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Radovan Geist




Location: Slovakia
Joined: 19 Aug 2010
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 358

PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2014 7:07 am    Post subject: DIY: French foil         Reply with quote

This weekend I was trying to work on some larger projects (mostly introduced here in different threads), but got frustrated by different stumbling blocks and problems... All-in-all Iīve decided that I need some quick and easy project before I return to them so I took some parts I had lying in my workshop, modified them and put them together into this french foil. Itīs not following any specific historical piece, just a general "foil" used for sport fencing in early 20th century. It will be used for training so I was not trying to overwork it - just a simple utilitarian design.
It was put together from following parts:

- an old foil blade I have for some years now and was trying to put to some good use
- a pommel made from a piece of steel i picked at some scrap-yard (I actually have couple of them). It had a hexagonal cross-section and a threaded 6mm hole drilled in the center, so it fitted perfectly to a sport foil blade. I have only made it a bit "conical", tapering towards the top, removing some material with a angle grinder and polishing it by sanding paper.
- a handle: this was made from a piece of an oak plank - Iīve drilled a tang-hole and shaped it to hexagonal cross-section with rasp & sand paper; then two simple steel ferules were added to each end and the whole thing was coated in oil.
- a cup was made from some old steel rosette - I have bought couple of them in a shop when I was renovating an old gate on our house, and still have some of them left. I have only cleaned it and smoothed the edges with files, and drilled a decorative hole into each petal. Also, a short brass tube (it needed to be thinned down slightly on the lathe) has been inserted into the central hole to fit it better to the blade.

And that was it. It took me some 3 hours to assemble this. Itīs not perfect, but I think itīs a nice training equipment:)



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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,256

PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2014 7:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's a darn fine effort for 3-4 hours! But, it simply begs for a more complex hilt. Give us some side-rings and a knuckle-guard and some nice swoopy quillons!. Big Grin .........McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2014 10:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

An overly complex hilt would be rather pointless for a foil blade -- there'd be no way to feel the blade presence with all that weight in the hilt.

(Modern fencers don't seem to mind, of course, but that's a different matter entirely).
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Radovan Geist




Location: Slovakia
Joined: 19 Aug 2010
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 358

PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2014 10:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Mark, thanks. I was aiming at something very simple, such as this: http://www.antiqueswordsonline.com/french-19t...ncing-foil
so there will be no side-rings and stuff. For this kind of fencing they could even be a hindrance. However, I might still modify it - Iīm thinking about thinning down the handle. I will try fencing with it this evening and see how it feels.
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Isaac H.




Location: Northern California
Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Likes: 32 pages
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 143

PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2014 10:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As a historical fencing teacher, I must say , I love this ! Great outcome for the effort. I have some actual late 19th century hilt pieces laying about that could be asembled into something like this... now I have inspiration!

Also, I would definitely concur, the handle ought to be thinned a bit .

Wounds of flesh a surgeons skill may heal...

But wounded honor is only cured with steel.

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
Each of us should please his neighbor for his good ,to build him up.
Romans 15:1-2
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Radovan Geist




Location: Slovakia
Joined: 19 Aug 2010
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 358

PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2014 10:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I totally agree on the handle. I was fencing with it last evening and it does not allow a very good feeling on the point. So it goes back to the workshop for some fine-tuning Happy
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