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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jun, 2007 5:24 pm    Post subject: Use of gloves with wire grip wraps?         Reply with quote

A friend (think it most fair and appropriate not to name) of mine has several years of modern sport fencing experience and has even "filled in" as a coach for a year at a significant university (rapier and foil fencing) with surprisingly good results from his team. I mentioned the Albion wire grip wrap option and he cringed stating that wire grips were tough on bare hands, and that bare hands were tough on the wire and any tacks used to affix it. He expressed the opinion that the wire grip is optimal for use with gloves (both survivability of the grip and the user's hands.)

I was curious if any others have long term experience with wire wrap grips and durability, glove versus bare hand issues?

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Geoff Freeman




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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jun, 2007 5:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

On my rapier, which is the only sword I own with a wire wrap, I find it more comfortable to use a glove. Keeping in mind that my palms sweat a lot, the wire-wrapped grips get really slick if I'm not wearing a glove. Leather grips, on the other hand, tend to get a bit more tacky when my palms sweat.

But that's just me.

Geoffrey C. Freeman
Durendal Fencing Club
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jun, 2007 6:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

*shrug* Purely personal preference. Yes, it's a little rougher on the bare hands for many, but I use wire-wrapped grips bare handed all the time. I've developed the callouses for them, I guess. But yes, if it's rough for you, just put on a glove and then you have no problems. Happy
Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Fri 22 Jun, 2007 7:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think you'll find that if you practice enough with a wire wrap grip, your hand will toughen up as Bill mentioned and it won't be a problem. In fact, sensitive hands are a good indication that you're not practicing enough.

Sweaty hands are another thing altogether...
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Thomas Watt




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PostPosted: Sat 23 Jun, 2007 5:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can second the 'bare leather/bare hand = tacky' scenario, not only on leather-wrapped sword handles, but also on my steering wheel.
And I usually wear (leather) gloves when handling my swords. Partly because I really hate the feel of bare skin on same'.

My primary practice sword has a fiberglass handle though, and I prefer bare-handed use.

Have 11 swords, 2 dirks, half a dozen tomahawks and 2 Jeeps - seem to be a magnet for more of all.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 23 Jun, 2007 6:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I owned a sword with a wire wrap grip and it didn't abrade the hand too much, though I just used it casually. I typically wear gloves with all my swords, regardless of grip construction. If I had to guess, I'd think our ancestors would have worn gloves and gauntlets pretty often, too, perhaps the vast majority of the time.
Happy

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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Sat 23 Jun, 2007 6:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you all for the replies. I would not argue that gloves were likely "the norm" historically and the issue is moot.

As more of a collector and very amateur I usually handle and display my own pieces bare handed. I would like to add a wire grip wrap example to the collection though. I get so little practice that I doubt my hands would ever become toughened. I was truthfully more concerned about doing damage to a valuable sword, not concerned about damage to my own hands!

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Sean Belair
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PostPosted: Sat 23 Jun, 2007 7:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jared Smith wrote:
As more of a collector and very amateur I usually handle and display my own pieces bare handed.


You should always use gloves even if the piece has been waxed. Especially when the grip is also metal, this has nothing to do with feel and everything to do with preservation of the weapon.
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John Cooksey




Location: NW Ark
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PostPosted: Sat 23 Jun, 2007 9:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Belair wrote:
Jared Smith wrote:
As more of a collector and very amateur I usually handle and display my own pieces bare handed.


You should always use gloves even if the piece has been waxed. Especially when the grip is also metal, this has nothing to do with feel and everything to do with preservation of the weapon.


For some reason, my wire-wrapped grips have never developed any visible corrosion when used on a daily basis, bare-handed. This was with an older Del Tin, which I still own, and an A&A sword with wire wrap. I theorize that this is because the corrosion that does develop gets "worn off" by constant moving contact with the hands. In that case, over a number of years, you would see a small loss of the metals in the grip materials. That doesn't really bother me, though, as I see weapons as tools to be used, and the grip itself as a necessary expendable. Not quite so easy to replace on a European sword as on a Japanese, but probably done many times over the working lifetime of a "user piece".

I didn't surrender, but they took my horse and made him surrender.
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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Sat 23 Jun, 2007 10:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

On my weapons I tend to use gloves on wire wrap handles, but it's more caused by the fact that my swords that have a wire wrap are to be used fingering the ricasso, and I fear corroding that part of the blade.

I do feel however that wire wrapped weapons give a somewhat more secure grip when used with gloves, than the bare wooden handles. Maybe this extra grip is mostly needed when using gloves? In that case, it wouldn't be so much the glove that is used with the wire wrap, but rather the wire wrap that is made to be used with a glove...

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Vincent
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Sat 23 Jun, 2007 1:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
I owned a sword with a wire wrap grip and it didn't abrade the hand too much, though I just used it casually. I typically wear gloves with all my swords, regardless of grip construction. If I had to guess, I'd think our ancestors would have worn gloves and gauntlets pretty often, too, perhaps the vast majority of the time.


One thing that's interesting to observe though is that the vast majority of the fechtbuecher depict men in Blossfechten without any gloves whatsoever. In fact, Ms I.33 is one of the few manuals that does depict gloves.
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Bob Burns




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PostPosted: Thu 28 Jun, 2007 4:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have only one sword with a wire wrap, the Arms & Armor "Three Ring Italian Rapier", with or without gloves, I do like the feel of it, but years in the trades and in karate "especially" because of the old traditional style of hand toughening the palms
fingers and especially knuckles are very conditioned. Not exactly surgeons hands! Laughing Out Loud
I also very much like the look of wire wraps, I think they make for a beautiful hilt! Or combinations of leather and wirewrap on something like a bottleneck grip are real classy looking to me!
Plus, at least for me, the wire wrap is one sure grip that will not slip.
They might be a bit of an additional cost like say an Albion Sword, but to me, no two ways about it, they are gorgeous!

Bob
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