Picture of Practice Lightsaber
Monster funnoodles with a glued wooden handle make excellent training tools for your next duel with Darth Andy.

Step 1: Summary

Picture of Summary
Tested in the meddle of combat, durable and hard hitting foam lightsabers have taught my padawans much in the way of the force. Costing only a few credits each, they have helped shape their bodies and minds. No blood has been spilled but a battle is well remembered by the combatants.
Not recommended for under 8 years old, anyone who decides that the sword is best used with the wooden handle end out, or going up against professional baseball players. I have not had any injuries for the past 3 years with up to a dozen teenaged boys going at it at once. Still???
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flapper5012 years ago
As noted by user Spaceman-Spliff,

"Do not use wood for the core! I tried that a couple of years ago and the stupid things always broke - once there were even splinters sticking out of the foam - rather dangerous."

Here's the link to that ible' : http://www.instructables.com/id/Foam-Swords/
Just thought that might help a bit.
flapper5012 years ago
As noted by user Spaceman-Spliff,
"Do not use wood for the core! I tried that a couple of years ago and the stupid things always broke - once there were even splinters sticking out of the foam - rather dangerous."

Here's the link to that ible' : http://www.instructables.com/id/Foam-Swords/
Just thought that might help a bit.
p01ss0n2 years ago
Or you can try something that will last longer:
Variety of sabers and swords for real sport`s training.
johnpombrio (author)  p01ss0n2 years ago
Excellent Find! I cannot locate a US website. Anyone? These may fit more in the actual sword training type of product like:
NOT something I would hand out to the kids!
BTW, Gave all my foam swords away when I was visiting a boy scout camp during a star party there. What a great home for them!
As far as I know there is`n one in US but they ship it worldwide. I can help you with translation and ordering if you want since I know the language and this stuff is made in my city. Also I`ve tried it out (I have four of those) and I think It`s also great for adult sword and saber training. You don`t need any protection (maybe except for head - I used boxing helmet but it`s not necessary).
johnpombrio (author) 6 years ago
Well, it is official, I found that a company named Mashoonga has started selling foam swords.
Good for them! Little pricy at $20 for 2 at SAMS club. It is made of a polycarbonate core that seems to run through the foam. The diameter is of the smaller noodle size instead of the giant noodles that I use. The foam is dense that I have only seen on a couple of brands of noodles. The length is exactly the same as mine, in both the handle and the length of the foam (they are probably cutting foam noodles in half!). They also put a nylon "sock" over the foam to prevent dings and tears (good idea). The handle is still hard but has a nice rubbery coating on it which will help mitigate head bashing with the handle. Not quite as little kid friendly as the core seems to go through the whole sword and the foam is denser and harder.

All and all an extremely good product and highly recommended.
My friend has some, they break really easily.
johnpombrio (author)  ilpug3 years ago
Where do they break? I would guess in the hollow core polycarbonate handles somewhere inside. I never did like the idea of brittle plastic as a core.
One broke about a foot along the shaft, and another snapped cleanly at the handle.
Now, why would I buy that when I can make an extremely better one for like $6?
This could be good, but it could be bad for those who go into boffer related business - especially if this company tries to patent them (which, despite there clearly being "prior art" isn't impossible given how broken our system is)
hyperkubus3 years ago
This is basicly a 'Pompfen' and is used for a sport called Jugger (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkcEazkfmlg)
Just randomly... This totally reminds me of a "Struggle Bat" from Kingdom Hearts 2.

:) I will have to go make one of these. Or a collection of these.

