Those who haven't used a well-made hand-stitched rasp have a revelation coming. Rasps are a mainstay for sculptors, patternmakers and chairmakers, but the aggressive cut and smooth finish left by these steel works of art will endear them to anyone who works wood. They excel at breaking up sharp corners, trimming patches flush in restoration work, and other wood-shaping tasks requiring finesse, control, and no risk of tearout; shaping bandsawn cabriole legs comes to mind.
The teeth on ordinary machine-made rasps are stamped into shape with square leading edges and teeth arranged in regular rows. This tends to leave a telltale furrowed pattern on your workpiece. Auriou's rasps are "stitched" one tooth at a time by hand. Hand stitching produces sharp teeth in an irregular pattern. The triangular teeth, which resemble shark teeth upon close inspection, cut aggressively into the wood. The irregular pattern prevents furrowing. Auriou rasps are top-quality cutting tools that provide a superior finish.
Rasp blanks are shaped by forging and hammering rather than stamping. Any distortion caused by initial heat treating is corrected by more hand-hammering rather than grinding, and finally the blank is polished. The result is a cohesive structure in the steel body of the rasp making the teeth remarkably strong. While the teeth appear tiny and their pointed shape suggests delicacy, Auriou's manufacturing process assures durability. Still, we recommend you respect the cutting surfaces and store these rasps where they won't bang against other metal tools.
Auriou Rasps are graded for coarseness of cut in a unique system called grain (similar to grit in sandpaper). The grain scale runs from 1 to 15 - with 1 being the coarsest and 15 the finest.
Each rasp is stitched with the teeth at an angle to the handle so that it cuts comfortably in your natural cutting motion. As a result, each rasp is available in a right-hand and a left-hand version. Choose your rasp angle based on which hand you will use it in most.(i.e. Right-handed people would use a right-hand rasp.)
All Auriou rasps come with securely mounted 125mm (5") long walnut handles. Smaller rasps have handles with a 22mm (7/8") large diameter. Larger rasps have handles with a 28.5mm (1-1/8") large diameter.