Constructing a Javelin
Method 1 originally taken from Eriador's construction site.
Method 2 an Arrakis original based on his work on spear construction.
Method 1 - old version
NOTE: NEW WEIGHT RULES FOR JAVELINS HAVE BEEN ENACTED SINCE THIS TUTORIAL WAS WRITTEN. 1/2 PVC IS VERY HEAVY AND JAVELINS BUILT FOLLOWING THIS TUTORIAL AND NOT REPLACING THE PVC WITH 3/8 FIBERGLASS OR .524+ KITESPAR WILL LIKELY FAIL.
- 1/2" PVC pipe, 4ft long
- DAP Contact Cement
- 3M 77 Spray Glue
- Blue camp pad
- 5/8" Pipe Insulation (for 1/2" PVC or greater)
- 2 Nickels
- High Density Open cell foam (computer packing foam is optimal for first open cell layer)
- Duct Tape
- Black cloth tape
- Yellow(required color for javelins) cover fabric, preferably trigger
Method 2 - new version
- .602 kitespar from http://www.Goodwinds.com
- Blue Foam
- Marine Foam
- Medium/High-Density Open-Cell Foam (POOF, charcoal foam)
- Fiberglass Strapping Tape
- Hockey Tape
- Gorilla Glue
- DAP Woodweld Contact Cement
- Small Amount of Yellow Cloth, 1/4 yd Non-Yellow Cloth for Haft Padding Cover
- 3/8" or 1/4" thick foam, optional
1. Cut your core to length. Other materials can be used for various lengths of javelin, but suffice it to say that for the most common length of javelin, ~50", .602 kitespar is King.
2. Cap the Core by running a double X of strapping tape over the tip of the core. You'll need to split the strapping tape into third-width strips or so to do this effectively. You want the four strips to be about 5" long. You want the tape to cross the tip in an X, then a +, capping the tube well. Cap both ends.
3. Cut a strip of bluefoam the length of a camp pad and 5" long. Cut off a length of the strip long enough to wrap one time around the Core and then reduce its width from 5" to 4". Wrap that piece of foam as tightly as possible around the Core and tape it tightly with several bands of strapping tape. You want to produce a tube of foam that is very VERY tightly bound to the Core. Now, slide the tube off of the Core. This should be somewhat difficult. Apply Gorilla Glue (hereafter: GG) to the core and wet the inside of the pre-compressed foam cylinder (hereafter: Cylinder 1). Slide Cylinder 1 onto the GG'd core, twisting as you go. Hurry, this stuff sets up pretty quick. Once you get Cylinder 1 in place, twist it around the Core until it sets up stiffly. Apply an X of strapping tape over the tip of the javelin.
4. Spiral a 2.5-3" wide strip of bluefoam around the remaining exposed length of the Core. Glue it down with spray glue or DAP and tape the ends with bands of hockey tape to anchor it while it cures.
5. Cut a length of your bluefoam strip long enough to wrap one time around the preceding wrap of bluefoam. Wrap that piece of foam around a cylindrical object just smaller than the size of the head produced by Step 3. You want to produce another Cylinder (Cylinder 2) with a slightly smaller inner diameter than the current Head's outer diameter. Tape Cylinder 2 tightly with several bands of strapping tape, as before. Slide the tube off of your form and GG it over the previous wrap, as before. Again apply an X of strapping tape over the tip of the javelin. This new layer should overlap the join between the haft padding spiral and Cylinder 1. Current Head width ~2".
6. Cap the Head with a layer of something hard and tough. I used armor-grade saddle skirting. High strength plastics work even better. DAP it down (or affix it with whatever adhesive is appropriate for the plastic you choose). Double-cross it with strapping tape.
7. Cap the Head with a layer of bluefoam. DAP it down.
8. Repeat Step 5. Current Head width ~2.75".
9. Add a Cap of 3/4" marine foam (ThermaSeat, two layers of good yoga mat...) to the tip. DAP it, then wrap the join to the rest of the head with a layer of strapping tape.
10. Now, here, you have an option. You can play it safe and do a full wrap of bluefoam or you can do the same thing with a thinner foam. This is NOT a Cylinder as per Step 5, but a regular wrap of foam; you don't want this layer to be the sort of ludicrously solid compressive layer as the Cylinders, just a way to get the head's width up and support the marine foam. A layer of 3/8" thick foam should do the job and even a layer of 1/4" will work just fine, too, but I've drawn the tutorial to use a full-thickness strip of bluefoam, for simplicity. Current Head width ~3.4" (~3.05" if you used 1/4" foam, ~3.22" for 3/8" foam). (Note that making the base of your javelin's head this wide makes the thing Dag-legal, as well.)
11. Now, attach an inch and a half or so (1.5"-2") of your favorite HIGH DENSITY javelin-head open-cell foam. (If you want it to be Dag-legal, too, use a 3.75" diameter, just to be sure. The image shows this diameter.)
12.a Cut a rectangle of yellow cloth 5 inches wide and long enough to wrap around the head of the javelin with half an inch of overlap. Cut a circle of yellow cloth the size of the Open Cell Cap plus half an inch (4.25", if you've been following the instructions exactly). Sew the circle onto the long side of the rectangle with 1/4" seam allowances and sew the short sides together with 1/4" seam allowances to make a cylinder with one end capped with cloth. Cover the tip of the javelin with this cover and tape it down with a few wraps of hockey tape.
12.b Cut a rectangle of non-yellow cloth as long as your haft padding (leaving room for a pommel) and wide enough to wrap around the haft padding with half an inch of overlap. Sew this into a cylinder with 1/4" seam allowances. Unroll it up over the haft padding to cover the foam and tape the ends down with hockey tape.
13. DAP together a simple Wrap-and-Cap-style pommel and cover it with another little cloth cover, to save weight. Secure with hockey tape.
14. Finish securing any exposed bluefoam with a layer of hockey tape, apply a band of yellow tape and a band of green tape to the pommel region of the javelin, and weight that lightweight SOB, so you can post about it on here and brag about how safe your javelin is!
Now go Fight!
NOTE: Real pics to come when I get more good core material in. Contact Arrakis with any questions.
NOTE 2: You can replace the first two pre-compressed Cylinders with a shaped block of high-density foam, such as 4# EVA (Yoga Block foam), as I did when developing this design. The Cylinders are more work, but should produce an even sturdier javelin. They're also 100% essential to the closed-cell Spear tutorial I'll be posting in the nearish future, so practice them well!
Relevant Construction Rules
1.4.7. Javelins must conform to all of the following:
- 184.108.40.206. Must also pass as a Class 3 Weapon.
- 220.127.116.11. The maximum weight is sixteen (16) ounces.
- 18.104.22.168. The minimum length is four (4) feet.
- 22.214.171.124. The maximum length is seven (7) feet.
- 126.96.36.199. Padded along the entire length.
- 188.8.131.52. Must flex less than 90°.
- 184.108.40.206. Must have a yellow cover.