Using a Hand Saw with a Miter Box

If you are doing a project that requires angled joints, you will most likely use a miter box to get you angles more accurate than measuring and cutting them by hand. Most inclined joints are difficult to accomplish using freehand methods.

1 - What Is a Miter Box?

A miter box is a 3 edged construction. Two sides have angled cuts already across them and each end is open. These angled cuts act as the guides when using the saw. The cuts at the sides of the box are angled to different degrees between 45 and 270 degrees. The 45 degree cut is for creating outer facing joints and the 270 degree angle is for inner facing joints although this can change, depending on the job. There is also a 90 degree straight cut for cutting flat edges.

2 – Hand Saw

The hand saw used for this particular piece of equipment is a miter saw. A miter saw is a shorter saw with a fine-toothed blade. It is straight and usually has extra support along the top to prevent the blade from bending during use. The miter saw resembles a tenon saw which is used for sawing mortise and tenon joints.

3 - Uses

With all the different power saws available that can cut miter joints in seconds, you might wonder why using a miter box is necessary. Miters show up in various areas of the home and to create a perfectly matching joint, a miter box is still the best option. Using a miter box is extremely simple. You will only require a miter saw and this comes with the box if you purchase both in kit form.

4 - Joints and Angles

When putting down baseboards, crown molding or coving, you will definitely require a miter box. Most corners are not exactly 90 degrees due to house movement, so you will need the correct angling measure tools to identify any differentials in the angles. If, miraculously, your corners are exactly 90 degrees, you must cut the inside miters to 45 degrees each. If you are meeting at corners where the angle juts out, those angles will be your outside miters. They will have to be cut to 45 degrees as well, but facing outwards.

5 - Straight Edges

Cutting straight edges at the ends of wood is easier when using a mitering box. The 90 degree split in the center of the two sides let you to take a piece of wood and rest it alongside the inside of the box. By clamping it tightly, you can cut an exact flat edge.

6 - Making a Miter Box

To make your own miter box, you can use spare timber and leftover wood. You can create a miter box using any ½ inch thick timber. Use a protractor to achieve the cutting angles so that your joints touch perfectly when you match them together.