"free barrel" foil wiring from Rudy Volkmann's repair manual

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by Quo_Usque, Apr 16, 2018 at 10:06 AM.

  1. Quo_Usque

    Quo_Usque Rookie

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    There's a bit in the manual about wiring a foil such that the barrel is free to be tightened without worrying about pinching the wire, and you can change the whole barrel without rewiring it. To summarize, you remove the plastic cup, cut off the little brass cap from the end of the wire, and glue in the wire, leaving a little bit of extra length off the tip end of the blade. Remove the insulation from the end of the wire (leaving a bit where the wire will come through the cup). Place the cup in the barrel, and put the barrel on the blade, threading the wire end through the little hole in the plastic cup. Tighten the barrel, and then squish the wire end down within the plastic cup, so that it essentially takes the place (electrically speaking) of the brass cap. Then you can install the tip as normal.

    Has anyone tried this method? I thought this was interesting and I'm trying it on one of my foils, but it's a fiddly process and I haven't been 100% successful. Currently, the foil doesn't go off every time the tip is depressed, so there's a short, which I've isolated to the tip. I think it's probably that the spring is occasionally contacting the barrel, since there is no brass cap to help align it. Any ideas for aligning it?

    Also, smushing the wire down into the cup was a major pain in the ass. I ended up fiddling around with a pair of tweezers and eventually got it, but there must be an easier way. I'm wondering if I should cut the wire a bit shorter, and file down the bottom end of the brass cap, and stick the cap in on top of the wire, so the spring can be held in place better.

    Would love to hear people's experience with this method, and any tips or tricks you might have.
     
  2. jfarmer

    jfarmer DE Bracket

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    I have seen "back in the day" people doing this using magnet wire purchased in bulk at Radio Shack. The only benefit I ever saw in it was the ability to tighten or remove the barrel without re-wiring. Even then, the chances of doing either successfully didn't seem to be much higher than taking out the tip and tightening the barrel with a normal wire.


    Never the less, I do have a small can that I toss the brass piece and plastic cup into when I rewire blades. Figure maybe I'll have time to pick up a roll of "Twister Fencing" wire or similar and make some wires...
     
  3. Emfuser

    Emfuser Made the Cut

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    I fence at Rudy's club and I don't think he wires stuff like this. I think he affixes the barrel first, like most people I know, and inserts the intact wire through the top. If you want I can ask him what led to this, but I'm guess it was either past-time cost of materials or long order times pre-internet.

    On second thought, I've directed him here once before. I'll try that first.
     
  4. Dr. V

    Dr. V Rookie

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    I think it was the Russians who first came up with this "back in the day." Joe Bibel used to study with Boris, who probably showed it to him, and Joe showed it to me. A foil tip ought to grab the spring well enough to keep it aligned and not hit the sides of the barrel - I think you may not have all the wire smushed down in the cup if you are shorting it out. But certainly dropping an unconnected "mushroom cap" on top of the mushed wires will help with that. And don't leave too much wire sticking out to be smushed down. If you have to tighten your barrel, it's useful to straighten out the wire again before doing so.
     
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  5. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee Podium

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    I used the Radio Shack 30AWG wrapping wire using recycled contacts and cups until Ted recommended bulk Leon Paul wire. Haven't had a pop-up since. There's an apocryphal story that (Rudy?) rewired a weapon during a DE break using the above technique.
     
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  6. Joe biebel

    Joe biebel Podium

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    This technique is not a "best practice". I have used this technique several times as a "stopgap" method. I typically keep a "prepped" foil point in my gear in case a point gets smashed during a meet. It is not easy to do the first time and I figured this out while a poor student desperate to keep my stuff working. Getting the wire the right length, centered, and the cup hole enlarged are critical.

    I did repair one of my team mates points (he had three of his four foils go bad) at a world cup years ago in between pool matches. He could not understand it when I explained I could change his point in a few minutes without re-wiring it. To his amazement it worked for the rest of the day.
     
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  7. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee Podium

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    Guess you're the apocryphal story!:cool:
     
  8. Joe biebel

    Joe biebel Podium

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    Oops! Sorry, I just read the original post and the techniques I was referring to is quite a bit different. I have seen "Boris" do what Quo_Usque mentioned and I've never used it
     

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