Making Your Own Wires

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by St.Meow, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. St.Meow

    St.Meow Made the Cut

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    Recently I've gotten curious about making my own foil and epee blade wires using bulk wire, cups, and contacts. It's hard to find documentation on, despite the parts being readily available. Any insights on the process? I'm guessing it's mostly put the cup on the wire, solder the contact to the wire, and slide the cup over. Seems like a delicate job, so if I'm right, any tips?
     
  2. dcchew

    dcchew Podium

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    You'd better be good at soldering fine wires. I'd suggest investing in a bottle of nail polish. Make yourself some sort of jig to hold everything in place during the soldering process.
     
  3. Goldgar

    Goldgar Podium

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    I believe Fencing.net member Mac A. Bee has mentioned that he makes his own wires. If he doesn't respond to this thread, I suggest you send him a private message.
     
  4. pinbot

    pinbot Made the Cut

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    The first step is to draw your hunk of conductive metal through successively smaller holes, or at least that's the way we did it in jewelry making class.
     
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  5. bobb121

    bobb121 DE Bracket

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    I don't think you will have any luck with epee wires but foil wires should not be an issue.
     
  6. K O'N

    K O'N Podium

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    Making your own wires is one of those things which I think, sure, I could. But why? Or to make an analogy from another hobby of mine, one of the greatest ocean sailors ever said about a similar tedious, difficult, avoidable task:

    "Life is too short to splice wire rope." -Moitessier
     
  7. OrangeandStripey

    OrangeandStripey Made the Cut

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    doesnt gary sell wire? i think they are already made though right? apparently its some good wire though...
     
  8. Mergs

    Mergs Podium

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    Used to do that - but as K O'N says - why bother. Although, if I could get the contacts for german epee wires, I might be tempted - I much prefer to have them soldered as opposed to crimped.
     
  9. brtech

    brtech Podium

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    Not much to it. Stick a stripped and tinned wire through the cup. Slide the contact onto the wire. Using a really small tip on a small soldering iron with small diameter solder, solder it in place. You don't want much of a solder bump on the top of the contact and the bottom has to be smooth. Pull the wire to seat the contact and wire as usual.
     
  10. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee Podium

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    That's pretty much it. I use Leon Paul's wire, having given up on Radio Shack's, because LP's insulation insures no pop-ups. For a third hand, I use either a table-mounted vise or a heat sink clip that comes with most soldering iron kits. LP provides bulk contacts and cups. For German wires, I re-use components until worn out.
     
  11. DHCJr

    DHCJr Armorer

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    brtech is a good explanation for Epee. But I would like to add a couple of items. It is a personal preference, I do not use extra solder when using the soldering iron. I use the solder from the already tinned wire. One thing of note about the wire, the bared & tinned end must be short enough so there is no bare wire past the contact. That is the very important.

    For Foil, since the contact has no top, you can make the bare tinned wire a little longer and just drop it so it touches the insulation. After heating, break off the excess.

    In the answer to why. When I fenced, (I know there are a number of people who will swear I never fenced, because what I did could never be construed as fencing, but I did try) I did it for 2 reasons, I knew they worked and for the most part, I never had to rewire my blades, as the blades broke first and secondly I could spot my weapons (Epee had one bright Blue and one bright Green wire and Foil had bright Blue wires.

    I had one Armorer who worked for me at the '84 games make their own wires and uniquely wire their blades. They had Red & White wires and they weaved the wires back and forth down the Epee blade. This gave them the same ability to take the bending of the blade in a way similar to bowing the blade. Since they used Kryon insulated wires, they did not have to worry about the 2 wires shorting.
     
  12. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee Podium

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    The wire self-tins as you push it through the heated cup, so I don't tin prior. I snip off excess as close to the contact as possible.
     
  13. OrangeandStripey

    OrangeandStripey Made the Cut

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    Ok. so I'll bite. I'm fairly good at making blades. I typically have to wire a blade once every other season though. The superglue doesnt hold and eventually i get a loose barrel. if that never happened I'd never have to rewire.

    How do you rewire a blade so that doesnt have to happen, Oh Great Sahib! :)

    OaS
     
  14. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee Podium

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    Are you LockTiting or other less-than-Supergluing your barrels? Tightening to finger-tight plus quarter-turn?
     
  15. OrangeandStripey

    OrangeandStripey Made the Cut

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    Just superglue and I use a mini visegrips, like super tiny to put the barrel on. I seat the wire and very gently thread it on so it neither cuts the wire nor loses any insulation. Once its finger tight i use the grips to go around about a 1/4 turh or maybe 3/8ths.

    If his foils break b4 a rewire. Once every 2 years is great, but never is better.
     
  16. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee Podium

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    Neither can the center, according to Yates.:cool: Do you use a thin variety, a drop at a time, allowing it to wick down the insulation before your next drop at the wicking's terminus? Allow at least 20 minutes before removing from gig?
     
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  17. OrangeandStripey

    OrangeandStripey Made the Cut

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    I routinely let mine sit for 24 hours. yes, the thin stuff. one drop, actually per your exact instructions. Great minds and all
     
  18. bobb121

    bobb121 DE Bracket

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    Depends on the wire. If it is the copper plated steel wire with the clear acrylic insulation, I first score it up with fine sand paper and carefully watch where the drop of glue goes. Since the insulation is hard and clear there is no color change. @twisterfencing can vouch for this.
     
  19. brtech

    brtech Podium

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    At Jr Worlds in Plovdiv, both Uhlmann and Allstar factory teams were there (along with PBT). If you purchased foil wire from Uhlmann, it's different. It has a dark blue plastic insulation. The Allstar wire is the old style. I found it hard to see where the drop was going on the new wire. ​
     
  20. DHCJr

    DHCJr Armorer

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    I use different wire, mine is not tinned.

    I don't use superglue. Personally I use Cementit, but for most that takes too long. As far as loose barrel, I was extremely AR and would check everything before every bout, loose barrels, connectors, handles, wires, screws, etc.
     

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