I wanted to find out how many of you are using rasps, files and chisels
to shape wood in projects? In the past I've used these tools
extensively. But they were not my own.
The second part of this topic is: What companies would you suggest that
I might buy very good quality for my tool box?
I've been remembering the wonderfully rounded shapes I use to create
and want to do more. Also, the ease of removing wood. The feel and
sound of the rasp wisping through the wood.
I know you Neander Types can help me. No, this does not mean I am
completely going to the other side. Beside you do not easily slide back
down the slippery slope when you have so much heavy iron holding you up
on top of the hill.
I can't recall a project with a curve in it in the past that I haven't used
a Nicholson "pattern maker's" rasp somewhere along the line ... I have two,
but one will do you just fine. The price may make you gasp, however ... but
IMO, worth it.
Thank you. I think they sell Nicholson at Home Depot. Really?
But since they do not carry the pattern maker's rasp it was looking
further into. Lee Valley has them for under $50.00.
What percentage of your work would you say is in forming?
I doubt you'll find a pattern maker's rasp at any of the BORG's, but good
IIRC, they were around $47 or so the last time I bought one. That is pricey
for a rasp you won't use much, but not if you use it often.
Just a small percentage overall, but it looms large when it needs to be
done. The kind of furniture and cabinets I build often have a curved
components like aprons, end panels, or trim.
I usually make a template and then flush route, but to make that template
almost always requires my pattern maker's rasp, so it is actually a high
percentage of the preparatory work where a tool of this type is needed for
what I do ... YMMV.
When you need a tool to do a job, you really need it. The more creative,
one-off, problem solving work you do, the greater the proliferation of
tools. The more production type work, the more 'tooling', or fixture
Guess which one is more satisfying.
I like using inflatable SandBoss drums free hand work... in a drill.
The amount of control is amazing. The inflation of the drum changes the
contour of the drum as does the applied pressure.
Very dusty and hard as hell on the drill's bearings as they are never
designed for lateral loads.
I was not specific enough about what they had at Home Depot. It was not
a pattern makers rasp. Although, at the time I was not looking for that
type rasp. I bought a small Nicholson rasp there 5 years ago. It's the
type that has two sides. It was the duel purpose type 6" rasp and file.
I've used for touch up work. And, I remember specifically it was
Nicholson. Same packaging as on a site I looked at that sell Nicholson.
Now it looks like they only carry to of their items.
12 In. High-tension Hacksaw
Store SKU # 166 547
5-1/2 In. Mini Assorted Hobby/Craft File Set
Store SKU # 841 558
Yes, Yes! Thank you for noticing. Even spell check wouldn't have
noticed that one! Don't you have somebody to cut open now??? Or, is
that some other "PRACTICE".
P.S. Thanks DOC. Hey I've been meaning to ask, When my arm hurts when I
do this. . . . how can I make it stop?
I love doing projects where I get to sculpt the wood. A couple of Maloof
style rockers I built have given me a taste at what you can do with a piece
of wood that's outside the typical 90 degree angles and box shapes of many
I agree with swingman - a Nichols pattern makers rasp is an excellent tool
(and yup, it's pricey but WAY better than the cheaper alternatives - you get
what you pay for here).
You might also check out the assortment of Microplane tools too. I've bought
several of them and been very happy with the results. Let's you hog off a
lot of wood in surprisingly short amount of time with good control. They've
now got a lot of different shapes that give you some good control of your
Well worth playing with.
Gary in KC
Agree ... glad to see you mention those. I was reluctant to dance at first,
but just bought a second set of "Microplane" inserts last week at the local
I guess I had equated them with the "shureform" rasps of yore ... a vast
Who are Microplane made by. I see Lee Valley has them. In the days of
the Shurform the metal was much heavier. That thin metal worries me.
How sharp do they stay?. I know they're replaceable but if they are
only good for a job and need to be replaced, well?
I'll have to look at them some more.
I'm not sure if Microplane is the manufacturer or just a brand name.The
metal is thin, but that's part of what allows them to keep such a keen edge.
They are nothing like the old sureform planes. One pass of these over a
piece of hardwood and you'll be amazed at the cutting edge they have.
I've used on a number of exotics and have never noticed any dulling of the
edge either. I did break one of the longer ones though - I bent it at the
handle putting too much pressure on it on a sculpted piece of padauk. Once
the metal bends, it will fail pretty quick. I just ground it smooth and
reinserted in the handle and now it's a short one. I like the new holders
they have with interchangeable blades. Gives a little more stability to
I still love the feel of the traditional rasp and files, but the Microplanes
are pretty impressive and fairly inexpensive.
Gary in KC
Agree on the Nicholson. I doubt you'll find it at any HD or Lowes. I
also use spokeshaves. Agree also on the microplanes. Great tools. My
wife has several for zesting, cheesegrating etc. She hates it when I
microplane obscene figures out of the parmesan though.
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