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The Mitertite™ system cuts and fastens mitered casing joints. The patented system from Collins Tool Company uses a single pocket screw perpendicular to the joint driven through the edge of the mitered casing, as shown at the bottom of its assembly plate in the left picture above. One of the keys to the system, shown in its carrying case in the right picture above, is its Micro Fence that fits to your chop saw and makes the saw’s 45° setting actually 44.9°, splaying out the legs of a pre-assembled casing. When the casing is installed, the legs are pulled in and the inside of the miter is compressed. They claim this prevents the joints from opening when the wood either dries out or takes on moisture. The stretch clamps, shown in the top of the case, are another key to the system: They keep the inside corners under pressure as you’re moving the casing assembly for installation.

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A while back I thought about posting on the Wheaton tread template linked below, but the tool looked like more trouble than it was worth.  Then the other day I saw the above tread template on Hometime and thought, “Now this is something I can post.”

Why do you need a tread template?  If you’re carpeting the stairs or have an open staircase, you probably don’t have to scribe both sides of the tread to fit in place — but if you’re working on an enclosed staircase, you either need to take a bunch of measurements, make a cardboard template, or use a tread template like this one, because you know there ain’t ever been a wall built perfectly straight.

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