This segment NOT sponsored by Binford Tools.
Instead, a note on rasps. While making the cutting board, and in several of the projects ahead, a rasp is pretty well essential to construction. I’ve used several over the years, from a repurposed farrier’s rasp to a Nicholson 49 (which was long considered the “standard” cabinetmaker’s rasp, until Nicholson followed the trail of so many American companies, and detrimentally outsourced production to China and Mexico), and I find the best rasps are the hand-stitched ones. Not only do they cut faster, but the also cut more smoothly.
Instead of a machine feeding steel along and punching teeth into a billet, a hand stitched rasp is made one at a time. All those teeth are punched individually by a craftsman. It’s a fascinating thing to watch. Incidentally, the hammer he uses is a ‘filemaker’s hammer’, also known as a ‘dog’s head hammer’. Not too much call for them anymore.
A company called Liogier in France is the one that makes the rasps I use. There are a few distributors in the US, including TBT tools, where I bought mine. I currently own three, and they cover just about all of my rasping needs.
From the top, a 12″ 6 grain, a 10″ 13 grain, and a 6″ 14 grain. Like sandpaper, the higher the number, the finer the cut. Also, even if the grain number is the same, a smaller rasp will deliver a finer cut.
The middle rasp is my favourite. I use it probably 90% of the time. It’s fine enough to leave a good surface behind, but big enough to do it in a reasonable timeframe. The little rasp I hardly ever use, but for detailed work it can’t be beat. It leaves a very fine surface behind. The big rasp can be just monstrous. It hogs off wood in a heartbeat, spraying chips (not dust!) behind it. I use it if I have a lot of roughing work to do, especially if I can’t get a jack plane in the area. Remember how we beveled off the edges of the cutting board before we rounded them? For a gunstock (big, short bevels), this is the tool to do it with.
Forget the blister packed rasp at the big box store (works on PVC!), get something that is a treasure to use.