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cheap, simple mass production of blue weapons
http://board.belegarth.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=41038
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Author:  Tordek [ Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:51 am ]
Post subject:  cheap, simple mass production of blue weapons

So I have been mulling over in my head the idea of a cheap, easy to maintain blue weapon that can use off the shelf parts mostly (prefab) and be able to be crafted in approximately 15 minutes (not including drying time for glues). Basically a new realm starter kit of sorts.

My most immediate thought goes like such:
PVC core (pre cut from home depot, few bucks a piece)
pool noodle (interior dia to match PVC outer dia)
cap with standard wal mart foam, add pommel.
stocking cover
hockey tape handle.

I would leave them as bats and encourage fighters to make their own swords ASAP. I could, if I feel the field is over relying on bats, shave the sides to make them "swords".

My main concern is the pool noodle, I know somewhere someone uses them for speed bats. I dont mind them breaking down every 2-3 months, im more worried about some form of catastrophic failure.

Keep in mind, I dont want these to be nice, i dont want them to be pretty, I want them to be cheap, dispensable almost, and fast to repair. They would be for local practice only, no loan outs, no events. They would be just enough to get fighters by until they can afford their own gear.

Anyway, Thoughts? Comments? Concerns?

Author:  Caleidah [ Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: cheap, simple mass production of blue weapons

Uh, anyone that swings like a reasonable adult human will cheese out a funnoodle sword in...a week or two. Maybe. And it will fail completely straight down to core. They would not be able to be repaired.

You want to do fast? Dap three layers of blue foam together, take a razor, and cut out the center to make a fry. Or, spend $5 a pop and buy a ton of reblade kits from Forged Foam. They will last you a long while and be pretty nice. Then you don't have to worry about repairing your * once a month when all of your swords fail.

People will get their own kit, yes, but having loaners is vital to expanding a realm and recruiting.

Author:  Tordek [ Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: cheap, simple mass production of blue weapons

the sword fries are great, the issue then is cores, Fiberglass being more costly than PVC and then comes the issues of covers and handles. I know there are a lot of different pool noodles and i'm looking for people who have experimented with them.

Also the term "repair" may have been a bit misleading. it was more rip off the old blade and put a new one on. From what results i've managed to find some pool noodles have lasted up to a month. I also have found a location where I can get a 49" noodle for a dollar, which will gives me 50 cents per strike surface. spending 30 dollars over 3 months is manageable for a collection of 10 loaners.

bare in mind, I dont want these to be nice, I want them to be functional but for fighters to want their own gear asap.

Edit: upon further research, core cost is a push, strike surface cost is 1/12 that of the blade kits, over a 6 month period its probably also a push. Where the two diverge in cost is handle and cover. While i could put a sock cover on an edhellen, it is the rope wrap and pommel build up that will take time and extra cost for an operational weapon. The goal in mind is low start up cost as much as overall low cost.

Author:  Caleidah [ Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: cheap, simple mass production of blue weapons

Dude, handles are permanent. You put it on a core once and WHAM-BAM, you never have to do it again unless you decide to change the blade-length on the weapon. You can just wrap it in tape, man. Duct tape is cheap. And pommel build up? Even if you use PVC, you are going to need at least two layers of blue over the core to make it meet minimum specs for pommel size.

Use fiberglass. It will invariably last longer than PVC, making your long term costs lower. It also means better weapons overall.

And $30 over three months is ludicrous for loaners. Tir Asleen, a realm I used to be a part of, spent that once a year for repairs, because the weapons were all fiberglass and all sound, bluefoam construction. Sure, they were double-box to make them durable, but they were still better weapons than anything on PVC. Will you run into people that don't want to make their own gear? Sure, in every realm. You just limit their access to loaner gear (making them make their own gear) or introduce a "loaner fee" for people who keep using loaners on a regular basis beyond a couple of practices.

Author:  Tiberius Claudius [ Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: cheap, simple mass production of blue weapons

Cal is right.

I paid out of pocket for 10 loaners several months ago. They are exactly what you want - cheap, super easy to build, and do the job. They are long enough to give people a taste of the game and be able to fight, but short enough to handicap anyone who's too * lazy to build more. We were looking for neon pink, but they have red covers.

At our local farm supply store we get 4' lengths of 1/2" round solid fiberglass rods for about $1.80. Cut them in half and you have two, 2' sword cores. Allow 2" for pommel attachment, 6" for handle, and you have 16" of striking surface. Don't waste any time w/ stab tips.

As for ease of construction, use double sided carpet tape as your adhesive. You should have reasonable adherence with none of the mess or drying times of DAP. Put an X of fiber glass tape at the tip of each flat to prevent fold over, throw on a sock cover, don't waste time making a handle, put hockey tape where appropriate and you're gold.

Total cost: ~ $25 for 10 swords. In 6 months about three have had a failure which takes next to nothing to fix. Again, these are cheap, these are ugly, these are short, but they allow n00bs to try the game out while punishing the lazy and encouraging personal armories.

Quote:
Will you run into people that don't want to make their own gear? Sure, in every realm. You just limit their access to loaner gear (making them make their own gear) or introduce a "loaner fee" for people who keep using loaners on a regular basis beyond a couple of practices.
We only allow the loaners to be used by new people unless they have become part of a unit - then they have to use their own personal ones or something privately from a unit member. Punishing the lazy is the key to loaner survival.

