Old Handsaw can't figure out what this part is.

On some of my old saws (really old ones). On the top about 6 inches back from the tip there is a small piece about the thickness of a nickle that sticks up does this part have a name, and did it ever have a function. You don't see it on saws made these days.
Marty
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Front peep sight.
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Diston and asked them. There was no concensus. You might search the archives.
Chuck P.
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have
If it has a hole thru it, a handle mount.
Lew
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wrote:

You're probably referring to the "nib", the purpose of which is often debated. Some think it was for starting the cut. Some think it was a sample tooth, to shape the working teeth to when sharpening. Some think it was a warning that indicated your saw was almost ready to pull out of the cut. Some say it was a marker to scratch a cut line. Some say it was purely decorative. Probably some other guesses that I've forgotten. Take your pick.
John Martin
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It's probably a splitter.
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Sounds more like a riving knife.
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The OldTools Archive has a thread in which someone puts forth the theory I like best - that it was a little nubbie for one of the strings of a blade protector. The front string goes over the nib and the back one goes over or through the handle. http://people.iarc.uaf.edu/~cswingle/archive/get.phtml?message_idC921&submit_thread=1
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On Fri, 05 Oct 2007 20:13:55 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com"

That's a subject that will be debated until the sun runs out of fuel. Here are a couple of references that indicate the nib is a traditional, vestigial decoration that dates back to the late 1600's. Believe them or not, your choice.
http://www.disstonianinstitute.com/glossary.html
http://books.google.com/books?id=T4m6kq7XyIUC&pg=PA169&lpg=PA169&dq=handsaw+nib+disston+-ebay&source=web&ots=suvkmSME54&sig x9EMGiF9LXkb
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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On Oct 8, 9:40 pm, Tom Veatch wrote:

Its called a kewpie point. It was to initiate a cut so the saws teeth did not splinter the wood on the edge. My grandfather worked in a saw factory that made them when he was a kid. It was originally the Union Saw and |Tool company and was later bought out by Frackville Saw. Time frame was 1908-1915 or so, and he was hired to clean up and help the fella that cut and carved the saws applewood handles. He installed handles on saws as well.for the sum of 50 cents a week..He had been a carpenter all his life so I sort of take him at his word what it wa for. I have also seen some folks use it to cut or nick through an embedded nail........which it is more than capable of doing. However ontodays saws where only the teeth are hardened, those kewpie points woud not hold up. Anyone looking for original old time hand carved apple wood saw handles complete with brass fasteners. (5 per handle)........I have em by the bucket fulls...................Brass T stub fasteners are embossed Frackville Saw Co, and a few are listed as Union Tool and Level or something along those lines.
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