Introduction: Making a Jugger Chain

This instructable is part of a series looking at manufacturing equipment for use in a sport called "Jugger." Jugger is a game derived from a 1980s action flick called "The Blood of Heroes" written by David Webb Peoples (12 Monkeys, Blade Runner, Unforgiven) and can be thought of as being like rugby with weapons. An example of a game can be seen here.

There's another instructable covering the process of making chain handles here.

For this instructable you will need:
-A measuring tape
-A chain handle
-A marlinspike (or a skewer and pen)
-Silver pipe insulation (this should be pretty easy to find, failing that blue camping mat should do the trick)
-Foam football (these can be hard to find nowadays, inflatable ones are more common. If you can't find one, furniture foam can be used instead)
-Chord or string (Parachord/polypropelene builder's line etc.)
-8 or 10mm plastic chain
-A few inches of PVC pipe (not pictured)
-Duct tape (Not pictured)

Step 1: Attaching the Chain to the Handle

In order to attach the chain to the handle we will be using a piece of chord tied through the center of the rope and tied over the top of the plume. Ordinarily the pressure of the chain pulling away from the handle would pull the chord to one side and gradually unravel the rope, but we will be using duct tape and a PVC collar in order to prevent this from happening.

First off we need to remove the cable tie securing the end of the spliced rope. Once you have done so, quickly tape up the end of the splice so that it can't unravel. Once this is done, cut the rope to length and comb out the strands so that it forms a plume at the end of the handle.

Next we need to attach the chord to the handle. Use your marlinspike (or skewer and pen) to part the strands just below the duct tape. Once the hole is big enough, pass the chord through the middle of the rope and tie it off. Make sure to cauterise the ends with your lighter to prevent it from fraying.

Next, take the PVC pipe and make four notches around the top of the rim, these will hold the chord we use to secure the chain in place and prevent them from sliding off to one side. I used an electric drill, but a hacksaw would do the job equally well.

Next up slide the PVC collar over the end of the rope handle until it's snug against the chord. It should be a reasonably tight fit. Pass the chord over the top of the PVC collar, sitting in one of the notches you've just made, through the first link of chain, over the notch on the other side and wrap it around the base. When it comes back around to the point where the chord travels up the collar, pass it through the bend and tension it off in the opposite direction (like the turn at the back of a parcel wrap).

Next use the same technique to tie the chord through the other two notches, forming a cross at the top, which passes through the chain.

Once this is done, measure the diameter of your ball and subtract it from 320 centimeters. Measuring from the base of the chain handle, cut the chain to this length. Keep in mind that the link you cut will be removed from the length you measure. Also, if there's a choice between having the chain slightly too long, or slightly too short, it is better to cut it short as overly long chains may not be eligible for use in competitions.

Step 2: Preparing the Ball

The next step is to prepare the ball for attachment to the chain. Our first job is to perform a basic parcel tie on the ball, leaving two free ends to attach to the chain.

Wrap a length of chord around the ball once, tying off with a reef knot where the two ends meet. Next wrap them back around to the opposite side, but on the adjacent axis and tie them off again. Cauterise the ends of the chord with your lighter to prevent them from fraying.

Next tape over the chord we have just tied off. This will help hold it in place and prevent the ball from coming loose when in play. Once this is done, begin wrapping longtitudinal stripes over the ball until it is completely covered, with only the two tails of the attachment chord protruding.

Step 3: Padding the Chain

Although the chain is quite safe to play with, it's quite hard and the end will be moving fast enough to leave bruises, especially in cold weather. Padding helps prevent this.

First measure a meter of chain and count how many links this covers. Start cutting as many pieces of pipe insulation as you need to cover the meter, they should be wide enough to cover the straight part of each link.

Separate open each piece of padding at the join, wrap it around the link that needs covering, and tape over it to secure. Keep doing this until the last meter of the chain leading up to the ball is completely padded.

Step 4: Attaching the Ball

Finally, tie the two tails of chord protruding from the ball to the last link in the chain. Congratulations! You have a working chain :) Now go test it out on some poor unsuspecting runners.