thing 26 years ago
you could use pvc pipe for light weight and softer brace, so it doesn't hurt when you get hit by the wood part
johnpombrio (author)  thing 26 years ago
Not PVC. It has a couple of nasty features. It is almost impossible to slide in without ripping the foam up. PVC is very hard to glue to the foam, even with epoxy. Tried and failed miserably with PVC. Wood works fine!
"It is almost impossible to slide in without ripping the foam up" I've done it quite successfully, guess it is just the noodles I use having just a big enough hole for the pipe to slide in easily. As for gluing, I would recommend using 3M Super 77 Adhesive Spray if working with PVC/noodle. Sprays on easily, you'll have to wipe it up with a paper towel off the noodle at the bottom of the pipe near the handle, but that noodle is not coming off. :D
james9276 years ago
It's dark out so I haven't ran out to the pool yet to try this, but just one question, why don't you put the dowel all the way through it? The foam would pad it and it would be stronger... or is it not to flexible anyway? I saw nerf swords at walmart and they have a rod straight through them ($13). I'm used to fighting my brother and little kids with wooden swords and this seems like a great way to pad them so we'll stop hurting each others knuckles. I have a shield made out of half a pallet but when you add spikes to the end so you can punch with it... safety goes down fast. Also, fyi, "grade stakes" (gardening stakes) are what we use for swords and we sell them for $.50 each, so seems cheaper than a dowel. Farming stores probably sell them, just grind the point down and round the handle... Just my thoughts, sorry if it's long...
johnpombrio (author)  james9276 years ago
Good question. There are two very reasons for not making the dowel any longer. One is that it is tough enough just to get the short dowel into the hole THAT far (especially with the epoxy starting to stick!). The other is that a lunge (or jab) in the face with a wood dowel close to the end would....err...HURT! The fat noodles with the short dowel do not sag, still lets you poke someone safely, and it is lighter while easy to make. Stick with the dowels to make these swords. The garden stakes may be cheap but they are no substitute. Safety first please! No one has been hurt yet by my swords.
Jesus105558 years ago
You should add a mastercard pun in that paragraph :)
monster funnoodle: $7 dowel: $3.75 Loctite Quick set 5 minute epoxy with a dual delivery system: $3 hitting your brother with a foam lightsaber: priceless
:monster funnoodle: $7 Rip-off, IMO. Poolcenter.com has them for about $3 each.
At Wal-Mart $4.
johnpombrio (author)  MegaMaker6 years ago
There are foam noodles and there are foam noodles. I have seen at LEAST 4 different brands of noodles and the difference in the quality and wear factor is considerable. Some of the really cheap ones you can pluck the foam out with your fingers and they droop a foot just by holding them out. If you are going through the trouble of making one, buy the best quality you can find.
The $4 ones were monster funnoodles.
Which is why I recommend poolcenter. Consistent, good quality noodles.
"hitting your brother with a foam lightsaber: priceless" Agreed. But, of course sometimes it also costs a grounding.
Oroka6 years ago
Awesome, now I don't have to worry about cutting myself with my real lightsaber.
snelpiller6 years ago
This is actully pretty good if u wanna do a lighsaber effect in vegas or aftereffects, makes rotorscoping easy
magganrchy8 years ago
My brothers and i have been making these for a while, if you wrap duct tape around the outside, at least partly then it will stay together better, and you should use pvc pipes instead of dowel rods, because dowel rods break. (i think the size was 1/2, but it might be 5/8)
I strongly recommend using a cloth cover. Duct tape will make it hit harder. Cloth will protect the foam in the same way and actually make it softer. For a quick and easy cover, I use tube socks. You can tape the bottom onto the handle or just let the elastic hold it in place. And I agree on the PVC. 1/2" is popular, but I prefer 3/4" pressure pipe (with a 1" outside diameter) because the size makes a better handle. If you do use wood for the core, you should tape it up first in case it breaks, to hold the pieces together and to contain splinters.
johnpombrio (author)  WurdBendur7 years ago
cloth covers would be great but a tube sock or socks would be impracticable. These suckers are 30 inches long! Perhaps panty hose? There is NO WAY to make a one inch dowel 2 foot long break. I used them on my kids playground equipment and as long as they do not rot due to weather, they last forever with the full weight of kids climbing up and down them. Gotta trust me, no way. Dozens of noodlesmade and used, all 1 inch dowels never a splinter. Getting pvc pipe into the noodle is such a nightmare. It rips the foam so easily, even if I bevel the front edge. Even epoxy does not hold it in place. Try building one as I suggest, it works great!
My two swords are 24" and 25" long, which is notably longer than usual, and each is covered by a single tube sock. And these weren't even the largest size I could find. I just got them because they were black and I thought white socks would look silly. You can also stretch them out before you put them on. But if socks really won't work, you can just sew a rectangle of cloth into a cylinder and close the end. You could use panty hose, but I'm not sure they'll do much good because they're so thin. By the way, 30" is probably too long for the people using them, especially if they're children. I think the longest boffer blade I've ever seen is my brother's at about 38", and that thing is a monster. As a rough guideline, your blade should only reach from the ground to your fingers when your hand is hanging at your side, at least for beginners. Much longer than that and it starts to become unwieldy. And you're right that a 2-foot-long 1" dowel will probably never break. They're just usually longer than that, extending most of the way up the blade. It keeps the blade straight and prevents people whipping it around shields or other swords. Any dowel that long will eventually break, which is why it's best to use a flexible core such as PVC or fiberglass if it's going to be that long.
"By the way, 30" is probably too long for the people using them, especially if they're children. I think the longest boffer blade I've ever seen is my brother's at about 38", and that thing is a monster" My hand-and-a-half sword is about 42 inches. Boffers can be quite large, and that is without touching two-handed weapons.
But how much of that is blade? That's the length that matters. I've seen tremendous weapons, but almost always with relatively short blades. The measurements I gave are just the blade.
johnpombrio (author)  WurdBendur6 years ago
Yep. 28-30 inches is a monster. These are also the BIG noodles. Reason? The big size prevents really hard hits due to just trying to swing something that large. The thick foam cushions the blow. But it makes a mighty WHACK sound when it hits. The longer length prevents more "body contact". The new retail Mashoonga swords are same length blade (28" with 7" handle). They use the smaller noodle with a very good dense foam AND a cotton sleeve. The handle is a polycarbonate (lexan) hollow tube that runs the length of the sword (with a smaller sized noodle, a full length core is a must). Funny thing is that my larger diameter sword is LIGHTER. The M's are excellent swords and highly recommended if you see them in Toys 'R Us or BJs. I still do not like a full length core but M seems to have some way to prevent the end from sticking out of the foam.
Most people who use pool noodles let it extend about 3-4 inches past the end of the core, so it shouldn't come through. You can also cut off a small piece and stuff it in the hole to make it safer.
Not just pool noodle, IIRC NERO does require 2 inches off the pipe for the pipe foam boffers.
It may be for little children, the intent of the stuff used here, but outside of that - say college LARPS or event-run LARPS, 28-30 is nothing. Longer length, if you use it correctly, can give you a good advantage with regards to range, so long as you aren't up against a dual-wielding maniac of an opponent.
I wouldn't say it's nothing. It's larger than average for blades, after you throw out the giant fantasy swords that few can wield effectively. Those would be better as shields anyway. I've learned to use long weapons fairly well, but at some length they become impractical. I also found that I became much better at using my shorter swords once I had got used to my brother's monster great sword.
My claymore boffer is only about 5 inches longer than the real sword (which is about 55 inches long).
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