One of the nice things about my job is the autonomy I get when I travel through my sales territory calling on Lowe’s and Home Depot’s in Cincinnati, Dayton and Indianapolis. Often during lunch, I’ll stop by a nearby antique mall and look for old tools. Yesterday I was in an antique mall near Dayton when I stumbled upon this beast. I’ve been buying antique tools for over twenty-five years and have never seen a miter box like this at any tool auction, tool collectors convention or even eBay.
It’s a huge Langdon Mitre Box with a Disston Miter Saw. On the front it has the patent date of Nov 15th 1864 and was made in Millers Falls, Mass. The front and the wood are painted green, but have no idea whether or not if it’s original paint.
The saw’s blade is an incredible 7 1/2″ deep and still straight. The etching is barely visible and may be able to pop out with a little bit of restoration. This behemoth must be something they used to install the crown molding at The Biltmore Estate.
The previous owner flipped the board upside down for some reason. I guess they felt it was nearly all used up so they wanted a fresh surface to cut on. I’m just glad they didn’t throw it away as it looks to be the original board.
It’s a Disston Saw with an apple handle, but is marked Langdon Mitre Box on the spine. The main saw nut is dirty, but it’s stamped Disston and Sons. I think Langdon Mitre Boxes eventually became part of the Millers Falls Tool Company, but I’m not entirely sure.
The saw has split nuts on the back which gives a clue as to how old it is. The problem is that I don’t know enough about saws to be able to date it, other than the 1864 patent date on the box. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it was built during that time.
Since I’m not too familiar with miter boxes, I was hoping you might be able to help me out.
1) Does anyone know anything more about this miter box? How rare is it?
2) How old is it considering it has split saw nuts?
3) Is the green paint original to the miter box?
Any information would be greatly appreciated!
UPDATE 6/22/14: It was recommended by Trevor that I contact “The Langdon Mitre Box Guy” John Leyden and see if he could give me any more information on the miter box. After I sent John an email, he was nice enough to respond and send me this link. http://oldtoolheaven.com/miter-boxes/northampton-langdon.html. The miter box and saw appear to be the same one I own.
19 thoughts on “Langdon Mitre Box”
Wow, that thing is a monster. The medallion looks like it date to the early to mid 1870’s. Have a look at the Disstonian Institute. I don’t know anything about the mitre box itself Congrats on a great find.
Thanks! The saw is gigantic. The picture doesn’t do it justice. I’ll check out the Disstonian Institute and see if I can find anything.
You sure that handle is apple? Almost looks like rosewood in the photo. Could have been a custom made saw and box.
I’m pretty sure it’s apple. It looks the same as my other Disston saws’ handles. I didn’t even know Disston made rosewood handles. If this is a custom piece, I just hit the miter box jackpot! haha
I recently researched one of these (a later model) for a friend. This link was helpful. http://oldtoolheaven.com/miter-boxes/langdon-millers-falls.html
Excellent! Thanks for the link. I’ll have to research more into it.
See this site:
I found an interesting mitre box made by langdon and corresponded with the guy (can’t remember his name) who runs the site. He was able to tell me more about it and date it within a range. I am sure he would love to have yours included in the site.
See also this site:
That should date your saw.
What a find!
Awesome! Another great site. I’ll have to clean the medalion a little bit so I can see it clearly, but it looks like it may be from the 1870’s.
I emailed the guy in the first link. Let’s see if he responds.
I assume you’ve seen this one which, saw size apart, looks pretty much identical (can’t see the adjustment mechanism in the pictures). Indicates that yours is in fact very early.
That looks like my baby. The green paint may not be original, but the it was painted underneath and the bare spots matches the frame of the box. I may just leave the paint.
Wow, would love to own that box and that saw! Nice find.
Never seen a saw like that! 1871-75 looks about right, fantastic find!
Send Josh a PM or an email, he’s “The Man” when it comes to stuff like this.
JClark on woodnet
“There were 4 versions of the Langdon in production during the 19th century. The original version was patented on Nov 15 1864. and manufactured by the Northampton Pegging Machine Co.’
What antique mall did you find this at? I’m in the Dayton area am I’m looking for old woodworking tools. Thanks!
Its brand new in Centerville. I think it’s called Village Antique Mall.