Whether you are making a picture frame, trimming out your dining room or just embellishing a piece of furniture, into every woodworkers life a few miters must fall. The fact that they are highly visible puts fear into many woodworkers! A poorly fit miter can undo an otherwise perfect project because it’s right out front for the world to see. But miters aren’t that difficult once you understand the basics.
Regardless of whether your saw is powered by hand or electron powered, the tips and techniques in this article will tighten your miters, and remove all your angle anxiety.
Begin By Bisecting
If you’re primarily furniture based, most of your miters are going to take place on outside corners. What I mean by outside corner is where you’re working to match two miter cuts to form a 90° corner. (This is different from an inside corner, which in most instances should be a coped joint – one piece has a square end cut that runs tight into the corner, and the second piece of molding is mitered and coped to fit.)
Whether you are applying molding to the inside or outside of a case, how square that case is affects how easily you can cut your miters. Let’s face it, most miter boxes whether electric or hand-powered have detents at 45°, places that automatically align the saw to cut a perfect 45° angle. But what do you do if two perfect 45° angles won’t work because your case isn’t quite square?