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 Post subject: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:33 pm 
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So how do you test a flail for flex? I have seen a few flails that I am pretty positive should fail for flex allowed on the field and I am wondering how I would check these at an event I was hosting?

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:01 pm 
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three pegs, one is the Vertex, the other two are at 45 degrees, all drilled into a board, place the haft on the vertex, if you can bend it to touch the other pegs, it fails.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:09 pm 
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That sounds needlessly complicated.

Hit the haft over the edge of a shield placed on the ground or put it on your head with a hand on either end of the haft and bend downwards. Have someone else observe the flex in either case.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:49 am 
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You know those plywood boards that people use to test arrows, pommels and weapon tips? Put it on that when you build it, you could also use it for flex on javelins. I was thinking of building a bunch of them and giving them to new realms or selling them at cost. What do you think? I mean, it seems like a really good idea to me, I'll post a pic once I get the first one finished. It would get rid of any bias, and help make weapon flex more standard.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:02 am 
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The way Derian described is the best way to do it. If you try to bend a weapon slowly it does needless damage to the weapons. And if you don't know what a 45 degree flex looks like, look it up, or buy a protractor it's simple math.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:38 am 
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I strongly agree that the test should be done in a striking motion, it will flex farther and do less damage to the weapon. I like Derian's approach of hitting it over the shield and watching the haft flex.

I ask the question because, the way I was taught to test flex on a blue is to set my shin at a 45 to the angle of the blow and then hit my knee. If it strikes my shin it fails. This is why I bring up flails since the head will always hit my shin. With this method, I can have someone watch from the side to determine if the haft hit, but I wanted to hear how others approached this aspect of weapons checking.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:48 am 
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Derian's approach, is how I was taught to test every weapon except for javs

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:54 pm 
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Ok, you all seem to think it's a bad idea. Why? It seems to me that both ways cause foam compression, and core break down. I can maybe see a slow bend doing damage to fiberglass cores. But it doesn't seem to me that it really causes undue damage. It would be the same as people who place the weapon over their heads and pull down on both sides to test for flex.

Why is fast better than slow?

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:06 pm 
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I think a lot of people are overestimating how damaging it'll be to a weapon. It's not like you're holding it in the flexed position for 20 minutes or something.

All ways will work, though hitting over a shield will be much quicker and doesn't require equipment that won't already be present.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:11 pm 
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People don't check for flex by bending git over their head at national events. Hitting the weapon on something solid and watching how far it flexes is just the easiest and fastest way to check for flex.

Besides if you are using something like what you described you can always just force it to fail flex, or break it.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:11 pm 
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If a marshal is set on a weapon not passing, as much as I hate to think about personal bias entering into it, then regardless it will fail somewhere in the testing. And if a weapon breaks, BREAKS, in testing, then regardless, it should not be used, it is not SAFE. Weapons checkers at Tenn. events have used the over the head method. Where I practice uses it. I have yet to go to an event that regularly pulls people from all over the nation, but I have heard of it being used by people who have gone.

Also hitting the weapon on something solid as a way to test it may be an easy, most available way, but aren't we supposed to be looking for the BEST way? I was asking about giving this equipment away, or selling it for no profit, I want people to have and use this because it seems to me that this is the best way. I want to help people, give me reasons why this doesn't help people. Reasons beyond people don't do this, oh, marshals can cheat the system, oh, it may break the weapon. One of the main points of testing is to see if a weapon will break.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:55 pm 
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Doing a strike test with the weapon seems superior to me because the weapon is being tested in the way it will be used. If I swing a weapons checking hard swing and watch how far it flexes, I have tested whether it exceeds the standard in an extreme, realistic use scenario.

If I flex it over my head or across my knee, how do I determine how much pressure is equivalent to a hard swing? I suppose this method could be made very objective if we used a standard weight attached a few inches below the tip of the weapon while the handle was secured in a pipe or vice parallel to the ground. This would need to be streamlined in the weapons check process to work, though. What amount of weight would we use?

And, Element, flex testing is not just about preventing weapons from breaking. It is also about preventing cheesification with super wrap weapons that flex around shields and parries.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:04 pm 
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You can do a preliminary test for flex by using two hands and basically just whipping the sword in the air. To check it "officially" I use Isk's method of hitting the top of my knee and seeing if it hits my shin. If the sword is too long for that, I use Derian's method and have someone hold a shield and hit the shield edge to see if it hits their back.

