I am fairly new to woodworking and am trying to aquire some new
skills... I am in the middle of making an oak framed mirror, I have the
timber thicknessed and planed and am about to embark on cutting the
miters! I dont have access to a table saw, however I do have a router
and a flush cutting bit (the type with the bearing at the bottom). I was
planning to make a 45' jig from 18mm ply that I could clamp my frames to
and then run the flush cutting bit over it with the bearing running
across the ply to hopefully create the perfect 45' angles!!! Does this
sound like a reasonable idea? Do any of you have a plan for such a jig?
Hope you can help as I dont want to end up with some really pretty
Sounds like a bad idea. You would have to make the cut in one pass at the
max depth (with bearing on the bottom) with the bit cutting on both sides.
Use a hand saw and a miter box and it will be 10X faster and safer!
I was planning on rough cutting the miter and truing up with this method
so that the bit would only be removing around 1mm or so of stock. Can
you elaborate on why you think this is a bad idea please - remember im a
I hear you but im not too confident with my skills yet and fear that the
miter would never line up!
1. You'll blow out (splinter) the exit side. Avoidable but you're a
2. Superfluous. If you can make the 45 degree cut on the ply to make
your jig you could make a 45 degree cut directly on the frame members.
If you can't cut it with a miter box you won't do any better with a
router bit. Just use a fine toothed saw and all will be well.
Let me add a bit...
More than accurate 45 degree angles go into making a frame...the cuts
need to be vertical...the stock needs to be the same width...the
lengths of opposing pieces needs to be the same.
IME, that last one is the one that people tend to have trouble with.
One reason is that any rotating cutting device tries to pull (or push)
the stock along the fence when cutting at other than 90 degrees. That
includes router bits. And the harder the wood the more the cutting
device tries to pull it. OK, you could clamp your stock on your jig,
problem solved if it is clamped firmly enough.
You didn't say how wide your stock was but keep in mind that the
router has to rest on something while you cut and if the stock is
narrow the router may rock. Even if the stock is wide, there isn't a
whole lot of router base plate on it at start and finish. The
solution here is to use other pieces of your stock along the sides of
the one being cut so they can provide a running surface for the base
plate. Another solution is a bit with the bearing on top so that jig
can be wide and clamped on top of stock.
All in all, it is just a lot easier and probably more accurate to use
a miter box rather than a router. Especially a hand held one.
Good luck with the frame.
Nothing wrong with practicing on some scrap first. That's how I learned to
make nice coped joints.
I get pretty good miters by clamping the stock in a cheap plastic miter box.
It is the slipping in the box that generally screws it up.
I remember that from ShopNotes. Seems they have a video of it, but you
probably want to get hold of the back issue.
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