New versions of the Melting Pommel and the Palmel

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by EldRick, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. EldRick

    EldRick Podium

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    I am now producing version 3.0 of the ergonomic pommels, specifically designed for those who post or use Extended French epee style. These are now made of polycarbonate, and are redesigned for convenience. They are not adjustable for weight, but are among the lightest pommels available.

    These have a knobby surface for non-slip grip without the need for rubber, much like fine checkering on a firearm, and do not require shim washers to adjust the angle, as they use a standard inside hex pommel nut.

    [​IMG]

    These will be available soon from The Fencing Post - by December NAC at the latest.

    The Melting Pommel, on the left, maximizes contact with the small fingers and increases hand comfort when posting. The Palmel, on the right, offers the longest reach of any pommel when posting, and maximizes hand contact for point control and power.

    Both ergonomic pommels are designed for comfort for all-day use, and the shape and size have been tested and approved by fencers ranging from small slender women to large athletic men.

    Specifications:

    - Length = 50mm. Should not cause your French grip weapon to exceed the 20cm maximum legal length from front of bellguard to end of pommel.

    - Weight = ~20g. Easily the lightest pommels available.

    - Material = polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is a durable thermoplastic used in products ranging from football helmets to computer mice. It is slightly resilient, and will not shatter. The pommels are 3D-printed and faceted, giving them a surface texture that provides non-slip grip in any glove without requiring a wear-prone rubber coating, and without causing excess wear on the glove.

    - Warrantee: I’ve tested these for durability in various ways, including a 2-lb. hammer on an anvil. The hammer simply bounces off. If one ever does break, I will promptly replace it and provide postage-paid return.

    - Competition Legality: These pommels are fully legal in all US and International competition, according to US SEMI, Ted Li, and Dan DeChaine. See further information below.

    Installation - To install, insert the flat washer in the hole, followed by the lockwasher and pommel nut. Do NOT enlarge the hole in the pommel, as these are made to be a press-fit on the pommel nut. Just put the pommel nut on the end of your Allen wrench to hold it straight, and press firmly into the hole until it bottoms out. Then screw the pommel onto the tang (it will be tight the first time), turn the pommel to your desired angle and tighten the pommel nut.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017 at 3:52 PM
    K O'N likes this.
  2. K O'N

    K O'N Podium

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    These look awesome. One note:

    This seems awfully certain when you don't know what kind of grip they're going to be paired with. There are some long grips out there. I'd go more with a "It's up to you to be sure you're legal with your grip" kind of an approach, if it were me.
     
  3. dcchew

    dcchew Podium

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    Rick, you should send a sample to Ted Li. Dan has retired from his position as a member of the SEMI Committee. Ted is the new SEMI Committee member.

    What size is the counterbore? Will your updated design work with the outside hex pommels? More specifically, the LP outside hex pommel.
     
  4. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    I definitely like the standard hex pommel for the actual attachment to the blade. On the few epees I've worked on that had the earlier version of the melting pommel, (rewires, mostly), I always had a difficult time lining up the pommel correctly which getting proper tightness....this new design eliminates that issue.
     
  5. Mergs

    Mergs Podium

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    While Dan is an Emeritus member of the US SEMI Committee, and Ted has taken his place on the FIE SEMI, the US SEMI is the one that evaluates equipment and makes determinations on the legality of equipment. While we all highly respect Dan's opinion on these matters, it still needs to be reviewed, or at least an recommendation, asked for from the US SEMI. Eldrick can contact them at [email protected]
     
  6. EldRick

    EldRick Podium

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    I haven't seen any pommels shorter than 50mm, so these should replace any other pommel without adding length. Note Dan's comment. I'll change any marketing material as you suggest.

    dcchew: The counterbore is 9.9mm for a minimal sized hole. With the nubby surface, this gives a light press-fit for the pommel nut. It won't fit an outside-hex pommel nut if they are any larger than 10mm O.D.

    Mergs: thanks for the email - I've sent a note.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
  7. dcchew

    dcchew Podium

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    Okay. Only reason I asked is that the tang lengths of my blades do vary a bit. With an outside hex pommel, I wouldn't have to trim the tangs to match the pommels. On second thought, the diameter of the deep socket wrench I use to tighten the outside hex pommels is probably too big anyhow.

    What do I do now with my collection of shims and old pommels?
     
  8. EldRick

    EldRick Podium

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    The hole for the tang measures 12mm from flat face to the bottom of the counterbore. That plus the 10mm threaded length inside the pommel nut should accommodate most tangs (I hope).
    I've got just the opposite problem - a couple of my blades have the tang trimmed too short.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
  9. Mergs

    Mergs Podium

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    Yes, and I've sent you a reply from me and is not to be construed as a response from the committee.
     
  10. EldRick

    EldRick Podium

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    ddchew: The tang needs protrude from the french grip by a minimum of 15mm (to catch three threads), maximum 22mm. You can shave the minimum by 1.5 mm, by omitting the lockwasher and using a drop of loctite.
     
