FWF screwless epee points. Initial impressions.

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by damianip, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. damianip

    damianip Podium

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    I picked up four of the new FWF screwless epee points from Gary at Swordmasters.

    I've rewired one weapon and have been testing it out.

    For the record, the weapon is a French gripped BF M blade. I don't fence absence so my points do get banged up a bit.

    First impressions. I like the design: the tip enters the barrel through a nut/sleeve assmbly and unlike the Estocs, the point and sleeve are a metal to metal bearing surface. This bodes well for durability, particularly from fencers like me who tend to side load the point on the touch.

    The action is fairly smooth, although not the smoothest and there are some circumferential scoring/machining marks that might contribute to the lack of absolute smoothness. See the photo below.

    It also uses convention contact and pressure springs and wires which is a big plus.

    As delivered and installed, there was no adjustment required to make the travel distance, gap or weight legal. According to my Negrini fan shim, it went off between .35 and .30 mm.

    In use it performed well... at first. While bouting last night, a touch was made and the light stayed on. I could not get it to turn off.

    Disassembly revelaed that the post which supports the contact spring had unscrewed itself from the tip assembly, effectively lengthening the spring and shortening the stroke to the point where it stayed on permanently.

    Last night I reassembled the point, tightening it up as best I could (no wrench flats on the small piece) and tried it again today. It quickly repeated the failure. I will try to add a bit of Loc-tite and see if that helps (my only concern would be about conductivity changes). If this doesn't help I will swap out one of the other tips from the remaining three complete point sets and see if the proble arises again.

    I'm not sure if it's a design or an assembly issue or just a QC problem, but I will let everyone know how things progress.



     
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  2. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    Thanks for taking the time to do this. Very informative.
     
  3. Natureboy

    Natureboy Made the Cut

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    Blue loctite shouldn't effect your conductivity enough to matter. What's with the big gap? A bigger gap means a lot more travel till the light is on. Not really liking that.
     
  4. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    Not necessarily....the contact spring CAN be lengthened, after all.
     
  5. dcchew

    dcchew Podium

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    The threads on these tip are very fine, so I wouldn't recommend blue 242 loctite. If you want to apply loctite, try the purple 222 loctite. It's mean for very tiny threads. However, it might be hard to find.

    Also, only apply a very thin film of loctite, you don't want it wicking into the inside of the tip and gumming things up.
     
  6. DangerMouse

    DangerMouse Podium

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    Ummm... not when the shim test specifies the ninimum distance from the barrel to the tip when it fires. Bigger starting gap equals longer travel distance.
     
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  7. ShortFoot

    ShortFoot Rookie

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    Why wouldn't that lead to failure of the thin-shim test? Trying to picture it....

    EDIT: Hit post before seeing DangerMouse's entry. We may be asking the same question but I'm not certain.
     
  8. DangerMouse

    DangerMouse Podium

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    You're asking the question. I'm asserting that PF has it wrong. You can't picture how it would work because it wouldn't work.
     
  9. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    If you're talking about the .5mm shim....not entirely true.

    It's not measuring the minimum distance from the barrel to the tip...it's measuring the minimum distance from the end of the contact spring to the contacts...a distance which changes ALL the time simply through use.

    If the top of barrel/bottom of tip gap is significantly larger than 1.5mm, that would seem to indicate the post the contact spring is mounted on is ALSO further away from the contacts (since it's attached to the tip itself) ...which can be solved simply by lengthening the contact spring (if there's enough post to do so) to make up the difference. Springs walk up and down the threaded post on their own all the time.

    The problem a large barrel/tip gap really can cause is in the overall length of the blade...it might push it past 90cm...but that would only really affect those who go to an event where a gabrit is used durinfg control to check weapon parameters.
     
  10. ShortFoot

    ShortFoot Rookie

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    Let me try to understand. :confused:

    With a legal tip, the gap with the undepressed tip is >= 1.5 mm (the thick-shim test), and when that gap is shrunk to 0.5 mm (the thin-shim test), there should be no light. Let's suppose we have a tip where the gap starts out at 1.6 mm and the contact is made when it's shrunk to 0.4 mm, so that the tip passes both tests with 0.1 mm to spare. Then the travel distance to contact is 1.6 mm - 0.4 mm = 1.2 mm.

    Now suppose we alter the tip to enlarge the first gap, to 2.0 mm, but we adjust the contact spring to maintain the 1.2-mm travel distance. Now we apply the shim tests again. The tip passes the thick-shim test with 0.5 mm to spare. Now the thin shim is inserted, the tip is depressed a distance of 2.0 mm - 0.5 mm = 1.5 mm, and ... the light goes on, right? Because the travel distance to contact was maintained at 1.2 mm.

    Why would that not be what happens?

    NOTE: I'm assuming ideal shims; let's not get into shim tolerances.
     
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  11. DHCJr

    DHCJr Armorer

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    Sam, DangerMouse is correct. If the gap is bigger, say 2 mm, then the tip must travel at least 1.5 mm or it will fail the 0.5 mm shim test. If it travels only 1 mm before firing (normal travel), it will fail the 0.5 mm shim test.

    Your suggestion in the 3rd paragraph is wrong. The 1.5 mm test has nothing to do with the contact spring. It only test the distance from the barrel to the tip. Now if you lengthen the contact spring you will have effectively shortened the travel distance. If the same tip is first mounted on a barrel that has a 1.5 mm gap and it has a 1 mm travel and you then mount it on another barrel that has a larger gap and you lengthen the contact spring, it will fail the 0.5 mm shim.

    Now the last paragraph is an excellent warning.
     
  12. damianip

    damianip Podium

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    The 1.5 mm gap is largely a function of manufacturing tolerances and screw choice. If you mix parts, you can sometimes get into trouble there, particularly with NEPS screws.

    The .5mm adjustment is exactly that, an adjustment.
     
  13. damianip

    damianip Podium

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    Same thing happened again after snugging as much as possible. Now trying with some blue Loctite.

    Will report back.
     
  14. damianip

    damianip Podium

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    Tip survived some bouting today. Will update as necessary, but I don't thnk I should have to do this to internal parts.

    Gary? Have you gotten simlar feedback or is it just this one?

    I might swap in another assembly into the barrel without loctite and see what happens.
     
  15. damianip

    damianip Podium

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    The big gap occurred as a result of the "auto-disassembly"; reassembly got it back to normal.
     

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