My interpretation of the rule has always been that if the weapon is SWUNG and flexes 45 degrees, it fails. I don't want an over-zealous weapon checker grabbing all of my swords and trying to bend them 45 degrees. A weapon checker's job is to first make sure a weapon is safe, and THEN make sure it conforms to the rules.

Hitting something made out of wood to test for flex will damage the sword. (I know this because when Edhellen swords first came out and were rock hard, I know a few people who tried the "Beat it against a tree to soften it up" approach and ruined their swords after just a few swings.)

Additionally, I am sure there are many swords that, when swung, flex maybe 20 degrees. But from tip to tip, if bent over your knee or head, can be made to flex 45. Bear in mind that only the shaft of the flail can be taken into consideration for the flex rule. Also, nearly all weapons WILL flex. The weapons that have no flex usually are made to hurt people.


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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:11 pm 
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Isk wrote:
I suppose this method could be made very objective if we used a standard weight attached a few inches below the tip of the weapon while the handle was secured in a pipe or vice parallel to the ground. This would need to be streamlined in the weapons check process to work, though. What amount of weight would we use?


Weapons checking should be as simple as possible and require little equipment. It's impractical for weapons checkers to need to bring weights and a vice to an event. I even think that weight requirements are cumbersome because they make heralds bring scales to the event. I mean, it's fine if your weapons checker is a dealer, but what if he isn't?


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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:31 pm 
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How would you go about making a foolproof streamlined standardized weapon check? Throughout all of Belegarth, so that excepting realm specific rules there is a universal standard?

I have heard and seen so many stories about weapon checkers not passing a weapon, the weapon getting given to another checker and it getting passed.

I'd like to see and help with work on a checking standard.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:54 pm 
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Several people have worked on a weapons checking guide, Mekoot Davit being the last that I know of. You can streamline weapons checking, but you can't necessarily make it foolproof. For example, "does this hit too hard?" It's entirely subjective. Or, "This sword has a hole in the cover, so it fails." Or, you know, does this weapon flex 44 degrees and pass, or does it flex 45 degrees and fail? For me, the biggest issue is accountability, and knowing why a weapon fails other than "It's ugly" or "It fails because it fails" or "It's too cheesy."


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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:58 pm 
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Slow bend is a worse method for flex testing and I don't know any marshals in Tennessee that use it over hit-flex testing.

Hit-flex is the way to test flex if it's too short for whip testing. If it's long enough, whip test it.


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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:44 pm 
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The whip test is a faulty way to do thing because it tests flex end to end, not during the course of a swing. You should aways test weapons the way they are going to be used. For me, unless a weapon feels flexy when I swing it, I usually dont bother checking it for flex.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:46 pm 
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No one ever told me that weapons can only fail for flex when used the way their owner intends to use them...


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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:58 pm 
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I'm not sure I understand what you're getting at, Par. How is the whip test different from how a weapon will be used in combat?

Also, to go with what Arrakis said, weapons should be checked in the most stringent manner possible. You don't let a weapon go if it fails flex because 'that's not how it'll be used' the same as you don't pass a weapon you can feel core on just because a skinny guy brought it up to weapons check.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:48 pm 
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Sir Par wrote:
The whip test is a faulty way to do thing because it tests flex end to end, not during the course of a swing. You should aways test weapons the way they are going to be used. For me, unless a weapon feels flexy when I swing it, I usually dont bother checking it for flex.


I use my weapons to "kill" people with them, but with my skill that usually doesn't happen, usually there is some foreplay, where I hit their shield, they hit mine, and then one of us dies, but when I hit their shield I don't want it to hit flex over their shield and kill them, because lets face it, a weapon will flex much more if we hit it against something hard then just by swinging it in the air.

This is why hit flex testing is the best.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:03 am 
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I was going to put up a post asking Tails when he became an expert weapons checker.

I decided to let the subject drop because I didn't feel like clubbing a baby seal tonight.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:11 am 
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Why do you have to be an expert weapons checker to know that hit flex testing is just better then any other form of flex testing and that waggling it in the air isn't?

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:49 am 
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Sir Par wrote:
The whip test is a faulty way to do thing because it tests flex end to end, not during the course of a swing. You should aways test weapons the way they are going to be used. For me, unless a weapon feels flexy when I swing it, I usually dont bother checking it for flex.

Don't take this personally, Par, but it's actually some of the weapons in your area that caused me to ask the question in the first place. This pic of what I believe was a 3/8" core flail and several other flexy weapons made me wonder about how we check for flex, especially on flails.
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:40 pm 
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You really should use a photo that makes your case. The above photos are not showing any of the weapons flexing past 45 degrees.

