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Thread: Mask safety

  1. #21
    Chris Howser cesh_fencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Purple Fencer View Post
    One reason we rarely see injuries through the mask in the US is BECAUSE of the punch test.
    But I do not think I have heard or come across any situations in the UK where a blade has gone through the mesh a CEN certificated mask in all the time I have fenced (35 years), and that is without punch testing being used.

    Masks in the UK generally get binned due to the inside linings etc dying well before there is an issue with the mesh.

    Think there were problems with visor masks, but that was another issue.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    But I do not think I have heard or come across any situations in the UK where a blade has gone through the mesh a CEN certificated mask in all the time I have fenced (35 years), and that is without punch testing being used.

    Masks in the UK generally get binned due to the inside linings etc dying well before there is an issue with the mesh.

    Think there were problems with visor masks, but that was another issue.
    I was aware my mask mesh was a bit soft, but I took it to the World vets champs and it passed ,This was at the end of October. I guessed it was ok. Two months later I got hit in the mask , it bent in and chipped a bit off my tooth. I bought a new mask the next day. It hadnt 't made a hole, it had just pushed it in.
    Last edited by Pete Eames; -18th July 2017 at 18:38.

  3. #23
    Chris Howser cesh_fencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Eames View Post
    I was aware my mask mesh was a bit soft, but I took it to the World vets champs and it passed ,This was at the end of October. I guessed it was ok. Two months later I got hit in the mask , it bent in and chipped a bit off my tooth. I bought a new mask the next day. It hadnt 't made a hole, it had just pushed it in.
    Pete, you were aware the mesh was soft and kept using it. You must be mad.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    Pete, you were aware the mesh was soft and kept using it. You must be mad.
    Ironically, the mask passing the whatever test was carried out at the FIE competition gave me the confidence to carry on using it, I'm sure it can't have then deteriorated that much in the following 10 weeks.

    At the same FIE competition I also submitted my 30 year old (but hardly used) original (1985) , Kevlar lined breeches and jacket with FIE label. They passed whichever tests too.

    You have to bear in mind that when I started fencing the equipment rules on clothing was 'It has to be predominantly white' . My competition jacket from the 1980s had loads of darning on my sword arm and chest where it had been repaired by my mum. I only stopped wearing it when I grew out of it. The plastron was a couple of layers of cotton. It was acceptable to make your own kit if you wanted.

  5. #25
    Chris Howser cesh_fencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Eames View Post
    Ironically, the mask passing the whatever test was carried out at the FIE competition gave me the confidence to carry on using it, I'm sure it can't have then deteriorated that much in the following 10 weeks..
    Kind of shows how getting kit passed in a Weapon Control can give you a false sense of security.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Eames View Post
    You have to bear in mind that when I started fencing the equipment rules on clothing was 'It has to be predominantly white' . My competition jacket from the 1980s had loads of darning on my sword arm and chest where it had been repaired by my mum. I only stopped wearing it when I grew out of it. The plastron was a couple of layers of cotton. It was acceptable to make your own kit if you wanted...
    I remember those days (started myself in about 1982) and the kit was worryingly poor and the blades broke far more often then nowadays. I came across some of the kit I used back in those days when some kit was donated to me recently. All was so thin and it was from a major UK supplier, but all of it was back then.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  6. #26
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    Even in the 90s when I started, my first jacket was polyester and legal in all but top level internationals, and plastrons were optional, even then they were just canvas. The club jackets were just the old canvas style. I still have my jacket somewhere (I don't use it though).

    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    Kind of shows how getting kit passed in a Weapon Control can give you a false sense of security.

    I remember those days (started myself in about 1982) and the kit was worryingly poor and the blades broke far more often then nowadays. I came across some of the kit I used back in those days when some kit was donated to me recently. All was so thin and it was from a major UK supplier, but all of it was back then.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Eames View Post
    Ironically, the mask passing the whatever test was carried out at the FIE competition gave me the confidence to carry on using it, I'm sure it can't have then deteriorated that much in the following 10 weeks.
    Likely the only test they performed (not counting the bib conductivity yest if it was foil) was just a visual inspection and feeling for any dings or dents that could catch a point....which is EXACTLY WHY I put the punch on EVERY mask that comes to me at control. A punch test might've found that flaw where a visual and feeling up test won't.

