How To Assemble An Electric Epee

The following discussion explains the process of constructing an electric epee. If you are building a dry epee you may skip the parts that discuss wiring.

These instructions assume that you have a wired blade. For instructions on wiring epee blades click here.

For the purpose of this description, the side of the blade with the wire groove will be designated the top.

Step #1

  • Thread the ends of the wires protruding from the blade near the tang through the insulating sleeves commonly referred to as spaghetti. This is a deceptively difficult procedure if (as is most often the case) your wires are insulated with cloth. First you should cleanly cut off the very ends of the wires so that the insulation is not frayed. When you start to apply the spaghetti, try twisting it counterclockwise* and continue this motion throughout the procedure. This has the effect of preventing the insulation from fraying.
  • Make sure that the spaghetti fits snugly against the blade. Many blades have an expanded groove near the tang who's purpose is to hold the spaghetti. This is a good idea but most of these grooves are longer than necessary. If your blade has one, then use it; but try to use only the very end of the groove.
  • Step #2

  • Chances are that the ends of your wires extend far beyond the ends of your spaghetti. If so, you should crop them to a more reasonable length but don't make them too short.
  • The lengths of wire that protrude from the spaghetti should be stripped. You can do this later, but it's easier now. If your wires have cloth insulation you should use a piece of emery cloth. This is the easiest way and will also remove any lacquer that may reside on the surface of the wire itself. If your wires have plastic insulation then you can still use emery cloth but I prefer to use a small pair of sharp nosed diagonal cutters. This takes some practice, however, so be very careful not to cut the wires by accident.
  • Step #3

  • Make certain that your bell guard has an adequate groove for the insulated wires to pass through. If it doesn't then you will need to enlarge it with a file or other tool.
  • Put the bell guard on the tang threading the wires through as you go. Make sure that the groove in your bell is aligned with the groove in your blade. Be careful not to break, kink or scrunch the wires in the process. Also, beware of damaging the spaghetti.
  • Step #4

  • Repeat step #3 with your guard socket.
  • Loosen the A & B screws (or nuts, depending on your socket). A & B wires are interchangeable at this point so wrap either one loosely around either screw.
  • Tighten the screw (or nut) down being very careful not to to catch the wire in the threads. If you're not careful, you can easily break the wire.
  • Repeat with the other wire and screw.
  • Step #5

  • Put the thumb pad on the tang.
  • Step #6

  • Make sure that your pommel has the same thread as your blade.
  • Check to see if your grip has an adequate groove for the wires. If it does not, then you must make one with a file, grinder or other tool.
  • If you have a French grip, put it on the tang, being sure to align it with the grooves in your bell and blade. You must also look under the thumb pad to confirm that your wires are lined up correctly with the groove. If they're not, tightening the handle will break them!
  • If you have a pistol grip, insert the lock washer in its chamber and put the handle on the tang. Make sure that the washer winds up on the tang, not along side of it. Align the groove on your handle with those on your bell and blade. Look under the thumb pad and confirm that your wires are lined up correctly with the groove. If they're not, they will break when you tighten the handle.
  • While putting on your pommel, gently thread it backwards first to ensure correct thread alignment.
  • As you tighten the pommel, be sure that you don't accidentally twist the handle because you could break the wires. This is easier if you use a vise to hold the blade.
  • That's it, you're done!

    Now would be a good time to test your weapon. If you don't have a tester, click here to check out my Personal 3-Weapon / Body-Cord Tester.

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