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Author Topic: JW / MK Revolution Blades (2011)  (Read 4135 times)

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Offline FigureSpins

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JW / MK Revolution Blades (2011)
« on: November 07, 2010, 07:31:10 PM »
OOOoooOOOO...I've never seen these - they're called Revolution blades.

This one's a Phantom:


Pattern 99:


There's a Gold Seal version, too:


John Wilson and MK redesigned some of their blades.  

Source: http://www.iskateriedell.com/?tag=john-wilson

Quote
A Blade Revolution at John Wilson and MK
The past few years has seen new challenges emerge in competitive skating—spins are expected to be tighter, jumps need to be higher and look effortless, and skaters need to perform their routines at a faster pace. And while practice makes perfect, having great technology on your side will help skaters of all levels and ages reach a higher level of performance. Blade developers at HD Sports (makers of the World’s Best Blades, John Wilson and MK) in Sheffield, England recognize the need for a new blade technology and have designed the new Revolution blade.

The new Revolution blade was debuted on the Discovery Channel. Take a peek into how they are made (fast forward to around the 8:00 mark to see the blades in action)!
LINK: http://watch.discoverychannel.ca/daily-planet/february-2010/daily-planet---february-11-2010/#clip266379


Examining various aspects of the blade—from heel lift to the radius of hollow (check out page 20 of our 2010 Catalog for definitions)—and incorporating new materials, HD Sports is scheduled to introduce the Revolution in the coming months.

So what makes the Revolution so revolutionary?  Well for starters, it looks much different than traditional blades.  It has a bridge structure to limit stresses (appearing very high tech!) It’s also developed with lighter material like carbon fiber, so it weights only 800 grams!
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Online Bill_S

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Re: JW / MK Revolution Blades (2011)
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2010, 06:31:37 PM »

...  I was blown away by the blade-making video.  I always thought blades were still cast, not sliced out of sheets.  I'd love to see how they fashion the toe rakes!


Ever since I worked at a company that was contracted by Peerless Saw (Columbus, OH) to set up an Australian-made laser cutting machine, I have wondered if they'd be willing to fabricate skate blade blanks. Here's a photo I took in the mid-80s of their laser cutter making a saw blade body...



Their current website shows a CAD file of a typical saw blade cut pattern. I would imagine that the toe picks are rough-shaped using the laser cutter like the example shown below, followed by a grinding operation.



Skate blades represent old manufacturing technology (the new Revolutions pictured above are exceptions), and the cost to manufacture them is low. I'd bet that a cost analysis would show that the direct cost is about $30 per set to the manufacturer in quantity. Profits must be high.
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Offline Isk8NYC

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Re: JW / MK Revolution Blades (2011)
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2011, 09:02:25 PM »
I saw the new Wilson / MK blades at Nationals last month.  They're beautiful and they did feel pretty light, even the Gold Seals.

The black plastic you see at the top is permanently attached to the blade itself using industrial aircraft superglue, according to the Rep.  They have a bling-ed model of the Gold Seal and Pattern 99 with a ton of rhinestones at the top.



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Offline fsk8r

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Re: JW / MK Revolution Blades (2011)
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2011, 01:59:04 AM »
One of the skaters at my rink has the new blades. They make a horrible clicking sound when she lands her jumps. They're not loose at all but the blade is shifting somewhat in the mount. It's secure, but still...
When I spoke to the manufacturers at Nationals they didn't know anything about it and hadn't heard about this issues, although the skater had told me that her friend (who skates elsewhere) has the same blades and has the same clicking noise.


Offline Isk8NYC

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Re: JW / MK Revolution Blades (2011)
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2011, 08:18:46 AM »
One of my friends ordered the Gold Seal Revolution blade at 40% off during Nationals.  I'll have to listen to see if it makes noise when she walks/skates.
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Re: JW / MK Revolution Blades (2011)
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2011, 12:03:59 PM »
I sent an email to the UK address, asking for MSRP's.

I wonder if this means the existing stock of blades will go on sale at a discount?  Might be an opportunity to buy for the future.
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Offline Query

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Re: JW / MK Revolution Blades (2011)
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2011, 07:11:30 PM »
I always assumed manufacturing cost was closer to a dollar or two / blade, but I'm not an engineer.

