Glues for Foil Blade Wiring

Glues for Foil Blade Wiring

Post by Doug Whi » Thu, 23 May 1996 04:00:00


I Got the Blade Wire Glue Blues...

The one part of fencing I enjoy least is re-wiring my foils.  I have
tried a variety of glues and approaches over the years, but being a
recreational fencer, I don't get nearly as much practice as a team
armorer.  Even when I succeed in getting a foil re-wired, the glue
always lets go before I break a blade, and then I get to start over.

THE TESTS:  So, I decided to get 'scientific'.  I got a dead blade, and
a gaggle of different glues.  I cleaned the old glue out of the groove,
and sanded the interior with 600 grit emory paper, followed by an
*** wash.  I sacrificed a blade wire and chopped it into 4 inch
pieces.  These were bent into a square U shape roughly an inch across
the bottom.  I then glued one piece into the blade using every type of
glue I could lay my hands on.  Once the glue had cured, I used a spring
scale to measure the force required to pull the wire out of the groove.  
The results (with additional comments) are tabulated below:

Borden's Krazy Glue:  This is one of the original cyanoacrylate ester
cements, and is fairly thin (low viscosity).  I placed the wire in the
bottom of the groove, and flowed the glue in on top.  The glue was thin
enough to immediately flow down and around the wire, as well as soaking
into the fiber wrapping.  I made sure I applied enough glue to cover the
wire, although this was a bit difficult because it's so runny.  I
imagine it's almost impossible to get out of the groove if a wire breaks,
without using *** solvents.  Slight solvent smell, and you MUST be
careful NOT to glue things (like your fingers) that you don't want to.  
It sets up fairly quickly, but in the thickness used here, it's probably
safest to give it an hour or more to set up.  The tube I had is very
small, and is probably not enough to do more than 2 blades (if that).
Clean up and/or mistakes have to be attacked with acetone.

     Krazy Glue Pull Strength:  ~ 2 1/2 to 3 pounds (wire broke)

'Power Stix' Hot Melt Glue:  This was the only hot melt glue I could
find that made any claims about adhering to metal.  Even after a good
warm-up period, the glue is a bit viscous coming out of the gun.  I held
the glue gun vertically, and tried to 'squirt' the glue down around the
wire, which was placed in the groove beforehand.  It might help to heat
the blade up prior to wiring, but this could get tricky.  I couldn't
tell that the glue actually got under the wire.  No *** solvents, but
the glue and gun can give you a *** burn.  Direct contact of the gun
tip to the blade wire could melt the insulation.  It is probably full
strength within 1/2 an hour, and shouldn't be too hard to remove for a
re-wire job.

     Hot Melt Glue Pull Test:  ~ 1 pound

Weldbond Glue:  This is the favorite at the Boston Fencing Club, and it
has the advantage that it doesn't use any *** chemicals, and can be
cleaned up with water if you are quick about it.  It's a white glue, and
looks just like a casein based woodworking glue.  In my experience, the
moisture in the glue can cause rusting in the groove, and over time it
can turn brown and brittle.  Most of my more recent wiring failures have
occured with this stuff.  It is quite thick, and skins over quickly.  I
ran a bead down the groove, and inserted the wire down into the glue,
which is much easier to do with a little piece than with a full wire.
Full strength requires curing overnight.  It's fairly easy to clean out
of a groove after it fails.

     Weldbond Glue Pull Test:  ~ 1 pound (failed rather abruptly)

Duco Cement:  This is a plastic & solvent based glue, and the smell
suggests that it will kill off grey cells with little coaxing.  It's not
as viscous as Weldbond, but stills skins over fairly quickly.  I put the
wire in the groove, and tried putting the glue on top, but the Duco was
thick enough that I had to pull the wire up and reseat it to make sure I
got glue down in the bottom of the groove.  Even after curing overnight,
there was a bit of residual solvent smell when I pulled the wire out the
next morning.  Fairly easy to clean out for re-wiring.

     Duco Cement Pull Test:  ~ 3/4 pound

Cementit:  I think this is a European version of Duco, and it's another
solvent/plastic type glue.  I obtained it from one of the fencing supply
houses as 'blade glue'.  The solvents are different, and smell even
nastier than those used in Duco.  It's generally similar to Duco,
including smelling of solvent after a 12 hour cure, but the viscosity
is even higher than Duco, and it's harder to work with.

