The Miter Box and SawSome of you may wonder why the first tool in the Cool Tools Series is NOT a power tool!
Don't get me wrong - I love power tools, but most of my tools are simple "hand-powered" or manual tools. They have their place in the complete workshop and often provide something you can't get in a power tool... the miter box is a good example of this.
What It IsThe Miter Box is a tray that helps hold wood in place for making angled cuts. The Miter Saw is a short, fine-toothed saw ideal for making clean straight cuts in millwork (crown molding, quarter-round, etc).
When is a miter box better than an electric miter saw?
- Miter boxes are cheap. Because of this, they are ideal if you don't often need to make angled cuts in molding.
- They also take up very little space - I'm eyeing this storage miter box to replace my old box - looks like it would store nicely in my itsy bitsy one-car garage/laundry/pantry/workshop. :)
- Fast and easy to use. For a quick cut on a small project, nothing beats the miter box for quick single uses. If I was doing a lot of cuts for a project, I'd want to use the table saw, but for a single cut on a piece of dowel or lattice, it doesn't make sense to set up a table saw - unless you have the space already set up, of course. I'm surprised how often I use my miter box for making cleaner straight (90°) cuts too.
- Fear-free (relatively) cuts on very short pieces of wood. I would not want to use a table saw on a short piece of wood - I just don't like my fingers that close to a blade moving at 3800 rpm!
Price RangeMiter boxes range from the perfectly usable and super cheap plastic variety ($5) to the adjustable, aluminum frame, clamping box ( $50). Faaanceee!
Having used a miter box for a while now, I can definitely say that a clamping box (which allows you to clamp the wood in place for more accurate cuts) is a very good idea.
Projects for a Miter Box
I used my (super cheap, plastic, non-clamping) box for the cove molding in my wainscoted nursery. These were all inside corners.
I also recommend making your own picture frames. Besides buying frames at the thrift store, making your own is an easy fast way to get a custom size or look for a lot less! You have to check out this idea!
Also a good tool for scarf joints in molding.
Other Projects I've Done With a Miter BoxMedicine Cabinet
Recessed Wall Niches
Build Your OwnBuild a Miter Box Tutorial
That's all folks! Let me know if you liked the post - I love comments! Hopefully commentLuv will work...?