Sunday, March 29, 2015

Miter boxes

For the last 20 some years, I have been making out with this vintage Stanley No 150 mitre box. It came with a Disston 16 in back saw.

It works OK, not great but OK, and have been trying to find a better box, like a Millers-Falls or Stanley 300 series. Problem always been, unless a local find (rare) the shipping can get ridiculous, and the prices on line are all over the places up to the sublimely ridiculous US$1279.99 for a No 60, really!? Oh, well I suppose, you get free shipping :-)

Pst... rare it is NOT!

The other day, I came across an unknown Craftsman miter box for really cheap on Kijiji (sort of a Canadian Craig list) it look promising, so I asked my son to pick it up for me, being close to where he live. I haven't seen it yet, he will bring it down on his next visit.

Obliviously the seller does not know how it work :-)

Then we go to a local auction, and in this lot box of junk, I spied a rather big mitre saw.
I bid on the lot and won, and was excited to find after that there was a Stanley mitre box under that junk.

The long mitre box saw was easy to spot 

What I found buried inside after I won my auction :-)

Turns out it is a Stanley No 60 mitre box with a 24x4 mitre saw.

The box has a replacement wood deck board, which I figured out is too thick, it hides the two tapered screws that help grab the wood piece to be cut to prevent slippage.

The board, obviously replaced, is fastened by Phillips screws, all other screws on the box are all common slot screws, I'm thinking, must be not the original screws on the board? One of the foot bracket (LH in pic) has one slot and one Phillips screw.

The rear post sliding bracket has been, somewhat poorly brass welded, to repair a breakage but besides its ugly look, it work fine. I may try to file the big glob of brass and repaint that part.

There is also some sort of poor repair at the bottom of the post and there is some play on that post, will have to see if I can fix that, otherwise the accuracy will be lost. Worse case scenario, I will make that post permanently fixed.

The carriage stop detents doesn't seems to lock. Looking at picture on line and mine, figured out that somehow, the locking lever is installed backward (upside down) preventing the detent catch to be tensioned by the spring, duh! Easy fix :-)

See how the catch and the spring are supposed to go?

The notch for the spring leaf is on the wrong side

The only missing part is the rear post holder catch, front one is present, and since they are exactly the same, I may use it to make a new one if I cannot locate one.

Front catch. 

Rear catch MIA. If anyone knows where I could find one, please let me know.
It is part MB200 in the breakdown part list illustration.

The saw, 24in X 4in manufactured especially for the Stanley works of Canada, is straight and still very sharp. Not much uses on it. Rust is minimal on the plate, and the handle fit my big paws perfectly. I may still make a nice newer handle for it, very low priority project for now.

Does not says who made it, but I suspect Disston Canada

Besides the blue color on the box, the handle shape 
is screaming late 60s, early 70s

All in all, well worth the small outlay of cash it costed me :-)

I will clean it up, tune it and put back into service. That now make mitre box no 3, so I think I should stop at that count...unless of course some Langdon box happens to come my way. If you happened to know of one in my neck of the wood for sale...

Bob, who is glad he found that 24 in saw before building his saw till.  Maybe I should leave room for a 26 or 28 in backsaw :-)


  1. Nice find. I have a miter box but I never use it. I now rough saw them and then shoot them on a shooting board.

  2. Last nite when I was rearranging my back wall, I finally came across my shooting board. I have been looking for it a long time! I still like the convenience and accuracy that a well setup mitre box and a sharp saw offer. Less time spent on the shooting board, or in some applications, I go straight off the saw cuts. Looking forward to see if I can salvage that box, but if not, still got a decent saw for little. I'm happy :-)