     Cementit Pull Test:  ~ 1 pound

Zap CA:  This is another thin cyanoacrylate ester adhesive sold in model
shops.  The only major difference between Zap and Krazy Glue is that Zap
appears to be even lower viscosity than Krazy Glue, and it comes in a
bigger bottle.  It would also be a pain to clean up for a re-wire.

     Zap CA Pull Test:  ~2 pounds

Duro Quick Gel:  This is a thickened cyanoacrylate.  It's quite thick,
and would be very difficult to get down around the wire.  I ended up just
running a bead on top of the wire.  Even so, it was stronger than some
of the more conventional glues.

     Duro Quick Gel Pull Test:  ~ 1 1/2 pounds

CONCLUSIONS:  The cyanoacrylates are the clear cut winners from a
strength standpoint.  The thin versions can be flowed into the groove
around a wire, which makes life MUCH easier than working with a thick
adhesive that skins over quickly.  The solvent smell isn't too bad, but
they'll be a pain to clean up for a re-wire job.  On the other hand, if
the wire never comes out of the groove, re-wires should be few and far
between.

THE NEXT PHASE:  So, armed with this, I re-wired a blade using Krazy
Glue.  It went fairly smoothly, and I'm pleased with the results.
However, I had a few minor problems I'd like to throw open to the
experts out there:

 1) I put the wire in the groove, and held it to the tang with a
    couple of clothes pins.  I then put a bit of an arc on the blade
    to tension the wire.  Held 'horizontally', the glue tends to run
    down towards the ends, making it difficult to cover the wire in
    the middle of the blade.

 2) In order to prevent the glue from running down the wire onto the
    tang, or worse, into the point, I had to put something on the wire
    at the ends.  I tried a drop of candle wax, and that worked.  I
    suspect there is a more elegant approach to this problem.

Ideally, there may be another brand of cyanoacrylate cement that is just
slightly thicker than Krazy Glue.  I'm looking for something thin enough
to flow down under the wire, but then not wick down toward the ends.  
You can also buy 'accelerant' for cyanoacrylates, which might allow more
control of the curing process.

I know that a number of people have switched to using cyanoacrylates for
blade wiring, and I have to agree, it looks very promising.  Any help on
the last few details of the process would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

Doug White

 
 
 

Glues for Foil Blade Wiring

Post by Michael Mergen » Thu, 23 May 1996 04:00:00

You have done a very creditable job in analizing glues.  Have you
considered using a _remanufactured_ wire?  Personnally, I make my own
wires from 30 AWG wirewrap (using old cups and caps).  I do not use the
cynoacrylates, however most of the fencers in our club use _Krazy Glue_.  
I use hot glue and have had success with it, especially when I use my
own wires.  I've got a small craft-type glue gun that uses thumb
pressure to push the glue through (cost's only a couple of bucks) and
fits very well in my tool box.

There is a bit of a technique when using a hot glue.  First, you need to
Put the blade in a holding device of some sort that puts the bend in the
blade (two 1/2 inch, PVC end caps held together with a chain or string).  
put the wire in the grove and hold it in place with a clothespin, or
other clamp.  Once the glue gun comes up to temp, start a bead of glue,
preferably on the tang end.  Here is where technique comes in, with the
tip of the glue gun riding in the grove, slowly feed the glue stick as
you push the gun forward.  You should have a small bead of glue that
forms in front of the tip as you push forward, while the portion of the
glue that doesn't go into the grove flows around the sides of the tip.  
This has the effect of forcing the glue into the grove and around the
wire.  The glue hardens pretty quickly (less than two minutes) and you
can trim the excess with a razor blade and be on your way.

The other benefit is that when the glue gives out, the wire is easily
cleaned and re-used.  The down side is that quick spot repairs don't
work as well as it does with _Krazy Glue_, but well enough to get you
through the next pool or DE.

Regards,

Michael Mergens
Clear Lake Fencer's Club

 
 
 

Glues for Foil Blade Wiring

Post by Michael Gabri » Thu, 23 May 1996 04:00:00

Quote:
> THE NEXT PHASE:  So, armed with this, I re-wired a blade using Krazy
> Glue.  It went fairly smoothly, and I'm pleased with the results.
> However, I had a few minor problems I'd like to throw open to the
> experts out there:

>  1) I put the wire in the groove, and held it to the tang with a
>     couple of clothes pins.  I then put a bit of an arc on the blade
>     to tension the wire.  Held 'horizontally', the glue tends to run
>     down towards the ends, making it difficult to cover the wire in
>     the middle of the blade.

