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David Hart

Hi,
I am new to the group and look forward to interacting here. I have collected old tools off and on over the years but recently have become much more passionate about it.
Anyway, I recently responded to a CR ad for some old hand tools.  After I agreed to purchase the lot, she proceeded to show me another tool she knew nothing about.. I identified it to her as a Miter Box and while I have a couple Langdon Acme's at home this one had me puzzled. I took some pics and told her I would learn more about it and get back to her. She said for another $10 I could have it but ironically on that day I showed up with just enough for the other tools. 
Anyway after searching the web and sharing the photos with another tool friend we were stumped. After a couple weeks I sent her a message saying we had not figured it out yet but were still trying.  She said I could just take it.. She said her husband would be happy to know it went to someone who obviously cared about such things  (she was recently widowed. [frown]
I have not picked it up yet but in the meantime I found out it's a Justus Traut Patented Miter box similar to a couple I found on this forum.  It looks to have replacement feet, and some extra holes drilled for different angle settings, and the back plate was drilled. The pictures  I took that day are here:  

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1u-ZGCz2h2GPl_8R4fC4HPvU9LHMqE3PX

Anyway I am excited to have it be part of my collection but am wondering if they are in anyway valuable? If so are they still valuable with the mods made to this one and the replacement feet?  I just would like to give her an honest assessment of the tool and not feel like I'm taking advantage of her in anyway. 

Thanks very much,

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dave in NH

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TheOldFart
Dave, most user mods will kill the collectability of vintage hand tools. The Trauts are not overly valuable nor rare with the exception of the very first iteration. It has bronze feet.  I can't see your pictures, it would be easier to upload them here. I have two of the Trauts, 2'nd generation. POA also has a few of these.
I have a lot of mitre boxes but I'm not a collector [rolleyes]
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David Hart
Thanks for the info...  As I said this one appears to have replaced feet altogether. 
Sorry about the photos.. I seem to have issues with using google for this.    I'll attach them here.  

Dave

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David Hart
I picked up the Miter box and took some more photos..   You can see the legs are not original, and are quite rugged..  looks like 1/4" thick.
Anyway, other than the bronze legs does anything else differ between the iterations of the box?  One thing I noticed that I did not see touched upon in other threads is a casting letter "B" on the underside of the protractor. 
You can see it was green in color, and the thumb lever is possibly brass or bronze? Don't have the best picture of it here.   
I also understand a good article regarding these was written by Walter Jacob for the "Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association" some years ago but all I can get online is an excerpt. He does mention the early versions were green in color, and says the thumb lever was brass.  This article gives me the excuse to buy the CD they sell containing every issue of the Chronicle from the 1930's through 2007.

I hope the link below works... Let me know otherwise

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1EznYUr-NTTBlODfpA_IS26Uq0qi7zZ_t?usp=sharing
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TheOldFart
David, I have the cd. It's worth buying. The early ones are green and your plunger is actually bronze. I'm not sure about the B casting.
I have a lot of mitre boxes but I'm not a collector [rolleyes]
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David Hart
I was just giving it a light cleaning and noticed the vertical rollers on the back posts also have a letter "B" cast or rather impressed into them. Its the rollers with the extra slot or groove.
Thanks for the endorsement on the CD.
I have seen one other example ( besides the ones you and POA have) on lumberjocks.com. Info on them definitely seems to be scarce as opposed to later models or Miller's falls models.
I already have 2 Miller's falls acme mitre boxes (I'm guessing one is from the teens or 20s and the other 1938 or after since it has the ball bearings in the posts, both have been repaired so not too valuable but functional. I wasn't that knowledgeable about them when I got them either so I realize now they are missing a few bits. The older one came with a really nice 1896-1917 Miller's falls labeled Disston saw that has a plate that I could use as a mirror. But like you I am not a collector. :)
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TheOldFart
I just noticed, somebody drilled a few “new” index holes near the center of the quadrant. That’s one I havn’t run into before.
I have a lot of mitre boxes but I'm not a collector [rolleyes]
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David Hart
Yes those are some of the "modifications" I mentioned in my first post. 
After having it apart last night, I could almost detect the remnants of two shades of green. There are little splotches of that lighter green but the darker green is dominant, even on the replacement feet.  Not a lot of rust on the original components at all, mostly on the replacement legs. Looks like someone took a lot of care making those legs, even going so far as to allow you access to the screws that hold the cross brace/wooden top via access holes. 

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poa
In the last year I have been contacted a few times by people with the Traut patent boxes, missing their original legs. Some have been mounted directly to blocks of wood, and some have had replacement legs fabricated. I keep my eyes open for Traut parts boxes, being sold cheaply, and have yet to run across one, online or off. Apparently, the legs were fragile enough, both in bronze and steel, that a high percentage of them have not survived the passage of time. I do have a Traut patent box with one bronze leg, and one steel leg. I assume it is a Type 1, but that can only be an assumption based on the idea that it makes sense, if replacing a broken leg, that the replacement leg would be the later of the two.
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TheOldFart
Jon, David,
I’ve found it easier to find old Langdon parts that the Trauts. From all of the separate part listings on the bay, I’m guessing that the “ for parts/ repair” carcasses have all been broken up for much more lucrative replacement part sales.
I have a lot of mitre boxes but I'm not a collector [rolleyes]
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