Quick Tips For Weapon Fix:
One of the most common and easiest thing to check for, REGARDLESS OF WEAPON, is to make sure all parts are tight. That includes the handle, the guard, the socket, and the point barrel (foil/epee). If any of those parts are loose, even slightly, the weapon will FAIL to work properly.
Basics: Epee is initially a broken circuit. There are two wires that connect two ends (closer ends) to the point through the blade groove. When the tip is pressed, the contact spring attached to the tip touches two ends of the wire inside the barrel and completes the circuit.
Test for Epee
There are two common tests for epee: weight and shim. The weight test is designed to see if the big spring (pressure spring) inside the barrel is strong enough to withstand 750g of weight. The shim test is to make sure that a fencer has to press the point all the way down to the last 0.5mm in order to score (complete the circuit). The test is usually performed before the bout. If the weapon fails either test, it is considered cheating and may result a yellow card.
How do I know if my epee works: First make sure you have a working body cord and a tester. Then connect the body cord with the tester and the socket in the epee. There should be no light after you connect. Once you press the tip all the way down, the light between two closer end of the body cord should be turned on. Weight test: leave a 750g weight on the epee tip while placing the epee upside down with the tip facing up. The tip should be strong enough to hold the weight and no light should be on the tester. Shim test: Insert the 0.5 mm shim into the gap between the tip and the barrel. Then press the tip down and you should NOT see the light.
- When you press down the tip with body cord connected to a test or machine, there is no light. 80% of time when this happens is due to the fact that the contact spring attached to the tip is too short. You need to take out the tip by unscrewing the two screws on the side (Make sure your thumb is holding the tip down before you unscrew the last screw. If you do not, the spring may shoot the tip out when all screws are removed). Then turn the contact spring on the tip counterclockwise to make it longer. However, you should not make it too long because it will then fail the shim test.
- Failing the shim test: Do the opposite of above by turning the contact spring clockwise to make it shorter. However, you can not make it too short because the spring needs to be long enough so that when the tip is pressed, it can reach the end of the wires in the barrel.
- Failing the Weight test: Stretch or change the pressure spring (big spring)
Basics: Foil is initially a complete circuit. When the tip is pressed, the circuit is broken inside the point.
Test for Foil:
The common test performed on foil is weight test. A 500g of weight is placed on the tip to make sure the spring inside the point is strong enough to withstand the weight and the circuit keeps completed.
How do I know if my foil works: First make sure you have a working body cord and a tester. Then connect the body cord with the tester and the socket in the foil. After connection, the light between the 2 further end on the tester should be on all the time until you press the tip. When the tip is pressed, it breaks the circuit and all light goes out.
Weight test failure is common in foil. It sometimes happens after several bouts. However, this is a very easy fix. Just take the tip out by unscrewing the screws on both side of the point (make sure your thumb is holding the tip down before you unscrew the last screw. If you do not. the spring may shoot the tip out when all screws are removed). Then you can either stretch the spring or replace it with a new one (usually you can stretch the spring a couple of times before it becomes unusable).
Sabre does not use wires and points. Usually if everything is tight, the sabre will work.Body cord: The following diagram comes in handy when you are trying to repair your body cord.