In Tricks of the Trade

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Pull Saw Miter Box

Short lengths of molding can be awkward—and sometimes dangerous—to cut with power tools. I’d rather cut them by hand, using a Japanese pull saw and a shop-made miter box.

Make the two guide blocks for the miter box from a 1-1/2″ x 4″ x 12″ blank. (I glued two pieces of 3/4″ plywood together.) Crosscut the blank in half on the tablesaw or with a miter saw. Next, using paper or playing cards, make up two spacers that are exactly equal to the thickness of your saw’s blade. (The blade of my saw is the same thickness as one playing card.)

To glue the blocks to a base, place the spacers between the blocks and clamp the blocks end-to-end. Next, clamp a straight, stout piece of wood across the front of the blocks to pull them into alignment. Finally, glue this assembly down to the base. Don’t remove the spacers until the glue is dry. –Tom Caspar

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