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Trouble with mitre cutting jigs

Has anyone had trouble with a new mitre cutting jig vise? The one I bought first had a bent screw, then the replacement didn’t have an exact 90 degree angle in the bottom. I’ve been trying to find a better vise but haven’t found anything except for the same basic vises from Pakistan and I’m afraid to get another one. Can anyone help me find a really good mitre vise?

Otto Frei sells a well made miter vise - made in France.

I’ve had mine for at least 10 years, trouble-free.

Neil A

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I’ve used the Pakistani ones too, quality varies widely and the studs pull out if you tighten the retaining nuts.

I’ve heard people be very satisfied with the French vices but rave about the Swiss units which are around $300 I think. A lifetime tool at a lifetime price.

Another option is Hans Meevis’s tubing cutter, if the design works for you. It’s a different style than the vices. Everything he makes is gorgeous and precise and and quirky and beautiful. It’s out of stock at the moment, but I spoke to him about a variable angle version which is what I need. Fingers crossed he has time to get to that soon.

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Thank you for the reply. I went to Hans Meevis’ site and it was very interesting. I didn’t see the tube cutter (probably because it is out of stock) but he had a link to a small drill press that was accompanied by an interesting vise for about $195 that holds round pieces, angled pieces and tubes for drilling. I would imagine, though, that the delrin covered jaws would interfere with sawing and filing… too bad because it is a beautiful piece. I also wish I could have gotten a better view of the grooved non-delrin covered sides as the jaws are reversible. Thanks for the lead, though, very interesting…

I have a Pioneer miter wise. It’s excellent and i guess you can buy in the US.

Thank you Neil! I still can’t figure out why that mitre jig doesn’t show up when I search “mitre jig” on Otto Frei. It didn’t before and it still doesn’t but I was able to access it with your link! Thanks, again. Problem solved!

Marge R


Miter cutting jig vs tube cutting jig…

When I read your post I was confused about whether you were talking about a tube cutting jig. They are two different things. The tube cutting jig is used horizontally and I believe from your description that it was the one that was poorly made. I have had the same problem with a recent purchase I made from Rio. Nothing lined up and it was totally out of square. I bought it especially for the triangle that slipped into the jig and I hoped would allow me to cut very thin lengths of tube. The slit in most tube cutting jigs is usually too wide as well so it is almost impossible to get accurate perpendicular cuts on thin pieces. They kindly replaced the cutter but the replacement is still not precise. I teach and have a number of different jigs I have purchased over the years and none of them seem to work as accurately as I need when sawing tube or wire. I wish someone would come up with a solution. All the tube cutting jigs I have need some adjustment made to make them work more accurately. Perhaps Rio could ask the manufacturer to retool their design because the basic idea is there. It needs refining.

The miter is a rectangular well-machined adjustable vise that helps when cutting or filing pieces of tube or wire. It can be adjusted with two long screws to hold pieces firmly in place to make sure the cut end of the tube and wire are square. Most have options to hold the wire at 45 degrees and other angles. You can use the miter to cut pieces by using a jewelers saw blade held against the flat outside of the miter carefully making sure that the blade stays as close to the steel surface as possible. It takes practice and skill on larger pieces of tube and of course, there is no way to get the same length again and again. I find the miter is best used to file and
straighten out irregularities on tube cut with the tube cutting jig.
Hope this helps you experiment with both tools. Marilynn

Marilyn, thank you so much for your post. I actually haven’t invested in at tube cutting jig yet. I was using my miter jig for cutting 45° and 90° angles. The problem was the bed of the 90° vise was at a 5-10° angle to the sides so when I put a piece of tube or wire in the vise to file it flat it angled down and I came out with a slightly angled end. Really maddening. Otto Frei, I since found out, carries a more expensive vise from France. I ordered and have received that… it’s very well made and the first thing I checked was the angle on the bed of the 90° part of the vise and it’s very close, maybe a hair off… good enough I think. Much better than the old vise. I asked Otto Frei if they would look into the less expensive vises. Jim Dailing was helping me there and he said he’d try to get the attention of the management. I definitely think you should contact Rio. Which jig did you buy? My next investment will probably be a tube cutting jig and I’d like to be an informed shopper!


Hi Marge,

I can give you a few definite suggestions. I would advise you to get a tube cutting jig even if it is not perfect because it is one of my favorite tools! First check out Contenti Jewelry Tools in R.I. They have more reasonably priced
ones that are sometimes the same tool that you would find from other venders at a higher price. The multi angled one is all right but the slots are not deep enough and I wish it were bigger so you could cut larger tube. I think the least expensive # 400-134
is probably best size. it is well made but it lacks a triangle on the surface of the slide that lets you control the length of cut tube and make it very thin. The third cutter is well made but I find it too small. It is the best one if you want thin slices
of small tube. The saw blade slit is also smaller to allow the cut to be straighter. The only problem I see is the channel is too small for large tube and I find it a bit awkward to hold because I like to use tube jigs without a handle and sit them directly
on the work bench or in a vise .

The Rio one I purchased is # 113-839. If you decide to order that one ask them to check it before they ship it to you to be sure it is square and the triangle on the slide lines up right. Rio has a technical department that is very willing
to help. You may have to make slight adjustments but I find the size is better for my purpose.

One of my favorite suppliers is Santa Fe Jewelry Supply and I would compare what they have because they usually carry the best tools. They have things that other suppliers often don’t have.

I think you will find you will use the jig a lot especially for things like rivets and cutting heavy wire at a right angle. I design catches and mechanisms and I find it one of the most useful tools I own! Marilynn

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