QUALITY boffer construction?

Wraith

Newbie
Honestly, I've seen very few latex reps I'd consider unsafe... provided we were fighting at a speed that allowed the wielder to control their swings. At the current rate of flailing, I see far, far too many people getting hit on the backswing, or harder than intended because someone stepped in and they are so used to swinging as fast as possible and checking it at the last moment that they couldn't pull the blow in time.

If we're going to use more latex weapons, we are far overdue for a hard definition of what safe combat looks like. The majority of the latex-based games I've looked into all have hard controls on combat speed, such as the '3-swing rule' where combatants get 3 shots and then must step back and disengage, and I am very sympathetic to their reasons for this.
 

Requiem

Newbie
Ironically, I'm still trying to chase down all the materials...

5/8" wall pipe insulation that fits a true 1/2" Inner Diameter (necessary for a .505" Outer Diameter piece of kitespar) rather than a 1/2" pipe (5/8" or larger Outer Diameter) is apparently pretty much non-existent.

The company that makes Tundra Self-Seal has offered to make it for me custom, if I place a minimum order of $5,000...

I'm actually vaguely tempted by that. I'd need some seed money, but as much of a bitch as it is to find proper foam, you might make some money distributing this stuff as LARP supplies (or even as boffer "kits" with some bulk kitespar)... Sadly however, I'm a poor college student, and the Latex revolution throws that business model into doubt.

Regardless! I'm chasing down several other leads, but the most realistic is looking to be this. It's not ideal - math-y people will recognize that the extra 1/8" wall thickness is actually a lot more foam than it seems - and I would have to find someone to e-mail and confirm that 3/8" copper fit foam is 1/2" ID, but I'm under the impression that it would be better/lighter than resorting to layered or liquid foam...

I dunno. Is my search-fu simply weak? Am I missing something obvious? I found a couple places where this has come up before on these forums, and didn't find a satisfactory answer in any of those topics...

EDIT: Status update - better fallback option found, and inquiring after a custom option... Also, I sat down and truly did the math. 3/4" wall thickness over 5/8" is a full 33% increase in weight of foam. :pinch:
 
Requiem said:
Ironically, I'm still trying to chase down all the materials...

5/8" wall pipe insulation that fits a true 1/2" Inner Diameter (necessary for a .505" Outer Diameter piece of kitespar) rather than a 1/2" pipe (5/8" or larger Outer Diameter) is apparently pretty much non-existent.

The company that makes Tundra Self-Seal has offered to make it for me custom, if I place a minimum order of $5,000...

I'm actually vaguely tempted by that. I'd need some seed money, but as much of a bitch as it is to find proper foam, you might make some money distributing this stuff as LARP supplies (or even as boffer "kits" with some bulk kitespar)... Sadly however, I'm a poor college student, and the Latex revolution throws that business model into doubt.

Regardless! I'm chasing down several other leads, but the most realistic is looking to be this. It's not ideal - math-y people will recognize that the extra 1/8" wall thickness is actually a lot more foam than it seems - and I would have to find someone to e-mail and confirm that 3/8" copper fit foam is 1/2" ID, but I'm under the impression that it would be better/lighter than resorting to layered or liquid foam...

I dunno. Is my search-fu simply weak? Am I missing something obvious? I found a couple places where this has come up before on these forums, and didn't find a satisfactory answer in any of those topics...

EDIT: Status update - better fallback option found, and inquiring after a custom option... Also, I sat down and truly did the math. 3/4" wall thickness over 5/8" is a full 33% increase in weight of foam. :pinch:
I just use the next size up then cut them down just enough to bit the kite spar. Just need to be careful...I tend to do it in small increments.
 

Requiem

Newbie
SkollWolfrun said:
I just use the next size up then cut them down just enough to bit the kite spar. Just need to be careful...I tend to do it in small increments.
Here's a winning idea. It sounds like a pain, but it also sounds like the single most feasible solution that I'm currently aware of. Thank you thank you Sean.

Hokay, so all of the materials are now ordered, I just have to wait on delivery. As for adding something to the head to prevent tearing, I /may/ have also placed an order for some 1/32" thick sheepskin to experiment with that idea.
 
Requiem said:
SkollWolfrun said:
I just use the next size up then cut them down just enough to bit the kite spar. Just need to be careful...I tend to do it in small increments.
Here's a winning idea. It sounds like a pain, but it also sounds like the single most feasible solution that I'm currently aware of. Thank you thank you Sean.

Hokay, so all of the materials are now ordered, I just have to wait on delivery. As for adding something to the head to prevent tearing, I /may/ have also placed an order for some 1/32" thick sheepskin to experiment with that idea.
you mean on your core? I just buy washers at the same OD as my core (or in some cases use a penny or dime which is cheaper than most washers).
 
Requiem,
Just to let you know, I found a supplier in Calgary, Alberta that can provide a true 1/2" inner diameter hole with either 5/8" wall thickness or 3/4" wall thickness, depending on how much padding you are looking for. Personally, I don't mind the extra weight if I get more padding with the 3/4" (as the density changes to provide a similar R value for insulating properties); and thus it could be more impact absorbing. If you are still interested in this type of construction please let me know and perhaps we can save money ordering together, because the minimum length for these sizes is 228 ft.

I do have another idea, and I've been considering this heavily as it would greatly increase the availability of supplies. If, instead of ordering the 0.505" core, you ordered a 0.625" core (which is 5/8") the options for wall thickness become extremely more abundant. There seem to be two additional considerations with a solution like this 1) the weight, and 2) the deflection rating, or 'how much it bends'. For the weight factor, it seems that a long sword (110 cm, max) the weight would not increase by any more than 8-10 grams, which is quite reasonable. The second factor, deflection rating, you can order some of these cores with lower wall thickness to match (or closely resemble) the 'bendiness' of the 0.505" core. If you decide to go with a 0.625" (or 5/8") core, your options, for wall thickness, now become 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4"; and these are all somewhat readily available. Just make sure that the 0.625" (or 5/8") core has a lower deflection rating than the standard 0.625" (which tends to be about half of the 0.505").

I have called many suppliers to arrive at the current options that I am now supplying, both have advantages and disadvantages; however, a quality boffer weapon can be made, regardless of these obstacles, in my opinion.
 

Requiem

Newbie
The axes that spawned this thread are basically made. I need to cut the open-cell for the heads into the proper shape, but otherwise I've made all the purchases and design decisions for those. Once they're totally complete, I'll post pictures. ^_^

However, I will be using some of the extra materials I have left over to make myself one or two longswords. I'd be interested in 20' or so of the precise .5" ID, 5/8" wall stuff if you end up making that purchase. Otherwise I'll simply continue cutting down larger-diameter insulation to wrap firmly around a .505" core.
 
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