A reader's Woodwork suggestion: miter box improvement

Gid W. from. USA. had this suggestion for a home made miter box improvement.

Nice site, and very helpful. I'm mostly an amateur woodworker, though I've built a few houses & rooms, and am now teaching my wife some basic skills, plus finishing & refinishing. She's worked up to 1200 and 1500-grit fine finishes -- mostly trial & error since almost everyone assumes that a fine finish stops at about 400-grit, and useful information past that hardly exists anywhere.

I enjoyed your homemade miter box instructions, and have a couple of little suggestions:

  • Instead of just scrapping it when the slot gets worn, why not make several guide slots for 45 and 90-degree? I usually cut several,about an inch apart, and when one gets worn out I stick a dab of caulk in it to remind me it's dead.
  • Also, since I usually make these out of whatever 1x4 scrap is handy, sometimes the glued-up product isn't exactly all 90-degree angles, so I sometimes glue pieces of the same scrap between the tops of the "side rails" to improve the geometry. It means I have to slide the workpiece in from the end, but it gives more accurate cuts.

Again, thanks for the handy website. It's good that we old timers pass on these tips whenever we can. Things I picked up from my dad 50 years ago still come in handy today.

Bill's answer

Hi Gid,
Thanks for that, good stuff, I'll add it to the bottom of the page.
Your point about using the same stuff at the top as at the bottom is a good one.

It seems to me that these days that people spend more time thinking about which new gadget to buy, rather than just doing the job with what they have on hand.

1200 to 1500 grit, crikey that's fine. The only time I got into those grades was when I made a few sailboards (windsurfers) years ago.


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