Hanwei Longsword Foil, points that need be improved

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Hanwei Longsword Foil, points that need be improved

Postby Hans M. » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:46 pm

Ok, since Roger N. collects reports on failures of these I am posting this here to be discussed:

After a year of use one of my Hanwei Longsword Foils finally failed. However, I am the one to blame since I believe in that one year of use the foil has taken a lot of punishment from all possible angles etc. and hence simple material failure can be ruled out. Overhardened blades will snap on the first major stress you subject them to, and not after you have had to bend them back to true manually a few dozen times after thrusts - which I did. That said, obviously there was some wear and tear involved in the failure but I believe improper usage to have been the main factor: I hit the other fencer's weapon's schildt full force, edge on edge. Actually, this was the first time that I let myself get carried away and threw a cut that I was not completely sure of, the other fencer did manage to parry badly, blade broke. Serves me right, will not happen again.

The stretch that most of the documented breaks happened at has the blade barely 1.5mm thick and <20mm wide, it is only logical that this area can not stand up to the sheer beef of the schildt, especially with that edge that barely reaches 2mm there.

So, from my viewpoint the Foil may be improved by:

-schildt: no "hooks", stay true to the original and make the shoulders of the schildt straight and rounded with an edge of >5mm. People tend to abuse the hooked schildt (Pushing up into Kron needlessly out of despair etc.).

-edge of schildt: decrease width of schildt by 3mm on both sides, take the material to increase the edge to a rounded >5mm. I did grind of some 2mm on both sides on mine (along with the "hooks") to get a 3+mm rounded edge.

-increase radius at tang root.

-increase tang thickness as a whole and throughout (2mm added to width and 1mm to height should suffice). Very important imo. We have had to bend them back to true regularly after disarms etc.

-increase thread length at tang and at nut + bigger nut as a whole. As is, the construction looks just flimsy.

-blade, handle and cross lengths are good, DO NOT shorten! Should they ever shorten it as some ignorant people have asked for we will loose the only of the shelve sword not made for midgets.

-switch material to 9260 spring steel. May increase price but will definately increase durabilty compared to 1060 or 1090 steels.


Cheers, H.
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Re: Hanwei Longsword Foil, points that need be improved

Postby Roger N » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:27 pm

Thanks Hans for this report! I would like to make it clear to everyone that I am not trying to create bad publicity for Hanwei here. Their feders are basically good, but it seems as if the quality control and manufacture has been a bit uneven. Some clubs have had three out of four breaking in the same manner, during light sparring. I have talked to Hanwei about this, but I am uncertain if they take it seriously enough.

However, one fencer has reported that the replacement sword he received was considerably better in many ways. Right now, we do not know if this is a change in the design/production/qc or if it is just coincidence. I have sent another email to the people I talk to, so let's hope I get a proper response.

Here is the full report right now:

__________________________________________________________


Gen 1

During the 1st International Hammaborg Seminar one blade broke in sparring at the absolute last part without the fencers noticing it. The spectators alerted them and fortunately noone was injured.

During the International Open Championships 2009 three blades were broken in hard contact during the competitions. Another one was taken out since the damage was so great that there was concern that it might break as well.

During a tournament I Lublin, Poland two years ago 2 out of 4 feders broke.

TOTAL: 6 Feders


Gen 2.

During what is described as 15 light sparring matches 3 out of 4 broke for Gesellschaft Lichtenawers.

Another three broke in a competition held by the same club.

Tomáš Sirný of the same club has reported seeing a couple more break during sparring.

2 out of 2 have broken for Swedish fencer Andreas ståhlberg. One broke in a moderate thrust against a static object, the first time it was used. The second while practicing zornort against oberhaus.

Belgian Bert Gewaert has reported seeing another break.

Shaunn M W and W.T. Heinz of True Edge Academy have at the Hema Alliance forum reported 5 out of 10 breaking. Three in the last part, one first bending at the cross the first time it was used and later breaking completely at the cross. The last broke in the same spot, but after active use from aug/sept 2010 – Jan 2011. One of the blades that broke was a replacement for a broken sword, so one member thus had two breakages.
http://hemaalliance.com/discussion/view ... a&start=40

Axel has heard rumours about a breakage in the US as well.

