by James McConnell
Conventional wisdom says that hand-stitched rasps leave a cleaner, more refined surface than machine-made rasps, but the “Model Maker’s Rasps” and the “Gold Precision Rasps” from Corradi are anything but conventional.
Corradi manufactures a dizzying array of rasps and files. I chose to test two that I think are a good entry point for most woodworkers: a 10″ model maker’s cabinet rasp (5 cut) for stock removal and a 10″ precision cabinet rasp (8 cut ) for finer work. I was impressed by both. The coarse rasp removed material efficiently and left cleaner surfaces than I anticipated given the size of the teeth. Corradi credits this smooth ride to the uniform density and innovative “random” pattern of the teeth, which are designed to present a continuous working surface (think sandpaper) to the wood. It’s hard to argue with the results.
Most furniture work also requires a finer touch, and the Gold series cabinet rasps are well-suited in this regard. In side-by-side tests with a quality hand-stitched rasp (of equivalent size and grain) the 10″ Corradi left surfaces that were just as smooth, with none of the teeth marks or chatter common to machine-made rasps. I was floored. If you can afford to buy only one rasp, buy this one. It might be the only one you need.
All Corradi rasps come un-handled, so you’ll need to also buy handles or make your own, but at less than half the price of equivalent hand-stitched rasps these tools are a remarkable value. The exchange rate affects prices, but at time of publication, the model maker’s rasp is approximately $30; the Gold rasp is approximately $50.
From the October 2017 issue, #234