Practice Lightsaber

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Intro: Practice Lightsaber

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

Step 1: 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???

Step 2: Gathering the Materials

There are three main items to buy. A monster funnoodle (3 3/4 inches in diameter, about 60 inches long and has a one inch hole in the middle) ($7), a 1 1/4 inch dowel 48" long ($3.75), and Loctite Quick set 5 minute epoxy with a dual delivery system ($3.00).
The 60 inch long Monster funnoodles are easy to obtain at Toys R Us, Sports Authority, or most pool places. Other brands of large pool noodles can be used as long as they are dense foam with a regular cylindrical shape and has a one inch hole in the middle.
The smaller, regular funnoodles (2 3/4 inch diameter with a 3/4 inch hole) can be made for smaller kids but use a 1 inch diameter dowel and a 6 inch handle.
The dowels and Loctite epoxy can be bought at Home Depot.
Epoxy is the best and does not melt the foam. I have found no other glue to hold up (Elmers, woodworking glue, etc). A friction fit will ALWAYS work loose leaving the user with a billy club instead of a sword. Drilled holes and wire ties rips the foam to shreds.

Step 3: Measuring to Cut

The 60 inch long noodle needs to be cut in half. The dowel cut into 16 inch sections with 8 inches being inserted into the hole leaving an 8 inch handle. I used a chop saw but any sort of saw will work. The dowels can be made longer (18-20 inches) but DO NOT make the handles any longer than 8 inches. Longer handles means more banged up fingers when fighting in close quarters. Less than 8 inches into the foam will lead to premature failure due to excessive flexing. Too much wood put into the foam will be hard to insert and lead to a solid hit stinging a lot!

Step 4: Rounding the Dowel Ends

The dowels can be inserted a lot easier if the end is rounded first. The handle end is safer with a rounded end. I had a belt sander but whittling or sandpaper can be used. 45 degree bevel for about 3/8 of an inch.

Step 5: Assembly and Use

Mark the dowels with a circle 8 inches from one end. Put a bead of the dual feed epoxy about 3/4 inch long into the hole in one end of the noodle. Mix with a pencil or a plastic straw for 20 seconds or so. Insert the dowel and twist it down into the foam until it is flush with the 8 inch handle mark.The mallet can help you insert the dowel if it gets stuck. Tada! Hand to nearest kids (they can make me grow old but they cannot make me grow up) and watch the fights. They can be swung really hard and connect with a loud boom without it hurting much.

Step 6: Failure Analysis

These are EXTREMELY durable swords. I have seen fights last for hours with people gasping for breath (me mostly) and no appreciable wear and tear (on the swords). Leaving them outside in NOT recommended as the handles will start to go and the UV will attack the foam. Under cover is fine to keep the rain and wind off. Do not leave too long in a pool without letting it dry out. The foam will eventually start to chip off in places but they stay straight and still have their cushioning effect. The ends will start to rat up a bit. Too short a handle will cause the foam to bend too much and it will rip at the end of the dowel. I guess you could pad the handle somehow to protect your fingers. You could also varnish the dowel but I found the dowel and the foam wear about the same so when one goes, the other is ready to go too.

Step 7: Other Weapons.

I have tried a regular funnoodle stuck on both ends of a one inch dowel to create a dual lightsaber but it is very unwieldy and hard to thwack someone. I have also created a dagger using 9 inch large foam, 6 inch dowel with a 3 inch handle. That can be used as an off hand shield to protect yourself or a nasty close in weapon.
May the force be with you!

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    104 Discussions

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    flapper501

    5 years ago on Introduction

    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' : https://www.instructables.com/id/Foam-Swords/
    Just thought that might help a bit.

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    flapper501

    5 years ago on Introduction

    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' : https://www.instructables.com/id/Foam-Swords/
    Just thought that might help a bit.

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    p01ss0n

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Or you can try something that will last longer:
    http://go-now.pl/pl/sprzet_sport.htm
    Variety of sabers and swords for real sport`s training.

    2 replies
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    johnpombriop01ss0n

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Excellent Find! I cannot locate a US website. Anyone? These may fit more in the actual sword training type of product like:
    http://www.amazon.com/Cold-Steel-Training-Polypropylene-Handle/dp/B001Q72ARC/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
    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!

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    p01ss0njohnpombrio

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    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).

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    johnpombrio

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Well, it is official, I found that a company named Mashoonga has started selling foam swords.
    http://revelking.com/
    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.

    5 replies
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    johnpombrioilpug

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    ilpugjohnpombrio

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    One broke about a foot along the shaft, and another snapped cleanly at the handle.

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    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)

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    hyperkubus

    6 years ago on Introduction

    This is basicly a 'Pompfen' and is used for a sport called Jugger (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkcEazkfmlg)

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    LilPurpleCow

    6 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    Awesome!

    67px-StruggleBat.png
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    thing 2

    9 years ago on Introduction

    you could use pvc pipe for light weight and softer brace, so it doesn't hurt when you get hit by the wood part

    2 replies
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    johnpombriothing 2

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    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!

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    "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

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    james927

    9 years ago on Introduction

    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...

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    johnpombriojames927

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    kaeriusJesus10555

    Reply 10 years ago on Step 2

    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