What's with epee tip incompatibilities

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by jjefferies, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    In the recent past I've been under the impression that epee tip parts were for the most part interchangeable. The one glaring difference was the Leon Paul tip screw threads were cut with a slightly different bevel. Which made them very desirable to replace lost or stripped German tip screws as they would fit in and stay tight. But recently I've been encountering some seriously differently sized parts. Tips (plungers) which are too large to fit what I thought were standard bodies. Are others encountering this phenomena and any idea who these parts are coming from?

    Another question, I've also been under the impression that tyou could type tips(plungers) by the color of the plastic used as their insulators, i.e. white==German(Uhlman/Allstar), black==British(leon Paul), red== French(Prieur). Is this correct and consistent?
    thanks
    j.jefferies
     
  2. Stence

    Stence Made the Cut

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    I've never heard anything about the plastic insulators being any indication of anything. PBT wire has a white insulator and is german style.

    Typically if I have tips that don't fit in barrels, unless its a really bad batch its a french tip that accidentally got mixed in with all my german parts. I also occasionally have problems with FWF and Allstar/Uhlmann tips passing large shim while in LP barrels, not sure if that is the fault of the tip screws I was using or the PBT wire I was using having a "taller" insulation ring than LP's.

    Piggybacking on the thread, what's even the benefit of having the volcano cup? And what brands sell german style wire with/without it. I know that LP and PBT don't have volcano cups and FWF and Allstar/Uhlmann do, but are there other brands of decent wire out there? I am looking to change brands as the PBT I've used in the past has really thin cotton insulation along the wire that rubs away so dang quickly and causes tons of grounding issues.
     
  3. K O'N

    K O'N Podium

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    There is no benefit to the volcano cup, it's just a pain in the ass. I never order Uhlmann or Allstar or FWF wires.

    If I'm ordering from LP I get LP wires; if I'm ordering from Absolute I get the Absolute house brand, which are double insulated and take a bit longer to strip, but are good if you're rough on wires; if I'm ordering from BG I get the French style (which just means "no volcano tip") house wire.

    I honestly like the BG french style best, since I can strip them fast and don't have to burn lacquer off, but if you have trouble with grounding I'd go with the Absolute house brand:

    https://www.absolutefencinggear.com/shopping/product_info.php/products_id/307/cPath/
     
  4. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    Not now...but in the past you could tell a Prieur due to the orange insulator.

    I stopped selling Sport 7 parts because I was tired of their own parts not fitting....FWF all the way now...have not had that issue.

    Actually, there is. My 3/32 flat head punch fits into the volcano tip nicely...the volcano helps to center the punch when I tap it to level the contacts.
     
  5. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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    The volcano cup is a leftover from a brief period when Uhlmann produced an epee point that permitted the lightning stroke to be adjusted externally with a screwdriver. The contact at the base of the tip was square and fit into the square internal shape of the cup. The FIE changed their minds about allowing such tips, Since the investment in the molds for the plastic contact blocks was already made and they work with conventional tips as well, they've kept on using them.
     
  6. DHCJr

    DHCJr Armorer

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    Normally, your posts are accurate, but not this time. Actually, the 'volcano cup' was created because the FIE during the 80's had a requirement that Epee tips would not go out of adjustment. The Uhlmann tips were not adjusted by an external screw. How the tip worked was there was a square nut with a spring to keep it in place. To adjust it, the normal 2 screws were removed and the tip was turned to adjust the travel by running the nut up and down a shaft. Once adjusted the screws were put in and then the tip was supposed to not go out of adjustment. They went through at least 5 versions that I know of. they changed the tension of the spring, the depth of the nut, amount of beveling at the top and bottom of the nut. I have been told there were actually 7. The FIE did change their minds, but it wasn't about allowing such tips, it was they no longer required the tips. The tips that were adjustable externally with a screwdriver were Mion, not Uhlmann. All other tips, even the Carmimari with a screw on the outside could not be adjusted from the outside.

    The rest of your statement is correct.
     
  7. Stence

    Stence Made the Cut

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    Interesting, so the cup doesn't provide any real benefit to the way tips and wires are currently constructed with the exception of helping, seat the tip in the barrel, they're just holdovers from almost 40 years ago now.
    Has the cup ever shown to be a detriment to the system as a whole? I could see maybe dirt or metal splinters being harder to remove if they get caught in the volcano, and maybe the sides of a contact spring getting caught on the top ridge.
     
