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Mitre box

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chrispuzzle

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I am fed up with my cheap Stanley plastic mitre box. It is OK for the basic stuff I do with it but it makes a horrible scraping sound against the bench top and I don't trust it with clamps.

What recommendations do workshoppers have for mitre boxes and is it sensible simply to make one by hand? If so, how would you go about doing it?
 

That would work

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To do it in the same shape as your plastic one the best way is probably to start with the base (use decent 19mm ply) then for the sides use a chop saw (or whatever you have) to make them individually with the 45's on the ends. Now simply carefully position them onto the edge of the Base by sandwiching the saw snugly that you'll use between the pieces, clamp in place and screw together.
Actually a simple bench hook style works well... simply make a bench hook with a much wider top piece and cut 45 into it either using the method above or set up a timber guide at 45 and cut with a tenon saw.
 

AndyT

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Paul Sellers has a sensible looking guide to making your own here

[youtube]Z7lYFfvmBCc[/youtube]

I have a nice old cast iron Stanley one, but they were never as popular here as in the USA, where timber framed houses were the norm, so are hard to find. I reckon your idea of making your own is the best option at the present.
 

MikeG.

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I think a box offers distinct disadvantages, including making holding the workpiece more difficult. I made a simple benchhook and cut a 45 degree slot:



It gets it pretty close, but if it needs tidying up then I go to the shooting board for supreme accuracy:

 

bridger

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Most of the time if I'm mitering with a handsaw it's small dimension stuff, glass stops and the like. I use a bench hook a lot like Mike G., but a miter trimmer to finish. I find that if i lay out the miter with a knife I end up a lot closer to true.
 

Stanleymonkey

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Chris

You could buy one from Amazon - there are lots listed on there - would be solid with clamps or screwed down onto a baseboard.
 

AndyT

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Phil Pascoe":1iar8736 said:
The mitre cut on a bench hook works well until you come to ten inch skirtings. :D
Careful Phil, you'll be arguing for a wide range of tools soon, rather than the minimum possible kit! ;)
 

chrispuzzle

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Thanks for all the advice. I have to admit I didn't somehow didn't think of Amazon! The bench hook method seems very sensible as does the Sellars video - he makes everything seem so simple.
 
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How long will that bench hook type last you until it's been widened too much by saw kerf?
 
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I don't know why I added 'bench hook type' to that question.

I guess what I meant to say was, how often do you find yourself making new ones? on average, how many cuts do you get out of one before making a new one? Do you only use it with saws that have little to no set?
 

Stanleymonkey

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chrispuzzle":3qj0pxhs said:
Thanks for all the advice. I have to admit I didn't somehow didn't think of Amazon! The bench hook method seems very sensible as does the Sellars video - he makes everything seem so simple.

What are you actually planning on making? Is it something like a picture frame or just a project that needs hundreds of 45 degree mitres?
 

chrispuzzle

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It's mostly 90 degree straight cuts for butt joints but also mitres. The project at hand is just model railway baseboards but I'd do more work with angles if I didn't hate the plastic box so much!
 

skelph

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If you don't like the plastic or wooden mitre boxes and don't want to make a bench hook type you can always try one of these -

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32605238858.html

A bit pricey but they work for square cuts and 45deg cuts. There's a bigger (and pricier!) version that does compound mitre cuts made by the same Japanese company. Don't know of any UK supplier though.

hth
skelph
 

chrispuzzle

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I do like the bench hook idea. Kind of lateral thinking and very simple. And you can set it up with whatever angles you need.
 

MikeG.

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transatlantic":9gppammr said:
........I guess what I meant to say was, how often do you find yourself making new ones? on average, how many cuts do you get out of one before making a new one? Do you only use it with saws that have little to no set?
The thing is, I don't use the kerf as a guide. I mark out in the normal way. The kerf in the bench- hook is just somewhere for the saw to go. The back of the cut is unaffected by wear. It just gets a bit sloppier the nearer you come to the front. Actually, given my visceral dislike of mitres it gets little use, and is still pretty accurate. That's such a poorly thought out bench hook though that its days are very much numbered, so the quality of the mitre kerf is academic.
 
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