 days


#7 posted 05-21-2017 05:24 PM

I’ve found some good vintage rasps, but they’ve usually been left without cleaning them so the teeth are all clogged up with shavings and usually with a little oil mixed in. I’m going to try soaking in degreaser to see if that helps. I’d love something to dissolve the wood. Picking the clogs out with a dentist type pick works, but is really tedious.

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Combo Prof

3206 posts in 1117 days


#8 posted 05-22-2017 03:25 AM

Try the following. Using either bamboo or a bit of smashed cooper pipe rub it across a section of the rasp teeth at the same angle that the teeth are in. the result will be a little comb that you can move to the next row of teeth. The section of teeth will also be cleaned. Still slow but less tedious then using a pick. Various stiff brushes and file cards can help too.

Searching I found this interesting advice.
I think I will try it.

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

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onoitsmatt

367 posts in 1015 days


#9 posted 05-23-2017 05:51 PM

Thanks for all the great input so far. I’m thinking about getting the 3 Iwasaki file set from japanesewoodworker.com for $66.

Here

Anyone have this set? Opinions? I’m looking for something to use in addition to a spokeshave for shaping a guitar neck.

Thanks again!

-- Matt - Phoenix, AZ

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Combo Prof

3206 posts in 1117 days


#10 posted 05-23-2017 06:14 PM

Iwasaki files and rasps are 20% off from japanesewoodworker (woodcraft) too!

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

View Tim's profile

Tim

3683 posts in 1801 days


#11 posted 05-23-2017 06:37 PM

I’m tempted to try that stuff, Don.

I think I’ve tried the bamboo without too much luck, but maybe I need to give it another try before spending some cash on something else.

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

922 posts in 1950 days


#12 posted 05-23-2017 06:54 PM


I have one of the plastic-handled, hand-stitched Lee Valley rasps. I can t compare it to any other rasp, but I m happy with the purchase.

- Mr_Pink

I’m in the exact same situation. I really like the rasp but have nothing to compare it to. I had to make a new handle though. The plastic one is awful. Now it has a nice walnut handle with a copper ferrule. Looks a hundred times better. Works the same though.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany

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JayT

5455 posts in 2050 days


#13 posted 05-23-2017 07:30 PM

I’ve got one hand stitched rasp from Robert Larson (believe it is made by Tome Feteira in Portugal), several Iwasaki files and recently picked up an assortment of Corradi rasps, some of both the Gold series and their less expensive lines.

The hand stitched I’ve got is good for rough work and rapid stock removal, but too inconsistent on tooth height for fine work. Bang for the buck, the Iwasaki’s are hard to beat, but the Corradi Golds I absolutely love and are going to be the route for me going forward. Fast enough stock removal with a much nicer finish. I’ve got both cuts (#6 & #10) of the 6in half round and a #8 cut 10in cabinet rasp. They’re now showing an 8in on their website and I’ll probably be ordering that one, as well as a 10in #10 and a #10 6in Hand (flat with one safe edge) in the near future. Prices are reasonable if you can spread the shipping across several tools, but will kill you if just buying one or two.

Someday I’d like to compare to an Auriou or Liogier, but cannot complain about the quality for the price and Corradi’s customer service is excellent. I also ordered several files, including a couple less common ones that are only made to order. They walked me through the process and were good about progress updates. Once everything shipped, I had it two days later.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

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DrDirt

4414 posts in 3581 days


#14 posted 05-23-2017 07:53 PM

I use a japanese saw rasp and a Nicholson 49
I think for shaping/sculpting I like the japanese rasp best. But it is the coarsest.

Skip the one with the funky knob handle.

Understand that the Nicholson is made in Brazil now, and is not as good as its USA made counterpart. Not because of materials, but i guess the stitching pattern isn’t the same and not as sharp. But that if you get it chemically sharpened, it is ok.

i got a razor plane/microplane which looks like a cheese grater and the diameter of a cigar, but have not really put that to the test.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

7531 posts in 1989 days


#15 posted 05-23-2017 08:10 PM


Thanks for all the great input so far. I m thinking about getting the 3 Iwasaki file set from japanesewoodworker.com for $66.

Here

Anyone have this set? Opinions? I m looking for something to use in addition to a spokeshave for shaping a guitar neck.

Thanks again!

- onoitsmatt

You want at least one flat rasp as well. I like my Iwasaki ones. Don’t go any coarser than fine or extra fine. They remove material very quickly. Extremely grabby at first so I’d practice on some scrap and take some of the bite off until you get the hang of it. Go with the grain on these as they are similar to planes rather than normal rasps. Depending on the shape of what you are doing you might want a curved rasp or two as well.

The saw maker’s rasp works fine. No real complaints from me. Requires more sanding than the Iwasakis but it provides a different function that my Iwasakis don’t.

The shinto saw rasp shown above is good for a lot of stock removal. But it is only for initial roughing. You need to use other rasps that are way smoother than that because the surface left behind is pretty bad.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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