Birmingham Fencing Club



Keep clothing and weapons apart. - Moisture/sweat from clothing can corrode weapons.
Use a length of tubing to cover blades. - Prevents damage to wires, accidental bending
and keeps moisture away.
Hang up clothing straight after fencing. - Prevent mildew/mould.
Keep handles/screws tightened. - prevent snapped wires and lost tips.
Bodywires wrapped in plastic bag. - Prevent corrosion and snagging.
Check regularly for arising faults. - Fix it before it gets worse and expensive.


Whilst on piste, should a problem arise that can't easily be identified,
follow the procedure below until fault is found.
Check connections before switching kit around.

Step 1. - Exchange weapons, if the problem swaps ends the weapon is at fault.

Step 2. - Fencers switch ends. if fault moves, bodywire is faulty.

Step 3. - Switch spools (fencer attached). If problem moves, spool is at fault.

Step 4. - Replace ground lead.


Foil - White Light

Check handle is tight.
Check wire is connected to socket and screw is tight. No excess wire.
Check barrel is tight.
No breaks in wire, check where going through guard.
Remove tape, halfway loosen grub screws holding tip against spring.
Take out tip and spring. Clean tip and ends of springs.
Use switch cleaner and cotton bud to gently clean out barrel.
Replace and retape.

Epee - No Hits Registered

Handle tight.
Two wires to socket in place, tightened screws, no excess wire.
Check length of wires for breaks, perticularly going through guard.
Check barrel not loose.
Remove grub screws whilst holding tip against spring.
Remove tip and pressure spring. Check contact spring is straight.
Replace tip without pressure spring, ensure gap between tip and barrel.
Use switch cleaner and cotton bud to gently clean barrel.
Replace tip and screws.

Sabre - No Hits Registered

The contact point for a hit at sabre is simply metal against metal, blade against lame.
Possible problems with the weapon are corroded blade, loose handle or faulty socket.
However, these are less likely than a fault with bodywire or lame/facemask connection.


Rub any corrosion off the ends of bayonet fitting with emery cloth.
Tighten screws on bayonet fitting.
Check wires for break.
Pulling wire gently will allow outer insulation to stretch and show break.
Break will be seen in clear wires, soft section in opaque wires.
Connections at ends are by pointed screws that pierces throught insulation
into the metal core. These wear in time and need reconnecting.
Wire will be slightly shorter so only pull through a small length.



The circuit through a foil point is closed.
The red arrows on the image show the circuit
which runs up the blade itself, through the
tip and down the wire, insulated from the blade.
When the tip is depressed,
the circuit is broken at point A.
If off-target a white light comes on.
If a valid hit, the connection from wire
through spring and tip to lame makes another
circuit lighting a coloured light.

The circuit through an epee point is open.
When the tip is depressed the contact spring (red)
is pushed down to make a contact across the
two ends of the wires at point A
thus closing the circuit and turning on a hit light.
The contact spring can be screwed in or out
of the tip to adjust the travel needed for contact.

Last updated 20.Sept.2012