This handy tutorial takes the mystery out of how to use a mitre box.
How to use a mitre box is a question frequently pondered by DIYers tackling a DIY project with mitre joints. We're going to look at a fun DIY project that you can complete with a mitre box: making DIY picture frames.
What is a Mitre box?
Mitre boxes are a cheap and easy alternative to mitre saws. They have pre-cut vertical slits at defined angles that allow you to cut accurately angled cuts for your DIY projects. Mitre boxes come in various materials and in varying levels of sophistication, ranging from a cheap plastic box with slits to resilient metal, self-clamping mitre boxes with detachable saws.
How to use a mitre box
Mitre boxes are super simple to use.
The mitre box might have screw holes in the base to secure it to your workbench or a lip on one side at the base, allowing you to clamp the whole box firmly in a vice for stability.
Once the base is secure, line up the piece of wood with the pre-cut hole for the angle you need (usually 22.5, 45 & 90 ) and hold or clamp it in place.
Line up a saw (a hard-backed tenon saw is ideal for this job as it doesn't bend as the saw moves back and forth) with the relevant hole and saw through the wood, cutting the desired angle.
Beware, plastic can be soft and easy to saw through, so you might want to make a mitre box using offcuts of wood. Read how to here.
Now you know how to use a mitre box, it's time to flex your woodworking skills and tackle a DIY project with mitre joints; here is a fun example.
How to use a mitre box to make DIY picture frames
Picture frames are super simple to make and can be as detailed or simple as you like.
Measure the item you wish to frame (including the mount) to determine the length and height required.
Measure and mark your piece of wood or moulding with the frame dimensions, remembering that the corners will have angled cuts, so your length and height will go to the bottom of the 45-degree angle.
Cut the four sides and line them up to check they fit.
Gently sand the edges to smooth them off.
Glue the pieces together and clamp in place while the adhesive sets.
Cut out some strong cardboard for the back mount.
Staple or brad nail the sides and bottom of the cardboard onto the back of the frame creating an envelope to slide your chosen art into.
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