Seriously, find a protractor and hold it up to the pictures.

You may indeed have problems with flexy weapons in your area but you should at least know how to tell one is flexing too much before getting all huffy.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:10 pm 
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First and foremost, I am not huffy. I had a great time at the event this came from, I enjoyed fighting with these fighters and look forward to doing it again. I really debated putting that photo up because I didn't want anyone to feel picked on, singled out or whined about. I just want to clarify flex rules and how we check flex, especially for flails.

This is a 40 degree angle (according to Gimp's angles and measures tool), and it is not currently at it's most extreme flex.
Image

If you measure the flex from the end of his hand,which seems right to me since that is the fulcrum, it is a 45 degree flex. Again, not at it's most extreme. We can't even see the end of the shaft, although it's not far off the picture, so I went to the center of the shaft at the edge of the picture. From the foregoing discussion I assume we check flex from the point of resistance, the fulcrum, in relation to straight line from the pommel to that point. Am I right?
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:19 pm 
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Isk, I normally look to see what angle the tip of the weapon (or haft, in this case) makes with the handle. Like this:

Image

That is, if I'm shake-testing a javelin and I can get the tip to point alternatingly directly up and directly down while the haft is being gripped in a horizontal plane, it fails for being >90* flexible. The way you've got the measurement diagram drawn, a javelin would have to bend all the way back to the point where you could align the pommel with the tip, a condition I would call 180 degrees of flex, to fail.


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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:37 pm 
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Thanks, Arrakis. That selection of the flex point makes this image a 55 degree flex, according to Gimp.

I was trying to say, if I hit test the flail, sword, javelin, against a shield I will try to keep the haft parallel to the face of the shield and then determine how far the sword flexes past the line of the shield face. Does this look right?
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:57 pm 
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You're still trying to strike a line between the tip at flex and the fulcrum. What you want to do is measure the angle between the inclination of the post-flexure portion of the weapon (the part forward of the point of bending) and the inclination of the pre-flexure portion of the weapon (the portion aft of the bending point, usually the handle and hopefully of 0 inclination with respect to some reference).

Like this:

Image

Though, ideally, the weapon is struck over the edge of the shield at the exact linear center point of the weapon.

You're looking to see not if the tip can move out of line with the haft by an amount equal to the length of the flexed length, but if the top half of the weapon has bent so that the straight line made by the top half of the weapon is at a 45 degree angle with the straight line made by the bottom half of the weapon. You can approximate the portions of a weapon far (relatively speaking) from the impact or flexure point as straight-ish because they are under smaller flexing forces and flex less because of it.


Oh, and don't forget: checking flex from a picture is an iffy thing; you're often looking at compounded angles that can cause a weapon to appear to flex much more or less than it actually does


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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:46 pm 
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That's clear now, thanks. Now how do we teach that so it is clear when checking at events? Just eyeballing it seems difficult to be precise. I am trying to put an event together down here in January and I want to make sure we can check fairly and accurately.

Arrakis wrote:
Oh, and don't forget: checking flex from a picture is an iffy thing; you're often looking at compounded angles that can cause a weapon to appear to flex much more or less than it actually does
I think that must be the case with some of these images, especially the extreme one of Par's sword. It seems unlikely it would flex that far without damage. I started the topic because these photos just made me realize I really wasn't confident I could provide a consistent, repeatable test for flex, especially for flails.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:59 pm 
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Flex is one of those iffy things about checking. It's not as big a deal as the hit test, it's not as objective as weight and length... It kind of comes down to: Did that look too flexy (i.e., did, by eyeball method, that flail appear to flex more than 45 degrees)? Does this sword/flail/spear feel whippy? Does it seem like it could grant competitive advantage? Anytime you check something that's close to max flex, even if you pass it for the day or whatever, tell the owner that that's cutting it too close and they need to use a stiffer core or a shorter OAL next time and that with a little more wear and tear, the weapon will likely fail for flex.


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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:15 pm 
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Not to mention shutter speed... if the weapon looks even slightly blurry in the picture, any angle you measure from the picture will not accurately reflect the weapons actual flex.

