Bell Guard loose (but nothing else)

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by countertime, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. countertime

    countertime Rookie

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    After reassembling a couple of epees, I discovered a problem that I never experienced before: After the final construction and tightening of the nut and testing, I noticed that despite the grip / blade being as tight as possible, the bell-guard is able to rotate significantly with light-medium force...

    The one variable is that I am using light weight bell-guards (which I haven't used before). Has anyone else experienced this before? I'm at the point of injecting significant amounts of crazy glue or epoxy into these damned things (despite being a former armorer and should know better).
     
  2. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    I've had this happen and traced it back to the guard being really smooth. A lock-washer between the grip and guard helps a little, until the guard gets roughed by use. At least that's been my experience.
     
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  3. posineg

    posineg Made the Cut

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    I have had this as well. The problem is the key fitting in the grip with the blade is not deep enough to allow the grip to make contact with the bell.

    Sad part is that if you use a washer to bridge the ga, you will need to: notch the inside of the washer and try to secure the washer so it does not rotate and shear your wires. Inevitable, your nut will loosen and there will be a chance that the washer could damage the wire... if loose, or find a large enough inside diameter washer.
     
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  4. Strytllr

    Strytllr DE Bracket

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    or you can get a m6 screw die and cut the threads a little further down the tang.
    The other problem might just be that the bell guard fit has worn out and you need a new bell guard.
     
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  5. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

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    I'm with Strytllr. I think the pommel nut might be hitting the end of the threads before it makes good contact with the grip. If you're using an inside hex pommel nut (the usual kind that you tighten with an allen key), it might also be catching the top of the nut. Does the guard wobble a little as well as rotate?
     
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  6. countertime

    countertime Rookie

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    Thanks for the answer, but the hex nut still has space to go down the threaded tang. No wobble whatsoever - just rotation - which is the weird thing. All I can surmise is that the square, notched hole in the BG is bigger than the unthreaded part of the tang.
     
  7. dcchew

    dcchew Podium

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    One possible problem area is the pad. What I do is to enlarge the hole in the pad to match the socket bracket or the grip (whichever is smaller). If you leave the pad untouched, it can act as sliding surface between the grip and the socket bracket (or guard). Once you start the tightening process, you should have a good strong mechanical and electrical joint.

    Another possible problem area is that the edges of the square portion of the tang don't allow the grip to completely go down over the tang. The solution is to bevel the edges of the tang slightly.
     
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  8. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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  9. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

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    How about roughing up the inside center of the bell guard with a file plus enlarging (not by much) the hole in the pad as dc suggests?
     
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  10. posineg

    posineg Made the Cut

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    If the nut tightens snug and the grip is not sliding up/down the tang but the bell is still loose, then the grip is pressed as far onto the tang as it will go. The square cut of the tang has met the round of the grip deep in the grip. I bet the bracket is also loose.

    One other question: Did someone try to shorten the length of the grip?
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
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  11. twisterfencing

    twisterfencing Podium

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    I know this is going to sound weird since no one has asked you this yet but: Have you checked the rivets on your guard yet??

    If the grip is tight to the guard plate, (round thing attached to the guard) and the guard still moves, not the grip, not the blade, but just the guard, sounds like you got some broken rivets that attached the guard plate to the guard.

    Take the grip off, take the pad out, take the socket off, remove the guard, look at it and see if the guard plate moves around or is loose? Most times, no one even notices it until you take the guard off. If the guard is a one piece, like a Vniti or FWF, there is no guard plate. Do the same and remove everything and look at the guard. Do you see any cracks?? A cracked guard at the tang hole will act just like one that has broken rivets as well. Slippery little devils.

    Just my thoughts. Have fun

    Gary Spruill
     
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  12. Fairfield_Fencing_Armory

    Fairfield_Fencing_Armory Made the Cut

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    Another problem I have seen is caused by the angled cant of the tang. Since the grip is manufactured with a flat 90 degree surface, I grind the end to match the angle created by the bent tang. It’s easiest to do this before assembly. This allows the grip to seat flat against the bell and press the bell tightly to the blade. The increased surface contact reduces the chance for wobble and for the grip to need constant tightening.
    I have also found that I can add extra washers as needed.
     
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  13. twisterfencing

    twisterfencing Podium

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    Washers
    Just a suggestion:

    One washer is a locking device
    Two or more washers makes an axle sliding against each other.

     
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  14. Fairfield_Fencing_Armory

    Fairfield_Fencing_Armory Made the Cut

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    True, lock washers are not designed to be piled up. The ideal would be to use a lock washer and flat washers... but I rarely do. I pile the lock washers up at the grip end and they seem to hold fine when I tighten them, but they probably shift over time and need retightening when I’m not around. I do twist the grip back and forth as I’m working to try to seat them as best I can.
     
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  15. dcchew

    dcchew Podium

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    A slight thread drift. If you ever have to deepen the counterbore hole in a pistol grip, use the appropriate drill bit that has a "pilot point" tip. The drill bit tip has a profile that keeps the bottom of the hole flat which helps the lock washer do its job.
    [​IMG]

    If you're a hardware type of fencing geek, try the Nord-Lock two piece lock washer. I've used this type of washer in my profession before where the piece of equipment I was designing was going to see a lot of vibration. You can find them in small quantities online, McMaster-Carr, or eBay. For the M6 size, pay close attention to the outside diameter dimension, they have a couple of different parts.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
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  16. countertime

    countertime Rookie

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    That worked like a charm!... I also slightly engraved a small notch in the face of the bell guard (sorta like the blade profile that is 'punched' in an old bell guard)... Stopped the rotation completely and didn't have to resort to the lock washer (which in my clumsy hands would have surely led to a severed wire)
     
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  17. Emfuser

    Emfuser DE Bracket

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    I've been using the Nord-Lock washers in my weapons for awhile now and they work fantastic. In particular I like to combine them with the Leon Paul custom-machined outside hex nut that has a large flat bottom surface area.
     
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