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Old April 12, 2013, 11:32 AM   #19
Evan Thomas
Join Date: July 7, 2008
Location: Upper midwest
Posts: 5,098
A Nicholson #49 patternmaker's rasp is the best single tool for this kind of shaping, IMHO, once you've rough-cut a blank. File to shape, then sand to smooth, raise grain w/ H20, then sand again...

Available from Midway; cheaper from Amazon. You'll also want a handle for it.

Another trick is to attach the blank with double-stick tape to a smaller block of wood before starting to hand-shape it; this gives you something to grip and is much easier on the fingers.
Never let anything mechanical know you're in a hurry.
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