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I find that I use files, rasps, and rifflers somewhat more than knives and gouges. A few months ago, I splurged, and bought an Auriou #9 modellers rasp. I've been delighted w. how nice it is to use. A week or so ago, I was roughing out some sticks, either removing or reducing the bark, and forming grip areas. I was working on a piece of hickory, and between its hardness, and the cold temp of my work space, I began to feel a little frustrated and impatient.

My go to tool is a Nicholson 4-in-1 rasp that I've used for at least 25 years. The coarse teeth haven't had much use because they are so hard to push. The fine toothed parts have had a lot of use, and I'm pretty sure they are somewhat dull. The Auriou #9 was in between. I decided that I wanted something more coarse. After I saw the price of an Auriou #6, I took a deep breath, a thought "why stop w. 1?" I bought a #6 cabinet makers rasp, a #10 modeller, a 4-in-1 with #7 & #9 teeth, and a curved Iwasaki fine half round file. (I have several Iwasaki flat files, and am happy w. them.)

Started using them yesterday to thin down the grip area of the hickory, which felt too bulky. I decided to do some side by side tests. Here are some pics I took this morning.

The 1st pic shows 2 things. On the left are the cuts made by the #6 cabinet rasp, and on the right, the #10 modeller. The upper portion is the handle lit by both daylight and 1 of my new LED work lights placed about 18" away. You will notice that the LED provides a more raking light that is noticably bluer than the lower section of the image, which is daylight coming thru a north window.

Sculpture Artifact Automotive tire Grey Font

The second pic is off the marks made by the old 4-in-1. The course side is more coarse then the Auriou #6.The fine side is somewhat finer than the Auriou #10. I failed to note how many passes it took to "fine" the base coarse cut. It may have taken more passes to get to what is shown.

Wood Trunk Automotive tire Natural material Artifact

3rd pic shows on the left the effects of a round coarse Microplane rasp, and on the left a fine flat Microplane which is quite worn. Not a good pairing for this demonstration. A coarse flat and a new fine flat would have been better.

Automotive tire Tread Artifact Tire Automotive exterior

Last pic shows the marks of a round bastard cut file on the left, and the finish from passing a smaller rasp that I believe was originally intended for sharpening chainsaw teeth. I don't use the rattail that often for roughing, but it does have an agressive cut.

Wood Tints and shades Grass Auto part Macro photography

Of all the tools I showed here, the coarse cut sections of the Nicholson are among the hardest for me to use. Next hardest and least well suited for this particular cut was the round Microplane.

The upside of those tools is that the Nicholson costs about half what the Auriou 4-in-1, (not shwon) costs. The Microplanes cost about half that, but my experience shows that the fine cut rasp will need to be replaced with moderate use. In the long run, the Nicholson would probably be less expensive.

The 2 Auriou rasps shown are about 5 times more expensive than the Nicholson. At present I don't have a suitable bench w. vise that would allow me to use the Auriou #6 to full effect. With that, I suppose it would ruduce bark and wood to smooth surfaces very quickly.

The bastard files are inexpensive. But they clog up, as does the Nicholson rasps. Because they have a regular machine cut to them, unlike the Auriou tools, they leave more pronounced tooling marks that are harder to remove by finish scraping.

Based an a few minutes of use, I really like the performance of the Auriou #10. The word that passed thru my head as I used it was "Sweeeeeet."

The items demonstrated:

Wood Tool Knife Office supplies Material property
 

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Interesting

i am thinking of getting a micro plane rasp .I use my rasps on waterbuallo horn ,there cheap and nasty rasps but they managed the job on the buffal horn fish.

Today however i came across a japanese rasp it gave a aggresive cut but a good finish on it its new to me , but the japs, are renowned for there cutting tools.There very expensive over 40£ here , but one of the stickmakers has one and dosnt like it , got to say i was impressed with its cut and finish .so he offered me it for 6 hazel shanks snapped his hand off.

still think i will need a cabinet makers rasp so i will check out the sites here for that make . I prefer to get tools that are recomended by people.

I also had a look at a guy useing flexeicut palm chisels today . i know lots of you guys use them, yes it was sharp gave a clean cut i did try them on some waste wood , think i prefer the tools i have already . there very expensive here and think my tools are just as good. But the guy who owns then swears by them.

He did say it takes him a few days to carve a topper with then, hardly suprising really they seem more like detail tools , i thought he would get it done much quicker useing a chisel and mallet . i can make a ducks head in a couple of hours once the blank is cut on the band saw if i put my mind to it.

It takes longer to paint them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For the cost, the Microplanes offer very good performance, in my opinion. The snap in handle is a good idea. The same tool can readily be changed to a different shape, or a new cutter can replace one that is worn.

And another +. If kept clean, they double as fine cheese graters and citrus zesters.

I have a number of Japanese cook's knives, and the steel and shape are very good. I have limited experience w. most of the woodworking tools, but have been very happy using the saws for decades. Don't have any gouges or chisels from there, but the rasps I bought recently are good quality. Just was using one a few minutes ago on hickory. A little too aggressive, cut away more wood than needed because there was so little effort.

I have Flexcut scrapers. They are good, perhaps very good. Here, their tools are pretty cheap. They offer a line of micro gouges that I would like to try. They are selling their products well enough that they can only fulfill their their distributor contracts. No direct sales.
 

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It's got me thinking to use my rasps. I bought a set last year but really haven't touched them. Unfortunately I tend to gravitate towards my power sanders but then your limited with shapes etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was seriously thinking about buying a sander. I have and old hand belt sander that barely works. I was thinking "If I just had a good sander, I'd be done with this in a few minutes." But the sticks are so often irregular. Then I'd need a belt sander and maybe a "WorkSharp" that uses a very thin belt. And a couple of different sizes of disk sanders. And a detail sander. And then I'd have to finally update my house electric wiring.

Nah, I'm waiting for summer, and sitting on my garden bench and carving while I cook 'Q and pull some weeds.
 

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I was seriously thinking about buying a sander. I have and old hand belt sander that barely works. I was thinking "If I just had a good sander, I'd be done with this in a few minutes." But the sticks are so often irregular. Then I'd need a belt sander and maybe a "WorkSharp" that uses a very thin belt. And a couple of different sizes of disk sanders. And a detail sander. And then I'd have to finally update my house electric wiring.

Nah, I'm waiting for summer, and sitting on my garden bench and carving while I cook 'Q and pull some weeds.
Sounds like the better option!
 
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