Having safe weapons are a key part of running a safe game. Here are some of things we will be doing as part of the weapons check.
Here are the things we will check:
Compress the tip, and let it expand back out. If you hear air sucking sounds, you probably need to add more holes with a push pin in to your tip.
Compress the tip and feel for core. If you can feel core, it is a problem that needs to be fixed urgently.
Feel around tips, looking for core. If you can feel core, it is a problem that needs to be fixed urgently.
The tip needs to not fold over.
Shake the weapon listening for rattle. Rattle in foam is a sign that it has become compressed. After a small amount of use while rattling the foam will start to split from the inside and become unsafe.
Feel around where the tip and the blade foam meet, feeling for where the blade foam seems cracked or inconsistently firm. When a blade is starting to go bad, this is often where you will feel it first.
Run your hand down the blade with moderate pressure. Feel for any tears or holes in the foam. Tape can hide places where foam is gone.
Attempt to flick with the weapon, watching to see how whippy it is. To much whip is dangerous.
Check for sharp points or anything that could damage a parried weapon
If you have a subdue hilt, put your hand on the table. With moderate force hit your hand with the hilt. If it hurts even a little, your subdue hilt is to hard. Consider adding open cell foam. Some weapons may be passed for combat but disallowed for subduing.
Headed weapons (axes / maces)
Check to make sure it compresses reasonable in all directions
Check to make sure it doesn’t bind weapons – i.e. no holes that can catch and hold weapons.
Check for safe thrusting tip
Polearms & 2-Handed weapons
Check for whip. Long weapons are particularly dangerous when whippy.
If they have a grip area, make sure it can not be accidentally struck with.
If they have shaped heads, check for adequate padding.
Double check thrusting tips.
Check to make sure the tape is not old and falling apart. If the adhesive is clearly failing or it sounds "crispy" when pushed, the weapon probably needs to be rebuilt soon.
Check to make sure the tape is not overly thick, especially on the tips. Generally you want a single layer of tape except when you need more.
Check that it is thick enough. Our minimum thickness is .5" for any striking surface.
Check that it is not cracked. Often the outside of foam will look fine, but if you squeeze it a bit you can feel cracks in it. This is a sign that the weapon is rapidly approaching unsafe.
Common mistakes on new weapons:
To much tape on a tip. This means the tip won’t compress or uncompress well.
To soft of tip foam. The foam won’t be able to maintain shape and may fold over rather than cushion thrusts.
Not enough air holes in a thrusting tip. Air needs to be get in to and out of the open cell foam quickly.
Compressing the foam with tape. The weapon should not be taped in a way that compresses the foam.
Not having enough close cell foam at a tip. The foam needs to extend at least 3/4" from the end of core.