Author:  Sir Anastasia [ Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: cheap, simple mass production of blue weapons

There are a lot of loaners available in the region post BFR. I can sell or loan some to you. If you can't make it 20 miles down to Anduril, I can meet you 10 miles away from CSU in Stronghold. It costs $15 per sword per year for the Anduril loaners. We use fiberglass from Max Gain and Edhellen reblades; it is worth it. The swords last an average of 1 year.

Author:  Tordek [ Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: cheap, simple mass production of blue weapons

Tiberius, what did you use for foam? I'm assuming it was blue camp pad. you'll have to shoot me a pm or give me a bit more details on how you got the price down to $2.50 a blade.

Honestly re evaluating my initial thoughts, if I can get the fiberglass in 5-6 or 9-10 ft lengths, then I will take re blade kits and cut them in half and re fillet the tips. With this build I'm at 3+ per blade, like 1 dollar per core, then another say 2 in misc materials. 5 bucks a blade for 6-12 month life blades at 2.5-3 ft overall lengths.

Also Ana, Ill be speaking to you on friday about some of that loaner gear.

Author:  Caleidah [ Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: cheap, simple mass production of blue weapons

Hardiron, here.

http://www.edhellen.com/mm5/merchant.mv ... =kits-mats

Author:  Tiberius Claudius [ Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: cheap, simple mass production of blue weapons

Hardiron wrote:
Tiberius, what did you use for foam? I'm assuming it was blue camp pad. you'll have to shoot me a pm or give me a bit more details on how you got the price down to $2.50 a blade.

Honestly re evaluating my initial thoughts, if I can get the fiberglass in 5-6 or 9-10 ft lengths, then I will take re blade kits and cut them in half and re fillet the tips. With this build I'm at 3+ per blade, like 1 dollar per core, then another say 2 in misc materials. 5 bucks a blade for 6-12 month life blades at 2.5-3 ft overall lengths.

Also Ana, Ill be speaking to you on friday about some of that loaner gear.

One roll of blue foam was $7, five cores was $9, socks were $5 or so. I had tapes and razor blades lying around from my regular foamsmithing. So I suppose going out having to buy the tapes would add about $10 to it, but $3.50 a blade isn't bad for these cheap little things. Repairs shouldn't cost anything for wear and tear if you use your regular supplies on hand. 6 months and going strong.

Author:  Sir Thurat [ Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: cheap, simple mass production of blue weapons

Tiberius: Where, precisely, do you get your 1/2" fiberglass cores? Right now the place I get mine from sells 5' for $4, which sounds like a good bit more than you're shelling out for 'em.

Author:  Tiberius Claudius [ Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: cheap, simple mass production of blue weapons

We have a place called Steve Regan Company in town and the cores are just the 1/2" round solid fiberglass rod driveway markers. Come in 4' lengths for $1.80

Author:  varadin [ Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: cheap, simple mass production of blue weapons

in 1 night I made 15 loaner swords with 4 pound routed puzzel mat boxes. for a total cost of 80 bucks, the difference is. when they break down. I can rebuild the foam for almost nothing, have a good handle, and core left over. They also last longer then your standard reblade because of the 4 pound.

I have a guide half typed up somewhere... might have to finish it for you.

Author:  bethybee71 [ Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: cheap, simple mass production of blue weapons

"Fiberglass being more costly than PVC and then comes the issues of covers and handles. I know there are a lot of different pool noodles and i'm looking for people who have experimented with them."

We play with these, its how we also use them for practice in the SCA. The PVC, and good quality Noodle, with tape etc, last us a year, and yes, we hit like normal adults.... We hit on average medium to hard. yes, we do often need to patch them ip..but.... they do last. :frog:

Author:  Sir Thurat [ Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: cheap, simple mass production of blue weapons

*: Could you post pictures of your swords built in this manner, or perhaps a link to the noodle that you use? You'll have to excuse me if I find it a tad incredulous that a noodle/pvc sword lasted a year, with minor patching.

Not that I doubt your word, but when community consensus leans so heavily against a material, it becomes difficult to view it in the affirmative.

Author:  Sir Anastasia [ Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: cheap, simple mass production of blue weapons

I was pleasantly surprised by the politeness of that request. I'd also like to add, that when people say medium combat or light combat...these ranges can mean many different things depending on where you go. I describe our combat to SCA people as "light" and to LARP people as "heavy." It can be hard to assess where you are at unless you have had a lot of experiences to compare it to. I find videos of combat can also help us to understand where people are coming from.

Author:  Tordek [ Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: cheap, simple mass production of blue weapons

Well, my need for these weapons to be done on the cheap and quick no longer exists thanks to the generousness of Ana and the Aunduril realm.

However, I still think it would be prudent to design and prototype the simplest, cheapest durable swords designed specifically for loaner gear.

Author:  Sir Thurat [ Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: cheap, simple mass production of blue weapons

I absolutely agree. I've been working on a design to minimize the cost of effective, higher tech, and longer lasting swords. I'll turn my eye to bats as well, once I've hammered that down. Right now, I've got the cost down to $15 for a 32" blue/green sword, but I think I can get rid of some of the flourishes on that to make it cheaper.

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