I currently own a single rasp with two levels of coarseness and it sees frequent use. The fact that each portion is only 5″ long, and that it has square ends greatly limits its usefulness. However, anything that eliminates sanding, be it chisel, rasp or plane is wonderful in my book. I am looking to purchase a set of rasps that would better serve my woodworking needs, but I am baffled at the terminology and apparent lack of a comprehensive standard. I understand that coarse to smooth would be bastard cut, second cut, smooth cut…but is a 10 inch bastard cut smoother than a 14 inch second cut? Does it vary between manufacturers? How is coarseness defined for rasps if the above is the designation for files? How did the Swiss get involved (00-6). What would be a good universal set to buy for an affordable price? The traditionalist in me cries out for wood handles, yet the engineer wants ergonomic rubberized handles with convenient holes to hand above the bench. If I get wooden handled rasps, I’ll probably drill a hole for this purpose. Let’s save rifflers for another discussion. By the way, I recently read the article by Mario Rodriguez in an older FW, and while convinced of the usefulness of this tool, I remain in the dark as far as the terminology. By the way, I’ve read this http://www.cooperhandtools.com/brands/nicholson_files/Nicholson%20Guide%20To%20Filing%202006.pdf which is very informative, yet fails to answer questions about the relative coarseness.
Edited 1/15/2007 1:19 pm ET by tuolumne