For this little box I have four sides that are just less than 5 inches. To cut those on the mitre saw without a jig is a bad idea. The fence on the saw does not provide enough support for that short a work piece and so invites you to put your fingers too close to the whirling, exciting part of the saw. Having trimmed the end off of a finger on my table saw just a couple of months ago I have become extra careful about saws and spinning blades so Sliding Mitre saw jig became a necessity.
This photo shows how little support the standard fence will provide for cutting the mitred corner.
This shows the jig in place and the work piece against a stop block. This makes the cuts repeatable and gives me a solid place to hold onto the wood as it is being cut. The jig is easy enough to make, it is just two pieces of butt jointed plywood glued and nailed together at 90 degrees. I made the jig long so that I have room to clamp it to the saw's fence. I also made the jig long so that if I nibble off a bit getting it set up to perfect cuts I won't have to replace the jig too soon.
And a side line. A few blogs ago I showed you my old high stool taken apart and the paint stripped off. The request was for blue and this is the result.
Next weekend when my Grandson comes to visit he has a blue high stool to sit upon at the dinner table. My brother and I sat on this stool are our Grand Parents house and I am sure that my Grand father did some of the repairs to it in years gone by. This is one of the reasons that I really like wood. This high stool pre-dates me and will probably out last me, wood is one of the few things that can do that.