As we saw in the previous post, files and rasps are basic tools for all craftsmen. They are essential for scraping, polishing and smoothing the wood. Therefore, they will be essential for many of our woodworking projects.
By definition, files and rasps are tools with a sheet of tempered steel with some teeth. These, by scrubbing them against the wood, start small chips, which allow us to work better the wood.
Differences between limes and rasps
Although they may look very similar, these carpentry tools present several differences. Files have ridges that are in evenly spaced, parallel rows that run on the diagonal. The rasp has teeth more spaced, which makes a rasp inherently more efficient, but also more course, when removing whatever is being worked on. Files and rasps are used in between the sawing, cutting, or sanding phases of working with a material.
Following these characteristics, a rasp can be used to eliminate rough edges after cutting the wood, and a file to smooth out any grooves or ridges that are created by the first two steps.
Types of carpentry files and rasps
Like gouges, these tools come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but generally the main ones are these:
Regardless of the project you are working on, there is a file or rasp that is appropriate for it. For example, flat files are used for surface smoothing, round files for drilling holes, and half-rounds combine these two options.
On the other hand, the classification is also determined by the number of teeth per cm2. These can vary from 6 to 150 as a rule. The more teeth we have, the finer and shallower the polish will be.
It can be said that there are different blade lengths. The smallest, almost miniscule, are usually dedicated for tasks of marquetry or modelling. On the other hand, the most common measures between one and two spans. And finally there are the largest, dedicated to woodworking projects of greater magnitude and where precision is not a priority.
Our advice: If you are thinking of buying your first files and rasps, we recommend that you choose a flat file, a half-round file and a round one. With these sections you can do most of the work.
Remember that it is very important to clean your files and rasps from time to time. Otherwise, the resin and lumps of wood accumulated in the dimples can deteriorate the quality of the cut. If you want to avoid it, the solution is very simple: brush their teeth with an iron brush every time you finish using them.
And you, what kind of file do you use? What is your favourite brand? For our part, this is all for today. See you in the next post 🙂