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Good foam to make swords out of, nerf sword style.

I make recreational weapons as a hobby, and as a (sort of) job. I like to sword fight with my friends (especially percy jackson capture the flag style. Yes, I'm that geeky), and my theater company also needs swords for our acting. I had two decent swords already made, with custom, homemade cardboard frames covering and these awesome plastic dowel things up the middle to give it strength (though the dowel has just the right amount of flexibility as to make the swords realistically bendy). It was a great design until the show came around, and I spent each morning before going onstage fixing swords. Now, I will make this very clear: making swords is fun; but rushing to fix them before going onstage misses my idea of a good time by a mile. And don't get me started on fixing them backstage.

So understandably, I modified my idea. I have it all planned out, very simple: one of those godsend plastic dowels (I think they're really wire holders or something, but the package wasn't clear) stuck up the middle of a piece of foam carved to look like the blade of a sword. The only thing I need now is to figure out what density, and what type of foam to use, and then where to get it.

People need to be able to hit each other with the swords fairly hard and still not get hurt, but the swords need to stay intact too, and they need to keep their shape. It's acting, so I can't just use boffer swords.

Long story short, I'm looking to make a nerf-sword-like sword, but I need to know what kind of foam they use to make nerf swords. I'm looking, preferably, for a type of foam that comes in a block, or at least board form, so that it's easier to carve. Any ideas, fellow instructablers?

Maybe you should try foam boffers or something like that? Boffers are used in LARP (live action role playing- but if your nerdy you probably know that). They're made of pipe insulation and PVC. Check this out: http://www.thealmightyguru.com/Boffer/Boffer-Swords.html