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Auriou rasp - not exactly a review

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Alf

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Sorry about the long delay between saying I'd give my thoughts on this, and actually doing so. :oops: Trouble is I found it rather tricky to decide how best to approach the task, so I've gone for pics and brief comment:


This is the rasp I got for my birthday; a 175mm, 12 grain Cabinet Maker's pattern from Classic Handtools. It came in a plastic sleeve just like any old Crown chisel or whathaveyou, and care instructions on some A4 were also in the parcel, but nothing actually packaged with the rasp.


And here it is compared to my only other rasp experience; a 10" Vallorbe Swiss Cabinet rasp from Axminster.


Here are the Auriou's hand "stitched" teeth...


... and the teeth of the Vallorbe.

The Auriou is a precision tool; light, thin, tapers to a fine point for those tight corners, doesn't judder in the cut at all. It costs over £40.

The Vallorbe is a blunt instrument; heavy, clumsy, a blunt point and frequently nearly busts my wrist when it "stalls" in the cut. It cost just over £10.

Allowances have to be made for the extreme difference in coarseness of course. However, they both shape wood and they both clog... :roll: The advice is to use a bristle brush rather than a wire one; I used the other half of my 'Rat nail brush stuck on a handle shape. Seems a bit cheapskate for such a pricey tool... :oops:



In use the Auriou cuts very smoothly, leaving tiny little curls of wood behind it. I can't say I was actually blown away by it, but it wasn't unpleasant to use and the finish was okay. Perhaps all the hype about them made me expect miracles? I dunno, but I wasn't actually doing dances of joy at the wonder of it. But hey, it's just a rasp. :roll:



So will I, as so many others seem to have, sell any passing grandmothers to get further examples of the Auriou? Er... no, actually. Nothing to do with the rasp and everything to do with me; I simply don't do enough raspy stuff to need another just now. This one will do just fine. :D Did I need it? Not really. :-$ The Vallorbe followed up with turnip, second and smooth cut half round files gets me to the same place just as well in all honesty, but that place isn't a particularly demanding one to be fair. It's a lovely tool though. If I was doing more rasp-related stuff, chairs, carving or whatever, the range of cut and file shapes from Auriou are very hard to beat and would be my first port of call. I hope Chris might comment from his more raspy point of view... If you fancy dropping quite a few notes on a rasp, you'll enjoy the experience, and with care will have a tool that'll last you a good long time. If you're Sinister, ones cut for left-handed use are also available btw.

Cheers, Alf
 

Good Surname or what ?

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Alf,

Forgive my ignorance.... but just what is "raspy stuff" ?. Apart from what you do with a rasp of course. Whatever that is ? ... and I guess that's the gist of this msg.

thanks
Phil
 

Alf

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Phil,

All manner of shaping tasks. Erm, most of my use is confined to tool making, handles etc at the moment. Some people like to use them to fine tune tenons and such. Useful for places a spokeshave won't go, or where you'd get unacceptable tearout and the like from an edge tool. Anywhere where you want to remove some wood really. Very versatile tools, and sadly overlooked by many woodworkers. Does that help at all? :-k

Cheers, Alf
 

Chris Knight

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Rasps, carving tools and lots of sandpaper are essential if you want the kind of "organic joints" that typify Maloof furniture


- here is a photo of a "Maloof" joint from one of my own rockers




I think the use of so much machinery has conditioned us to think "FLAT" joinery and whilst most of these curvy joints, start out flat, it is the use of rasps, carving tools and the like that turn them into the more flowing style the pictures illustrate.

Of the rasps available today, Auriou are simply hands down the best, no contest. However, one can and I often have, make similar joints with cheaper, different tools. All that is needed is patience. Auriou rasps are a joy to use and they come in many different styles and degrees of coarseness so that there is almost always "one for the job" However, a shaped stick, sandpaper and lots of time will produce a result just as good. So too will carving tools and they can be quick. I love curved spokeshaves and drawknives for this sort of joint too, just to confuse everyone!
 

Noel

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Chris, how do you rate the Microplane type?

Rgds

Noel
 

Les Mahon

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Noel,

I have a couple of the Microplane ones and they are pretty amazing. The guy who thought me woodcarving (some might know him from articles in PWW) swears by them. They can remove alot of stock very fast and the finish is good.

They have one drawback that the small ones are a bit flimsy and you have to tae care not to kink them.

Les
 

Chris Knight

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Noel,

Sorry, I missed your question re the microplanes. I have no real experience with them and so can't say. I have tried them at a couple of shows but that was before my more recent experience in shaping stuff and I don't think my recollections are very relevant.
 

Noel

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Cheers, anyway. Anybody else used Microplanes?

Noel
 

Philly

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Yeah, I have the half round one. They do cut really well, but are a bit different to files and rasps. A bit on the flimsy side. too. Worth a try though and for some jobs they are perfect!
Cheers
Philly :D
 

Rob Lee

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Noel":rzf7yf5e said:
Cheers, anyway. Anybody else used Microplanes?

Noel
Over here - we sell 10X more for kitchen use, than for in the woodshop (they do work well on wood!).

Try one on garlic, cheeses, nuts, or for zesting lemon and orange peels...

Cheers -

Rob
 

Noel

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Beats a blunt, skin scratching cheese grater.

Rgds

Noel, happy that it's Friday..
 

Frank D.

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I use microplanes and really like them. They work a LOT faster than files and leave a much smoother surface than a rough rasp. Great for tight inside curves. The only negative is that I don't lift them when I finish each stroke, so I end up squishing the little "teeth" slightly, so they don't work as fast as they might once I use them a little.
Frank
 

Noel

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Thanks Frank, just what I wanted to hear.

Rgds

Noel
 

Chris Knight

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Frank D.":2fjn9lnb said:
They work a LOT faster than files and leave a much smoother surface than a rough rasp
Frank, I guess you are not talk Auriou rasps here? I find that even my coarsest Aurious leave a pretty smooth surface and the finer ones leave an extremely smooth surface. I contrast this with a regular machine cut type of rap that I have and that does leave a rough surface.
 

Alf

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<muses>Anyone else ever get the feeling they've reviewed the wrong bloomin' tool...? ](*,) :roll:

Cheers, Alf
 

MikeW

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Hi All,

The Auriou rasps do fine work. In conjunction with the Aurious, though, I usually start out with Nicholson pattern makers rasps #49 or maybe the #50.

I only go to the Aurious right off if they fit the work better. On curves that are not compound curves, I usually finish off with fine cut files.

Only problem is that I had to sell my oldest son to afford 'em!

Now I'm down to only 2 more sons. Gotta find good quality rasps for less before...

Mike
 
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