>  2) In order to prevent the glue from running down the wire onto the
>     tang, or worse, into the point, I had to put something on the wire
>     at the ends.  I tried a drop of candle wax, and that worked.  I
>     suspect there is a more elegant approach to this problem.

> Ideally, there may be another brand of cyanoacrylate cement that is just
> slightly thicker than Krazy Glue.  I'm looking for something thin enough
> to flow down under the wire, but then not wick down toward the ends.  
> You can also buy 'accelerant' for cyanoacrylates, which might allow more
> control of the curing process.

> I know that a number of people have switched to using cyanoacrylates for
> blade wiring, and I have to agree, it looks very promising.  Any help on
> the last few details of the process would be much appreciated.

The only problems I've had with Krazy Glue and similar types is 1) they
are impossible to remove from the blade during rewiring, and 2) the glue
occasionally cracked and pulled away from the blade from a lack of
flexibility.  Problem 2 never happened in any foil blades I've wired, just
epee.

I usually hold the blade vertically, tip up, starting about 1/4" from the
tip.  If the wire has string insulation, then the glue will soak upwards a
little less than this.  You only need enough glue to soak the insulation,
so if you apply a drop of glue and wait a few seconds, the glue will drop
down the blade, covering the wire with a thin coat of glue; the wire
should look "wet".  Stop a couple inches from the tang, let the blade dry,
flip it upside down, and do the last couple inches.

To remove the glue, you might wantt to consider making an acetone bath.
Get a pipe, seal one end, put it on a stand, fill it with acetone, drop in
some blades, and don't light a match.  I hope this helped!

--
Michael Gabriel
Northwestern University


 
 
 

Glues for Foil Blade Wiring

Post by Fernando Dia » Thu, 23 May 1996 04:00:00

Nice work Doug. But I want to add some of my experience with glues.
My experience is that cyanocrilates are fast and strong but extremely
flagile, so they break quite easily if the blade bends to much, breaking
the wire. I have obtained the same results by using contact glues
such as Patex or Supergen, (no sligthlest idea of American equivalents
for those glues, but since my Doctorate is in chemist the chemical
definition are epoxy resins) they produce a kind of elastic plastic
when they are dry and they are quite viscous. But the result is a
blade that migth bend as much as you want without breaking the wire.
A wire glues like this can hold for six months on average. Did you try
this kind of glues?

Hasta la vista
Fer

--
===================COMPLETE ADDRESS========================

Dr. Fernando Diaz
Laboratorium voor Chemische en Biologische Dynamica
Celestijnenlaan 200D
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
B-3001 Leuven
Belgie
phone:32-16-327149
fax:  32-16-327982

===========================================================

 
 
 

Glues for Foil Blade Wiring

Post by Rob Del Gre » Fri, 24 May 1996 04:00:00

: Put the blade in a holding device of some sort that puts the bend in the
: blade (two 1/2 inch, PVC end caps held together with a chain or string).  

I use two 35mm film canisters, which you can tuck all the chain into one
canister for storage (Duct tape over the top).

At home I have holes drilled in a workbench, so they stay still.

                 __    
           \    |  \    Robert Del Greco
            |   |   \   Masters Fencing Academy
     ===========|    |---------------------------------------------------

        |       |__/    http://www.ios.com/~delgreco

 
 
 

Glues for Foil Blade Wiring

Post by Doug Whi » Fri, 24 May 1996 04:00:00



<Nice work Doug. But I want to add some of my experience with glues.
<My experience is that cyanocrilates are fast and strong but extremely
<flagile, so they break quite easily if the blade bends to much, breaking
<the wire. I have obtained the same results by using contact glues
<such as Patex or Supergen, (no sligthlest idea of American equivalents
<for those glues, but since my Doctorate is in chemist the chemical
<definition are epoxy resins) they produce a kind of elastic plastic
<when they are dry and they are quite viscous. But the result is a
<blade that migth bend as much as you want without breaking the wire.
<A wire glues like this can hold for six months on average. Did you try
<this kind of glues?
<
I haven't tried any form of epoxy, primarily because of the difficulty in
removing it if a wire lets go.  Cyanoacrylate is bad enough, but at least
you can use acetone to remove it.  The stuff required to disolve epoxy is
VERY ***.  I worked with some years ago, and even with good
ventilation and *** gloves, working with it made me nervous.

