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You’ve been in the SCA for a while now and borrowing your friend’s sword. You’ve wanted your own but buying the materials can be expensive online. The rattan sword from one site and the metal hilt from another. There is the cost of the items themselves along with the shipping on top. That alone can deter you from actually buying and keep borrowing your friend’s. You have been attending events hoping to find one but nothing has been found and you were not able to attend the local war this year. You have just about given up hope when the last even you go to there is a sword. Even though the sword is a bit short and the hilt looks terrible you purchase it anyhow. For the price it’s a steal and you can always take the hilt somewhere to make it look nice. Now just how do you wrap the rattan to actually make it legal for heavy weapons?

First take the screw off the hilt and put a piece of foam in it so that any thrusts you make will be cushioned. Do not cut a piece of foam and then put a cut in it so it will fit around the sword but cut the hole and then slide it through the bottom of the sword and then put the hilt back on the sword. This will ensure the foam does not come off. Depending on the size of your hilt you may not need a big piece of foam either.

When you tape your sword you need to have strapping tape to tape the rattan first and then two colors of duct tape second. Black is normally used for the back color and then a second color for the blade edge but as long as they are contrasting colors anything will work. Also you need to have foam for the tip and ribbon to wrap the tip in prior to taping it to the end of the blade. The tip must be at least half an inch long for thrusting.

Start by using the strapping tape longwise on the blade. If you get standard two inch tape it will tape three passes to cover the sword and will overlap. Then make your tip by wrapping your foam in the ribbon and taping it with the strapping tape so it will hold up to the thrusts you make to your opponents. Then take your main color of duct tape, black if that is what you are using and tape longwise down the sword, again overlapping but this time covering where the tip goes. You will also wrap the tip around in a circle to make sure it is secure. Before you put the blade color on you have to cover up the screw that holds the hilt on. Wrap the main color of duct tape around a few times. You can also use the strapping tape before applying the duct tape for added security. When you finish with that you take your contrasting color and make two strips for the blade edge. This is half the size of the actual piece of duct tape so one strip will make the blade. Make sure you only cut the pieces where the actual blade would be and not all the way to the end of the tip of the sword. Again the tape goes longwise down the sword.

Once you finish this taping you are done. You have a legal sword for heavy weapons. Do have it inspected by a marshal prior to fighting however to make sure you did not miss something. A fight practice is the best place. And since it is new you don’t want to try and test it during an actual fight where you could lose an important battle.