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Ultralight Flatblade Tutorial

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7 pages
Ultralight Flatblade TutorialForword: Flat blade weapons have become a rarity in Amtgard these days due to the ease of construction a noodle sword entails and the omni-directional blades light-saber-ish versitality. However anyone with a little patience can make a flat blade if they'd l ike.What, you don't know where to start? Well that's just because no one has showed you the way. The first thing I'd like to preface this tutorial with is that anyone can make a flat blade , it'snot that difficult. It is, however, a bit more difficult to make a safe flat blade that looks straight, and doesn't loose it's integrity after the first day of combat. I shall endeavor t oimpart the knowledge that I gleaned from others, improved upon in some ways (if only in application of their techniques), but still the majority of this tutorial comes from wha t Ilearned from others. Remember that traditionally the flat blade is the heavier, sturdier of the designs. In m ostcases it will hit harder then a noodle weapon and it will only count on the striking edge. In our game that translates to mean that you need less kinetic power and more accuracy and skill to wield it. Your available shots will decrease, your blocking will need to increase, and all your shots will (overtime) become more crisp, clean, and accurate. Us e aflat blade exclusively for a month and then fight with a noodle sword again and you'll be amazed at the change. Picking a core : Just like every other ...
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Ultralight Flatblade Tutorial Forword: Flat blade weapons have become a rarity in Amtgard these days due to the ease of construction a noodle sword entails and the omni-directional blades light-saber-ish versitality. However anyone with a little patience can make a flat blade if they'd like. What, you don't know where to start? Well that's just because no one has showed you the way. The first thing I'd like to preface this tutorial with is that anyone can make a flat blade, it's not that difficult. It is, however, a bit more difficult to make a safe flat blade that looks straight, and doesn't loose it's integrity after the first day of combat. I shall endeavor to impart the knowledge that I gleaned from others, improved upon in some ways (if only in application of their techniques), but still the majority of this tutorial comes from what I learned from others.
Remember that traditionally the flat blade is the heavier, sturdier of the designs. In most cases it will hit harder then a noodle weapon and it will only count on the striking edge. In our game that translates to mean that you need less kinetic power and more accuracy and skill to wield it. Your available shots will decrease, your blocking will need to increase, and all your shots will (overtime) become more crisp, clean, and accurate. Use a flat blade exclusively for a month and then fight with a noodle sword again and you'll be amazed at the change.
Picking a core :
Just like every other boffer weapon choosing a core is the start (or lack of core if your going for throwies, but this is a flat blade tutorial so lets get back to it). Any legal core will work however I suggest either kitespar or, a graphite golf shaft to keep the overall weapon still in comparable weight range of the noodle weapons you'll face on the field. For this design any core wider then a layer of camping foam is to thick.
Getting started:
-First determine the overall length of your weapon. Cut your core 3 inches shorter then that length. -Next determine the overall length of the blade. For a single handed weapon I suggest: Total weapon length-7 inches = Blade length. For a two handed weapon: Total Length-12 inches = Blade length. -Cut 3 lengths of blue foam to the length of your blade and a minimum of 2 inches wide (go wider if you are making a two hander). These will be the main part of your blade. -Lay your core down on the middle of one of these pieces with the tip of the core 1.5 inches from the tip edge of the foam and the core centered along the length of the strip. Trace the core edge onto the foam with a Sharpe/marker/pen.
-Cut out that outline as neatly as possible. -Cap the core with a little bit of duct tape and add your choice of pommel designs now. -Cut a bunch of 3-4 inch stris of 1 inch strapping tape.
-Put the core into the niche in the foam strip you've just cut out and start attaching it as shown:
-Alternate the directions each strip. Keep the strips right next to each other and make certain you attach it so that the blade remains straight. You don't want it to roll or your weapon will catch the wind and mess with your shot accuracy. Adding the alternating pieces of Strapping tape will anchor your blade to the core. If constructed correctly you shouldn't be able to roll the blade from side to side like so many flat blade I've seen constructed. This ensures that the core does not break away from the foam over use and slide out between the layers of foam.
-Continue in this manner over the entire length of the blade.
-Reinforce the tip with strapping tape as shown. do not cinch down on the outer edges or our blade will have a wobbllook to it.
-Next you will glue one of the two other strips you cut out to each side of blade. I use the same contact cement from my noodle tutorials, Weldwood Contact Cement from DAP, available at any Walmart..
-Try to keep the pieces straight as you set them together. I suggest "rolling" the two outer strips onto the base. And only do the gluinfor one side at a time.
-Next you need to measure the new width of the blade and the outer edge of the blade from pommel to pommel. Cut out a strip to that width and length. (if you don't have a long enough piece make sure the resulting crease is not at the stabbing point of the blade, rather put it mid way down the blade).
-If the edge is a bit "wavy" trim it as best as possible (I use a band saw, but a steady hand and an electric kitchen knife works as well).
-Glue one side of the new strip to the outer edge of the blade. Helpful hint: before gluing mark the midpoint on the outer strip and center point of blade tip. When attaching the strip start at that point at go down one side of the blade first, then glue the other side and attach it.
-Lastly make a cloth cover the same way you make them for a round blade (sock design).
-Attach your cover and enter it into your next A&S tourney!
To make oddly shaped weapons just make the width of your blade wider then you can creatively shape it to order.. Be Safety Smart boys and Girls. Fitz