L W Jacobs West Miter Box

Six months ago I ran across this miter box lying on the floor in an antique store. Intrigued by it, I took a look at the price but decided not to buy it. I went back a few weeks ago and the seller lowered the price by 50% so I took it home with me.

I’ve been using a Stanley No 150 miter box for years. In fact, it’s the only hand powered miter box I ever use now since I sold my larger Stanley No 60 1/2 miter box as it was just sitting around collecting dust. What I love about the 150 is its small footprint and ability to cut small moldings safely as opposed of using my Delta powered miter saw.

You can see the difference between the Jacobs and Stanley No 150 Miter Box. The Jacobs looks like Stanley’s bigger brother. The Jacobs actually predates the Stanley by several decades as it was patented in 1889 while Stanley didn’t produce the 150 until 1923. More likely, Stanley simply bought the design from Jacobs or waited for the patent to run out and redesigned it into a smaller version.

I always use a Disston back saw when I use my Stanley No 150 but, apparently this miter box was meant to be used with a panel saw which is why the throat is so deep. Even the patent documents show it being used with a panel saw.

The cut from the miter box is pretty accurate considering it’s age. Both 45 degree positive stops produced a decent cut however, I would still finalize the cut by using a shooting board or miter trimmer as I always use my miter trimmer to clean up the miter when I use my Stanley No 150. This is a neat box to own and I’m glad I found it.

9 thoughts on “L W Jacobs West Miter Box

  1. It’s great find. I too have a soft spot for the 150 especially refurbished. They are though hard to find here and if I do ever find one it will be over priced. In all honesty in cabinetmaking we really don’t need one. It’s more of a want than any need.

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  2. Jim

    I asked you a question on Instagram the other day about length of saw to use on 150. Maybe you will recall. Anyway reason for asking is I have had my eye on 150 locally that looked good and have been considering purchasing it to use with 16 inch Disston, 14 tpi, x-cut saw I have. Well I got it and it is in good shape and complete except for stop. The only thing that doesn’t make sense to me is the left plate thumb screw. It is same screw as hoop set screw. When I put any saw in the little spring presses plate against saw, but the screw runs out of thread before it makes contact with top of cantilever for plate. I put a longer bolt in and it hits, but some thing seems off. Any Idea what I missing, can’t quit figure purpose of such a short short screw. My thinking, and have had success using as such, put saw in, push plate to saw for snug fit and tighten bolt to pinch plate in place. But this only works with longer bolt.

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    1. Both of my screws are the same length with about 3/4″ of thread length. The screw does touch and tighten the plate when I screw it in. It’s possible that the previous owner replaced your screws from a Stanley 45 if they are too short. I’m sure you can buy replacement ones through Grainger.

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      1. Jim

        Thanks for your reply. Measured the thumb screw on mine and it has a thread length of about 1/2 inch, that would explain why it doesn’t clamp plate. Another quarter of an inch would most likely do the trick. Very surprised that they where ever replaced because I bought from original owners son and it is pristine shape otherwise but missing stop, bolt and nut are in fence. Funny thing is I have been looking for one of these for some time and on e-bay I often see thumbscrew replaced with bolt and this had me wondering if it was a case of being lost or replaced to make functional. After dialing this box in I am pleasantly surprised at how accurate it is. My technique is to put saw in between guides, lightly press floating guide against saw and tighten clamp bolt to lock plate in place..Also found that you get best results by barely holding onto saw grip. Now I just have to get that old 16 inch Disston cutting as good as his little brother. Thanks again, Jim.

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      2. It’s a great little miter box. Keep searching eBay and someone will pop up selling the longer screws. I believe the the thread is a 12/20 but it’s been so long since I bought a tap for Stanley planes it may not be right.

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