Originally the Steps to Weapon Construction post was going to contain these links, but it became a giant post! So here’s a handy shopping list for heading to the hardware store (or online shopping). Generally constructing a boffer costs around $5.00 per weapon. But you usually have to buy enough material to make 4 weapons. Expect to spend around $30 to $40 for your first batch of weapons. After that many of the materials don’t have to be purchased again right away.
- Disposable Knife(s)
- Measuring Tape
- Pipe cutter
- Pipe Insulation
- Open cell foam (great for boulders, tree trunks, and squishy tips)
- Strapping Tape (Hardware or Craft Store)
- Duct Tape
- Plastic Soda Bottle
- Hockey Tape
After practicing with the basic steps for a few years (or 50 weapons, whichever comes first) you may want to start making more complex weapons. Boffer / Camp pad hybrids are my favorite. Camp pad makes excellent axe heads. They look and perform far better than poofy open cell foam axe heads. DAP contact cement and closed cell foam are a very sturdy combination. A few dozen hybrid weapons and you might want to tackle weapons made entirely from camp pad/plasti dip. Basically that’s a bit more like making a latex weapon at home. There are plenty of people who skip boffer entirely and just build camp pad weapons, but I’m not comfortable commenting on that path.
- Schedule 40 Thin Wall PVC is the best. But may be hard to find and difficult to work with.
- Fiberglass core (for ‘ultralight’ camp pad builds, not for boffer builds)
- DAP Contact Cement (for adhering camp pad to anything)
- Camp Pad (Walmart sometimes carries it)
- EVA foam
- Driveway Markers (short fiberglass rods)
- PlastiDip (Lowes carries limited amounts/colors in spray paint section)
- Rotary Tool (Dremel, Drill Master) for detail work.
Many of these items can be used to make some really interesting props. Be they magic items or just details for characters, they can be produced with basically the same tools and skills as boffer weapon construction. If you want more inspiration for your craft over on Pintrest I have a Supplies and Tool board, with boffer supplies, leather working tools, and more. Check it out for more ideas.