Find your credit card. You know the one. It’s one your spouse always hides when you get caught reading my blog.
Auriou, the venerable French toolmaker that closed it doors last year after a labor dispute, re-opened for business on Friday. Thanks to new owners and the same plant manager, the new Forge de St Juery is making and selling many of the most popular and useful woodworking rasps on its web site.
The company has more than 400 rasps in stock right now, is currently taking orders and will begin shipping on Nov. 20. The company is much smaller than it was before it shuttered its doors (there is only one stitcher at the present time), so production will be on a small scale until more stitchers can be trained. That is a lengthy process.
The plant is still under the direction of Michel Auriou, a passionate and knowledgeable toolmaker, and so I have every confidence that the new tools will be as good as the old. And what great tools they are. I own four Auriou rasps (two at work; two at home), and I cannot imagine working without them. Actually, I can’t remember what it was like to work without them. My old Nicholson rasps seem sorry, coarse and slow.
Of course, the logical question is which rasps you should buy. If you build typical casework and shelves, I think it’s ideal to have two rasps:
A cabinet rasp (9″, 10″ or 12″ are all good lengths) with a grain of nine or 10.
A modeller’s rasp. I really like the 6″ in a 15 grain. It leaves a very nice finish.
I’m also very interested in trying the ALBI rasp listed on the site.
The other good news here is that the prices are fairly in line with what the Auriou rasps sold for when the company closed last year. A 9″ cabinet rasp sells for about $107 , that’s much less than these suckers were going for on eBay. The shipping is expensive, however. A box containing up to five rasps is going to cost about $30.
However, all this talk about money is immaterial in my book. These are great rasps , the last ones you are ever likely to buy if you are a home woodworker.
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