How to Make Boffer Weapons
3/4 or 1/2 inch PVC pipe
PVC insulating pipefoam
Cushion Foam (Open cell, the kind used in cushions. You can get it at a fabric or craft store, you want the 2" to 3" thick foam.)
2 or more rolls of Duct Tape. It should be the 2" wide Duct tape (The 3M tapes are a good brand)
2 or more rolls of Electrical Tape or Plastic tape. (Electrical tape only comes in black; Plastic tape comes in various colors but is not as easy to work with.)
Exacto Knife or other small, sharp cutting instrument
A pair of Scissors
How to make a standard sword
Use the Hacksaw to cut the PVC pipe 4 inches shorter than the total weapon length (this is true for all weapons).
Put a coin, washer, or at least some tape on ends of the pipe. Try to get something the same size as the pipe.
Cut the foam insulation for the blade. To insure that it is the proper fit, slide your middle finger in the top of the pipefoam. You should be able to touch the something by inserting your finger to the 2nd knuckle. If you can't, cut off the pipefoam until you can. If you can touch the tip without inserting your middle finger to the second knuckle, then you have overcut.
Next cut the pipefoam for the pommel end of the PVC pipe and repeat the above procedure.
Make a cushion foam tips at least two inches in diameter. Place one on the end of the foam 'blade' and one one the end of the pommel. With duct tape, carefully tape the cushion foam to the sword. DO NOT COMPRESS THE CUSHION FOAM.
Cut the duct tape first, lay it over the cushion foam, and press it against the pipefoam of the 'blade'. The duct tape should form an X over the top of the cushion foam. Wrap a piece of duct tape around the blade and pommel where the cushion foam and pipefoam meet to make it stay put.
Cut Duct Tape in lenghtwise strips long enough to cover the blade. Gently lay it along the pipefoam, starting in the center and smoothing it to the edges as you go. Overlap each strip slightly.
Repeat for pommel.
Use electrical/plastic tape to wrap the hand section between the pommel and blade. Wrap it around the pipe in a spiral, pulling tightly the whole time so that the tape remains taut.
Use an exacto knife or scissor points to poke a lot of holes in the tape over the cushion foam tip of your sword. This allows the cushion foam to spring back after being compressed, making it much softer when it hits.
Throwing weapons must be made entirely of pipefoam and/or cushion foam with holes poked in the tape over the cushion foam. The best way is to use pipe foam stuffed with scraps of cushion foam and cushion foam on both ends (for throwing daggers anyway).