Flat blades


I want to try out some new boffer crafting techniques so I've started making a flat blade short sword. I'm trying to make sure it's got a good chance of passing weapon check, so I thought I'd post my methodology here and see if any weapon marshals (or anyone else) can spot any issues that might disqualify it before I put in any more work.

Overall this sword is going to be built a lot like the weapons used in full contact boffer combat games. I'm using 3/8" thick blue camp pad foam and a 1/2" CPVC core. I will be connecting the layers of camp pad using DAP contact cement. With my current design (box method), there will be 3/8" padding on the flat of the blade and 3/4" padding on the striking surface. I intend to bevel the edges on the striking surface to make it look more like an actual blade, leaving about a 1/2" wide edge that will actually make contact. I will finish it either by just coating it with duct tape as usual or putting a cloth cover on it, I haven't decided yet. I'll put pictures up once I've got the foam glued in place.

One thing I'm not sure about yet is the thrusting tip. I believe I can make a safe thrusting tip, but the blade is only about 1.5" wide - would a 1.5"x2.25"x2" rectangular thrust tip have any chance of passing? Will there be any issues if I bevel the trust tip slightly? Should I just leave it as a box shape?

Also, I don't actually have any use for a short sword anytime soon. Assuming it passes weapon check, anyone want to buy a flat-blade short sword? I'm currently planning to design it like a Chinese jian, although I'm not sure how well that will come across when it's put into foam form.

PS I realize camp pad is kinda crappy foam, but I already have some lying around and I don't want to buy expensive foam for a prototype.

Gandian Ravenscroft

Chicago Staff
Hey Kyle,

First of all, I suggest against using 1/2" CPVC for the core. It is pretty whippy, even for short lengths, and it might cause the whole weapon to fail just for that.

Beveling it shouldn't really be a problem (I believe Fern's Bonded Guardsman Sword is beveled and good to go), as long as you make sure that it ends up being at least 5/8" thick on the striking surface. I'm sure you will, but I just had to say it.

In regard to thrusting tips:
The All-Clarifying ARC said:
Thus, the answer to your question will depend on your local chapter. If they are approving a flatblade, chances are that they will approve a "flatblade-appropriate" thrusting tip for it. The new guidelines give them the freedom to do so, so long as the weapon is safe.
And yes, that thrusting tip would be fine in my eyes.

If you don't have anyone who wants it, feel free to donate it to monster camp and I'll promise that I'll use it for a special NPC. :thumbsup:


Like the camp foam, I'm going with the cheaper option of CPVC since it's just a prototype - I don't want to cut up kitespar for a weapon that may or may not pass for other reasons. Besides that, I've had this particular weight of CPVC pass for short weapons before; it's what Carly's mace and my maces are made of.

I must have missed that line about flat-blade thrusting tips when I was looking through the new weapon guidelines. Looks like I should be good to go then, I'll probably have it done by the one-day.
I'm sure you should be able to make a passing flatblade.

I wouldn't worry too much about cutting out a kite-spar core, because even if you don't end up liking the resulting weapon the core is probably reusable, just strip everything else and start over.

I'd highly recommend against CPVC, particularly for a long weapon. If it's not to whipy it will also just be heavy as heck... just my thoughts though.


I currently have one spear-length kitespar tube and I don't want to cut a short section off in case I want it for something later. This is for a less-than-max-length short sword, so I don't think the CPVC will be an issue. I fully agree that CPVC is no good for a long weapon.
makes sense! :)
I have a couple of pointers now that I have seen some Daggorhir weapons.

Consider using 2 lb foam for the outer striking surface layer. Its softer and will give a nicer hit when you bevel the blade. Blue foam hits harder the less surface area it has, so be warned that it might hurt until you break it in and let the foam loosen a bit.

It is possible to add a stabbing tip to the end. Do NOT glue it in place. Most glues with become to hard when used with open cell foam since it fills in air pockets and can add jagged points in it. Try DAP, it might be alright for it but make sure you compress it when its fully dry to test it. I recommend using a cloth tape (something nicer from a sports supplier, not Wal-Mart) to tap it in place, wrapping it around the base, then criss-crossing over the tip to help it from "tabling" or folding to the side when used.

Finally, cover the weapon with cloth over tap. It takes a bit more time and some finer sewing skills, but cloth covers do make weapons last longer and they help guard the foam from being cut on what your hitting (tree branches, armor, ect). Cloth covers also help it hit a bit nicer. Duct tape makes a poor cover over all and I recommend that everyone consider using cloth for all their weapons. (Pro Tip)

Hope the weapon building goes well, see you all soon I hope.


Thanks for the pointers, I'll definitely keep that in mind. It'll be a little while before I make a flat-blade anyway - I want to wait for decent weather so I can have enough ventilation with the glue and what-not. I have a couple other projects on my plate right now that are a little higher priority anyway.