How do you break down your $30 / pair estimate?

It is not in the blade manufacturer's interests to completely describe the manufacturing process.  :)

A person who visited the factory said MK and Wilson now use lasers for all upper level ("grade 1") blades, and I think the same is true of Ultima. I'm not sure about MK grade 2 blades, like the MK 2000. An old source says the upper level blades are then silver soldered to the mounting plates, though maybe Ultima Matrix 2 are riveted? The MK/Wilson visitor source says there is a 3 step hardening/tempering/edge hardening process (the last omitted from grade 2 blades), though the first hardening is at the steel factory. He says the final factory grind is done by hand, with a large fast wheel, which I guess must add at least $0.25 - $0.50 to the cost. I'm not sure if my source said the grind was before or after the edge hardening.

Hardening and tempering is apparently a complex process which involves carefully controlled dangerous high temperatures. So making your own from scrap metal with a saw and grinding tools is beyond what most of us can do, if you want the blade to last long.

If you find a source of properly hardened blanks, I would love to know about it!

It is difficult to get reliable information about what blade and toepick shapes are supposed to do what best. Various sources are happy to give vague speculations extrapolated from aerodynamic and hydrodynamic domains, but the big reputable blade companies don't actually say that a given model blade turns better or jumps better than another, or in what ways. I would love to experiment with cheap blanks. I've started to experiment with one of my Ultima Matrix runner pairs, but they weren't all that cheap and can't be replaced anymore.

I like Sid Broadbent's idea of screwing any of several toepicks designs onto various blades, at user selected height. Not sure when it will be offered. His stuff is not cheap, and he may just be using modified MK blades.

Now if only the blade itself can cost a few dollars and be easily bolted into a base, that would be perfect.

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Re: JW / MK Revolution Blades (2011)
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2011, 07:33:57 AM »
Pricing Update from Wilson:

Quote
The MSRP’s in US$ for the Revolution blades are:

Gold Seal            $673  (Current Style = $560)
Pattern 99           $578   ($470)
Gold Star             $637   ($515)
Phantom              $597  ($485)

The crystal blades MSRP is $240 extra on any blade to be done at the factory.

I guess the new technology didn't effect any cost savings that could have been passed along to the consumer.
Nice to be able to boost your product line MSRP's by 12-19%.

I think smart budget keepers should think about buying the current models (which are perfectly functional) at discount prices to offset these costs.  I suspect many people will consider moving to less-expensive clone blades like Ultimas, Paramounts and Riedell's new Eclipse blades.
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Offline Sk8tmum

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Re: JW / MK Revolution Blades (2011)
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2011, 10:35:11 AM »
I wouldn't think that they would discontinue the current models, would they?  these are just an option if you want lighter weight blades?????

Offline Isk8NYC

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Re: JW / MK Revolution Blades (2011)
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2011, 10:44:43 AM »
I wouldn't think that they would discontinue the current models, would they?  these are just an option if you want lighter weight blades?????

Given the K-pick and Parabolic "options" they introduced years ago, you could be right. 

From a business perspective, it's definitely a lower-risk way to introduce a new product line.

However, I do think that, after the split from Riedell, blade prices will increase in the US.
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Re: JW / MK Revolution Blades (2011)
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2011, 11:00:55 AM »
I'll also be interested to see the size ranges. Some of the "lightweight" blades, such as the Matrix, top out at a smaller size than their standard equivalent, due to either lack of demand or the reality that anyone jumping on a blade of that size would be of a size and weight that might "snap" or bend the blade.

also, the lighter weight isn't as much of an issue for skaters who are using large blades, as the weight reduction on a percentage basis isn't as significant as for, say, a 100" 4"11 inch girl!

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Re: JW / MK Revolution Blades (2011)
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2011, 02:23:33 PM »
Two skaters at my rink have these blades - they're skating great on them, landing doubles and centering spins fine.  One bought new boots and changed blades, going from a Coronation Ace to the Revolution Pattern 99's.  The other skater went from traditional Gold Seals to the Revolution Gold Seals.  I didn't ask if they changed boots.

Another one or two people purchased them but haven't had them mounted yet.
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