Nancy LT Hamilton
Last Update: 7/22/20, 04/03/19, 12/5/18
The Miter Cutting Vise
Square up your edges, cut a beautiful bevel, open jump rings, or file flat spots on ring shanks with the Miter Cutting Vise and Jig – one of my favorite tools!
This is a great tool. It is used to create a 90°, 60°, or a 45° angle on a piece of metal. It is perfect for filing small pieces of metal, flat. I also use my vise to create flat ends on wire and tubing. It can also be employed as a vise to hold your metal, tubing, and wire for filing, sawing or sanding. I also use the tool to open jump rings with. (See instructions below under “How to Use”). I even use it to hold leather-hard PMC when filing the edges flat.
There are economy versions available, with a much lower price tag on them. I have both the French-made version (made by Asic) and an economy version and there is a huge difference in the machining and ease of use between the two versions. If your tool moves stiffly or sticks, you might want to return it and try another brand but, the two non-French versions, that I own, are a little sticky so, it just may be lower quality machining. The tool should open and close very smoothly. Another difference that I’ve noticed between the French and the non-french versions are the steel hardnesses. Take a look at the photo below. The vise on the left, I’ve only used a few times, the one on the right (the French version), I’ve used hundreds of times. The quality of the steel, obviously, greatly varies. Over time, the vise on the left will become unusable as it loses level.
Finding Center and Creating Precision Edges on Metal Video (below)
Also see the Flat Square Edges on Metal Video
I’ve been waiting for a larger miter cutting vise for years. I even contacted Asic in France, at one point, to ask if they could make a larger one. They said “no.” Sigh… But, finally, last month (June 2020) I found a large one on Micro-Mark’s website. It’s BIG! Yay! It’s not as well machined as the smaller, French version – which translates to, moves a bit stiffly – but, for now, it’s great!
Look at the size difference when compared to the traditional miter cutting vise!!! I get so excited. I now own this larger version. Lucky me.
How To Use
- File on this larger flat edge.
- Insert your metal into either the 45-degree slot (top) or the 90-degree slot (bottom). The trick here is to have one edge of your metal that is perfectly flat and level. Find the little peg or “tooth” that hangs down.
- Put the metal in – flat side against the peg.
- Leave a thin strip of metal hanging out the front – that is the part that you will file square or will bevel.
- Evenly tighten the two top screws until the metal is almost immovable. Before tightening down fully, ensure that the metal is flush against the peg – no gaps.
- Tighten until immovable.
- Check both the front and the back for fit against that peg. For the metal to be filed correctly it must be squarely in the jig. A tip: Look for a thin black line, if you can see one, it’s not square.
- Once the jig is fully tightened down file the metal down to the steel (on the large, flat side of the jig). Take care to keep your file flat against the jig.
- I hold my vise over the “V” in my bench pin for ease of use.
- I also sand my metal, while it is the vise. This keeps that nice, crisp edge intact.
Please see my information on the machinist’s vise too! Another method for filing flat and 90° edges.
Other uses for the vise
- Hold a ring shank while filing a flat spot on it.
- Insert a jump ring, two sizes larger than those you will be opening, between its jaws, on the other edge of the vise, and use the gap to open jump rings. I “C-Clamp” the vise to my bench.
- Flat Square Edges On Sheet Metal
- What Type of Bench Shear Should I Use to Cut Metal
- Finding Center and Creating Precision Edges on Metal