By Bob Duncan
Even expert carvers find themselves in situations where it’s challenging to get a clean cut. Either there’s a bad spot in the wood or you can’t get a tool into the area. The best tool to reach for in these situations is often a rasp, but the utility of traditional rasps is limited because, like the metal files they are related to, they cut only on the push stroke.
Enter the Kutzall Grit Hand Rasps. Kutzall has adapted their carbide-point bit technology and used it to create a set of grit hand rasps that cut on either a push or pull stroke. These tools, which come in a variety of shapes and grits, stand head and shoulders above traditional rasps, bringing much of the convenience of power carving to hand carvers.
I use the coarse-grit rasps to remove wood quickly. Like coarse-grit carbide-point bits, these rasps will leave scratches on the wood. You can remove them with the finer-grit rasps, which leave only fine scratches on the wood, especially if you shape with, rather than across, the grain.
I find the small, tapered, fine-grit rasps excellent for cleaning up cottonwood bark houses. They remove rough spots effortlessly, from the window details to the tight areas on a roof. They never require sharpening, and if they get clogged with glue or a resinous wood, you can easily clean them with oven cleaner or a butane torch.
Kutzall Grit Hand Rasps range in price from $25 to $49, depending on the grit, shape, and size. For more information or to purchase, call 810-765-100 or visit www.Kutzall.com.