My name is Tyler Dowell and I will be instructing you on how to make a Boffer or L.A.R.P. (Live Action Role Play) sword! I will be making a long-sword/claymore that I have been aspiring to do named King's Crusher but I will teach you all how to make basic swords while constructing my own.
You may ask, what is a claymore? Isn't that an Explosive? That is not far from the truth but the claymore that I am creating today is an iconic Scottish weapon that is massive and deadly. It is a two-handed longsword that is good for blocking and cleaving but due to it's incredible weight, it is not a good sword for quick swordplay. Examples of these swords are Siegfried's Zweihander from the Soul Calibur series as well as Cloud Strife's buster sword from Final Fantasy VII. It was the Scottish response to the medieval two-handed long-sword and it served them well.
Step 1: Foraging Your Items Er... Getting Your Supplies!
What you'll need is:
- PVC Pipe (3/4' for anything below 3 ft and 1' for anything above)
- 2 pipes of Pipe Foam
- Duct Tape
- More Duct Tape
- Sandpaper and buffer
- a design to go off of!
- Oh and did I mention Duct Tape!?
I don't mean to silly about the duct tape but you will need a lot of it!
Step 2: Getting Down to Business!
The first thing you'll need to do is to sand down the tips of your pipe as well as put tape over them, This will help with decreasing breakdown of the foam that you'll use to make the blade. BE CAREFUL when you use the knife because you could definitely cut yourself at any time!
Step 3: Marking
You want to find a way to mark where you want your hilt to end and where you want your blade to start. this is not required but highly recommended. I like to use a permanent marker but you can use anything that works!
Step 4: Making and Fitting the Inner Foam.
Now, you want to take your pipe foam and place it to where you mark is on the blade side. Then, cut it down to where you have the foam almost even with the tip. It's okay if the foam splits, because it's supposed to do that!
Step 5: Adding the Pokey End!
A joke to in my boffer group goes "If all else fails, get 'em with the pointy end!" meaning if you can't swing at your opponent, poke them to death (metaphorically). Because of that, your tip needs to be heavily padded or it will hurt badly! First, cut the remaining pipe foam that you used for the base and cut it in half length wise. Now bend over a piece over the tip and tape the ends off to the base. The crease on your base should be covered by the tip padding because the foam we will use for the blade will not be above the crease and thus, you will have more padding on hits.
Step 6: Make a Comfy Tip.
You don't want to punch your friends , unless you do, so you should make sure the tip has extra padding!! cut off a slice of the remaining half-foam and wedge it into the crevasse of the tip and core. I point to mine in the picture...
Step 7: Blade Time!!
Now for the fun part!! Take the other pipe foam and cut it in 1/2 as well lengthwise. apply it across the tip in the opposite direction so that the tip looks like a "+". You'll also want to tape this a couple of times to make sure it stays. cut it off to where the base foam ends or earlier if you want a more "Bat" like sword.
Step 8: Here Comes the Tape!
Now, apply the tape in vertical strips rather than corkscrew style. This will drop the weight of the sword and will save you on tape! I put on black electrician's tape for details but feel free to put whatever tape you want on the blade!
Step 9: The Hilt.
If you are not interested on making a hilt then just skip to the next step...
You can use anything from remaining pipe foam to camping foam for this part. I like to use camping foam. This part can be hard but with cunning and a little bit of innovation, It can be done!
Step 10: Get a Grip!
Millions of eyebrow twitching puns later, I am ready to teach you how to make a grip! Tape the area that you would grip corkscrew style and the make a corkscrew pattern clockwise and counter-clockwise to make a comfy "X" grip.
Step 11: Pommel Time!
take a chunk off of the 1/2 pipe foam pipe and tape it to the bottom of the sword like the tip. this will make sure your sword's weight is more balanced and and you can't shatter a window by it falling.
Step 12: Fractures or Things to Look for While Boffering.
Over time, your sword's foam will break down... this can not be helped but what can is what to do when it does break down.
If you feel that you can feel your core/pipe easily through the pipe, go to Fix #1
If by fixing #1 you slice into the foam and make it worse, go to Fix #2
If you feel core while examining the tip, go to Fix #3
Step 13: Fix #1
This is almost the simplest fix, Cut into the foam to only where the issue is, replace with spare pipe foam, and then tape!
Step 14: Fix #2
I add this because I do this a lot... Unfortunately, you have to replace all of the foam in this case... but at least you have insured future use of your sword.
Step 15: Fix #3
This is going to sound silly... but add more foam to the tip, or replace the foam.
Step 16: POSE! and DONE!
You made a sword!! Now what are you still doing on the computer? Get out there and smite thy enemies!