Creating good looking and safe swords ! - material recommendations

Hello follow adventurers !

I am currently on a quest of creating the perfect weapons. I am trying to make them be as safe as possible while keeping them acceptably immersing. Attaching some images of swords I built (white short sword) and given by others (taped swords)

The white sword was made by me from 2lb Minicell foam (Cross Linked Polyethylene )sheets, with denser minicell foam around the core. I ordered from the foam factory, delivery took forever but the foam was decent in quality and quantity.

https://www.foambymail.com/XPE2/cross-linked-polyethylene-foam-2lb.html

The sword ended up looking pretty good after sanding and all but it still hits harder than I would like it to.

The long sword was not made by me, it is the sword my friend gave me, and that has served me in many a battle. And it was mostly fine impact absorption-wise, and I always thought it looked great.

The internet mostly recommends closed cell foam for these weapons, but I see my buddy has made the longsword from open celled foam - and it feels more shock absorbing than the closed cell. It could be (and is likely) that he used typical camping matt for this sword.

So here are my questions:

What is the ultimate safe & decent looking sword material ?

(I have spent upwards of $350 on foam orders so far and still did not find the right match. If references to what I have so far ordered will be helpful I will post those)

2) Additionally, what would be some of the top crafting tips you would give to a novice crafter keen on creating a safe and quality weapon ?

3) Link to recommended sources and materials will be appreciated !

note:

- I know that many don't recommend using duct tape to cover swords. But to be honest I never felt like it made the impact that much harder, while did I think it looked pretty cool. That said, I have already started looking into alternative finishing options such as Plastidip and simply using spray colors or cloth.
 

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Ryft

Newbie
5/8" or more of closed cell polyethylene on striking surfaces is the gold standard for safety. I use open cell foam for thrusting tips, only. If you want to keep it from hitting too hard, I'd recommend keeping the weight down more than anything else. That includes a light weight core for longer weapons, which it looks like you're using in the center sword example. Softer foam, while nice in theory, will add to the overall mass of the blade, making the weapon blade-heavy, and therefore less controllable. It's a combination of control and an overall lack of impact-mass that keeps blades from hitting too hard, in my experience. Well, that and not playing in the bitter cold when everything is a bit stiffer!

While flat blades and latex weapons look great, they generally can never limit blades to the minimum 5/8" foam striking surface on *all* sides, since they need at least that much on the blade flat, and then even more on the "edges" to make it flat, which is why round weapons are still favored by the ultra-competitive melee players quite frequently.

I wrap my thrusting tips in plastic wrap before taping over them, which prevents the tape sticking to the foam directly, and allows the tip to be reused if it comes off for any reason, whether accidental damage or necessary repair to other parts of the blade.

I don't have a problem with duct tape. I find that it breaks down *with* the foam over time and gives a good visual indication when the weapon needs to be repaired or replaced. I do think cloth covers are nice, though.

I have a plastidip shield and it's quite nice, actually. Holds up better than tape, I think. Uses a lot of plastidip. Hammered metal textured spray paints exist and make things look nice with minimal effort. I've never tried using it on a striking surface, but I'm very tempted to use it on my next longbow.
 
A friend of mine made a sword from polyurethane foam. True, I had to tinker. It was first necessary to make a mold for the sword. For this we used a plaster print of an ordinary sword, but you could just buy the mold from the Amazon. We made each half separately, put a wire inside and glued everything together. It turned out well. computer monitoring software for business
 
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