Since Ron Herman’s excellent story on miter boxes appeared in the November 2010 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, the price of these tools has gone through the roof, according to some tool collectors and sellers.
Bilderback, a semi-retired carpenter in Indiana, has been tracking the
prices on eBay and called me last night to report that one miter box
recently sold for almost $400. Plus the supply of these tools has been
growing on eBay now that these tools are fetching more than $20 (plus
shipping, which was usually more than the tool itself cost).
know that I’m an American, and I’m not supposed to ever use the word
“irony” correctly. (See also, Alanis Morrisette’s song “Ironic”). But here goes.
night after answering a bunch of e-mails from readers about where to
find a miter box saw (at any price), my youngest daughter dragged me
outside to practice volleyball with her. After a particularly vicious
return, the volleyball rolled into the neighbor’s yard.
hope my neighbors don’t read my blog. Especially this next line: Their
side yard is definitely decorated “Kentucky Style.” Two rusted
lawnmowers. A broken plastic swimming pool. Overturned gas cans. Rope.
I trod carefully down the tetanus trench to fetch the ball. And
clang. My foot hit something metal in the leaves. Yup – a miter box.
Somehow the saw wasn’t too rusted and the thing actually had all its
Maybe it’s just me, but that seemed ironic.
So here’s my advice:
Don’t try to buy a miter box on the Internet. That’s not where they are.
They are at almost every auction, garage sale and swap meet. Since that
article appeared I’ve acquired three miter boxes in fantastic condition
for the grand sum of about $40. All of them I bought in person. (No, I
won’t sell them to you. I’m cleaning them up as gifts to woodworkers who
haven’t been mean to me this year.)
Today I was reminded of how
awesome these tools are. I cut some moulding for a wall cabinet and the
miters fit seamlessly right from the saw.
So get off your
kiester and start looking for your miter box with your feet instead of
your fingers. It’ll come. Stanley and Millers Falls made millions of the
— Christopher Schwarz
If you don’t have the November 2010 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine and need to drink the miter box Kool-Aid, you can get it here.