In a recent post, I talked about using rasps and in a response to one of the comments, I mentioned that I was watching my mailbox for the arrival of a package from France. Yesterday the box arrived, containing two hand stitched rasps from Liogier. Until about a month ago, I wasn’t aware that this company existed, but they’ve been making rasps and rifflers for four generations. There is a video on the company’s website that shows the process, and when you understand the work that goes into making a great rasp, they begin to seem like a bargain instead of an extravagance.
I took some time yesterday afternoon to put the 250mm #9 grain, and 200mm #11 grain into action in shaping this walnut handle, and was pleased with this short test drive. Both rasps were sharp, removed material expeditiously and left a nice surface, everything I would expect in a first class rasp. These also had a great feel to them, nicely balanced and with a great deal of control. Some tools feel like they are part of your hands, and these are in that class of tool.
Liogier has an almost overwhelming selection of shapes, sizes and grains available. One of the nice features of the website are charts that indicate common configurations of size and grain. Right-handed stitching is standard, but the option of left-handed is available on request. There are also three variations of tempering available. The two tempering upgrades are harder than the traditional to allow for longer life and less clogging of the tools. I’ll be using these more in the weeks to come, and there will be a full review in an upcoming issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine.
At the moment, Liogier does not have a North American distributor, but the tools are available directly from the company’s website. Prices (in Euros, at the moment 1 Euro = 1.35 US dollars) are in line with comparable tools, and International shipping is reasonably priced.
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