Tip of the Week: Why replace your foil screws?

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by twisterfencing, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. twisterfencing

    twisterfencing Podium

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    When you are doing your weekly - monthly - Never cleaning of your foil tips, why would you ever want to replace your (for this example) German foil screws??

    I always see new Armorner's hooking up meters to foils and looking for ways to try and get down to 1 or 1/2 an ohm.

    Here is a simple fix: change your screws!

    Why?

    Think of it like this; your blade wire is your "B" line, lets call it (+) for this example. The blade is your ground or (C) line, and again for this example, lets call it (-).

    When you hook up a meter to your foil to read the residence, your looking at the measure of ohms between the (B) and (C) line of the foil, aka; (+) and (-).

    Now, lets look at the (C) line for just a moment. You have the blade, then the barrel attached to the blade, then the tip. Now, what holds the tip in the barrel? The screws do. The screws go through the barrel (the (C) line) and "clamp" on to the tip collar to secure it in place and,,,,attach the "C" line to it. That little collar on the end of a German foil tip, does a lot of things in foil. We can cover more about that collar on another topic.

    If you have junk or oxidation that gets down into the barrel, and you clean the barrel and tip, what happens when you re-attach the tip with the same screws? OK, your barrel and tip are clean, you took out enough dirt in the barrel to grow a garden with it, but you just put back the oxidized junked up screws right back where they were? Is this a good thing? Some are going to ask: can I just clean the bottoms of the screws? You remember when you took those screws out and all that tape glue junk that was on the threads? Tape glue residue is not conductive, I promise, so we go back the the original question: is this a good thing?

    When cleaning your points on your foils, do yourself a favor, swap out the weight spring and both screws to have a happy foil. Keep your points clean, they works better when you do. You will be surprised what this simple swap out does for your residence.

    In foil, there are 100's of small little tricks like this one to make you weapon "perfect", the secret is knowing the 100's of little tricks. Here is one of them. Use it!

    Gary Spruill
     
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  2. rudd

    rudd Podium

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    Thanks Gary. I knew that that bad screws could cause issues on the LP points but I didn't realise that German points could be affected as well.
     
  3. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee is a Verified Fencing ExpertMac A. Bee Podium

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    The Leon Paul point allows you to leave the screws partially-in during cleaning, thus cleaning their bottoms. On the other hand, their screws are designed to be the disposable part of the point system, i.e. the end's side eventually develops a flat spot where it contacts the tip's flange. Either the flange or screw would wear, and Leon Paul chose the screw. Given that, replacing these screws and accompanying normally long-lasting springs before they fail pre-tournament weight test is not a value proposition for the individual fencer.
     
  4. twisterfencing

    twisterfencing Podium

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    Am I reading this correctly?
    A $0.40 x 2 set of screws and a $0.40 weight spring for each weapon is not a value proposition for the individual fencer?


     
  5. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee is a Verified Fencing ExpertMac A. Bee Podium

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    A what point (pun pardon) does one replace? Every cleaning? Every pre-tournament? If not at wear-out, what's the driver?
     
  6. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    I'd suggest chasing the threads in the barrel as well, but 1) don't know if a tap that small is readily available, 2) too much of a chance of mucking it up, and 3) if removing the screws chases the threads ANYway.
     
  7. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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    I said your money or your life!
    I'm thinking it over...

    [​IMG]
     
  8. twisterfencing

    twisterfencing Podium

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    At what point: I clean and replace every time I take the tip tape off, but note: that is me, not recommending it to all, I suggest at least a cleaning once a month.
    The point is: to have a clean functioning weapon that works - takes the guess work out of the equation.
    The driver: you spent $300 in fuel and hotel costs to go to a meet, you lost your DE 15-14, you keep noticing your weapon not firing when you knew your were hitting the person, did you loose that match because of a dirty tip not firing correctly? Could you have fixed this issue for $1.20 a weapon? Pretty strong driver in my mind.

    Mac,
    I see your point, and I for one am glad you have it. Please note: we do somewhere north of 400 pre-play tip tune ups at a NAC's so that the fencer has the best weapon they can have and have the confidence in them that they are 100% due to the fact they do not know "how" to work on them themselves.

    I am just trying to help show "the fencer" ways to help "keep" and "maintain" their equipment. It's more favorable to me to keep my "mouth shut" on this issue.

    Gary Spruill

     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  9. Steve Khinoy

    Steve Khinoy DE Bracket

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    I don't pretend to the armoring expertise of anyone on this thread, but wouldn't you tighten the barrel onto the blade before messing with the screws?
    Also, consider Gary's other posts about the nightmare of replacing French screws. Lots of us have them. Now what?
     
  10. twisterfencing

    twisterfencing Podium

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    We are discussing maintenance on a foil, not how to rewire it.
     
  11. bobb121

    bobb121 Podium

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    I tell all my fencers that once a month they should clean the tip using 90% isopropyl alcohol and q-tips. I also tell them to replace the screws and springs at the same time.
     
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  12. dcchew

    dcchew Podium

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    If you can, use 99.99% isopropyl alcohol. I can get it at a good electronics hardware store.

    There is a special contact cleaner tool that sold by PBT. It looks very much like a contact setter but with a serrated edge on the bottom. A Q-tip will not get to the bottom surface of the brass contact post where the pressure spring is in contact with it. This tool will scrap away any oxidation on the contact post giving you a clean contact surface.

    Most foil pressure springs have a plating on it. Just clean it with the alcohol and that will be enough to ensure a good electrical path. Same for the rest of the tip.
     
  13. rkirshner

    rkirshner Rookie

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    hi gary . you said above ,"That little collar on the end of a German foil tip, does a lot of things in foil". can you maybe expand on this a bit . thank you very much
     
  14. Stence

    Stence Made the Cut

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    Do you have a link to it? Couldn't find it on PBTs site and it sounds like exactly what I need. Additionally, is there one for epees as well?
     
  15. dcchew

    dcchew Podium

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  16. posineg

    posineg Made the Cut

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    That sound very nice to have. I had to make one by mounting a broken dremmel sanding disc fragment onto a rod and cutting to fit a epee barrel.
     
  17. dcchew

    dcchew Podium

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  18. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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  19. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee is a Verified Fencing ExpertMac A. Bee Podium

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    They look like the clean only the contact's outside edge, i.e. the rim, no?
     
  20. twisterfencing

    twisterfencing Podium

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    Hey rkirshner:

    We could almost write a book on what you are asking, so I am going to try and keep it short

    That collar on the bottom of the tip: Think of it as a "Light Switch"! In rest position, the light switch is on, when pushed down, the light switch is off. That little collar is what controls the light switch. In short, the blade is the C line, the blade wire is the B line, when you press the tip downward, it cuts off (insulated) the B line. Those screws that go through the barrel that grab onto the collar are in fact part of the C line.
    Imagine: you have a depressed tip, the collar is in pressed position, now you are hitting someone's lame AKA: A line, this is what makes the touch. If you have a dirty point, or bad screw connections, aka: high resistance, it's only going to cost you touches.

    Your going to hear terminology of Collar up or collar down. When a point is pressed down, the collar is in the up position, when released, the collar is in the down position.

    Do yourself a favor, grab a foil spring and a German tip. Put the spring in the bottom of it just like as if it was in the barrel. Look at how it works. There is a lot going on inside that barrel and the hub for everything is that collar.

    Better?

    Gary Spruill


     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018

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