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Hand Saws #6: A Millers Falls 74c Miter Box

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Blog entry by Don W posted 1062 days ago 9736 reads 1 time favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Hand Saw restore references. Part 6 of Hand Saws series Part 7: A couple more restores »

I’ve wanted a miter box for a while, and had my heart set on a Millers Falls. I’ve looked at a few Stanley’s, but passed mainly due to price. While at an antique shop a short while ago I found this. Its a Millers Falls Langdon Acme Miter Box model 74C.

Once i got it home my intend was to just clean it up good and use it. I do remember walking to the shop one evening after work thinking, “maybe I’ll clean up the miter saw”, but I don’t know when it became a complete restore. I know I never intended it to be that way. I know at one point every piece was separated. They were cleaned, polished, honed and/or repainted.

I had to do a quite of bit of honing and polishing to get the cylinders to work right. The tooling marks were pretty prominent, leaving me to believe this hasn’t been used very much at all.

I even managed to peel the label off and glue it back on as it was before. I’ve gotten them off by heating them with a heat gun before, but this one just peeled right off.

The saw is a Disston-Porter Miter saw. I don’t believe its ever been re-sharpened and its still pretty sharp. I am going to use it a little to see if its ready for sharpening or if its ok as is. Its has a 24” blade being about 28” overall.

One more hand tool to add to the collection.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com



22 comments so far

View CharlesAuguste's profile

CharlesAuguste

126 posts in 1175 days


#1 posted 1062 days ago

Another beautiful restoration for sure Don well done!!!!

-- "the future's uncertain and the end is always near" J. Morrison

View Brit's profile (online now)

Brit

5128 posts in 1477 days


#2 posted 1062 days ago

Don, you’ve outdone yourself with this one. Incredible job. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it for many years to come.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 2430 days


#3 posted 1062 days ago

I never really cared about a vintage miter box until just now. NOW, I’ve just got to have one.

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View BTKS's profile

BTKS

1967 posts in 2099 days


#4 posted 1062 days ago

Great rebuild. Makes me reconsider a miter box I saw over west of my place. Hope this one works as well as it looks.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View brianl's profile

brianl

108 posts in 1715 days


#5 posted 1062 days ago

Nice restoration! I’m now very envious.

-- Brian - Belmont, Massachusetts

View saddletramp's profile

saddletramp

994 posts in 1273 days


#6 posted 1062 days ago

Don, a beautiful miter saw beautifully restored.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View Dan's profile

Dan

3543 posts in 1515 days


#7 posted 1062 days ago

Don, I have the same exact mitre box. I had the saw resharpened by someone experienced and now it cuts wood like knife through butter. I use it all the time. Seeing yours makes me want to do a full restore on mine. All I did was clean mine up. Here are a couple pictures of mine in use as I cut through a small block of oak. Very accurate and clean cut.

Also, I have the instructions manual for the mitre box in PDF format. If you would like a copy I can email it to you. It explains all the parts and how to adjust the stops and such. I got it online but I cant remember the site otherwise I would just post a link. Easy enough to just email you a copy if you want.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9818 posts in 1253 days


#8 posted 1062 days ago

I have the Langdon All-Steel mitre, and it’s a great tool. I’ve played around with the depth stops and cut tenons with the saw pretty effectively. Pretty cool. And I have the manual too; a needed resource, IMHO.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View yrob's profile

yrob

340 posts in 2287 days


#9 posted 1061 days ago

The Langdon miter box is on my list of things to acquire. I have yet to be able to snag one on Ebay. Your restoration turned out great.

-- Yves

View Don W's profile

Don W

14893 posts in 1202 days


#10 posted 1061 days ago

Dan, that’s funny we have the same one. We have to many tools the same.

I found the manuals online as well.

Here is the manuals for anybody else looking.
http://www.wkfinetools.com/hUS-borTools/MillersFalls/pubs/mf-MiterBoxes/MF-LangdonMBox-ne.pdf

http://www.vanvleet.net/MFMiterManual.pdf

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Dan's profile

Dan

3543 posts in 1515 days


#11 posted 1061 days ago

Smitty, I agree the manual is a needed resource, especially for someone like me who took the thing apart to clean it and had no clue how to put it back together!

Also, I had no idea that mine had a holding piece to cut crown moldings. I would have never known what that gizmo was there for had I not seen the manual. I’ll probably never cut crown moldings but I am glad I have the right tool for the job.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9818 posts in 1253 days


#12 posted 1061 days ago

Dan, that’s funny re: putting it back together! LOL

And yeah, knowing that it could ‘hold’ crown molding with those side pieces wasn’t anything I would have figured out for sure. Mine is missing the length gauge ‘rod’, No. 14557. According to the manual, I can buy a replacement for .30 – anyone know how to reach Millers Falls Customer Support? :-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Dan's profile

Dan

3543 posts in 1515 days


#13 posted 1061 days ago

Don, what kind/color paint did you use for the body? It looks like the blue Delta uses. After seeing this post I am now thinking of going and giving my box a full restore…

I also recently picked up an old Stanley miter box w Disston saw that I found at Goodwill for like 8 dollars. Like the MF its mostly cast iron and looks very well made. I haven’t got a chance to do much cleaning to it yet but I am interested how the two compare.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Dan's profile

Dan

3543 posts in 1515 days


#14 posted 1061 days ago

I got lucky with mine as it had all the original parts. I actually have used the length gauge rod a few times so its kind of handy to have. If yours is the same rod that mine takes you could probably figure out a way to make your own. The rod on mine is just an L shaped rod. I imagine you could use an old Allen Wrench if it fit or buy a small piece steel the right size and bend it yourself.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Don W's profile

Don W

14893 posts in 1202 days


#15 posted 1061 days ago

Dan, I just used rustoleum paint. I actually had both colors and they just happened to match. Most of the tool grays are pretty close anyhow.

Smitty, I agree with Dan, take the rod holder to a hardware stor and buy a stell rod that fits it, just heat it and bend it.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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