The basic PVC pipe used is 3/4" Schedule 40 PVC the greater the PSI rating the thicker the wall and the less it may whip. It is white in color and can be found at any hardware store in the plumbing section. The grey colored PVC in the electical section can be used also. You will lost about 3" off of it because of the flange on it.
For long weapons (> 70 inches) 1" Schedule 40 PVC must be used with a 3/4" Schedule 40 PVC slid inside of it to prevent whipping. The 1" pipe must be a relativly low PSI rating or the wall will be to thick for the 3/4" to go inside. Try it before you leave the hardware store.
1/2" schedule 40 PVC may only be used for daggers. It can be found the same places as the larger pipe.
Do not use:
This is the harder foam used in the majority of the weapon construction.
Weapons should be made from 5/8" wall 3/4" diameter pipe insulation. This is impossible to find in Florida. ACE Hardware on Tharpe St., carrys/can order the 1" diameter which must be trimmed to fit 3/4" pipe. They can only order it by the box and will want you to buy at least half the box (12 6' sticks: apr 72 ft. for over $30). It can be ordered off the internet of course. As an alternative I have ordered a box and will sell it at $0.75/ft.
Why do we use 5/8" wall if we can't get it? Good question. Mainly because every other LARP does. It is safer than lesser wall foam and available further north, where most LARPs are. If we make weapons if lesser foam they could not be taken to other LARPs, and eventually someone would do a newspaper article or lawsuit on how we are unsafe as far as LARPs go.
Fonoodle. Costs about twice as much as pipe insulation. Much harder to work with because some kinds do not have an interior hole, on others the hole is small. you must make sure the that at least 5/8" of padding surrounds the PVC pipe. Marshals should take an exterior measurement with a sting of all weapons, the padding and the grip and compare them to a known weapon. Insufficent foam and other trips will show up this way.
A final alternative is using a blue camp foam pad from some place like Wal-Mart. You must wrap at least 2 layers or whatever it takes to get to at least 5/8" around the PVC and the layers should be DAPped togeather, and to the pipe as well.
1/2" wall 3/4" or 1/2" diameter pipe insulation. Only for daggers. It makes then look less short and stubby. You should be able to find this anywhere. It can also be used for pommels and gaurds.
A Good discussion of Foams
Open Cell Foam
Soft foam used for tips and heads.
The best source is to snag it out of boxes where it has been used as packing material. You can get large amounts of it free. Most of it wont be very big but unless you are making a Hammer or other headed weapons the largest pieces you need are about 2" x 2".
For large headed weapons you can but this at JoAnn Fabrics or order it from McMaster-Carr Do a search for unifoam.
Duct tape should cover all surfaces. You can get really cheap duct tape which leaves little stings and looks pretty bad or good duct tape which makes a nice smooth silver weapon.