Make your own bell guard pads

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by Zebra, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

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    Since Proprintwear no longer sells their zebra bell guard pads, and I've picked up a few more weapons since, I decided to try and make my own. I had a go at it last month, and if I say so myself, the results were fantastic. So I'll post the instructions below.

    dazzle.jpg
    A dazzle of zebras.
    (foil and epee pads from Proprintwear, sabre pads homemade)
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
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  2. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

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    What you need
    • Fabric in your favorite color or pattern
    • Interfacing
    • Template
    • Iron
    • Sewing machine
    For each pad you will need a 6 inch square piece of top fabric (your choice) and a 6 inch square piece of interfacing. For foil, you can get away with a 5 inch square.
    The interfacing to use for foil and epee is Pellon Flex-Foam 1-sided Fusible Stabilizer; for sabre, use Pellon Peltex 1 Ultra-Firm. In each case, you should get the type that is fusible on one side. Make sure you know which side is the fusible side (fusible means that there’s a heat-activated adhesive so you can bond another fabric to the interfacing by ironing it on).
    You will also need a template (especially for sabre!): the best kind to use is the thin transparent pad from Absolute.
     
  3. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

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    Instructions
    • Cut a 6 inch square of the top fabric and the interfacing.
    • Use an iron to fuse the top fabric to the interfacing, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Put a damp rag over the top fabric when ironing.
    • Lay the template on the sandwich of fabric (make sure you have the right side of the template up for a right-handed or left-handed sabre pad) and trace around it with a colored pencil.
    square.jpg
    The pattern is traced onto the sandwich of fabric and interfacing.

    • Set your sewing machine to zig-zag and a medium stitch length. Thread it with thread that will match your pad. Sew around the edge of the pad, staying well inside the traced line: you will be cutting between the stitching and the line. The best approach to sewing is to start near the margin of the fabric, get a good smooth start, and pick up the target line as you pass the socket notch.
    • For foil and sabre pads, set the machine to smaller stitches and narrower zig-zag, then sew a U-shaped margin around the notch of the pad. Give plenty of space: the notch has to be big.
    sewn.jpg
    Note how the line of stitching starts outside the notch and stays well inside the line.

    • Next, sew a circle or square around the place where the hole for the blade tang will be.
    • With a heavy-duty pair of scissors, cut around the edge of the pad and cut out the notch. Be sure not to cut into the stitching. Cut a hole for the blade and you’re through.
    almost.jpg
    Just needs the hole. (I actually made another sabre pad because the notch in this one is too small.)
    Sabre pad.jpg
    Finished product!
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
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