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A rasp is a tool used for shaping wood or other material. 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 sharp teeth. Rasps generally cut more coarsely than files.
In woodworking, rasps are used 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.
In farriery, rasps are used to remove excess hoof wall from a horse's hoof.
Rasps can also be used in shaping alabaster stone. In fact, a rasp is the only tool that is prominently used to shape alabaster. Saws and chisels are also used, but only to rough out the shape of the alabaster sculpture.
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