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Thread: Simonds Millers Falls Langdon Mitre Saw

  1. Simonds Millers Falls Langdon Mitre Saw

    I just got a Simonds mitre saw that I am guessing was made around 1926. The saw is a monster with a 28" blade and weighs a ton. I don't know much about these saws but at $2 I didn't think I could go wrong. There is very little rust on the blade and the etching is nice but doesn't look like the other Millers Falls etching I have seen. Can anyone tell me anything about my saw?

    http://s116.photobucket.com/albums/o...rrent=saw1.jpg

    http://s116.photobucket.com/albums/o...rrent=saw2.jpg

    http://s116.photobucket.com/albums/o...rrent=saw3.jpg

    http://s116.photobucket.com/albums/o...rrent=saw4.jpg

    Thank you,
    Larry

  2. #2
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    It'll be difficult to do much with it without the miter box. It's nearly identical to two saws that I have, except a little newer. One I got with the box that I have, and the other I mooched off my dad, who paid $3 for it out of a bucket of saws and proceeded to somehow get it speckled with white spray paint.

    Keep your eyes open for a miter box for it. It'll likely fit in a MF/landgon 74 or 75 box. Now's a good time to learn how to sharpen saws if you have plans for it. If the teeth need any reshaping work at all, it seems like they're a never ending source of teeth.

    You can always sell it on ebay and make a few bucks, as long as it's straight, but it'll cost a lot to ship it compared to the saw's value, and contrary to some of the fixed price listings you'll see of miter box saws, they don't really bring tons of money without a box.
    Unleaded tastes a little tangy, supreme is kinda sour, and diesel tastes pretty good.

  3. #3
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    I have a MF Langdon acme miter box and two saws that fit it, one branded Disston and one branded Langdon, both 28" monsters. I read somewhere that most of these saws were made by Disston and branded by other companies. No sure about yours. Here is a great piece from the Bad Axe site showing him using one of his saws but note that he says he likes to use the Langdon miter box and a saw like yours for this. If it can cut shoulders of the massive tenon/sliding dovetail joint for a Roubo workbench it can cut about anything. I can't imagine using it freehand though. http://www.badaxetoolworks.com/craft...workbench.html
    Last edited by Andy Margeson; 11-15-2011 at 12:05 PM.

  4. #4
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    Simonds is the maker of the saw. Quite a lot of the MF saws were simonds, IIRC. Disston manufactured some of the branded saws (I have a large stanley that looks like a disston saw), but not simonds or atkins that I can recall.
    Unleaded tastes a little tangy, supreme is kinda sour, and diesel tastes pretty good.

  5. #5
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    I have been shopping Miter Boxes. There is a Millers Falls 74C for auction right now that I believe has the same saw in it. The seller says: "The saw was made for Millers Falls/Langdon by Simonds (a division of Disston)". The MF 74C I just bought has a very similar saw made by Disston in it. Should be a good worker. If you read Chris Schwarz's Blog on his mitre box (see my post on Bench Hools vs Mitre Boxes) he says he wore the plate on his first mitre saw so short from use/sharpening he had to switch to a new saw. Chris was apparently shopping for a new saw for his MF miter box you could send him a note.

  6. #6
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    Simonds went out of business in the early part of the century, at least according to the disstonian institute. I don't know that much about saws, but I haven't read anything about disston manufacturing saws for the simonds brands. Simonds regarded their saws as better than disston saws from what i can tell, and from the simonds corporate site, there is a notice posted in their carpenter's catalog that just says something along the lines of "hey, we decided to stop making hand saws. This year, we're making circular saws. Thanks!!" (OK, that's not exactly what it says, but you can read the text here: http://www.simonds.cc/company/histor...CompanyHistory )

    A seller on ebay can say pretty much whatever they want until someone complains.

    Unless the sharpener of a saw was very heavy handed (or employed heavy cutting machines), I'm not sure what I think about the comment of a hobby woodworker wearing a miter box saw short (unless it was such to begin with).
    Unleaded tastes a little tangy, supreme is kinda sour, and diesel tastes pretty good.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry McGarrah View Post
    I just got a Simonds mitre saw that I am guessing was made around 1926. The saw is a monster with a 28" blade and weighs a ton. I don't know much about these saws but at $2 I didn't think I could go wrong. There is very little rust on the blade and the etching is nice but doesn't look like the other Millers Falls etching I have seen. Can anyone tell me anything about my saw?
    I have a similar 24" Simonds mitre saw. The etch on mine indicates it was made for a Stanley mitre box, so they contracted for both Stanley and Millers Falls at times. I made a wooden miter box to use with it, though I'll probably get around to buying a "real" one some day. They are indeed hefty saws, I think primarily because of the steel back and a fairly thick plate. The steel seemed harder than my other saws when I sharpened it.

    Quote Originally Posted by some ebay seller
    "The saw was made for Millers Falls/Langdon by Simonds (a division of Disston)"
    What a maroon David's link will tell you most of what little we know about Simonds' venture into making hand saws. They most certainly were not bought out by Stanley. Although they stopped making hand saws in ~1926, probably foreseeing the market shift to power tools, the company still exists and is still based in Fitchburg, MA.

    Here is another good resource for Simonds saw info: http://sawnutz.galootcentral.com/simonds/index.htm

    Based on their medallion info, the OP's saw probably dates from 1922-1926. The medallion on mine is a little different and probably dates from 1915 to 1920 or so. The early logos with the crescent moon get the collectors all worked up.

  8. An interesting note about the saw. Only two of the screws hold the handle onto blade. The screw hole for the Simonds logo screw only hits 1/2 of the blade.

