Saturday, March 14, 2009
The Mystery of the Nib is Solved!
When I got up this morning, I had no idea that in the course of my normal day I would stumble upon the definitive answer to one of woodworking's most puzzling conundrums. But that is exactly what happened!
That's right, without even meaning to, I have found the solution to the eternal question: "What is the purpose of the nib on old handsaws?"
Who knew that the solution was thoughtfully provided over 80 years ago by a helpful manufacturer of cigarettes? I didn't. And truthfully, I almost missed it today, all because of a slight linguistic twist (or Queen's English) that replaces the term "nib" with "notch".
Without further ado, I present to you now, THE ANSWER:
Messrs W.D. and H.O. Wills, of Bristol and London, we salute you! Now the collective mind of the hand tool world can focus anew on the remaining mysteries: bevel up, or bevel down; push or pull planes; Western or Japanese saws; planes resting sole down, or on their sides, or maybe with their toes upon little blocks of wood...