What additional features are available on a mitre box?
A mitre box can come with a number of additional features depending on the type of material the mitre box is made from.
Plastic mitre boxes come with more additional features than wood or metal ones because they can be incorporated into the manufacturing process at little or no extra cost.
Adjustable saw guides
There are some wooden mitre boxes that have either metal or nylon adjustable saw guides. These guides enable you to alter the width of the saw guide to match the width of your saw by way of loosening a screw in an adjustment slot.
To adjust the guides, simply loosen the screws on top of the guides to be adjusted (turn anticlockwise). Place your saw in between the guides and slide the guides up against the saw blade until they gently touch it. Tighten the screws on the guides (turn clockwise) to lock in place.
Adjustable metal guides
Multi-purpose wooden mitre boxes are available with adjustable metal saw guides which are longer lasting than their nylon equivalents but can be more expensive.
The metal saw guides help protect the mitre box from excessive wear by eliminating any wandering of the saw blade and thus prolong the accuracy of the mitre box.
Adjustable nylon guides
Some multi-purpose wooden mitre boxes have adjustable nylon saw guides which can be altered to the width of your saw blade.
Nylon guides adjust to the saw blade thickness to improve the accuracy and extend the life of the mitre box as they help protect the saw guide slots from excessive wear.
Replaceable saw guides
Some multi-purpose ABS plastic mitre boxes have replaceable nylon saw guides. The guides simply slot in and pull out of the mitre box side walls as and when they begin to wear.
Spare guide slots are not provided but can be purchased separately.
A workpiece clamp is a device fitted to a mitre box to enable the workpiece to be held securely in position so that an accurate cut may be made. The type of clamp is specific to the manufacturer of the mitre box and they are therefore not interchangeable.
There are a number of different types of workpiece clamp available, including button clamps, post clamps and screw-type clamps.
The button clamp is so called because it has a black button at the front of the mitre box which is used to activate the clamping system.
Two button-operated clamps grip the workpiece and hold it securely in place.
Pushing the black clamping button forward moves the clamps forward, securing the workpiece in place with the aid of a spring to keep the tension on the workpiece.
Pushing the release lever releases the clamp from the workpiece.
Screw type clamp
Another type of clamp is the screw type clamp. This clamp can be slid into place and then tightened up to secure the workpiece.
Squeezing the pinch mechanism between your index finger and thumb will allow the clamp to be pushed forwards to butt up against the workpiece.
Turn the final adjustment screw clockwise to tighten up against the workpiece. This will ensure it is fully secure.
|To release the workpiece from the clamp, simply squeeze the pinch mechanism and slide the clamp away.|
Workpiece clamping posts are used on some mitre boxes to hold your workpiece firmly in position.
The posts are not round but oval and therefore as you twist them, they tighten against the workpiece.
The two black plastic posts make it easy to secure the workpiece in the mitre box.
Just pick the holes that are closest to the workpiece, insert the posts, and twist until they are tight.
Mitre box anchor points
Some mitre boxes can be screwed to a workbench to provide a semi-permanent, secure base for the workpiece.
Bench end stop
A useful feature on some mitre boxes is a bench edge stop.
A bench end stop is created by extending one of the side walls down below the bed of the mitre box.
This feature enables the mitre box to be butted up to the workbench, helping to provide a firm base for accurate sawing.
Mitre box hanging point
Most plastic mitre boxes come with a slot cut into the base of the mitre box which, although designed for hanging on shop display hooks, also enables the tool to be hung on a hook or nail in the workshop. This feature allows you to keep your mitre box safe and your workshop tidy.
Saw storage feature
There are mitre boxes available that have a saw storage feature.
This enables a saw (tenon saw) to be stored within the base of the mitre box, ensuring you always have a saw with you when you need to use the mitre box.
The storage facility is only designed to accommodate the saw that comes with the mitre box.
Most plastic mitre boxes come with a pencil holder feature, a round or oval slot in the mitre box body to hold either a round or oval carpenter's pencil.