Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 5, Issue 5
   May 2011
   From the Collection

Mitre Jack
Mitre jack

In a previous newsletter, I took the position that a tool from the Lee Valley collection was a floor or chairmaker's saw, which I supported by giving credible explanations as to its use. It seems that benign saw descriptions can raise the ire of dedicated tool fiends, and that article brought numerous comments from subscribers regarding my description, ranging from complete agreement to adamant rebuttals. After further research, I present another application for the saw at the end of this article. First, however, I profile a tool that is a companion to the aforementioned saw.

Dedicated jigs used for repetitive tasks, such as the one shown here, are found in most commercial workshops that employ numerous tradespersons, especially in shops where handwork takes precedence over machine fabrication. Certain tools are made to be shared among workers, and, in most cases, are constructed in a manner that guarantees their longevity. They are not discarded but become part of the shop environment.

This is one of those items. At 31" long (closed), 11" wide and 13" high, it must be one of the largest, if not the largest, tools of this kind. Made of beech with an elm screw, it's built to sit on a bench or a table in a standalone position. The multi-angled legs (see photo on page 2) allow for longer work to be inserted into the angle face for manipulation. With this setup, the back face can also be used, dependent on whether the angle that needs to be worked corresponds with the two jaws. Otherwise, you must locate the workpiece to the required position. Other tools of this type often have a raised section on the bottom for clamping in a bench vise.
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