Doug White

 
 
 

Glues for Foil Blade Wiring

Post by ID » Sat, 25 May 1996 04:00:00

Comments on gluing:

ZAP cyanoacrylate is available in different viscosities.  Also one of the
few glues you can buy in greater than thimble-full quantities.

As for the problem of cyano acrylate wicking below the tang or into the
point, your drop of candle wax is admirable for its ingenuity.  May I ask
why you didn't simply hold the blade vertically and let gravity prevent
the glue from going into the point?  I suppose this method assumes you
are confident that you can keep your thumbs clear of the advancing glue.  
Adds a bit of excitment to a dull job I think (-:  Just slow the rate at
which you apply the glue as you near the tang.  With practice, you can
time it so that the glue stops advancing right at the end.  Also, since
you are handling a blade under tension, a face shield or proper eye mask
is absolutely essential.  A fencing mask would do.

        You are right about water based glues rusting the blade.  I'm no
metallurgist, but I think that iron oxide is more brittle that steel
alloy.  Assuming it is more brittle, iron oxide is more
likely to exhibit microfractures exceding the cascade energy for complete
breakage.  I once had a blade snap in the jig when I wired with wood
glue.  Woke up the next morning and found two pieces.
        I hope my jargon is close enough to the real techno-babble to
elicit a cogent response from a metals and materials engineer.  Anyone?

Kevin Haidl Armourer
UBC Fencing Club

 
 
 

Glues for Foil Blade Wiring

Post by ID » Sat, 25 May 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

>The only problems I've had with Krazy Glue and similar types is 1) they
>are impossible to remove from the blade during rewiring, and 2) the glue
>occasionally cracked and pulled away from the blade from a lack of
>flexibility.  Problem 2 never happened in any foil blades I've wired, just
>epee.

        Two words: grout scraper.  A *** little tool with sharp pointy
teeth and a blade only a smidgen wider than a foil groove.  Grind it down
to the desired thickness and there aint notin you can't get out of your
groove.  Avoids acetone and those excedingly dangerous (yes I'm envious)
dremmel tools thingys.

Kevin Haidl
Armourer, UBC Fencing Club

 
 
 

Glues for Foil Blade Wiring

Post by Doug Whi » Sun, 26 May 1996 04:00:00


<>The only problems I've had with Krazy Glue and similar types is 1) they
<>are impossible to remove from the blade during rewiring, and 2) the
glue
<>occasionally cracked and pulled away from the blade from a lack of
<>flexibility.  Problem 2 never happened in any foil blades I've wired,
just
<>epee.
<    Two words: grout scraper.  A *** little tool with sharp pointy
<teeth and a blade only a smidgen wider than a foil groove.  Grind it
down
<to the desired thickness and there aint notin you can't get out of your
<groove.  Avoids acetone and those excedingly dangerous (yes I'm envious)
<dremmel tools thingys.
<
Neat trick!  I think I've got one around I actually used to remove some
grout.  I think the business end of mine was actaully coated with
silicon carbide grit, but I may be able to take that down on a diamond
stone.  Now I just have to remember where I put it...

Doug White

 
 
 

Glues for Foil Blade Wiring

Post by Eric H. Anders » Mon, 27 May 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

>I haven't tried any form of epoxy, primarily because of the difficulty in
>removing it if a wire lets go.  Cyanoacrylate is bad enough, but at least
>you can use acetone to remove it.  The stuff required to disolve epoxy is
>VERY ***.  I worked with some years ago, and even with good
>ventilation and *** gloves, working with it made me nervous.

I've seen mentioned seveal times the need for *** solvents to remove
blade glues - something to keep in mind as an alternative is your
friendly Dremel moto-tool.  The small cutting wheels are exactly the
right size to fit in a groove, will remove *all* the glue, any left
over bits of wire and insulation that didn't come out, etc.  I prefer
this to dealing with unpleasent solvents (I get enough of those in the
lab) and having to come up with a suitable container for the bath so
they can soak.  Dremels are useful for any number of other tasks as
well (triming down the tang, polishing corrosion off your epee guard,
etc.

fence hard

Eric

Question Authority and the Authorities may question You

Eric H. Anderson                           339 Sci II


I sincerly hope my opinions don't belong to anyone else.