Last year I bought a couple of Italian made Corradi Gold Rasps direct from Italy; a 6″ round and a 10″ cabinet rasp. While I absolutely loved using them, they were painful to use without a proper handle. The tip of the tang would dig into the palm of my hand causing great pain. Corradi sells handles for their rasps, but I figured I could make my own easily enough.
I use these rasps to shape and make new pieces of wood for the top of my rosewood plane totes. Their small size makes it nice to work into the tight curves of the handle and the small hole for the threaded rod. At a 6 cut, they are aggressive enough to make quick work of removing the wood, but with their advanced stitching, they don’t leave big tool marks on the wood’s surface. In the photo below, there is a small black line near the top of the tote that distinguishes the original Brazilian rosewood and the new piece of cocobolo. I use cocobolo because Brazilian rosewood is nearly impossible to get nowadays and cocobolo is in the same species of wood. While the color of the woods are not an exact match, they’re good enough to make the tote look nice again.
I started making the handle with a scrap piece of apple about 12″ long and chucked it into my lathe.
Then, using a template handle I had when I bought an old knife sharpener, I used my parting tool and calipers to mark and measure the details of the handle.
After everything was turned to my satisfaction, I took some of my lathe shavings and burnished the wood to a nice sheen.
In order for the handle to fit in the tang of the rasp securely, I drilled a small pilot hole as plum as possible down the center of the handle. The drill bit was the size of the very tip of the tang of the rasp so it would fit tight when driven into the handle.
Next, I took my blow torch and carefully heated the tip of the rasp so I could burn into the handle. It took a couple of tries as I didn’t want to burn it in all at once. On the second burn, the rasp seated nicely into the handle and I was unable to pull it out.
The final touch was to simply apply a couple coats of oil on the handles. These handles were extremely simple to make. In fact, it took less that 30 minutes to make both. Why I didn’t make them last year when I originally bought the rasps I have no idea.