Miters Made Easy, Finally
I finally received a tool that I have long been looking for. Despite what Christopher Schwarz says, I have not been able to find a miter box easily at all. Perhaps it is his and Ron Herman’s writings of late that has made them so hard to find, and maybe in spite of that publicity, the prices are finally returning to normal.
Yesterday I received fresh from ebay a practically mint Stanley 60MB miter box. All of the parts are present and in perfect condition and the seller even included the original instructions. The included saw is a Disston and as far as I can tell the entire set up was manufactured around the late 1960s. It only took me a few moments to assemble (the seller packaged very carefully) and I was off to the races making cuts.
I was a little shocked at just how sharp the saw actually is. It needs a touch up certainly but if you aren’t in any hurry it cuts just fine. I plan to reshape the teeth in a peg tooth configuration with an even rake and relief angle to the tooth to provide a smoother cut and less tearing. A quick check at the more common angles and the cuts were dead on.
This miter box has detents set for multiple sided geometries (4, 6, 8, 12) for fast and easy set up when cutting all manner of polygonal shapes. The action of the cut is very smooth and the spring on the front post draws the saw up and out of the cut on the back stroke which is a nice feature to prolong the tooth life and make a cleaner cut.
Really the only work needed on this box would be to possibly replace the table with a fresh surface. I went ahead and attached it to a piece of 3/4 ply and put a bench cleat on the bottom front side so that is firmly registers against a counter edge. For now I have the box set up on a counter in the corner of the shop. The capacity is 8″ which is much more than I will need for what I have planned. I see this saw being very handy for drawer work and molding cuts and am glad that I finally found one at a decent price that didn’t require a bunch of clean up work.
The saw handle will need some work as the post WWII era of saw handles leaves a bit to be desired and because there is a chip missing from the handle. I will most likely take this as an opportunity to make a new handle all together. I think I have a hunk of Apple perfect for this.
Now to sharpen the saw to wicked sharpness…