At Woodworking in America I made an offhand comment during a lecture that has come back to haunt me 100 times since September.
I was passing around the English Layout Square I built for the December 2010 issue to the class I mentioned that the ogees and details on the square were formed with rasps.
“Rasps,” I said, “give you superpowers.”
Since then, my e-mail inbox has been stuffed with people asking me questions like this: You mentioned a tool that will give me superpowers. What was that tool?
I use and am very fond of Auriou rasps, which are made in France and beat the pants off any other rasp I’ve tried, vintage or modern. You might disagree with me, but I’ve made my choice.
Whenever I mention Auriou rasps, woodworkers begin to feel a tingling in their wallet region. Yes, they are more expensive than the rasps you’ll find at home centers. A lot more expensive. But what if I told you that you could buy three Auriou rasps and pretty much be set for life?
I think that most furniture makers need only three of these tools. Here’s my short list.
1. A cabinet rasp with fairly coarse teeth for stock removal. I use the 9″ Auriou with a 10 grain.
2. A modeller’s rasp with fine teeth for refining shapes. I own a 4″ Auriou with 14 grain, which I don’t think the company makes anymore. I’d get the 6″ with 15 grain, which is offered.
3. A rattail rasp for coping inside corners and dealing with tight, radiused details. I have a 6″ Auriou with 13 grain.
Aurious are available from a variety of sellers, including the source in France, Forge de Saint Juery. Here’s a list of where I have purchased them in the United States:
• Tools for Working Wood. It actually was Joel Moskowitz at TFWW who introduced me to these tools, for which I am eternally grateful.
• Lie-Nielsen Toolworks, which fits their Aurious with nice maple handles.
— Christopher Schwarz
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