You can’t tell me *what* about the rasps you sell?

So a couple of days ago I made an inquiry with German store DICTUM GmbH, whose motto seems to be “MORE THAN TOOLS”, about where their Hattori hand-stitched rasps were manufactured. They seemed like an interesting product, at a low-cost. This is the reply I got today:

Thank you for your message.
We kindly ask for your understanding that we cannot tell any details about our suppliers.

Really? You can’t tell me where an item is made? I mean I’m not asking for the composition of the steel used to make the rasps, or the names of the people who painstakingly hand-stitched them. Naturally, then one is left to draw ones own conclusions. The blurb on their website says this about the rasps: “Our portfolio of Hattori rasps, which are cut in small batches by hand, is unique throughout Europe.

What attracted me was the price-point of these rasps. €6.90 for a 200mm (8″), No.3 cut cabinet rasp. What I now have to conclude is that they are made in Asia somewhere, likely China. Is that what makes them unique throughout Europe? I’m not saying that I’ll never buy anything from DICTUM, but I guess their “more than tools” doesn’t extend into customer service. I have one hand-cut rasp, from Czech company Ajax & Blundell – which works quite nicely (from Lee Valley). In the future I might try a Liogier, or Auriou.

If you are looking for a good source of info on machine and hand-cut rasps? Checkout this article on Canadian Woodworking – it gives you a really comprehensive summary. Alternatively, there’s a blog series on Heartwood.

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The house of the future

What would have happened if houses of the future had looked like this? Were there more dreamers in the 1950s? People were able to peer into the future and try and think beyond current ideas. Okay, so some of the ideas may have been a little far-fetched, but they represented a collective ideology of what the future could be. The reality is that the future of houses lies not in more intelligent houses, but rather houses that are better adapted to the climes they exist in. Houses in colder climates should be better adapted to those cold climates. The Swedes build extremely efficient houses with thick walls. In north America we build houses covered in stucco that look like garbage and are less efficient than we would like to think. Imagine, before installing drywall, actually covering the wall studs with OSB board first (or heaven forbid plywood)? Certainly would make hanging things on the wall easier. Sure it would be a small added cost, but at C$8.00 for a 7/16×4×8 sheet of OSB, it would be a minimal cost. But we don’t even think about such things. Want to reduce the effects of climate change? We don’t need intelligent thermostats, we need to think about smarter building techniques.

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More cool stuff from the past at Modern Mechanix.