Introduction: Hacksaw Miter Box

About: I enjoy hiking and plant foraging... but most of time I do chores!

I wanted a miter-like box for cutting half-inch copper tubing, so that my pipe would not be compressed inward at the ends, as is the case with pipe cutters. In this instructable, I describe how to make a hacksaw miter box for cutting half-inch copper tubing.

Step 1: Guides

The miter box is constructed using scrap wood. Only three pieces are needed:

  1. A base piece which forms the body of the miter box.
  2. Two guide pieces which hold the work piece in place.

To attach the guides:

  1. Glue one guide to the base.
  2. Position the work piece (copper tubing) parallel to and touching the guide.
  3. Glue the other guide right next to the work piece.

The work piece should be snug and should not be able to move freely between the guides.


I used wood glue, but would recommend contact cement for joining the guides to the base because it is faster.

Step 2: Reference

First, form a template for the miter box:

  1. Find a scrap piece of wood that can be cut with a normal miter saw and is at least as tall as hacksaw blade.
  2. Cut the scrap piece of wood with the desired miter angle.
  3. Place the piece of wood over the guides.

Then,create the reference cut, which is the notch for the hacksaw blade:

  1. Use a new, fine-pitch hacksaw blade.
  2. Use just the blade, without a frame.
  3. Cut on the pull stroke.
  4. Apply VERY light pressure.
  5. Cut into the guides using the template.

Step 3: Use

In this step, use the miter box:

  1. Hold the work piece in place by hand.
  2. Use a hacksaw.

With respect to hacksaws there are two types:

  1. Conventional hacksaw - This is the type with an adjustable screw at the end of the blade. These are dirt-cheap and can be found almost anywhere. They do not necessarily hold the blade straight.
  2. High tension hacksaw- These hacksaws have an adjustment screw perpendicular to the blade and use leverage to apply much greater force (tension) to the hacksaw blade. These hold the blade straight and offer better control.

Pictured is a conventional hacksaw, though I now use a high tension hacksaw.