How to Make a Wood Rasp Cut Smoothly

What You'll Need
Different types of wood rasps
Medium bristle nylon brush
Protective mask
Working gloves

A wood rasp is made of steel with sharp teeth on its surface used for shaping and smoothing wood. This type of tool is designed to smooth out marks made by carving tools so you get a fine finish.  Wood rasps are classified according to the size of their teeth and they are usually numbered from 1 to 15, with the higher numbers having the finer teeth. Some types of rasps are round or half-round, while others are simply flat.

There are different techniques to make the wood rasp cut smoothly. To help you use your wood rasp to smooth out rough spots on your carvings, here is what you should do.

Step 1 – Choose the Right Wood Rasps

Before you start working on your project, you should have at least 5 types of wood rasps at your disposal. At the minimum, you will need a coarse rasp and some finer grade rasps, depending on the kind of wood that you are working with. For hardwood, you need to start off with big teeth rasps and for softer types of materials, you will need to use finer teeth rasps.

Step 2 – Secure Your Material

When working with irregularly-shaped wood, it is best to secure your wood in a vice or simply strap it on your working table to prevent it from shifting while you work.

Step 3 – Put on Your Protective Gear

Put on your face mask, eyewear and working gloves before you start carving or filing wood. Wood particles and dust can be harmful to your lungs, so do not take chances when it comes to your health. If you have kids at home, tell them to stay away from your work area, especially when you carve or file materials.

Step 4 – File the Wood Using Progressive Sizes of Rasps

When filing wood, push the rasp across the surface of the wood in one direction only, then lift the rasp when you reach the edge of the area that you want to file. To help your rasp cut smoothly, you can also try filing the material in a cross hatch pattern.

Do not push and pull the rasp across the surface of the wood to avoid creating unsightly scars. Pushing and pulling the rasp across the wood can also wear down its teeth fast. When pushing the rasp, apply moderate pressure to make sure that the teeth of the rasp bites into the surface. Change to finer teeth rasps as your work progresses to achieve a fine finish.

Step 5 – Check the Teeth of the Rasps

Check the teeth of the rasps from time to time for dust, debris and particles before you use it. Note that when the teeth of the rasps are chocked out, you will not be able to file your wood effectively. To remove particles from the rasp, use a medium bristle brush. When brushing the rasp, push the brush from one side to the other, then lift it.