Studio Tips #4: Using A Miter Cutting Vise

It’s Friday morning and I am sitting here looking at my (perhaps all time) favorite tool. I am not great at sawing and filing a straight line – getting better, but it is still not my strong suit. Before this weekend, I loved how it helped me make bezels and ring bands, but the class I taught this weekend highlighted yet another use for it. See #3 below.

Frankly, this is a commercial to some extent. Tools that I love end up on the Jatayu website one way or another and this is no exception – Miter Cutting Vise. My primary intention, however, is for you to have a tool you will feel like hugging when you pull it from your tool chest. And as I write this entry, I am wondering how many of you have a miter vise but are unfamiliar with all its uses. Look at this:

  1. After cutting a bezel or a ring shank even the ends by inserting the sheet metal next to the rectangular pin and filing from head to toe with a hand file until the metal is straight. Make sure the sheet metal is butted up to the pin perfectly (you see no daylight between the sheet metal and the pin on either side).
  2. You can file beveled edges on tubing, sheet metal and wire. Use your less than best files when filing on the case hardened steel.
  3. When making a heavy wall tube set, hold the tubing securely in a V groove, place the tubing in the triangle section of your bench pin or a bench vise, then use a bur to create the seat. This way you avoid the nasty possibility of soldering the tubing on and then creating a tube set that doesn’t work. Ouch. I hate removing pieces I have soldered.
  4. Tired of sawing crooked lines? You can saw next to the miter vise and get a straight line. If you want a beveled edge, use the upper opening, then saw (file if needed). Cut 45° and 90° angles in wire and tubing also. It is easier to saw if you secure the miter vise in a bench vise.
  5. Place the black Allen’s wrench in one of the two sides of the miter vise, and the silver, angled rod on the front lower hole of the same side. Turning the Allen wrench will allow you to secure the rod. This can then serve as a stop in cutting repeated pieces of metal of the same size.

The only thing this little tool will not do is fix your coffee in the morning! If you know of other functions, please let me know.


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  1. Ginger Koel

     /  January 22, 2015

    I am going to have to get one of these!

  2. Connie Fox

     /  January 1, 2015

    Jerry, you can buy them through Rio Grande. Let me know if you need further help.

  3. Jerry Mc Guire

     /  December 31, 2014

    Where did you get your vise.

  4. My pleasure Gloria! Enjoy this little beauty….

  5. Gloria

     /  April 7, 2012

    I have had a miter jig for 2 years and never knew how to use it for anything but straightening out a crooked tube top. THANKS a million for helping me to learn how to use it to its fullest. Your pictures are the next best thing to seeing a video demo.

  6. Lynn, I finally got around to taking some photos for you (see below). Since I wrote about the miter jig a year ago I have a few comments. When filing, file top to bottom or bottom to top (not accross the jig). I prefer using a coarse file to do this. Also, I just don’t find it useful for any type of sawing. And, I have yet to find the rod + allen wrench useful for creating a stop.

    I have used the MJ in many classes since writing the 2010 post. Most students love it and find it very useful in making rings and bezels. I use it regularly and continue to love it.

    I asked a tech support at Rio what the difference is between the very expensive model from France and the moderately priced model from Pakistan. He said the guy who made in France wears a beret and the guy who made it in Pakistan wears a turbin. Otherwise, not much.

    Miter Jig - Regular Cut

    Miter Jig - Using-Bevel

    Miter Jig - With Tubing

    Miter Jig - Filing

  7. Lynn Ballinger

     /  September 25, 2011

    Great post! Is it at all possible for you to post some pictures of the different examples? I’m more of a visual person I guess…………

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