Miter Box 126


Poplar (Chap. III., Par. 42) or Yellow Pine (Chap.

III., Par. 48).

1 pc. l 1/2"x3 3/4"x24 1/2" S2S Bottom.

2 pcs. 7/8"x4"x24"1/2" S2S Sides.

10-l 1/2" No. 10 F. H. B. Screws.

Introductory Statement

The use of the miter joint occurs so often in so many different kinds of construction work that every one needs to know how to lay out and cut a miter, but for the sake of speed, accuracy and convenience, where a number of miter joints are to be cut it is well to be provided with a miter box. An all-steel patent miter box can be bought from any tool dealer, but they are quite expensive.

The wooden miter box shown in this lesson is very inexpensive because it can be made of scraps of almost any kind of lumber. Its value depends upon its being sawed exactly on the true miter of 45 degrees.

If correctly made, this miter box will enable you to construct picture frames, window screens, and any other sort of rectangular frame.


Elements of Construction, King. American Book Co.

The A, B, C of the Steel Square, Hodgson. The National Builder, Chicago.

Steel Square and Its Uses, Wm. Radford. David Williams Co., New York.

The Steel Square Pocketbook, Stoddard. David Williams Co., New York.

U. S. Bulletin No. 423, Forest Nurseries for Schools.

Miter Box

Miter Box

Suggestions For Original Design

Introductory Statement 128

Picture Frame Clamp

Miter Box Specifications

The Bottom

As this material is furnished S 2 S, it will not be necessary for you to resurface it. Select the best surface of the bottom piece and mark it the working face (Chapter II., Paragraph 2). Plane one edge perfectly straight and square for a working edge (Chapter II., Paragraph 4). As this piece of material is thicker than you have been accustomed to handling, you will have to take great care to make it perfectly square. Gauge the width on both surfaces (Chapter II., Paragraphs 6 or 7) and plane to the gauge line. Be sure that both edges are perfectly square or your work will not assemble properly.

The Side Pieces

Select the best surface of one of the side pieces and make it the working face (Chapter II., Paragraph 2). Prepare a working edge (Chapter II., Paragraph 4). With the marking gauge or the lead pencil and ruler gauge the width, as shown in the drawing (Chapter II., Paragraphs 6 or 7). Plane to the gauge lines. Square one end for a working end (Chapter II., Paragraph 5). Lay out and cut the length. Prepare the other side in like manner.


The two side pieces are to be fastened with screws to the edges of the bottom piece, making the bottom edge perfectly even. In assembling this work it would be advisable to put in one screw pretty close to the end of each side piece to hold the sides in proper position while you lay out the angle where the miter box is to be sawed. Then finish putting in the screws. Be careful not to place any of them where they will be in the way of the sawing. If you prefer, the miter box may be assembled with nails instead of screws, however it will not be so strong.

Laying Out The Angles

The miter box should have one perfectly square cut. Lay it out with the large steel square, with the large blade held carefully on one edge of the box; with a sharp lead pencil lay out a square line across the top edge of each side piece. With the try-square square these lines down on the sides.

Lay out the half-pitch cut forming a letter "X" across the box. Lay out the half-pitch cut as explained (Chapter II., Paragraph 24). You must make sure that this is accurate or your miter box will be absolutely worthless. When the angles are laid out on the top edge of the two side pieces with the try-square, carefully square them down. Sawing these angles is the most particular part of your miter box construction. You should saw part way from one side and then turn the box around and saw from the other side. In sawing from the second side let the point of the saw follow in the cut made while sawing from the first side. By sawing very carefully you will be able to follow the lines.


With a sharp steel scraper remove all tool marks or rough places (Chapter II., Paragraph 16); finish with sandpaper (Chapter II., Paragraph 17). If desirable, the miter box may be given one coat of shellac. This will keep it clean and in good condition (Chapter IV., Paragraph 57). Note: Sometimes a miter box is made with one side wider than the other; in assembling such a box the sides are made even at the top, thus allowing one side to extend slightly below the bottom. This part can be held in the vise or against the edge of the bench top to hold the box solid when in use.

Optional and Home Projects Employing Similar Principles.

Picture Frame Clamp

1. In assembling any kind of mitered frame a clamping device is very necessary. In the suggestions you will see the plan for a clamp which has a number of advantages. It can be used on almost any sized picture frame by adjusting the hand screws. It also affords an opportunity to resaw the miter joints if any of them require it.