  8. SJCFU#2

    SJCFU#2 Podium

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    More like only 25-30 years ago (IIRC it was the late 80's into the early 90's), but basically you are correct - they are a leftover "feature" which, once having been incorporated was never removed (guess they threw away the old molds and never got around to replacing the new ones).
     
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  9. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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    Thanks for the info, Donald- those tips were from just before my time, so I was going off of the memory of a few that were still lying about on people's workbenches and their descriptions of them.
     
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  10. DHCJr

    DHCJr Armorer

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    I also wish I still had some of the historical tips. I had them stored at the Long Beach State Armory. The department chairman with input from a coach from another college and without input from the Long Beach State Coach or me, cleared out the Armory of everything. There were new blades, handles, pommels, guards in there also. They threw out I guess several thousand dollars to replace in addition to historical items that probably can never be replaced at any price.
     
  11. K O'N

    K O'N Podium

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    The contact spring does get caught if it's not perfectly straight. It makes the tip 'click' when you press it. Often it works fine for a while, then the contact spring will catch and not work. Then it works when the ref checks it ten times. Then it catches again in the next DE and costs you a touch. Etc. Volcano tips are a terrible idea and should be shunned.
     
  12. Stence

    Stence Made the Cut

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    So hypothetically speaking, besides it being a PitA, whats to stop people from just cutting the volcano cup off the top of wires. Do people do this, or is it considered more effort than its worth?
     
  13. DHCJr

    DHCJr Armorer

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    Cutting off the top does not help, but probably makes it worse.The hole is still the same side, but it has a ragged edge where you cut. The best thing is buy another brand of wire. Most are compatible.
     
  14. twisterfencing

    twisterfencing Podium

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    Donald and Brian are both correct.
    Donald, the old tip had a square rod in the place of a contact spring, it did not work, and got killed. End of story.
    The cup you now see on the FWF-Uhlmann-Allstar and of course, some stupid company in China that has no clue why its even there is more now of a marketing identifier than anything else. Kevin (KON) is also correct, that darn cup can and does catch at times a contact spring. My opinion: I sell them for those that say: I only want a German blade wire. OK! Here you go!
    Now, for what I use: wiring a blade or re-wiring a blade, I only use the PBT epee blade wire for German type points.
    I have tried them all. Used them all, and this is my go to blade wire. If your not a fan, sorry, come back and tell me why once you have passed 100,000 blade wires used - you may just change my mind :)

    Gary Spruill
     
  15. Stence

    Stence Made the Cut

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    Gary I actually switched to PBT wire because I saw how highly you regarded them. While I like the volcano cup quite a bit, do you ever have problems with the insulation along the wire? Maybe I'm gripping the wire too hard while I'm straightening it but it feels like the insulation peels/pulls away so easily compared to other brands. It could be that I just need to practice with this particular brand of wire more, but I can wire with other brands without an issue, and while I'm by no means as experienced as pretty much anyone here I'm also not an amateur either.
     
  16. twisterfencing

    twisterfencing Podium

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    Stence,
    The insulation is not peeling off, take a look at it. I see this all the time, even the oils from my fingers change the color of the insulation and even make me look and ask: did I just pull back the insulation on that darn wire?? I look at it, and sure enough, its still there, I just changed the color of it with what ever was on my finger tips. That insulation is chemically melted on to that blade wire. Now, I have scratched it off by accident 1000's of times, but that happens no matter what blade wire your using. I just pull it out and toss it in the trash as I am cursing like a sailor and pull out another one and keep on going.

    Gary Spruill

    I just re-read your post, I am referencing the PBT blade wire.



     
  17. touchefriend

    touchefriend Made the Cut

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    I do this all the time with the Chinese epee wires. The plastic they use is prone to deformation and often prevents a proper 0.5 shim adjustment, if not removed. At 65ยข each, the epee and foil wires are plenty long - lasting for club equipment.
    Speaking of epee points, I ordered a couple from FWF of the no-screw variety. The theory is good but I haven't found a way to keep the things in adjustment. After a few touches, they lose the 0.5 shim setting. If anyone has found a way to keep them set up, let me know.
     
  18. dcchew

    dcchew Podium

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    When the outer fabric insulation starts to unravel, I coat the bare section of wire with nail polish. It stops the insulation from unraveling and puts an additional layer of insulation material just in case you broke through the factory varnish coating on the wire.
     
  19. DHCJr

    DHCJr Armorer

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    Actually it was a nut that screwed on a post loosely with a spring to keep it pressed down. As I said, when they cleared out the Long Beach State Armory I lost all of mine or I would have posted a picture.

    I do like the rest of your post and the explanation on why you push other wires. Very informative.
     
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