The Toolmonger Weekly Five: May 9, 2008

Giant dinosaurs, micro grinders and more on Top Tools

The giant, the tiny and the tough. This week’s edition of top tools is bound to make you a better carpenter with more accurate tape measures, more versatile rasps and, well, more. Our friends at round up the week’s best tools, in any shape, here.

Check out the previous roundups at And for all tools, all the time, head over to

Turn Over A New Leaf To Gauge Hole Size

Starrett/$90 – $110
When you need to measure the diameter of a hole, you can either start looking for objects about the same size for comparison or reach for a taper gauge. Aptly named for their tapered shape, the taper gauge measures hole and slot sizes quickly and accurately. This one from Starrett (No. 267) can measure holes and slots from 1/16″ to 1-1/16″–to the nearest 1/64″.

Cheap-Ass Tools: $15 HF Micro Die Grinder

Harbor Freight/$15
With Harbor Freight’s micro die grinder, you can grind or sand in tight areas–or go to town on a carving project. The 1/8″ collet will accept most Dremel bits, which makes it good for all sorts of jobs from sanding down the burrs on your safety glasses to polishing up your iPod.

An Ambidextrous Tape Measure

Reading a tape measure upside-down is a good way to make errors, so the FastCap ProCarpenter tape reads both left-to-right and right-to-left. Result: you don’t have to twist your neck to read the scale, and you’re less likely to misread the tape and wind up making a screwed-up cut.

How To: Build A Giant Dinosaur

Build yourself for about $100
Why build a giant dinosaur? Kids—and adults—love ’em. And nothing spruces up a dinosaur-themed birthday party better than a giant wooden dinosaur. The best part: you can build your own for around $150 and a little sweat. It’s time to break out your tools for something whimsical.

Woodworker’s Bling

If Marlon Brando had carried a carpenter’s rasp in The Wild One, this would have been it. Originally used by staircase makers to smooth curved handrails, this rasp can shape tightly curved or concave areas where a straight rasp won’t work—but we can’t help but point out how mean it looks. We love anything that looks like Klingon battle armor.