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bwnunn's picture

mitre box (post #104711)

I'm considering buying this Millers Falls Langdon Acme mitre box. The model is 75c which I believe is the largest size. The seller has agreed to $50 including S&H.

I don't have much experience restoring tools. Does this look like something that can be easily cleaned up and made usable? Does it look like it's missing any essential parts?

DustyGeorge's picture

(post #104711, reply #1 of 28)

You can get an equivalent new one from Lee Valley, including the saw for $45.50, $95.00 or $153.00 depending on the bells and whistles you want.  Go to http://www.leevalley.com/wood/Search.aspx?c=2&action=n 


George


You don't stop laughing because you grow old.  You grow old because you stop laughing. - Michael Pritchard


You don't stop laughing because you grow old.  You grow old because you stop laughing. - Michael Pritchard<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

forestgirl's picture

(post #104711, reply #2 of 28)

Price seems high to me.  Mostly instinct, not any in-depth knowledge of mitre box markets in this depressed economy.  I picked up a similar one (can't remember the make/model, but the same vintage) for probably $10 at an auction back when things were hot.

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

WillGeorge's picture

(post #104711, reply #4 of 28)

I have an older miter saw the same as the: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p=32926&cat=1,42884,43836


IF YOU USE IT.. Worth every penny. Even at many, many, many pennies! If you use it as I do. Probably just another tool I have.


I really love mine~

Have a great day.. Life is wonderful even if you are having a bad day!

derekcohen's picture

(post #104711, reply #5 of 28)

Hi Will


I had one of those as well. It worked very well for what it was intended - picture frames. It was not that good with thick and wider stock, which is where a vintage mitre box/saw excels. I can cut picture frames with the bigger saw as well (actually I keep two saws for mine). I made a gift of the "Professional" mitresaw to the young son of a friend of mine.


Regards from Perth


Derek

WillGeorge's picture

(post #104711, reply #6 of 28)

It was not that good with thick and wider stock??


I have made some joints in two inch thick stock that turned out prefect. Lets see. 25.4 by 2 is so many inches? Or is that MM's?


After I tried a few ruined 'sticks'.. Slow and easy slices worked the best..


Not saying it is a perfeft tool. Hell, I AM NOT PERFECT and guidind that tool!


Edited 3/20/2009 6:20 am by WillGeorge

Have a great day.. Life is wonderful even if you are having a bad day!

derekcohen's picture

(post #104711, reply #3 of 28)

Those mitre saws are rare in Australia. Prices here are very different from those in the US, where the guides are plentiful. The questioon I can answer is that, given that you have all the parts, the mitre saw is restorable. Here is a Stanley #246 I bought for comparison ..


Mitresaw4.jpg Stanley Mitre Saw 4 picture by Derek50


After clean up ..



Regards from Perth


Derek

JohnWW's picture

(post #104711, reply #7 of 28)

I have several Langdon Miter Boxes and they are my preferred tool for precision trim work and are a joy to use. They are superior to the modern types of boxes with the tensioned blades. I also think that they are the best designed boxes of the vintage types.

The box in your photos doesn't look like the largest versions I have seen. It also looks like a very early version, the later boxes were more refined.

If they aren't beaten up, they are easily cleaned and lubed and should work like new. The biggest problem is that there doesn't appear to be a saw and it will probably be very difficult to track one down, you would be better off finding a box with its saw. A well cared for box and saw is worth spending $100, or more, on but you could find one for less at tag sales but it might take years to find one.

John White
Shop Manager for FWW, 1999-2007

John White Shop Manager for FWW Magazine, 1998 to 2007

Tony Z's picture

(post #104711, reply #8 of 28)

Very well said, but I would also like to add that saws are also sized for the box guides.  I have seen saw guides with openings for different sized backs as well as depth of saw plate.  I can't recall if the Miller Falls guides to miter boxes specifies the dimensions for saws.  Also, I can't recall if your pictures were detailed enough to show whether these saw guides had bearings for the saw to ride in.


Miter boxes were very plentiful on the unnamed auction site, but shipping can be quite stiff.  There are more than a few modern incarnations out there, but they don't have the cache of a vintage box.  Personnally I would search out a complete vintage box complete with saw.  What region of the country does the OP live in?


T.Z.

bwnunn's picture

(post #104711, reply #14 of 28)

I'm in NE Ohio. It would be nice to see one in person instead of relying on a few photos.

Tony Z's picture

(post #104711, reply #15 of 28)

I'm in DuBois, PA - 90 miles east of the Ohio border on I-80.  I have more than a few miter boxes and prefer the Miller Falls style.  The first full weekend of May brings the start of the Hazen Flea market.  Hazen is located on Rt. 28  5 miles north of I-80, first exit past Brookville, around mile marker 81 or so.  Large and worthwhile flea market to visit.  I don't know of any miter boxes around here in antique malls at the moment.  Watch Ebay as they are pretty common, just make sure you find one with the saw.  Probably will have to have the saw sharpened though!  If you happen to buy that one without the saw, I may be able to help you with a saw.


