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Stu.

Rasps for neck shaping

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Are these Stewmac Dragon rasps really as good as people describe? I only had a cheap set of bastards and a Brahco second cut cabinet rasp at the moment - they're not that great, if we're being honest. Anyway, I've been looking at the Dragon ones, but I'm in England... so that means a bit more dollah and waiting time.

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I personally just use a large 12" horseshoe file. Takes wood off in a flash, and they are cheap.

Thanks man, I'll see what I can find.

Do you use a fine cut rasp afterwards, or just go straight to sanding?

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They are double sided. One has a very very agressive side, the other a much finer side that i use after. The scratches that makes can be taken out by 80-100 grit sandpaper.

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The dragon rasps are as good as their hype. I have 2 pairs myself & would not be without them.

Just make yourself a good handle & you will never regret buying them.

Although if you are a little clumsy / accident prone like I am, I would suggest puting a heavy pommel/top on the handle. If you drop one off a bench it tends to go point first - into your foot.

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I am in the process of writing an article about Liogier hand-stitched rasps. They're more expensive than the Stewmac rasps but much better. I will be organising some form of group buy or checkout discount code to coincide with this.

Stu. - Liogier are based in France so the cost you save on shipping would cover the price difference happily, plus no US to EU import tax.

I can't believe that Stewmac's rasps don't come with handles. Cheap sods!

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I have to be honest,I just don't see the big deal.I have a "good" rasp.It has one radiused side and one flat side,half of the teeth on each side are fairly coarse and half are fairly fine.There is no handle and the whole thing is maybe 8 inches long.I don't remember where I bought it,but I don't think it cost much at all.Had it for a decade now.

It works just fine on everything from mahogany to bubinga.I can shape a neck with no issues and even the coarse teeth grooves sand out pretty easily.

Some things just don't need you to throw much money away.

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The Dragons are the best cheap rasp you can buy. I love mine. I use the large fine toothed one the most so if you are only getting one get that.

I also have a Japanese shinto (saw) rasp. I use it for roughing in the neck. Good value and replaceable blades. They are the most affordable way to shape a neck.

The Liogier rasps are some of the greatest in the world.

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This is what I intend to approach as part of the article. You can buy a cheap ten dollar rasp and use it to hog material, however it isn't something you'd trust to do real "feel" shaping or allow to get anywhere near the finished surface. There's nothing stopping you from buying a cheap rasp to hammer out the waste and switching up to quality tools to dial in the real work. Same as you wouldn't trust a cheap router bit with an expensive bit of wood, the same applies to other tools that can insta-ruin your day.

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Not direct experience. It's a bit difficult to see the quality of the stitching in the photos, plus no idea on the quality of the steel. Hand stitched definitely helps with the quality of cut and the ability to direct the tool rather than it driving you, but its difficult to say without getting hands on. Do they have a manufacturer's website?

Cripes, I've just taken a look at those Liogier ones... they look impressive, but the price tag will give me nightmares!

Do you have any experience with or opinions on these ones?

http://www.workshopheaven.com/tools/Continental_Hand_Stitched_Rasps.html

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This is what I'm talking about really. It's probably just my technique, but I feel like I don't have much control before it digs in and I end up sanding excessively to repair. It would be nice to have something to dial contours in a bit closer before sanding.

It looks like the Continental range is Workshop Heaven's own, but I have no idea where or whoo they outsource to in Europe :\

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I've not managed to find out who makes them however I will gather information on them for sure. Realistically I am not aiming to write purely about Liogier rasps, however it is obvious that having the actual tool in your hand is far more objective than deriving information from copy on somebody else's website ;-)

I'll see if I can acquire one of these "Continental" rasps for purposes of comparison, however I don't think it is a fair comparison (same as the Stewmac dragon rasps) when they are all fresh from the box. Tooth life, clogging and all manner of other things don't become that apparent until after long-term use. It's all well and done that a rasp has a particular hardness, however it is advantageous for it to be partially quenched so as not to make it brittle overall. That is my understanding anyway. I doubt I'll be putting a bunch of rasps to a concrete-drop test though.

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I've watched the Logier videos on how they make their rasps. I've always wanted them.

At the moment I use the large Dragon rasp and I'd be very lost without it. I find both the flat and curved edges very handy as well as the narrow tip is great for tight spots.

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I've been discussing this very subject with Noel because I would like to identify the most appropriate rasp configuration as the "go-to" for most jobs. I'll write up about the #10 "Cabinet Maker's" rasp when I get the opportunity. I intend on putting it to the test on Maple. Wenge, Birch and perhaps a laminated neck. This won't be for several weeks however. Currently out of contact with Noel as his mail server is pinging me responses saying his mailbox is full. Not sure if I will get the opportunity to do a direct comparison with Stewmac's rasps unless anybody in the EU locale can lend me one for this.

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While the hand stitching means a much more controlled cut the largest "Continental" rasp looks to be about 7.5" that is entirely too small to be very useful on a guitar neck. It would be fine for volutes and heel details but good luck trying to shape a neck with something so small. It would be very hard to maintain a straight surface.

The large shinto or the large Dragon Rasp on the other hand are very good at this.

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I think that I'm going to invest in a pair of Dragon rasps for my next project(s), but stick with roughing it for now. The large and double radius (both coarse) are looking pretty good for contours and necks, and I could cope without something super fine for the time being.

A rasp shoot-out is definitely a great idea. Hand tools are a minefield for the novice, mainly because there's a lot of cheap crap out there, which doesn't last past one build (if that). Thank you to everyone who's contributed!

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I received the Liogier rasp from the courier yesterday, and first impressions are holy crap! It's common knowledge that hand-stitched rasps are better, but this is something else. I put her (yes, I know) to some Khaya last night out of pure impatience and wow. Seriously wow. The teeth are all picked up to needle-sharp points, long gullets for clearance and edge-to-edge stitching....no hunting or rutting either....wow....

I'll be putting the rasp through real-world testing in a few weeks when I am back at the workshop. I have logs to mill and a cabin to build over the next three weeks....in the meantime I will be writing an outline and deciding on a test methodology.

Seriously guys, if you're after a top-shelf rasp then either hold off till I publish and organise some kind of discount/group deal or just pull the trigger on one! This is a 250mm/10" #9 grain. Bass makers might benefit from the 300mm/12" but this is certainly right in the sweet spot like I intended.

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I went over the mini rasp (I bet Noel has no end of problems with things like the Great Firewall Of Cameron due to the French word for rasp....) in my head but didn't want to confuse matters with reviewing, etc. It might be one of the rasps in the top five for people who own sets, however my focus is on the first "go-to" rasp. This seems about right. Will discuss further when I publish next month. The lateral rasp might be interesting for future reference.

Noel and I discussed about the Stewmac "Dragon" rasps too. Tooth geometry is an issue (inconsistent heights, short gullet, flattening from the mallet after heat treatment) plus things like a lack of blank polishing prior to stitching, etc. etc. You get what you pay for, basically.

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Noel and I discussed about the Stewmac "Dragon" rasps too. Tooth geometry is an issue (inconsistent heights, short gullet, flattening from the mallet after heat treatment) plus things like a lack of blank polishing prior to stitching, etc. etc. You get what you pay for, basically.

I've had my Dragon Rasp for maybe a year now. I can tell you I'm still very happy with it, however it feels like It's due for a sharpen or replacement.

I really use the end tip a lot, the taper of it is perfect for the shapes I carve and I look at many other files and don't see the same usability for me. Other files have the taper, but its an aggressive one at the end, not transitioned all the way. I also find myself using the curved rear quite often, very very handy.

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