Vintage hand tools in my shop #2: Dorn's patent Revolving Mitre Box part one

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Blog entry by theoldfart posted 03-31-2020 01:36 AM 919 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Bench appliances: Mitre jack Part 2 of Vintage hand tools in my shop series Part 3: Dorn's patent revolving mitre box »

A few years ago a fellow LJ, RealCowtownEric, posted a pic of a rather distinctive mitre box. It revolved and did compound mitre cuts. Fast forward to last December and an EBay listing for a damaged Dorn’s Mitre Box. The seller and I came to an agreement on price and it was mine. Mind you, i didn’t do a lot of research. I was taken in by the siren song of Victorian cast iron. I was a goner.
Best pack job I’ve seen in a while. Last one this good came from POA.

Here’s how it looked on arrival, the pinch clamp is holding a broken upright together.

It didn’t take long to realize that this box differed from most of the others I’ve seen. Usually they have a badge from Braunsdorf-Meuller located in New Jersey. The only marlkings on mine were the first patent date and Rufus Dorns name. Dorn has four patents related to his invention:

The first 651457

The second 733823 This one looks the closest to mine

The third 769307

The fourth 831940 This is an attachment that allows compound mitre to be made. It only works on the third iteration of Dorns mitre box.

SO. lets get on with it.

I spent a lot of time wire brushing all of the surfaces.

In doing that I found traces of color in hidden places.

There was also the broken upright and a cracked lower carousel. Luckily a co volunteer at the narrow gauge railroad museum where I volunteer does brazing.

Once all the repairs were done it was time to paint. This is my first full restoration so I went with rattle can paint, Rustolem Hunter green.

Taped up the machined surfaces and away we went.

Once dried assembly went quickly and…..

In the next installment, I’ll have dimensions, action shots and capabilities all detailed.


-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

14 comments so far

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

4032 posts in 3364 days

#1 posted 03-31-2020 02:11 AM

Kevin — That thing is a beautiful piece of functional art. Great job on bringing her back to life!

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View theoldfart's profile


12628 posts in 3564 days

#2 posted 03-31-2020 02:29 AM

Thanks Don.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17352 posts in 3731 days

#3 posted 03-31-2020 02:37 AM

Very nice indeed.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7647 posts in 1695 days

#4 posted 03-31-2020 03:13 AM

It sure cleaned up pretty, Kevin!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Poa's profile


726 posts in 1672 days

#5 posted 03-31-2020 04:00 AM

Great job, Kevin. Looking forward to the next blog.

-- Honest, honey, I found it in the trash.

View JethroBodean's profile


240 posts in 2125 days

#6 posted 03-31-2020 04:33 AM

Well Sir, you did give me more. Thank you.

-- I am not much of a woodworker, but I'm great at making sawdust! -- Jeff

View Peteybadboy's profile


3492 posts in 3062 days

#7 posted 03-31-2020 10:37 AM

Thnaks for posting, I look forward to the next installment.

-- Petey

View Redoak49's profile


5271 posts in 3102 days

#8 posted 03-31-2020 10:46 AM


View Don W's profile

Don W

20089 posts in 3680 days

#9 posted 03-31-2020 10:52 AM


-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View 489tad's profile


4008 posts in 4124 days

#10 posted 03-31-2020 01:41 PM

I get why you fell for it. Real nice.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View AnthonyReed's profile


10173 posts in 3553 days

#11 posted 03-31-2020 01:46 PM

It’s beautiful Kev.

-- ~Tony

View HokieKen's profile


17866 posts in 2251 days

#12 posted 03-31-2020 03:18 PM

Well done Kev. I like the look of that sexy lil thing a lot. The green makes it even more desirable IMO!

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View CL810's profile


4134 posts in 4101 days

#13 posted 03-31-2020 05:05 PM

Well done Kevin.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View duckmilk's profile


4530 posts in 2437 days

#14 posted 03-31-2020 09:01 PM

You come up with some of the most interesting vintage tools! I agree with “sexy”. Hurry up with another installment and show us how it works :)

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

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