T.Z.

KiddervilleAcres's picture

(post #104711, reply #16 of 28)

T.


Are the Millers Falls the same as the Langdon?  Oooopppss, just found out that Millers Falls used to manufacture miter boxes for Leander.  So now I wonder what the differences are between the two?


Regards,



Bob @ Kidderville Acres


A Woodworkers mind should be the sharpest tool in the shop!


Edited 3/22/2009 9:23 pm ET by KiddervilleAcres

Bob @ Kidderville Acres

A Woodworkers mind should be the sharpest tool in the shop!

Tony Z's picture

(post #104711, reply #19 of 28)

Bob,


I would refer you to an "expert" source, namely the "Millers Falls Home Page", www.oldtoolheaven.com.  From the information there, it appears Millers Falls acquired the Langdon Company, as well as Goodell Pratt.


I have  more than several miter boxes (OK, about 16), because they are dirt cheap for one in excellent condition (well at least they were 4 or 5 years ago--$20.00 would buy a really good one at local flea markets, including saws).  They make nice conversation pieces hanging on your shop walls!


Anyhow, of the Millers Falls types, I have Millers Falls, Goodell Pratt, Langdon and Craftsman (marked) boxes with similarities and some interchangeable parts, so there is a great deal of commonality.  I am not an expert on these things, I just like the way they worl and look!.


Tony

JohnWW's picture

(post #104711, reply #21 of 28)

Tony,

The saw would definitely be sized to the box and the saws I have are quite heavy with a substantial spine on the back.

The Langdon boxes didn't use bearings, the posts were slotted for the blades with the slots machined out at the top to clear the saw's spine and there was also a smaller area machined out at the bottom of the slot to allow the teeth to clear the sides of the slot.

John W.

John White Shop Manager for FWW Magazine, 1998 to 2007

Tony Z's picture

(post #104711, reply #22 of 28)

John,


Didn't some of the guides have an adjustment screw through the top of the guide or were these on the later Millers Falls boxes?  Some of these had a roller ball, others a piece of bronze, but again these may be on later boxes. 


I'll have to check some of the examples I have laying around.


Additionally I think some miter boxes such as the Stanley 400 (or was it 100?) picture framing miter boxes supposedly had the saw fit to the box by Stanley.  That may have been marketing hype though.


T.Z.

KiddervilleAcres's picture

(post #104711, reply #10 of 28)

John,


I was about to ask for a pic of your miter box and found this http://oldtoolheaven.com/related/Langdon.htm.  I'm a big fan of Millers Falls planes so this is interesting.


Got an old low angle MF block plane ye wanna sell?  I have a friend who has one and tortures me by asking me to sharpen it for him.  I usually take two weeks to sharpen it.............   :-)


Regards,


Bob @ Kidderville Acres


A Woodworkers mind should be the sharpest tool in the shop!

Bob @ Kidderville Acres

A Woodworkers mind should be the sharpest tool in the shop!

dgreen's picture

(post #104711, reply #11 of 28)

That was a very interesting read. That boiler explosion must have been spectacular. The section on the patent wars amongst the sewing machine makers was good also.


Impressive accomplishments for such a young man.


 


 


................................................


Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
~ Denis Diderot

 

 

................................................

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
~ Denis Diderot

JohnWW's picture

(post #104711, reply #20 of 28)

Bob,

The box on the web page you listed is the very earliest production model and has almost nothing in common with the later Langdon design. I don't have a photo of my box but I'll try to get one and post it soon.

I don't have any Millers Falls planes, most of mine are Sargeant brand which were the equal of Stanleys but not especially better. I've never seen a MF block plane, my personal favorite block planes are the Stanley knuckle styles which are just about perfect for ease of use and fit in the hand. It's odd perhaps, but I almost never use my low angle block plane I like the way that the standard angle block plane cuts.

John W.

John White Shop Manager for FWW Magazine, 1998 to 2007

bwnunn's picture

(post #104711, reply #13 of 28)

I've been watching the auction site for several weeks now and I've reached out to a few online dealers as well. I'm starting to realize just what you said, it could take years to find exactly what I'm looking for.

Unfortunately I have an immediate need for one in order to complete a project. I'll probably end up getting a new Nobex box. If I'm not happy with it or run into limitations down the road, I'll take my time to find a nice vintage replacement.

gdblake's picture

(post #104711, reply #9 of 28)

Just for comparison, I bought this same box with saw in Terre Haute, IN about 2 months ago for $50 including the saw. I cleaned up the miter box and sharpened the saw. It works extremely well, better than the new frame saw types. If you don't already have a 20" or longer backsaw that will fit the miterbox, you will probably have to spend another $50 and look long a hard to find a saw that will work with it.

