When it comes to cutting the perfect 45°, I can’t. Not free-hand, anyway.
So, first I ordered the “Chopper II” — a clever bit of machinery that cost me $39.95. It was a quality piece of equipment, but I didn’t find it satisfactory for the tiny bits of wood in 1/144.
Okay, so then I bought the “Easy Cutter” — another clever bit of machinery that cost me $26.99. It, also, was a quality piece of equipment that didn’t do the job to my satisfaction.
The problem with both of these expensive cutting tools is that while they were well-suited for cutting an accurate angle, I could make a much cleaner, neater cut with a plain old craft knife.
Faced with a project that required no fewer than 26 perfect 45° mitre, I came up with the Paper Mitre. Priceless.
The “paper mitre” isn’t a cutting tool and it doesn’t cost a penny. It’s a graphic like the one to the left. While going nuts on the aforementioned project, it suddenly occurred to me that I could draw the angle better than I could cut it… and if I could draw it, print the drawing, and line up my wood with the drawing…
Okay, so it may not seem like all that big of a discovery, but the Paper Mitre has saved me seemingly endless grief. I’ve put the graphic in a PDF file (which requires the free Adobe Acrobat Program to read) so that you can use it, too.
For those who wonder how this magical little graphic works, see the directions below.
1. Paper Mitre (click to download)
3. Craft Knife (x-acto)
Step 1: Line up the first cut
Align wood with the top of the rectangle. Make sure the left-most portion of the “X” crosses your wood where you want to make the cut.
Step 2: Make first cut
Line up craft knife on wood. Make cut.
Step 3: Line up for the second cut
Slide wood to right side of “X” (keep aligned with the top of the rectangle). Make sure the right-most portion of the “X” crosses your wood where you want to make the cut.
Step 4: Make second cut
Line up craft knife on wood. Make cut. Repeat steps 1-4 for additional pieces of wood, as needed.