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Have a couple of projects that would look better with mitered ends rather than a butt joint. Question- how is the best and most accurate way to measure for the wood to join perfectly at each corner? One will be a display for pen boxes- bottom is 1/4 plywood and the sides will be 1x2 pine. Basically a tray to fit eight pen boxes (Hobby Lobby) for display at a museum...if the jury approves the pens. Thanks.
 

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display in a MUSEUM ?? I would up my game at this point
and use a better wood than pine. (JMO).

to measure the ID size that you need, the short side of the
45 will be the inside of the box. cut the bottom rabbet before assembly.
do you know what size the box will be yet ??
13.jpg
if I understand your question correctly;
for an exact cut, this is where I have the most difficulty.
not having a high quality table or miter saw, I made a scarfing jig
for the hand-held router that suited my needs.
everyone has their favorite methods, this is what worked for me.
Scarfing Jig.JPG
basically, any kind of jig or sled that you can make that will give you
precise 45* cuts with the tools that you have will be fine.

.
 
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Make a miter gauge extended fence with a stop ....

I use an extended fence on all my miter gauges. This is the idea:

Here's one of mine:

Cut your sides longer than you need and miter one end. Then set up you stop at the desired length and butt the mitered ends against the stop and they will all be a uniform length. For rectangles, you need 2 stop settings, obviously. :wink:
 

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Question, does it have to be a miter joint? There are plenty of good looking joints that arent miters, and are a lot stronger to boot. Personally, im none too fond of miters, theres almost no strength to them unless you reinforce them with something like splines or dovetail keys, and at that point why not just make a different joint anyways. Personally, id go for a box joint any day, i love the way the corners look and theyre incredibly strong.

If miters are truly the only way though, could you elaborate what youre trying to measure? Are you asking how to get the length of the cut pieces correct, or how to cut a perfect 45 degree angle on the pieces?
 

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To me this is a pretty simple operation. As I read it the question is how to measure, not how to cut.



I start with 4 boards that are longer than the outside measurement of the project. Take the first board and cut a 45 degree on one end. Then take the measure of the inside cut of the project and mark it on the board. I normally use my miter saw for these cuts and prefer to align the blade so that the inside measurement is against the fence.


Repeat with the other 3 boards.



George
 

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Use a "no measure " method for cutting .....

To me this is a pretty simple operation. As I read it the question is how to measure, not how to cut.



.........
George

I avoid measuring each separate board when I can use a stop on the fence to get more accurate results. Which is why I suggested that my post above. Measuring each separate board can lead to errors in my experience. It's like ripping, you don't measure for each rip. Cross cutting can be done the same way with a stop and for multiple same size pieces. It's easy and way faster.
:vs_cool:
 

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A cross cut sled on the table saw can creat the greatest accuracy of miter joints I have scene, you can tune a cross cut sled to a 0.001” accuracy using the five cut method.

Also you can make a miter guide for accurate 45 degree miter cuts.

I just built this exact cross cut sled this past week (featured in this YouTube video by Kings Fine Woodworking).


At 32:30 he demonstrates making a jig that produces perfect 45 degree miter cuts.
 

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They can be done right off the saw, but that requires a painfully accurate set up, a very good quality blade, and good technique (zero clearance/backer board, etc.)

Personally I do miters like this by getting them close on my miter saw and dialing in with a shooting board.
 
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