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Files, rasps and rifflers allow you to shape and smooth wood with much greater control than normal edge cutting tools. Rasps have individually raised teeth, while files, having straight chiselled edges, cut more slowly than rasps but give a finer finish. Rifflers are double ended, and either file or rasp cut.

Although graded for coarseness of cut, files and rasps of a specific grade will vary considerably depending on their size (larger rasps in any cut being coarser than smaller rasps of the same cut), and even on the manufacturer. The size and number of teeth on a rasp can vary from a very coarse cut (for rough shaping of wood) to extremely fine (for working curved surfaces in sculpting, carving and furniture detailing).

They are graded "wood" rasps for the coarsest, "cabinet" rasps (which are in turn sub-divided into bastard, second and smooth cuts) and "pattern maker’s" rasps for the finest. Files are graded coarse for the roughest, followed by bastard, second and smooth cuts. The sharpness of the tooth depends largely on the surface condition of the steel and the quality of the polish it is given after it is forged and milled, but before the teeth are raised.

 

 
 
 


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