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Miter "Box" Not Square
Old 10-13-2010, 05:52 PM   #1
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Miter "Box" Not Square

Today I used this miter box, which I acquired at a garage sale:

miterBox.jpg

I find that it doesn't cut completely square. The adjustable part is fine, but the vertical cut is off a bit.

I can't find anything that is off square, and the posts are seated properly. That is, if I put the square next to the red box part, it is 90 degrees in relation to the bed.

There doesn't seem to be any way to adjust this left/right tilt.

I'll toss this and go back to using my plastic "box" type unless someone has an idea of how to fix it.

Thanks.
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Old 10-13-2010, 06:55 PM   #2
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Don't know how to fix it. Had both the yellow plastic miter box and a step-up made of plastic and metal.

But then decided to get rid both of them and use either an electric miter saw or combo of jigsaw/circular saw and speed square to draw the angles. Each time I manually used the mitre saw, I'd think, "man there has to be a faster way.."
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Old 10-13-2010, 06:56 PM   #3
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Usually it's possible to find owners manuals and parts for Craftsman tools, you might try this site. (I was a little nervous about this site, because it doesn't have a "sears.com" address, but the link to it came from the Sears Craftsman site)


Here's a link to the owner's manual for a Craftsman Miter Box, but it looks a little different from yours. I couldn't find an adjustment for your particular problem.

Owner's Manual - CRAFTSMAN Miter Saw 88136302, 88136301C - ManageMyLife.com

As a final step, if there's no true adjustment for the vertical squareness of the saw guide, I'd assume the posts probably got slightly bent at some point. I'd try to bend them back--maybe clamp (sandwich) the entire assembly between two boards, screw a long handle to one of the pieces of wood, and gently apply some persuasion, checking periodically for squareness. It's not precise, but if you're gonna through the whole thing out anyway, it's worth a try.

And, NO, don't even think about re-selling it.
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:05 PM   #4
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Al,
You say that the frame the saw fits in is square to the bed, but that the cuts aren't square. This sounds like maybe the saw is not being held sufficiently tight by the rollers/guides. Look at the owner's manual I linked to below, and their discussion of this issue near "illustration 7." If your miter box has a similar adjustment capability then you could be in luck.
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:17 PM   #5
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Maybe the miter box is square and the universe is cockeyed. This is what I usually assume.
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:22 PM   #6
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Maybe the miter box is square and the universe is cockeyed. This is what I usually assume.
I agree. I think Al needs to re-plumb his bob.
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:41 PM   #7
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REW says to re-thumb your knob!
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:42 PM   #8
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:56 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I'll toss this and go back to using my plastic "box" type unless someone has an idea of how to fix it.
Can you unbolt the red clamp around the backsaw and shim the clamp mounts (on the outside) or the saw (on the inside of the clamp) to sit more vertically?
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:09 PM   #10
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I don't think any of these miter boxes really work. There is jsts too much play in them. I bought a used 10" Craftsman chop saw, and replaced the back rail with a heavy one made from angle iron. Then I bought a very fine tooth carbide blade, and I cold really make nice picture frames. I also made some pretty good ones with my table saw, and some custom jigs.
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:46 PM   #11
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First those pants and now this.
Al, I have an idea...

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Old 10-13-2010, 11:37 PM   #12
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T-Al, I have that exact same mitre box. Bought it new, have had it for many years, still in service.

For cutting objects not very tall, it works well. But if cutting a mitre on something tall, like putting an inside or outside mitre on a 3 1/4" baseboard, can run into problems if not careful.

When sawing a board, the red plastic guide will sit on top of the board to be cut, and the saw will drop down out of the bottom of the guide as you saw. Nothing odd about that. But if cutting a tall object like a baseboard corner, the saw will descend a long ways out of the guide before you finally saw through. The further out of the guide, the less the saw blade is guided.

It will become sensitive to how you physically drive the saw handle. If you tend to twist the handle during the stroke, it will show up as a tilt near the bottom of the piece. I've learned to position myself so my wrist, elbow, and shoulder are directly in line with the guide, and saw very inline.

On the other hand, if you saw a 1-by laying down (the board... not you!) and it comes out with a tilt, then yes, something basic is out of whack.

So far, I have not worn out the rubber O-rings on the rollers. If some of those wear thin, I would think the backsaw would have a lot more side to side play, and that could result in a tilt.
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:39 AM   #13
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Probably why they sold it at their yard sale - didn't work quite right...just sayin'...









And then....T-Al to rescue - thanks to someone else's laziness or lack of ingenuity!
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:09 AM   #14
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Probably why they sold it at their yard sale - didn't work quite right...just sayin'...

Yea, that's how I got rid of those darn pants with the stay open fly.








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Old 10-14-2010, 11:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
...but the vertical cut is off a bit...
Iow, pert-n-ear but not plumb...

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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
I agree. I think Al needs to re-plumb his bob.
Adjust the angle of the dangle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
I don't think any of these miter boxes really work. There is jsts too much play in them. I bought a used 10" Craftsman chop saw, and replaced the back rail with a heavy one made from angle iron. Then I bought a very fine tooth carbide blade, and I cold really make nice picture frames. I also made some pretty good ones with my table saw, and some custom jigs.
Amazingly, ancient craftsmen used crude hand tools to build the pyramids, the Parthenon, etc.

But I second this emotion. Hated the miter box; love the power saw!
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Old 10-14-2010, 12:10 PM   #16
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Thanks for the ideas, and the PM that suggested that the saw may be to blame. I did try torquing the saw as I cut, but that didn't solve it. I'll play with it a little, but given the space that it takes up, I think I will throw it away.
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