Refurbish 1909 Millers Falls Miter Box

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Project by bch posted 01-04-2015 03:48 AM 1512 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A friend of mine was most kind and gifted me a 1909 Millers Falls Miter Box, Size 2 1/2, No. 74. It was in terrific shape excepting the rust that had developed over the last 100+ years and a weld that fixed a break (from being dropped, presumably). I decided to refurbish it to like-new condition and put it in service rather than keep it as a collectible.

1. The completed miter box.
2. The miter box prior to refurbishment (sorry for the poor-quality of this photo—I didn’t realize it was blurry until I had already dis-assembled the box).
3. The miter box all dis-assembled.
4. Painting.
5. My helper sanding down the rusty, pitted saw.
6. The completed miter box with saw.

I used naval jelly for rust removal, as well as a wire wheel to clean up the parts. I painted it as-original as I could determine from photos of other MF No. 74 Miter Boxes online, and cleaned up the saw with water-displacement oil and 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper.

Please see my blog on this refurbishment for more details.

-- --bch

5 comments so far

View socrbent's profile


408 posts in 1689 days

#1 posted 01-04-2015 05:05 AM

Well done. I enjoyed reading your blog on the refurb. Hard to believe this was made in 1909 – shows my lack of tool history. When first I saw this miter box, it reminded me of a very similar one I used in the shop of the school where I first taught math in 68-70. Used it to miter trim on 2 desks and a large book case which are still in use 45 years later.

-- socrbent Ohio

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1140 posts in 1054 days

#2 posted 01-04-2015 04:19 PM

I try to put all tools I refurb into use. Only those that don’t perform well are display or drawer items.

Good work. It’s always fulfilling bringing something back to life that would wind up in the trash.

BTW the more power tools I get the more I use hand tools. I find it more pleasurable, hope you do to.

-- Jeff NJ

View bch's profile


287 posts in 2109 days

#3 posted 01-05-2015 01:34 AM

socrbent: Thanks!
woodchuckerNJ: Well that is the idea. I’m experimenting with switching over to hand tools for more things. I believe that I will enjoy it much more and this is part of the reason I was so excited about this miter box.

-- --bch

View bch's profile


287 posts in 2109 days

#4 posted 11-23-2015 05:37 AM

Since this post I have renovated a room in our basement and used this miter box to cut the trim that I installed. It worked perfectly, and even though I own a chop saw it was quicker and more pleasurable to just move this miter box into the room and cut the miters on-site than it was to walk back and forth with pieces to the chop saw. I call this a complete success!

By the way, I have picked up another of these that I don’t know what to do with and if any of you are interested in it I’ll mail it to you for a song if you are willing to refurbish it and use it, including a saw. I am not interested in profiting, but I would love to see it refurbished on this site and used.

-- --bch

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


13569 posts in 2038 days

#5 posted 11-23-2015 05:53 AM

Bch, that’s an awesome job on the MF!

You might consider cross-posting in the Mitrebox Dreams thread, both the refurb and the offer of the second box, what a great gesture! Hope someone takes you up on it.

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

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