  9. #9
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    I've got a MF LA nbr 74. My saw has a 26" toothline which according to the old MF manuals I read is correct. If the Simonds has a 28" toothline (or is the blade 28" with a 26" toothline like mine?), then it's for a nbr 75. Supposedly there were nbr 76s too...
    Where did I put that tape measure...

  10. #10
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    Not sure what that auction poster meant by what he posted, not sure it matters. My guess is he was guessing about the company relationships by reading what is written on the saw. I am looking at a saw in a Millers Falls 74C miter box for auction right now that has some sort of Millers Falls logo on the blade and a Simonds Saw Medallion on the handle. Lots of companies labeled saws as their own that were made by other companies. Some companies sell divisions of their companies that make certain items. I guess Simonds could have sold their hand saw division....There is a very close resemblance between the Disston and Simonds saws that show up in the Millers Falls miter boxes and apparently the Stanley ones too. I'm not sure whether or not these saws were bought with the mitre boxes or were purchased separately either. If the info I am looking at is correct the Disston saw has a 26" blade (total 33" saw length) vs a 28" on the Simonds. I also find a very similar auction saw with a Stanley blade label and a Disston Medallion. The poster says it has the Sweetheart Logo too, but I did not see it. The claim being it is a Disston saw made for a Stanley miter box. The last saw is reported to have a 24" blade.

    Apparently these companies had incestuous relationships that we are not going to fully unravel this late in the game. According to Chris Schwarz's Blog post his # 16 1/2 Millers Falls mitre box came with a 16" Simonds backsaw. The box looks tiny. He apparently wore the blade down until it was too small to use and started using a 14" Carcass saw, which he says is too small.

    http://www.popularwoodworking.com/wo...on-mitre-boxes
    Last edited by Mike Holbrook; 11-15-2011 at 6:50 PM.

  11. #11
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    I can't imagine using a miter box that small, unless he's just using a piece of slotted wood.

    At any rate, the make of the box is often on the blade (as the millers falls make is on that simonds saw).

    Judging by the style of the saw and the tinny looking medallion on my dad's box, I would imagine his stanley saw was made by disston - it's the same tinny look and bright color of the newer disston saws.

    if all of them look the same (the disston and simonds, in this case), it is because they are made to someone else's spec. Without having a lot of history about what saws were ordered by millers falls or anyone else in any given year, it is difficult to tell if saws were ordered both from disston and simonds in a given year by the same company, etc, but the disston and simonds saws similarity goes no further than meeting the same spec or design. I think it's hard to categorize by the length of the saw also, as my 74 miter box uses a 27 inch simonds saw, and the saw I scrounged off of my father is a less used (it has about 3/4ths of an inch more left under the spine) version of the identical saw - 27 inches.

    A lot of the old atkins and simonds backsaws look a lot like disston saws (compared to the trimmer and more elegant - more handwork in the tote - english saws), but they were not made by disston. I would imagine that the other saws looked a lot like a disston #4 because that's what disston marketed heavily, and there was no reason that atkins or simonds would have to make a saw that had a higher labor and material cost like an english-style saw with a carved handle would.

    It'd be nice if someone could clarify if they came with saws (it wouldn't take much work), but at the price they were sold I would bet that they did come with saws. Saws themselves were not particularly expensive because they were made in huge numbers, but I think I've inflated the cost of a miter box from a catalog and found the price to be astronomically high - like on par with a mid-grade table saw now (i.e., more expensive than a sliding miter saw would be now). I just don't remember whether or not it said it came with the saw.
    Unleaded tastes a little tangy, supreme is kinda sour, and diesel tastes pretty good.

  12. #12
    You could buy a Millers Falls miter box with or without saws. The saw-less versions had their own ID numbers. They came with saws made by Disston, Simonds, as well as Harvey Peace if you'd believe it. I've also seen miter box saws like these made by Geo. Bishop, but thus far the Bishops I've seen in the wild are free agents not associated with any particular miter box. The other manufacturer of miter boxes was Stanley, and I've seen Disston and Atkins saws on those. I do not know if they were sold without a saw. As far as I know the later Stanleys and Langdons had Nicholson (Atkins) saws. I think they were expensive because of the castings, the machining, and the necessity for precision--they're adjustable to within a degree for unusual angles.

    Schwarz's small miter box is rare. And small.

  13. #13
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    I looked at my 28" miter box backsaws, both of which were originally 5." The Disston is stamped Disston and has a Disston medallion. The other is stamped Langdon Miter Box Co. on the back and has one of the small early Disston medallions, which appears original. If you search on "Langdon Acme miter box manual," you will get numerous old manuals of various vintages. There was a 76 with a 30" x 6" blade! My impression is that the box was the same. More capacity that a 12" chopsaw. Personally, I'll stick to 5". The surprising thing is that if the saw is sharp it's really not that bad.

    In the near future, I'm going to set my Acme up with 3' extensions on both sides that have a T track for stops. Not historically correct but, oh well! I think this is one of the easier migrations from power to hand tools. The manual even shows how to make compound cuts using the end brackets.

  14. #14
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    I was thinking about doing the same thing Andy, about 3' extension with a track for a work stop, maybe even with a tape measure on it. I am itching to get my hands on mine so I can take it all apart, clean, derust, degunk...I may even paint it if I think I can reduce the rust.

    Here is the link to the manual for the Millers Falls Miter Boxes, very cool to have it (PDF download), and it answers many of the question we posed above too:

    http://www.wkfinetools.com/hUS-borTo...rBox-HowTo.asp

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