The finest maker of handmade rasps and rifflers has closed its factory in Saint-Juery, France, after a protracted labor struggle with its workers, according to a release from Michel Auriou.
The Auriou company has been making rasps by hand since 1856, and have only recently become available to woodworkers in the United States and Canada, where they have been hailed as outstanding tools. Several of the North American catalog companies that carry the tools still have stock on hand (get your credit card ready), but once that is gone, no more tools are expected.
Mike Hancock, the Auriou representative for the United States and the United Kingdom, said that the company had been growing quickly during the last few years, but that some employees refused to work overtime to keep up with demand. The situation deteriorated during the factory’s normal August shut down, and now the company has been handed over to liquidators.
The full text of Michel Auriou’s statement about the closure can be downloaded below.
Auriou’s rasps are, without a doubt, the most prized rasps in the Popular Woodworking shop, even more so than the Nicholson patternmaker’s rasps that most people consider as the best. Auriou also made carving tools, adzes and other tools.
The teeth of the Aurious are made by hand, which gives them a slight randomness in their arrangement on the blank. This randomness creates a rasp that cuts quite smoothly and quickly. If you’d like to read more about how these rasps were made, Joel Moskowitz of Tools for Working Wood has written an excellent explanation of the process that you can read on his web site.
If you are looking to purchase Aurious, here are a few of the places that we know that carry them. Act fast.
As to our recommendations for the rasps to have, that really depends on your work. We typically use a cabinetmaker’s rasp followed up by one of the modeller’s rasps. We’ve also used the rifflers, which are excellent, if your work demands it. I’m not sure how fine ours are. The cabinetmaker’s rasp is coarser than the modeller’s rasp, which is a good combination for us.
And if all of those sources are sold out, we recommend you take a good look at the Gramercy Tools handmade rasps from Tools for Working Wood. Though not quite as perfect as the Aurious, they are high-quality tools.
Download the full text of Michel Auriou’s statement.