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Please, your thoughts on rasps

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Please, your thoughts on rasps

Postby Doug Shaker » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:07 pm

I don't use a rasp all that often in my guitar building, but I do use rasps when I am shaping a neck.

I have heard great things about the rasps from Liogier
http://www.liogier-france.fr
so I am thinking about buying one or two.

Does anyone have any thoughts about what kinds of rasps are the most useful for neck work? Left to myself, I'd probably get a medium fine tooth half-round. But has anyone tried a few rasps and formed opinions about what length, tooth, and profile is the most useful or, maybe, enjoyable?

Advice welcomed.
-Doug Shaker
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Re: Please, your thoughts on rasps

Postby Bob Gramann » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:27 pm

I use the two large ones on this page more than any other rasps I have when I make a neck. I also use a drawknife, a spokeshave, and a chisel.
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Re: Please, your thoughts on rasps

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:16 pm

Bob, was there supposed to be a link on your post?
Or are you referring to the link in the OP?
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
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Re: Please, your thoughts on rasps

Postby Brent Tobin » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:17 pm

If you email them, they will tell you which two are used the most by luthiers.
They do recommend a particular size and stitch pattern. There was a thread on
the AGF forum a while back that went into detail
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Re: Please, your thoughts on rasps

Postby Todd Stock » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:00 am

The Corradi Gold rasps are about as good as the Aurious - I have the 10" 10 grain and 6" 10 grain in the shop and really like them. The stitch pattern is computer-generated to avoid the issues with machine-stitching, and the tool cuts smoothly due to the lack of those odd miscue teeth that any hand-stretched rasp has, and that need to wear a bit before everything gets more comfortable.
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Re: Please, your thoughts on rasps

Postby Bob Gramann » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:03 am

http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Ty ... Files.html

This should have been the link on my previous post. The two large ones are what I use most often.

Additional comment: Sometimes the particular piece of wood that I’m carving prefers a more aggressive or a less aggressive tool. It all depends on the the wood the day I carve.
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Re: Please, your thoughts on rasps

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:34 pm

Most of the rasps I've used were more aggressive than I cared for. I use a router, table saw, chisel and spoke shave for rough shaping the neck. and then switch to a 1/2 round file (heel) and a laminate file (neck shaft) to further refine the shape. The yellow handled plasticote laminate file is fairly coarse on one side and fine on the other. On one edge of the file It has a safe edge and a cutting edge on the other. They are about $15.
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Re: Please, your thoughts on rasps

Postby Doug Shaker » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:55 pm

I ended up buying a cabinet-maker's rasp, 200 mm in length, #11 grain pattern from Liogier. It was the cabinet-maker's rasp that was marked as "indispensable" on their website. I wanted a relatively fine grain pattern because I sometimes use African Blackwood for decorative elements. That stuff is hard. I thought it would be easier to get even strokes with a finer grain rasp.

About a day after I made the order, someone at Liogier suggested that the first purchase for a luthier should be a 250 mm, #9 grain, cabinet-maker's rasp.

The detailed discussion in the Acoustic Guitar Forum also ended with a recommendation for a 250 mm, #9 grain, cabinet-maker's rasp.

I suspect I will follow their recommendations if I buy a second Liogier rasp. Cost, including shipping, was about $90 (74 Euros) for the one rasp. I haven't found anyone who, knowing the price, didn't think it was a high price. I haven't found anyone who, having bought one, didn't think it was worth it.
-Doug Shaker
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Re: Please, your thoughts on rasps

Postby Arnt Rian » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:22 am

For the most part I use a draw knife for neck shaping unless the wood is figured, and go straight from there to a #49 or#50 Nicholson rasp. They are OK, but I hear the older ones were better, before they moved production to Brasil or some such. From there I go to to my Ariou rasps, I have the 10 and 12 grain cabinet makers rasps, both 12" long. They are a bit big for guitar necks for my taste, and I use the coarsest one mostly, the fine one I rarely use for instrument making. They are much better quality than the Nicholsons, I hear the Ariou 10" 7 and 9 grain roughly match the sizes of #49 or#50 respectively, so I may get those, as I find this general geometry and size of cut quite useful. I also like the Dragon rasp from Stewmac, its geometry can be handy for some things. I have a number of nameless Chinese hand cut rasps of various sizes and shapes for detail work etc., mostly from Dicktum in Germany. Some of them cut surprisingly well, at least for the money, and compared to any ordinary Hardware store machine cut rasps I have tried, and they seem to hold up just fine.

Remember to put handles on your rasps if they come without them, it makes them much more effective and user friendly!
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Re: Please, your thoughts on rasps

Postby Kevin Looker » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:25 am

My favorite for neck shaping is the 12" cabinet maker's rasp. This is an 8 grain from The Best Things & it was made by Liogier.

Also in pic are an old Nicholson 49 & 50.

The little one is a 9 grain model maker's from Liogier - it's good for peg head transition.
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Re: Please, your thoughts on rasps

Postby Ryan Mazzocco » Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:09 pm

I use the microplane. Seriously one of my favorite tools in the shop. it cuts as quick and clean. but then I always see people using it on cooking shows and I yell at the TV, "Hey, why are you zesting a lemon with a guitar neck carver?"
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Re: Please, your thoughts on rasps

Postby Barry Daniels » Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:27 pm

I'm a Microplaner too. They actually cut quicker than a rasp and the cut is cleaner too.
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Re: Please, your thoughts on rasps

Postby Peter Wilcox » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:00 pm

As my father used to say about me, "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing fast." So I use an oscillating spindle sander to rough shape necks, then hand sanding with flat and curved blocks to smooth. I have a farrier's rasp, but it gets very little use. I have one of those cheap smaller rasps with flat, curved, rough and smooth ends that I've used on slotted head stocks.
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it
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Re: Please, your thoughts on rasps

Postby Christ Kacoyannakis » Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:10 pm

You might also check out the razor files that LMI sells. I was just using them today. I really like them. They left a pretty smooth finish, and were as aggressive as you wanted them to be. They are very sharp! I have Ariou, Coradi, etc., but I never reached for one of them. I only have two razor files, a flat and a curved.
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Re: Please, your thoughts on rasps

Postby Arnt Rian » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:57 am

Peter Wilcox wrote:As my father used to say about me, "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing fast." So I use an oscillating spindle sander to rough shape necks, then hand sanding with flat and curved blocks .

Hard to beat the draw knife for speed. I hate to produce dust if I don't have to, so I get as close as I can with the draw knife before rasps and sanding. With straight grained mahogany you have pretty good control, figured stuff is another story.
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Re: Please, your thoughts on rasps

Postby Brent Tobin » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:13 am

I like sharp edge tools too, for the most part. With figured woods, I haven't found any that works better than
a microplane rasp, but I'm always willing to try.
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Re: Please, your thoughts on rasps

Postby David King » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:01 pm

I order a nicholson #49 through Bogg Tools ever decade or so and have them pre-sharpen it using their unique abrasive slurry process. It shows up razor sharp and can shave endgrain without crushing fibers or breaking the bank. Boggs can resharpen any rasp about 3-4 times for a very modest fee and they come back sharper than new.
(800) 547-5244 http://www.boggstool.com
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Re: Please, your thoughts on rasps

Postby Matthew Lau » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:31 pm

Liogier makes great rasps.

My personal favorites are from a little known German guy that makes surgical tools too: Udo Pechar: http://www.pechar-rasps.com/en/
These rasps are more aggressive than Auriou, and leave a finer surface almost comparable to the Iwasaki milled files.
I use his "grain 7" fine cut rasps..

Apparently, he's highly regarded by violin builders in Europe.
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