Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Woodworking Tools/Rasp
A rasp is a woodworking tool used for shaping wood. It consists of a point or the tip, then a long steel bar or the belly, then the heel or bottom, then the tang. The tang is joined to a handle, usually made of plastic or wood. The bar has had sharp teeth cut or hammered into it, and it’s important to note that rasps can be left or right handed. Rasps generally cut more coarsely than files. They are useful for rapidly removing wood from curved surfaces. They remove less wood than a drawknife, so they are easier to control. Even though rasps leave very coarse finishes, the cut-away areas can be easily smoothed with finer tools, such as files.
There are several types and shapes of rasps. There is a half round, round and flat. The several types of rasps are bastard, cabinet and wood (finest to coarsest). All these varieties can be used to make different shapes.
A similar tool to a rasp is a surform file; it has coarse, individual teeth like a rasp for cutting wood. The difference being that the surform has a small hole near each of the teeth to allow shavings to pass through and prevent clogging. Surform tools come in different styles and shapes including file-plane, round file and shaping/shaving tools. The highest quality rasps are forged from steel for strength and each of the teeth is individually hammered into to the surface in a process called stitching.