    A number of years ago, Negrini had an issue with soft mesh on it's non-FIE masks. not failing the punch. but you could feel the mesh move.

    Ended up being a heat treatment issue...one of my local scholastic coaches destroyed every one of his masks that showed the same softness after I mentioned it to him...and has not gone back to Negrini masks since.

  8. #28
    Chris Howser cesh_fencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Purple Fencer View Post
    A number of years ago, Negrini had an issue with soft mesh on it's non-FIE masks. not failing the punch. but you could feel the mesh move.
    I think it is a general rule. If you can push the mesh in using your thumbs at all, throw the mask in the bin, as if there is a hard hit the mesh will simply fold in.

    It you have to knock out dents repeatedly, probably worth changing it.

    Not worth risking it, with such an important bit of kit.

    But again this is not something I have really come across, apart from with kit from one defunct brand in the UK.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  9. #29
    Senior Member kalivor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Purple Fencer View Post
    Likely the only test they performed (not counting the bib conductivity yest if it was foil) was just a visual inspection and feeling for any dings or dents that could catch a point....which is EXACTLY WHY I put the punch on EVERY mask that comes to me at control. A punch test might've found that flaw where a visual and feeling up test won't.

    A number of years ago, Negrini had an issue with soft mesh on it's non-FIE masks. not failing the punch. but you could feel the mesh move.
    So ... in your experience, punch tests don't reveal a soft mesh problem.
    But you punch test every mask, even when it appears unnecessary, just in case it has a soft mesh problem.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalivor View Post
    So ... in your experience, punch tests don't reveal a soft mesh problem.
    But you punch test every mask, even when it appears unnecessary, just in case it has a soft mesh problem.
    No....they DO reveal a soft mesh if it's under the probe....that's part of what the test is for...a visual or feel test may not show it the way a probe would.

    I test every mask because I'd rather not have someone become the next Smirnov on my watch, regardless of how the mask fails.

  11. #31
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    Default Leon paul x- change mask

    My daughter had the X-change mask since 9, loves it. The only issue with this velcro strap is that it is a piece of strap with velcro and 2 buttons attached to the bib. With time, wear and tear something will give and it did. I now always have a new spare velcro strap complete among all our other back-up equipment. This is especially important when we fence in Europe and there's no spare parts for Leon Paul at the comps or face buying a Euro brand mask.

    Also, during the Cadet comp, a referee can card a mask if the black rubber lining is slightly loose for the obvious reason that a blade will glance off that and rip something off in the process.

    So yes…. safety first….. card or not card

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by lyming View Post
    Also, during the Cadet comp, a referee can card a mask if the black rubber lining is slightly loose for the obvious reason that a blade will glance off that and rip something off in the process.
    Not for the blade ripping something off...it's because the loose trim may catch and break the blade.

    A run with a hot glue gun fixes that.

    The rubber or fabric trim on a foil or epee mask is really only there for cosmetics...it's covering the weld where the 2 parts of the mask shell join.

    The same trim in a sabre mask does the same thing, but it has to be conductive, so it's 50/50 between cosmetic and function usage there.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Purple Fencer View Post
    Not for the blade ripping something off...it's because the loose trim may catch and break the blade.

    A run with a hot glue gun fixes that.

    The rubber or fabric trim on a foil or epee mask is really only there for cosmetics...it's covering the weld where the 2 parts of the mask shell join.

    The same trim in a sabre mask does the same thing, but it has to be conductive, so it's 50/50 between cosmetic and function usage there.
    So if the outside rubber trim covering the weld becomes loose in a couple of places when inspected by a ref at the start of a fight, should I pull the whole thing off? (or is the exposed weld going to be judged to a blade trap too?)

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Eames View Post
    So if the outside rubber trim covering the weld becomes loose in a couple of places when inspected by a ref at the start of a fight, should I pull the whole thing off?
    No! Glue it back down!

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