Good Luck!

gdblake

We're all here because we're not all there.

derekcohen's picture

(post #104711, reply #12 of 28)

If you don't already have a 20" or longer backsaw that will fit the miterbox, you will probably have to spend another $50 and look long a hard to find a saw that will work with it.


Hi Gregory


I have always thought that the US was paved with mitre saws! :) Over on this side of the Pond we look at (apparent) offering with amazement and envy. Of course I realize that it does depend where one lives in the US - for some they may as well be in Australia!


My #246 did not have a saw. I had a 22" Stanley backsaw that I had picked up at some flea market quite cheaply as I recognised its potential, and anticipated the potential difficulty in finding one.


Disston produced a range of saws with lengths from 20" to 30", with depths between 4"-6" (of course the latter will have been reduced by sharpening).


Stan Faullin offers a few PDFs on his website. Here is one: http://www.tooltrip.com/tooltrip9/stanley/stan-mbox/mbox09.pdf


My Stanley was probably made by Disston (?). It has decent steel but the tote was one of those awful, uncomfortable (probably 50s or 60's) type. So I decided to reshape it according to a picture in an old manual ..


IMG_2229.jpg picture by Derek50


.. turning it into this ..


Mitresawtote2.jpg picture by Derek50


Later, I came across a 30" Disston with a comfortable, turn-of-the Century tote, and this has become my go-to mitre saw. I appreciate the longer blade. Longer is better.


Regards from Perth


Derek

gdblake's picture

(post #104711, reply #17 of 28)

Derek:


Old tool availability highly depends on where you live in the USA.  In the southeast where I live it is often tough to find restorable tools.  The annual Mid-West Tool Collectors tool swap has been the best source for me.  However, I have been commuting to work in Indiana over the last 5 months and have found several good tools at antique shops, which is where I found my Miller Falls Langston miter box with saw.  I'm not saying it will be impossible for bwnunn to find a saw that works, it will just take a lot of looking to find a decent one.  I don't consider $50 a lot of money to pay for a suitable saw.


It is funny that you posted the picture of your modified saw handle.  I have been trying to find a 16" Disston #4 in good shape for about three years now with no luck (unless I have been willing to pay $200 or more).  When I bought the miter box and saw I also bought a 26" Stanley miter saw with the same handle yours has with the intent to cut it down to 16" and make a new handle for it.   It didn't cross my mind to reshape the handle I have.  With your permission, I'll take a shot at copying yours.


gdblake

We're all here because we're not all there.

derekcohen's picture

(post #104711, reply #18 of 28)

Hi Gregory


With pleasure - thanks for the compliment.


Here is a link to a post I made on the Oz forum a couple of years ago:


http://www.woodworkforums.com.au/showthread.php?t=43747&highlight=derekcohen


Regards from Perth


Derek

ETG's picture

(post #104711, reply #23 of 28)

I own a 40 year old Stanley miter box - works OK.  While I love restoring old tools (I'm currently working on some 60 year old Walker-Turner machines), the US made miter boxes never seemed to perform as well for me as the German Ulmia and Kupper/Ideal brands.


These boxes are heavily cast, use a different blade configuaration than domestic boxes and are far superior to the light weight knock-offs carried by Lee Valley or the Nobex brand floating around.


I just bought a vintage mini-Kupper/Ideal off ebay for under $50 including shipping.  And here is an Ulmia that just closed for just over $100:


http://cgi.ebay.com/Ulmia-Ott-354-Heavy-Duty-Miter-Box-(-Mitre-Box-)_W0QQitemZ230329802798QQcmdZViewItem


 


And if you are still looking at the Millers Falls one, there is a back saw for it on ebay right now.

Eef's picture

hey all, i was delighted to (post #104711, reply #24 of 28)

hey all,
i was delighted to see a post about old miter boxes as i am slowly restoring two of 'em. however, when i went to make a comment i noticed that this thread is pushing a year old. feels like a flying dutchman thread with no one but me on board...creepy.
but what's still weirder is the "zero replies".
eef

edit: looks like one thread with two "recent topics" headings.

Mr_Bob_in_Florida's picture

I have a (post #104711, reply #25 of 28)

I have a 75C

MillersFalls“Langdon Acme” that is in great condition(almost new) I've had for a number of years, looking to sell it. I'll take a picture tomorrow, are you interested in a real good one?

KiddervilleAcres's picture

Langdon Miter Saw (post #104711, reply #28 of 28)

Hiya Mr. Bob,

It's been a while since I checked in here but I might be interested in the saw, if you still have it and are interested in selling it?

Regards, 

Bob @ Kidderville Acres

A Woodworkers mind should be the sharpest tool in the shop!

bwnunn's picture

I ended up getting the Nobex (post #104711, reply #26 of 28)

I ended up getting the Nobex and have been happy with it so far.  Thanks for the offer though.

JohnWW's picture

Glitch (post #104711, reply #27 of 28)

Posted to another message and it ended up here.

John White Shop Manager for FWW Magazine, 1998 to 2007