  11. EspadaMK

    EspadaMK Made the Cut

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    Looks great but would love to see a heavier version (150g).
     
  12. EldRick

    EldRick Podium

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    I once manufactured them using 3D-printed metal, but the process is costly, and few people would pay close to $100. I can have metal ones made up on prepaid special order, or could offer you the previous hollow version, which allowed insertion of shot inside the pommel for balance, but was a bit of a pain to install.

    BTW, when posting, although some prefer a heavy-hand feel, weight held in the hand does very little to balance the weapon.
     
  13. EldRick

    EldRick Podium

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    Quoted with his permission, from Ted Li: "I don't see any problem with their legality."
    Both pommels appear to be legal for both USFA and FIE competition.
     
  14. Mergs

    Mergs Podium

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    "...see any problem with their legality" and "they are legal for both USFA and FIE competition" are two distinctly different statements. The former does not definitively or implicitly declare they are legal, and the latter needs to come from either the US SEMI or FIE SEMI. While Ted is a member of both committees, and his opinion is valued by both, his statement to you should not be construed as a declaration of the legality of the pommels.
     
  15. EldRick

    EldRick Podium

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    I've been pondering how to describe this ambiguous state (which seems to be common in fencing).
    Since there appears to be no-one in power with responsibility and interest in officially ruling on the legality of pommels, or even a written description of what a pommel is supposed to look like, these are no more legal or illegal than any other pommel, i.e. apparently legal for competition until ruled otherwise.
    This is based on the opinion of two widely-respected SEMI members, which seems to be about as official as I'm going to be able to get, frustrating though that may be.
    If there is some other person or procedure you can point me to, or even a succinct way to summarize this status in a description for a web page, I'd appreciate your guidance.
    Otherwise I'll quote the opinions of Dan and Ted and assert legality.
     
  16. Stormbringer

    Stormbringer DE Bracket

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    This is the part that I would be wondering about, as the USFA had already put a ban on pommels made into orthopedic aids by means of applying large amounts of tape.
    At the time of this writing, the sales pages for both the Palmel and the Melting Pommel speak of how each is specifically designed to "[maximize] hand contact for best point control and power" and "[improve] comfort for the hand and wrist, and [give] better angular control when posting" - both of which do sound an awful lot like "is supposed to function as an orthopedic aid, allowing the fencer a degree of the enhanced power and control of the pistol grips together with the extended reach of a posted French grip".

    It doesn't seem too out-of-place to look at your pommels in that light, and wonder how/why they aren't in violation of the spirit of that previous ruling, or the letter of m.4.6. o_O
     
  17. EldRick

    EldRick Podium

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    Ted Li has also recently written: "I have put the issue before the FIE SEMI, and their opinion is that the pommel is legal, as long as the handle/pommel combination is not too long or will not pass through the epee cylinder. THE FIE SEMI is more concerned with the shape of the handle.
    So, as of now, the pommel is legal, just as a wad of tape on the pommel."

    People have been carping about the legality of my pommels for years, and they have yet to be ruled illegal, because there is nothing illegal about them. If you want to gripe about pommel shapes, gripe about the LP cantilever pommels.

    There are only two written rules on pommels, to my knowledge: they cannot make the total length of guard/grip/pommel more than 20 cm., and the assembly has to pass thru the cylinder gauge. I believe the issue with tape was that it could conceal things, and in your quote, "epees were found that were as much as 1″ longer than allowed under the rules". These pommels do not fix the hand in position in any way, unlike "orthopedic" grips with horns and prongs, and are shorter than many other pommels.

    Everybody has an opinion, but some opinions matter more than others; I'll listen to those of Ted Li and Dan DeChaine on this.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  18. Alex_Paul

    Alex_Paul Podium

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    Why do you always drag LP into this stuff?

    LP pommels don't have a special shape and are not designed to "gives better angular control when posting".

    Can I make an L shaped pommel? Kind of pistol shaped but without "horns and prongs"... I might just to see if they swallow it.
     
  19. EldRick

    EldRick Podium

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    Alex, I keep mentioning LP pommels in these discussions not from any rancor, but because in a conversation with a well-known official a few years ago, I was told "I'd rule your pommels illegal, but I'd have to do the same for the LP cantilever pommels, too."
    (My memory has probably paraphrased the exact wording)

    IMHO, the oversized LP pommels are clearly designed for enhanced grip and control when posting, as are mine. I don't see any difference in legality between LPs and my designs. None of these pommels are illegal under the rules, and should be treated similarly.

    Given that a couple of the known authorities on the rules have stated that my pommels are OK, for several years, I'm really tired of reading the whining that they might not be legal for competition. They are legal at this time, having been examined by both US and FIE SEMI. I expect to have a note from US SEMI so stating in a few days. Please - drop it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  20. DangerMouse

    DangerMouse Podium

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    Tangentially related question: what is the process for getting equipment approved by the US SEMI? What is the process by which equipment is disallowed?
     

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