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Thread: Jacobs / Stanley 150 miter box.... adjusting vertical is a mystery, but I'm happy

  1. #1

    Jacobs / Stanley 150 miter box.... adjusting vertical is a mystery, but I'm happy

    So I decided to get a miter box. I wanted a Stanley 150 due to the small footprint and flexibility, but what I wound up finding is what I THINK is the Jacobs version before Stanley took it over. I cannot find a name anywhere on it, but it is identical to the 150, just without the word “Stanley” on the front of the arch. Anyway, I got it cheap and it was in really good shape. Minor rust and I needed to replace the donut and the deck/table.

    I dialed in 90 degrees and it cuts dead accurate every time. Dialing vertical was a bit trickier. I found the Stanley 150 instructions, but it doesn’t describe how to manipulate the three screws in order to adjust vertical, it just says to turn ‘em. Gee thanks. What I thought was intuitive made things worse and I couldn’t figure it out. So I just started messing with them and eventually got it vertical using the “luck” method. If anybody knows exactly how to manipulate the three screws to adjust vertical in a predictable manner, I’m all ears.

    I also found a cheap 16x4 12tpi back saw which is, ironically, Stanley. It’s not elegant, and at some point I will make a new handle – in the miter box the handle doesn’t really matter, but if I use it freehand it leaves a lot to be desired. It was filed rip so I refiled it x-cut. I have no fancy saw filing setup. I just put it in my twin-screw with some scraps of wood to act as a saw vice. I mark the fleam on a piece of paper behind the saw. For the rake I just use a piece of wood with a small hole drilled in it, the angle marked (one side is 15 and the other is 12), bubble level taped to the top, and jam the file in the hole – it works amazingly well and is crazy accurate. I didn’t have a handle for this file, but found in my scraps an old rejected drawer knob so I used that as refiling to crosscut was going to take more time than a simple sharpening and the idea of holding it without a handle for that long didn’t sound appealing.

    Overall, I’m very happy with it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    SE Michigan
    Congrats Chris, nice find. It’s worth taking the time initially to get it set up...much less frustration in use. I like your sharpening set you said, not pretty, but works and that’s what counts. It will be a pleasure to use.

    Not sure if you adjusted for the photo, but you may want to lower the saw in the vise. I like to have the gullet just above the vise jaws. Might reduce the screeching and a little more kind on the file.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Longview WA
    Blog Entries
    What I thought was intuitive made things worse and I couldn’t figure it out.
    When this happens to me, intuition is suspended for the moment and going the opposite way is tested to see what it does. Sometimes my intuition is dyslexic.

    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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