-bort

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:07 pm 
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I actually took that pic. I had to use my cell phone for pics because my wife forgot our camera. My phone though made a few of the trees bend that way. That would be my phone's fault not any of the weapons.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:35 pm 
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Hendell Stoneshield wrote:
I actually took that pic. I had to use my cell phone for pics because my wife forgot our camera. My phone though made a few of the trees bend that way. That would be my phone's fault not any of the weapons.


lol, now that you mention it, I noticed that Par's shield has some pretty wicked flex to it, too..


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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:23 pm 
Berserker
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Hendell Stoneshield wrote:
I actually took that pic. I had to use my cell phone for pics because my wife forgot our camera. My phone though made a few of the trees bend that way. That would be my phone's fault not any of the weapons.

Haha! So anytime we get close to the edge we're probably dealing with lens distortion as well in these pics, good to know.

Last night I was talking to a weapons checker who said they check weapons by striking across the person's back while they hold their arms in front at a 45 to the line of their back. If it hits their arm, it fails. I like this approach, personally, but the flails still require a second set of eyes to decide if it was the head or the haft that hit the arm.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:15 am 
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You really couldn't even use someone to do that because of the angle, and if you got the right angle on a flail check, you couldn't be sure because the ball would get in the way.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:08 pm 
Berserker
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I just reread the thread and the methods I liked the best are:
Striking on knee or back with shin or upper arm at a 45 degree angle.
Whip testing for longer weapons.
Striking on shield and watching to see how far it flexes.

Arrakis' pic shows why the striking on a back/knee method only works for shorter weapons of about the same size (longer weapons would have a LONG way to flex before they hit the testers limb). Whip testing or hit testing on a shield edge is needed for longer weapons, but the eyeballing it part still seems pretty incredibly subjective. I mean Sorcia's not new to this and she didn't think the flail pic showed too much flex (the PIC showing too much flex, we aren't testing that flail from this pic), but when we measured it, it's exceeds legal flex by 10 degrees.

How do people identify >45 degree flex in a whip test consistently and does the shield edge or whip test seem like the best approach for flails.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:26 pm 
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I have someone watch from an angle that they can see the shaft without the ball getting in the way, whether this is on a shield edge, or going off your leg, as long as someone can see, because lets face it no matter how you do it, you really can't see how a flail will flex if you're not at the right angle.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:41 pm 
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Wow, it took me a REALLY long time to get back to this, but the picture you're usuing is of a camera phone that kept bending action shots. One of my swords was completely swirly, so yeah, not the best evidence. As for "how it should be used" is always how I've checked to see if the weapon will actually flex a failing amount in combat. You should check EVERYTHING how it will be used to ensure a fair and accurate weapons check.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:31 pm 
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Sir Par wrote:
Wow, it took me a REALLY long time to get back to this, but the picture you're usuing is of a camera phone that kept bending action shots. One of my swords was completely swirly, so yeah, not the best evidence. As for "how it should be used" is always how I've checked to see if the weapon will actually flex a failing amount in combat. You should check EVERYTHING how it will be used to ensure a fair and accurate weapons check.



Well, seeing that the thread was necro'd I'll give you a quick lesson in cell-phone camera tech.

Cell phones don't have a shutter. There is no device that blocks the light from the subject from reaching the sensor, unlike a conventional camera. Camera sensors scan continuously one line at a time (this you can see a preview on the LCD.) Because there is a speed limit on how fast the phone can poll the elements in the sensor you end up with difference in time between the first recorded pixels and the last ones. This is a non-issue when a camera and subject are not in motion. When an object moves in the direction of the scan you will find it has become elongated/widened. If it moves in the opposite direction it's narrowed. If it's moving at a right angle it gets "bent." The faster the object moves the greater the impact of this will be in the image that is created.

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 Post subject: Re: Flails for flex
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:08 pm 
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Par, I just noticed your update and I wanted to respond just to make sure the air is clear on this thread. I started this thread after seeing some of these pics and wondering how one would easily check flex on flails, since you are going to get hit by the head every time on a knee to shin test. I had a great time at this WoF and enjoyed fighting with yourself and the pirate who has the flail. This thread was never intended to belittle or present 'evidence' of anything, but rather explore a dustier corner of the weapons checking world.

By saying you check everything how it will be used in combat, for a flail, do you use the over the shield edge method with someone watching to see how far the haft bends? The intention here was to be really, really specific about preferred methodology and I'd be interested to know what method you feel best approximates how it will be used in combat.

Thanks for the technical description, PJ, I had considered the results of miniaturized optics on cell phone pics, but I hadn't actually considered the effects of the cell phone ccd's speed.

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