Introduction: Foam Katana
When I was a child, I often fought with my siblings with sticks. However, it was too "dangerous". Then, I had an idea : why not cover some sticks with foam ? This idea has evolved into what I present now.
These swords are cheap, solid and safe. The fact that it's PVC pipe inside allows the sword to bend slightly when you hit something hard (do not try on someone, it whips), so it doesn't break. And you can even customise it at your will ! Your children will love them !
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- Heat resistant gloves
- PVC tube 20mm diameter (1meter (40inches)/sword)
- Insulating sleeve (2meters (80inches)/sword)
- Packing tape
- Grey Tape
- Any other color tape
- Aluminium baking mold
- Cardboard (old calendars for exemple)
Step 2: Making the Katana Shape
After cutting your PVC tube the lenght you want (90-100cm (3feet) is good), close one of the end with tape and put the funnel on the other end.
Then put the sand in the pipe. You should leave 25cm (10inches) empty (the handle doesn't have to bend, use a stick to check where the sand stops).
Empty the sand in the aluminium baking mold and place it in the oven for about 10min (it must be really hot). When it is hot (use gloves !), refill the tube. It will start to bend, so lay it on the ground and carefully create the right shape. If it is not hot enough, the tube won't soften, it will hard to curve, so just replace the sand in the oven and do it again.
Let it cool. Then, remove the sand.
Step 3: The Blade
Close the second tube end. Put tape around the pipe so the sticky side is on top.
Open the pipe foam to make it easier to cover the tube. The sleeve should cover where the blade will be. Close it with tape. Cut what exceeds but leave 3cm (1inch) after the tube end (to keep the sword safe even if someone thrust).
Take the second insulating sleeve and cut it in half lenghwise. Put it under the other sleeve to make the edge, tape it.
Make some small foam pieces and stuff the tip, try to give it a realistic look. Again tape it.
Now, with the grey tape, cover both of the insulating sleeves.
Step 4: The Tsuba (guard)
Create a pattern of your choice (a circle is the safest because there are no pointy shapes) and cut it out of cardboard. Do it twice to strengthen it. Don't forget to cut a hole in the middle.
Then, simply tape them together with the color you want and slide them until they rest on the foam. Secure it.
Step 5: The Handle
First, cut some insulating sleeve the lenght of the handle. Cut lenghtwise so you have a quarter.
Tape it under the handle, it must align with the blade edge. Doing this will improve your grip.
Use the color tape you like to cover it up. You can do any kind of pattern. Don't forget the tube end.
Your katana is now finish !
Step 6: Other Kind of Sword
You can also make an european sword, by skipping the bending step and taping two edge. Use two taped sticks (or simply a piece of pipe foam) to make the guard. To create the pommel, simply cut a small part of the insulating sleeve.
You can even do a gladiator sword, with a bigger insulating sleeve you can flatten a bit.
However one of the most important thing is to pad the tip so don't omit it : safety first !