Langdon Acme Rehab

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Forum topic by MajorJim posted 11-16-2012 09:11 AM 1715 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2215 days

11-16-2012 09:11 AM


I have looked to this site for a long time as a reference and resource, and figured I’d join the party.

I am in the process of “rehabbing” a pre 1909 patent date Landgon Acme Miter Box. I use the term “rehab” rather than restore. To me, “restore” seems to evoke a vision of a white gloved antiquesroadshow-type who will scold me for cleaning off the rust and dust. For the life of me, I could never understand why people (apparently the ones with all of the money) love something that looks like a yard sale reject. Rehabbing the thing means it is going back into service, better than its prior condition.

But I digress.

The box I am working on now is a circa 1900 74C I originally bought for parts for about ten bucks. The front arm strut was broken and welded along the way in a manner that would now allow the front saw post to extend or retract. However, when I got it home I discovered that while the weld was good (I have bounced it around more than a little and it will hold), there was no clean up of the weld itself. What the heck – for $10 I am going for the angle grinder. After I cleaned up the weld, the front post traverses the slide smoothly.

So out comes the tub and the Evaporust. Took it apart and soaked the parts and a day later no rust.

So I figure I’ll repaint it. What is interesting is that on the pre 1909 Patent date versions, the paint on the work plates (I know I am butchering the correct part names) is not the typical Millers Falls Red I have seen on most Langdon boxes. I scrape all the way down to the isteel, and no red anywhere. The plates were originally painted… SILVER?

I have looked at the catalogs available and the 1904 catalog shows the exact box I have. Unfortunately, it is not in color. So for any Landgon experts out there, were the plates originally silver, or did someone refinish this box at some point along the line? I have dug into every corner and crevice of those plates, and it is silver all the way. Which leads me to believe the Millers Falls red came into use sometime post 1904, and possibly with the 1909 Patent models.

I bought the box for parts on a nice 1909 Patent date 75C I have had for a while. I’ll tackle that one after this one is done. Some interesting differences. Like the stop rest. The 1904 catalog version has a stop gauge that had a rounded and extended hooks at the top. The 1909 patent date one has the regular straight angled gauge.

One thing they share is the stock rest. That is the rest that moves in a channel front back to front to position work on the box. I need one more of those. I suppose I could locate a “sex bolt” and a fitting carriage bolt and grind the rim off of the sex bolt before I force a marriage of the two, but I was wondering if there was a source for these bolts. I don’t have a metal lathe, but it looks like you could take about 1/2 diameter steel rod, cut it down to about 2 inches in length (about the length and diameter dimension of the stock rest), and drill and tap it for an appropriate carriage bolt. There is a knurl on the original part that I’d have to figure out how to put on.

Anyway, hello to everyone. Glad to be a member of this community and I look forward to participating here.


4 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30049 posts in 2535 days

#1 posted 11-16-2012 10:21 AM

Welcome to LJ’s

I agree, if I have it I want to use it not look at it. As far as parts, hopefully one of the tool junkies here can help you out.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15690 posts in 2815 days

#2 posted 11-16-2012 12:47 PM

Jim, Welcome!

Gotta love the joy of a quality miter box, right?

Sounds like you’ve got a good one, good luck with parts and the refurb. And it’s a bit to figure out, but pictures mean alot to us lurkers (my mitres are Stanley and Goodell-Pratt). And for more of them and others, and to post yours, check this out.

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

View MajorJim's profile


2 posts in 2215 days

#3 posted 11-16-2012 03:41 PM

Loving the miter box more every day.

I picked up a Porter Cable miter saw a few years ago. I mistakenly thought that what should have been a precision machined tool would work as advertised. It would not cut a miter nor a straight line worth a crap. I discovered that the fence was warped. I then discovered that Porter Cable stopped making miter saws. The fence on this saw was connected all across the table – a half mooned shaped curved section of the fence rested in back of the saw blade connecting the two sides in one piece. With no parts available, I had to “rehab” this as well. Out came the chop saw, separating the two sides. The curved half mooned piece was cut out as well. A rubber mallet and a piece of wood got a workout getting the fence as good as it was going to get without shattering the entire fence. But it is strictly a rough cut unit now.

The 100 year old miter box cuts dead on miters. The whiz bang miter saw required some cave man tech to get it in a semi workable state.

The nice thing about these old miter boxes is the weight. The weight keeps them stable, and the weight allows the saw to do the cutting in good time. I tried a modern miter box or two, but they can’t match the work quality nor speed of the old boxes.

Once I figure ou how to work the camera on my whiz bang phone I will get some pics. Should have taken some before pics. But we will definitely get an after pic or two.

Thanks for the welcome!

View GlenintheNorth's profile


244 posts in 733 days

#4 posted 10-12-2017 11:50 PM

I normally don’t wanna go digging up old blog posts, but I have a MF Langdon Acme…which is the same box you got in this 5-yo blog post, from after the ‘06 MF buyout but before MF changed the color scheme to red. I found the same silver remnants on the bed plates.

Did you ever find anything out? I’m half tempted to set up an electrolysis tank and plate the things with nickel. The paint looks a ton like destroyed nickel to me, except for the fact that they weren’t painted on the bottom side.

-- MFia-made man. But that doesn't mean I don't dig my 45. Minneapolis/St. Paul, burbs.

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