Central Phoenix Group. “Pulphero” reports 2 out of 4 breaking in light sparring. The breakage happened in the last 2-3 inches.

Heiko Meckbach of Schwertfechten Nordhessen broke his one year old sword in 3 pieces. It broke in the last third. http://translate.google.com/translate?j ... 2%23p33112

Jon Wolfe of Knights Melee reports a 3-day old feder breaking about 10” from the point under “not evenly real heavy use”.

Hans M reports having broken a feder that had only been used against other Hanwei feders. The strike was hard edge-on-edge with the weak against the schildt. The feder was one year old and Hans was not surprised that it broke from this, both considering how it happened and the kind of use it had seen during the year preceding the incident.

TOTAL: 21+ Feders


Comments.

These are the known incidents thus far. In common for most of them is that the break occurs in the last third, often in the last three inches. This makes the risk for not noticing the breakage in intense sparring higher and with bad luck a thrust or cut can become lethal. Also, a small and pointy knife-sized bit flying several meters is of course dangerous to anyone within this distance.

Most incidents appear to have happened with two Hanwei feders used against each other.

The construction of Gen 1 and Gen 2 differs in that the first had a thicker point which caused wobbling. The newer are thinner, at about 1mm and wobble less. But, with what seems random and not properly controlled flaws in the steel and blades, this thickness is not enough.

One owner reports that he thinks one cause for problems may be if the hilt is not tightened enough and as a result the cross is loose. Disassembling it and reassembling it with a tightened nut can help.
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Re: Hanwei Longsword Foil, points that need be improved

Postby Hans M. » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:04 pm

During this weekend's Dreynevent, Felix O. broke a Foil as well. Let's wait and see if more people report failures during this event...

Yes, I've too read ShaunnM.W.'s post but am unsure what to make of it. First he says the cross is peened which is not the case for any of the Foils I've seen (6 Gen II). Also if the Schwäche of the new one is at least twice as thick, how much of a Foil is this thing still? We'll see...
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Re: Hanwei Longsword Foil, points that need be improved

Postby Roger N » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:30 pm

Actually, I can't see that Shaunn mentions any peened crosses. However, he mentions that he thinks that the ends of the crosses seem a little more rounded off. But you are quite right that he claims that the weak last quarter appears to be at least twice as thick. However, he also says it has a "tiny bit more stiffness, but it still has plenty of flex". So it sounds good. Remains to be seen, if it was just a fluke. :)

For anyone else interested in this thread, here is one on HEMA Alliance.
http://hemaalliance.com/discussion/view ... &start=100
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Re: Hanwei Longsword Foil, points that need be improved

Postby Hans M. » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:40 pm

http://hemaalliance.com/discussion/view ... ned#p10040

I understand what you are saying, but it doesn't make business sense for them to do so. The Cross is Peened, the Pommel screws onto the bottom of the blade. So the only thing you would not be purchasing would be the handle, and probably the pommel. So if they sold that for super cheap, no one would buy the full sword in the first place. I honestly don't see how they can fix the breakage problem without thickening the blade, meaning less or no flex in the thrust. If we don't see a Gen3, then I think we'll see a discontinuation of the sword line. Time will tell.
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Re: Hanwei Longsword Foil, points that need be improved

Postby Roger N » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:34 pm

Ah... :)

Not quite sure what he means by a peened cross though. Sounds like a normal cross that has been whacked onto a slightly thicker tang, and then secured with a grip and a pommel.
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Re: Hanwei Longsword Foil, points that need be improved

Postby Hans M. » Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:49 am

Had the chance to test 4 new foils that were brought back by people from the Dreynevent. Indeed, it seems Hanwei have changed a few things - the cross is hammered down on a thicker tang so it needs some force to remove it from there. They are much more crisp in their overall making but less polished. after a few exchanges one bent at the tang so that the pommel was some 6 cm away from the straight line. I fixed that by reheating and bending it back, works just fine now. Freak accident I guess... There is no notable change in distal taper pattern. I'm going to call these version 2.1 .
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