I adore my Millers Falls mitre box, and I’ve been bemused by a recent backlash against mitre boxes, which ruled the American worksite and garage during the first half of the 20th century.
The argument against a mitre box is that you don’t need it. You should develop your sawing skills to the point where you don’t need a mechanical contrivance to hold the saw for you. The things are training wheels. And you are a candy-bottom wuss girl if you use one.
To these people I say this: You don’t cut many miters, do you?
Metallic manual mitre boxes are more accurate than the electric miter saw in my experience. They allow a level of finesse and control that you aren’t going to get with freehand sawing. And chances are, if you aren’t a nincompoop, your miters will be dead-on off the saw with a mitre box.
Oh, and when armed with a shooting board they radically decrease your need for a table saw.
If you own a mitre box, you need to know how to maintain and use it.
So this evening I present to you a scan of a vintage Millers Falls manual for using the company’s mitre boxes. I guarantee that even if you are an ace, you are going to learn something from this short little manual.
The manual was given to me by the late Carl Bilderback. During my last visit to his home, he asked me to take his library. To keep the books that I didn’t have. And to give the rest away to deserving young woodworkers.
This vintage manual is one of about 100 books and manuals Carl owned that I did not.
So I present it to you in a free pdf you can download here:
Setting Up a Millers Falls Miter Box
Look it over. At the very least, you’ll learn the proper names for the adjustable bits, including the King Bolt.
— Christopher Schwarz