Jorgensen Compound Miter Box

A few months ago I was browsing through my local thrift store when I stumbled upon this miter box. I’ve seen hundreds of miter boxes in my day, but this was the first handtool compound miter box I had ever seen.

It’s a Jorgensen No 64020 Compound Miter Box made during the 1980’s or ’90’s in complete condition with its original instruction sheet. The price at $15 was too good to pass up so I brought it home to play with it.

The miter box appeared to be well made with smooth action on the vertical axis swing, wood support, repetive cut stop, and a hold down clamp. After figuring out how the tool worked, I was excited to put it to use.

I grabbed a piece of pine and randomly set the angles on the vertical and horizontal axes and gave it a go. After a few minutes of cutting, I was finally able to cut the piece off. The blade is either dull or the teeth are set so fine, that it easily binds in the wood. I measured the teeth on the blade and they’re 20TPI. I’m thinking that maybe this tool was meant to cut woods like balsa for model airplane building.

I went online to find a replacement blade, but unfortunately they are no longer made. Craftsman makes a 16″ long replacement blade but this one is 24″. I guess I could make a new out out of old miter box saw blade and use this one as the template. That may be a fun thing to try someday.

So right now, it sits underneath one of my workbenches out of the way collecting dust. What a shame! It looks like a really cool miter box that would come in handy for cutting intricate molding that would be too dangerous to perform on a powered miter box.

10 thoughts on “Jorgensen Compound Miter Box

  1. I used a smaller version of these when teaching at a boys prison! Made scale model houses with 3/8″ x 3/4″ 2×4’s! Great little tool but accuracy is lacking. One good thing though is you can cut that blade up and make wonderful scratch stock. I had some success with it to cut the socket for sliding dovetails — takes up a lot of shop space so eventually sold mine.

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  2. Carl

    I have one of these. Bought it in the 90s. I found Nobex replacement blades at Highland Woodworking – same length, etc. but about 1/8″ narrower. So, I just put a little bit of 1/8″ MDF or plywood on the bed with some double-sided tape, and I’m good to go.
    You got a good price on it. I recall paying upwards of $100.

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      1. Carl

        The one I bought has a 24.5″ length – it’s called the “Nobex Champion” blade (I still have the sleeve it came in). The “Nobex Proman” is 22 1/4 inches. The Champion blade is identical in length to the Jorgensen blades I still have. It’s 1/4″ narrower.

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  3. Jerry

    I, like you love old woodworking tools although I can not claim to be a collector, I do have a few. I just found one of these saws at a thrift store also and I also thought it looked really interesting and useful. My situation is that I think I have a saw from a regular miter saw and a base from a compound saw. The rods that hold the saw in position are 13MM I think, they are slightly smaller than 1/2″ and the saw is foreign made. On the compound saw you have one of these rods on the front and one on the rear. On the standard saw, it uses 2 of the rods on each end of the saw. In the last 2 pictures you have of the actual saw (before you start showing the hold down bracket, etc), one is a top view of the saw and the other is of the part where you can tilt the saw. On the handle end, the large rod is on the left side and there is a smaller rod on the right that does not look to be connected to anything but the guide on the saw. What does it do and what is it’s purpose? Could you possibly send me some more pictures of that part? I am going to have to make some of my parts if I get it working.

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  4. thefrixian

    It looks like Nobex makes blades two lengths. The shorter one mentioned and another at 25″. The blade in my Jorgensen saw is pretty dull, so I’m going to give the 25″ blade a try.

    Liked by 1 person

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