Millers Falls Langdon Acme Mitre Box, size 2, no. 73, patented in 1909. Shown here with a premium Simonds backsaw, 26” long, 11 ppi crosscut teeth, and a 4” cutting depth. It was purchased in 1919 by my wife’s grandfather, H. Evans Sloat (1899-1979), a union-certified finish carpenter and plasterer from Reamstown, PA (Lancaster County). This mitre box was a prized part of his tool kit. Between 1918 and 1963, he worked on hundreds of historic homes in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and throughout Lancaster, Berks, and Bucks Counties. He built his own home by the time he was 40, and used this saw for all the trim work. With a 10¼ ” cross cutting capacity at 90° and 7” at 45°, he could accurately cut crown moldings, door casings and window frames, as well as the occasional furniture pieces.
Adjustable stops on the head of both saw guide posts keep the teeth of the saw clear of the groove in the gib just below the the steel plates on the saw bed. Spring-loaded “elevators” or locking mechanisms on both the front and rear saw guides holds the saw raised while loading the piece underneath the saw for cutting. Depth gages on the bottom of each post enable the woodworker to control the depth of cut, useful when cutting tenon cheeks. A length gage provides an adjustable stop for cutting multiple pieces to the same length. A graduated arc plate (badly pitted by corrosion) show the miter angle to which the saw is set. Two spring-loaded locks in the guide posts hold the saw elevated when not in use.
The thumb lever at the front locks or releases the saw support so it can be swung to any angle. A notched bed plate provides a positive lock at the most commonly used angles. The red enameled bottom plates are roughened to keep the work from slipping. The ductile iron castings were painted satin black.
This restoration project was inspired by the Instagram posts of Mike Flaim (@mvflaim). I really admire how well he restores vintage miter boxes and hand tools.
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