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Thread: Saw nib?

  1. #31
    I bet Chris Schwarz has read all those dusty tomes at least once. Someone should shoot him an email.

  2. #32
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    Hmm. I wonder if some enterprising soul will start selling nibs so we can nibify (nibrilate?) our nibless saws.
    Where did I put that tape measure...

  3. #33
    I'm starting to feel "nib envy".
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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Shepherd View Post
    using the nib to start a kerf? It is very handy, right there on the end of the saw, pulled or pushed with the thumb as a guide, makes a nice nick in the edge of the board to start the saw kerf.

    Give it a try.

    Stephen
    Stephen,

    Even if that is the reason for the nib, I don't think I'll be trying it any time soon. The saws that I own that have a nib are all old and it would be VERY dissapointing to me if I broke the nib off doing something that is already pretty easy to do with the teeth of the saw...

    I'm not saying you are wrong here because I don't know, but to me that explanation never made much sense. In order to start a kerf with the nib one must turn the saw over, and hold it in a way that the handles weren't designed to be used, then turn the saw back over and do the actual sawing. It just seems much simpler and easier to start the cut by using very light pressure. No turning and fumbling, no problem. This just kind of strikes me as a solution to a non-existent problem.
    "History is strewn with the wrecks of nations which have gained a little progressiveness at the cost of a great deal of hard manliness, and have thus prepared themselves for destruction as soon as the movements of the world gave a chance for it." -Walter Bagehot

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike K Wenzloff View Post
    Excuse me? Kindler and gentler? Nah. And that thread? All 62 replies? Good natured fun, most of which is indistinguishable from the responses here.

    And what did Ray sum up the thread by writing?


    Thanks guys !!!!! You did not disappoint me !!! You are the greatest !!!!! I only wish we were ALL sitting in my shop right now coming up with all these answers.

    Now, what can I come up with to stir the pot???
    Ray

    Geez Louise.

    Take care, Mike
    Mike,

    All of this is good natured fun, both here and on Wood Central, and I took it as such. So did Ray. I do think the ribbing on WC was a little more "vigorous" than here, but all in fun none the less. My post to which you replied was a little tongue in cheek and not intended to be a criticism of WC at all.

    Hank

  6. #36
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    Just for fun, let's revisit this thread.

  7. #37
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    There is a woodworker on YT, I believe he goes by Mr. Chickadee, that appears to be a very competent hand woodworker. Works as if he has been well trained in old school ways. I think he is the only person I have ever seen that uses the nib to start cuts. As I remember he has some very well kept and well used saws and tools. As I remember he does it very quickly like its a long time practice. Not saying that that is the nibs function but it works for him. He learned it somewhere.
    Jim

  8. #38
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    What a great series of videos.

  9. I know it's been a while (again), but I also want to chime in. Today, when looking at trammel points, I came across an article by Chris Schwarz, https://www.popularwoodworking.com/w...rammel-points/
    The commenter Redbat suggested that nibs might be useful for making circles. Hook the nib on a nail and a put pen between two teeth. But then again, none of my saws have nibs either.

  10. #40
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    In Disston's own promotional materials, they state that the nib was merely decorative in nature.

    If you look at a nib closely, it is not sharpened. Also realize that there were at least 50 years where Disston sold saws with nibs and without. If the nib was anything other than decorative, you would have seen it on the D8, Acme 120, etc.

  11. #41
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    Pete, I also recall reading something from Disston material from something like 1910 or so that also stated nib was purely decorative. It is hard for me to imagine that questions about the nib would not have been passed on from master to apprentice, and that information passed on and on for generations. If most of us have wondered about the nib, it is hard to think that an apprentice saw smith would not have also wanted to know about the purpose of the nib. Thus, I believe that the information from the Disston materials that you allude to, and that I also have seen, is very likely correct.

    I went out and looked at my oldest saw, based on the medallion and etch I believe it to be about 1870 vintage, and it is a panel saw. It has a nib, and as you point out, the nib is not sharpened. Further, the nib is quite small, maybe only a little over 1/16th inch in diameter, and would not seem suitable for starting a cut, as such duty would wear out the nib rather quickly I would think. Further, if I were to design a "nib" for starting a saw cut, it would not look like a traditional nib. It would be two normally shaped crosscut teeth, both fairly small like 12 point teeth, one tooth set each way. The teeth would be filed to cut on the pull stroke.

    At any rate, do you know when Disston started putting nibs on his saws, and when the Disston company quit putting nibs on their saws?

    Thanks and regards,

    Stew
    Last edited by Stew Denton; 09-21-2021 at 9:34 PM.

  12. #42
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    For a lot of (to me) fun reading: http://www.disstonianinstitute.com/

    Stew, I'm pretty sure you can see when the nib dropped from the above. Based on memory... somewhere between the 1920's and 1940's. It's been a while since I read that site, but I seem to recall there was a big shakeup of the product line in the late 20's.

  13. #43
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  14. #44
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    Seems to be around 1928, when the "Number" models all changed to "D" models....an old No. 7 became a "NEW!" D-7.....
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

  15. #45
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    Hi All,

    Well, like Eric, it has been a while since I spent a lot of time on the Disston Institute site, so I decided to spend some time there, looking at the pictures of the various models by date to look for the disappearance of the nib. Didn't know how much success I would have because not all of the models had a nib per the comment of Pete above, and the photos of saws with dates is somewhat limited.

    I had also guessed that the nib probably disappeared in the 1928 changes as Steven stated above, when IMHO, Disston cheapened up the cost of producing their saws by cutting the "nice" touches on their saws and trimming their number of models. Sure enough, you don't see any nibs in the catalog reprints in the 1928 catalogs but the saws with nibs do show them in the earlier catalogs.

    The best information was in the section on the Disston 7/D-7. In that part of the site the author mentions that nibs first showed up in the Victorian era, and were put there due to the pride of workmanship of the craftsman and to help enhance sales. He also states that if used constantly to start saw cuts the nibs often snaps off. This does not surprise me since, as I mentioned above, the nib on my 1870 or so Disston panel saw is very small. A few good whacks of the nib on hard rock maple or something similar could snap such a small nib off. He also mentions later in the write up on the 7s/D-7s that the nib did disappear from the Disston saws in 1928.

    Stew
    Last edited by Stew Denton; 09-21-2021 at 10:43 PM.

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