Introduction: Jugger Longsword

One of the @hfxjugger longswords needed some maintenance, so I tore it apart and put it back together to demonstrate how I typically construct Jugger weapons.

For this project you will need:

  1. 3/4" (20mm) PVC conduit
  2. 3/4" (20mm) foam pipe insulation
  3. 3/4" (20mm) wooden doweling
  4. hockey tape (or similar)
  5. duck/duct tape
  6. 1/8" (~3mm) drill bit and drill
  7. nylon masonry line
  8. stiff wire
  9. enough eva foam to cut a 6cm diameter disc
  10. open-cell mattress foam, enough to make a 6mm in diameter and 10mm long cylinder
  11. knife to cut mattress foam
  12. scissors
  13. a marker

Step 1: Cut the Required Parts

  1. Cut the PVC to length. For this longsword, that is 125cm (140cm minus 10cm for the thrusting tip minus 5cm for the pommel guard).
  2. Cut the wooden doweling to half the length of the PVC, or 70cm. This provides some stability near the hilt(where you hold it), yet retains some of the flexibility near the striking surface(where you hit people with).
  3. Cut a 6cm disc out of the EVA foam and set it aside. We will use this later to cap the core.
  4. Cut a cylinder of mattress foam appox 6cm in diameter and 10cm in length and put it aside for later. This will form the thrusting tip.

Step 2: Construct the Weapon Core

  1. Measure 70cm from the pommel/grip end of the pvc (the end you hold, not the business end) and mark it with a dot.
  2. Mark a second dot approx 1 or 2cm up the PVC core away from the grip end and 1/4 of the way around the pipe and mark it with a dot. See first picture for an example
  3. Using the marked dots as a reference, drill two 1/8"(3mm) hole through the pipe, one at each reference point. When finished, the drilled holes will form an 'X' through the pipe. This will create a 'net' of nylon line to prevent the wooden doweling from moving around in the pipe when inserted.
  4. Cut a long length of masonry line and fold it in half to double the line. Run the line through one set of holes, then through the other, forming an 'X' pattern inside the PVC. Not pictured is a length of stiff wire used to run through the holes, then pull the nylon line through
  5. Wrap the excess line around the PVC in between the two holes and secure it to the pipe with hockey tape.
  6. Wrap hockey tape around one end of the doweling in a band so that it is only one layer thick (see picture of doweling in the What You Will Need section of the title page for reference). Insert that end into the PVC pipe to test how tight a seal the hockey tape makes with the pipe. It should be enough to provide resistance, but not so resistant that you cannot insert the doweling into the pipe. If it is too loose, apply another layer of tape and try again. If too tight, try another type of hockey tape, or perhaps electrical tape. The hockey tape is used to allow the doweling to grip the inside of the pipe, providing structural resistance and making the PVC pipe less whippy when used.
  7. Once the thickness of the band is determined, wrap similar bands along every foot (~30cm) of doweling, making sure that both ends of the doweling have a band.
  8. Insert the doweling fully into the pommel/grip end of the pvc pipe. If force is required to force it in, tap it in with a rubber mallet. When fully inserted, the doweling should be flush with the end of the PVC pipe.
  9. Cover both ends of the pipe with hockey tape, then duct tape, securing the doweling into the core. Both ends are sealed in case the nylon wire breaks and the doweling becomes free to move around the core.

Step 3: Apply Foam Striking Surface and Secure With Tape

  1. Measure 100cm of 3/4" foam insulation and apply it to the striking end of the pipe (the business end). When the pipe in fully encased in the foam, it should extend 10cm beyond the striking end of the pipe, and 40cm from the grip.
  2. Apply a second 100cm of foam insulation. When the second layer goes on, one section of foam insulation may not be big enough to fully encase the first layer of foam, so you may have to cut another length of pipe insulation to fill in the gap. There must be no gaps in the foam padding when finished.
  3. Cut the 10cm overage of pipe insulation from the end of the pipe. We will use this as a pommel guard later on. After being cut, the foam insulation should be flush with the striking end of the pipe.
  4. Cover the striking surface (the foam) in duct tape. It is best to run the tape lengthwise from the tip of the striking surface, all along the length of the foam to about 10-20 cm into the hilt(Where you hold it). Don't push down too hard on the foam when applying the tape; you don't want to compress the foam itself. Wrap the tape overage around the hilt. Apply as many strips of tape until the striking surface is completely enclosed.

Step 4: Install the Thrusting Tip Onto the End of the Sword

  1. Take the 6cm disc of EVA foam and tape it to the striking tip of the weapon with duck/duct tape. This will create a layer of padding between the weapon and the thrusting tip should the tip be fully compressed on a hard thrust, and also act as a cap to the core in case the doweling breaks free and starts moving around inside the core.
  2. Take the 6cmx10cm cylinder of mattress foam and hold it on the thrusting tip of the weapon, above the EVA foam cap.
  3. With several long lengths of duck/duct tape, secure the foam to the tip of the sword by running the tape over the tip of the foam mid-length into the tape strip and secure both ends to the striking surface. It is important to NOT compress the foam at all. Also, the tape will probably not stick to the foam itself, so the long strips of tape form more of a harness in which the foam will rest. Once fully enclosed in tape, the foam will slowly re-inflate once compressed, as there will probably be insufficient holes to allow the air back into the thrusting tip. There are two ways to add holes. First, leave gaps in the strips of duct tape. These large holes will allow the tip to quickly re-inflate once compressed, but will provide less padding, as it will also deflate quicker when thrust into a target. The foam will also not last as long, as it will be exposed to the elements. The other way is to fully encase the foam and poke holes in the sides of the tip with a knife. The tip should compress more slowly, providing more thrusting protection, but will also re-inflate slower, so the tip may not be fully re-inflated if multiple thrusts occur quickly. My personal preference is the latter, but feel free to choose whatever method best fits your fighting style.

Step 5: Install the Pommel Guard and Finish the Hilt

  1. Take a short length of pipe insulation and rightly roll it into a 'plug' approx 3/4" (20mm) in diameter. You can use the diameter of the PVC pipe for reference if necessary. Tightly roll the plug in tape (I used fiber reinforced packing tape, but you can use any tape).
  2. Cut a 5mm section of the plug off. Discard the rest, or keep it for other pommel guards in the future.
  3. Insert the 10cm overage of dual-layer foam insulation cut off of the end of the sword from the last page and insert it onto the pommel(the end of the grip) so that the foam extends 5mm over the end of the pipe.
  4. Insert the 5mm plug into the end of the pommel. When fully inserted, the plug should be flush with the end of the pommel guard.
  5. Wrap the pommel guard in duck/duct tape in a similar fashion to the striking surface so that the tape extends 10-20 onto the hilt and does not compress the foam at all
  6. Wrap the grip in hockey tape, covering the duck/duct tape overages from the striking surface, as well as the overage from the pommel guard.

That's it! Run your hands along all taped surfaces making sure it has a solid adherence with no bubbles. Crush the thrusting tip a number of times and watch how fast it deflates and then re-inflates, patching or making new holes to adjust it. Lastly, pound yourself in the head a couple of times with the striking surface. If you're still conscious after a few blows, the sword passes the test! If not, seek medical attention.