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Thread: conditioning foil blades

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    Senior Member antoinette's Avatar
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    conditioning foil blades

    I'm new to fencing and just ordered a LP etoile foil (complete). I understand I should condition the blade. Any tips/help would be appreciated! Also - why didn't it come with a rigid cover? Is there a nice one I could buy or is it the hardware store for pvc plumbing?

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    Senior Member Morale Officer's Avatar
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    Go to the hardware store and buy some PVC tubing and cut it down yourself.
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    Senior Member Mergs's Avatar
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    Not sure what you mean by "conditioning". Putting a bend in the blade is about all I can think of in this respect. do a search of the forum for a discussion.
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    Senior Member antoinette's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mergs View Post
    Not sure what you mean by "conditioning". Putting a bend in the blade is about all I can think of in this respect. do a search of the forum for a discussion.
    Yes, that's what I mean.

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    Senior Member Mergs's Avatar
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    As I said, you can search the forum for a thread, or see sig line, below.
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    Senior Member SJCFU#2's Avatar
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    You might consider CPVC piping if you can get it (I know that I've gotten it at Lowes but can't recall whether or not Home Depot carries it). The CPVC piping isn't intended to withstand as much inyernal pressure as similar sized schedule 40 pipe so it will tend to have a thinner wall than standard PVC piping. This will sometimes allow you to go down a size (less bulk and weight) while still providing a reasonable degree of protection for the blade.

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    Senior Member EldRick's Avatar
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    For a foil, 1/2" I.D. will almost certainly fit - it's $1.20 for 10 ft. at Home Depot.
    Last edited by EldRick; 03-09-2009 at 02:51 AM.
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    Senior Member Lady Quindecim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antoinette View Post
    Yes, that's what I mean.
    I condition my blades by fencing with them. Or, more practically, after I build a weapon, I practice blade work with it.

    But, really, the search tool on here is good. It will be your friend.

  9. #9
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    With a new blade I usually do teh following.

    Put a bend in it.
    Use it on a lunge pad to work the bend in.
    Use it for lesson only for one of two session.
    Fence with it in regular bouts.
    Put a nasty kink in it.
    Put another nasty kink in it.
    Snap it in half.
    Repeat
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    Quote Originally Posted by antoinette View Post
    I'm new to fencing and just ordered a LP etoile foil (complete). I understand I should condition the blade. Any tips/help would be appreciated! Also - why didn't it come with a rigid cover? Is there a nice one I could buy or is it the hardware store for pvc plumbing?
    As you have an LP Etoile blade you do not need to really worry about 'conditioning' or working in your blade. About the most you could do is run it under your foot to put a bit of a bend along in the middle of the blade.

    This is done to help the blade take a bend along its length when you make a touch. This is sometimes preferable to the blade only bending at the last 6 inches in the foible, weakening and snapping.

    The LP Etoile and France blades tend to run to the flexible end of the bendy spectrum and stay that way. As a first blade (or only blade) this is fine as these LP blades are also very light and last for ages.

    If you had bought a stiff, light blade (Chinese) you would be inclined to getting a bend along its length as the light, stiff (cheap) blades are more brittle and don't last anywhere near as long as what you have.

    If you had bought a stiff, heavy blade (FIE StM or vniti), you could put a bit of a bend in it, but the flex of the blade would develop over a few weeks of use. Eventually it would become argreeable in the sense it felt 'like the last one'. In other words, the flex becomes a little more pronounced but consistent.

    If you had bought something inbetween (flicky LM, medium LP Golubitsky, sweet BF) putting a bend in it and fencing with it as normal would be sufficient, if required by taste.

    So, short answer is: Run it back and forth under your foot so it takes a continuous curve but don't worry about it any further considering what you are using as you'll be bending it back into shape often enough. Do remember to run it under your foot and avoid snapping between your fingers when straightening it.
    Last edited by AdamH; 03-11-2009 at 02:52 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member antoinette's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone, esp. Adam for the detailed advice. And I did get a pvc pipe cut so I'm in business.

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    Member wescfencer011's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Quindecim View Post
    I condition my blades by fencing with them. Or, more practically, after I build a weapon, I practice blade work with it.

    But, really, the search tool on here is good. It will be your friend.
    i use 2 box end wrench with tape cover to avoid scratchs. start bending the blade with wrench 3 to 5 inch apart and apply pressure. i work my way down the whole blade back and forward to make sure it work in first before i take to the wall.
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