John Wayne gets accredited with saying, "Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway"
I don't know if I could say I was scared of the next stage in rehabbing an old Stanely Miter Box, but I was intimidated at least. I was down to the swinging arm and if I screwed this part up, then I might as well throw the whole thing in the scrap heap. The arm was the grimiest part of the whole works and there was a couple arms and a spring loaded pin to lock the arm in place on the dial. A ton of nooks and crannies and a couple of small parts.
A can of brake cleaner, nothing says clean like pressurized solvent in a can.
I used a whole can on the arm, mostly because I had no reason to save it. It blew the crud away like yesterday's trash. I still followed it up by scrubbing it down to get the remaining rust off.
With a little bit of time I scrubbed the crap off the rest of the pieces. Altering a little trick I learned from my friend Mark Harrell over at Bad Axe Saws, I cleaned all the screws by chucking them into a drill press chuck and then holding the abrasive pad against the spinning friction. I've seen Mark make short work of shining up roughed up saw nuts by chucking them into a cordless drill and spinning them against a soft cloth charged with buffing compound.
Once cleaned I taped everything up for repainting.
and moved on to cleaning up the last parts of the box itself.
A little more taping and then some black lacquer spray paint
In the end the miter box went from this rusted boat anchor.
To this cleaned, painted, oiled, and waxed machine.
So what's left? Plenty. I have to clean up and sharpen the saw plate, cut out, shape and drill for a new replacement saw handle, make a new sacrificial board to attach to the base, and fabricate some pieces to replace missing parts. A lot of things to do yes, but all these things seem less intimidating than taking apart the mechanism for the swing arm. I'm not sure why that bugged me so much but I'm glad it worked and even happier it's in my rear view mirror.
Ratione et Passionis