When I first began teaching at our school, I noticed that many of the rasps and files our students were using had a gooey buildup of masking tape around their tips. This blob of glue and paper was there to protect our students’ soft skin from the coarse surfaces of the tools as they were holding the rasp to shave away wood. Although adults have tougher and less sensitive skin, I find it very helpful to wrap a cushioning material around the tip of my rasps and files. It did not take me long to figure out that felt is the best material for the job.
Felt is soft, it adheres well to the rasps by allowing its teeth to hook themselves into its matrix and once you wrap a strip of felt around itself, the loose fibers from both faces of the felt “scarf” cling to each other keeping it in place. This last characteristic is a winner, as you don’t have to worry about re-wrapping the felt scarf around the rasp every time you lay the tool on the bench.
Lastly, unlike the masking tape approach, felt can be removed easily to allow for a thorough brushing of the rasp or file. Felt is easy to find, look for it online or in craft stores. Once you try using felt, I am confident that you will find many other uses for it all around your shop.