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Combat Pila Construction

Time to throw some Pila!!

Combat Pilum

aka "Golf Tube" or “boffer” Pilum


What you will need:


1. a Golf Tube

2. PVC high pressure 3/4 inch pipe (schedule 40)

3. Tennis Ball

4. 50 pound (or greater) test fishing line

5. strapping tape

6.Spray expanding insulation foam, (not shown)

  Not required, but it helps the look

7. Wood Grain adhesive shelf liner (to line pila stock)

8.  iron metallic black paint


What is a Golf Tube anyway?

We want it because it has a ring rolled into a lip, part of the tub, important to prevent injuries and aiding in longer product life.  This are the tubes that go in a golf club bag to protect the club handles and keep them from rattling.  You can often find them at department stores, sports stores, golf shops, or online.  They cost about $1.00 each.


PVC pipe is available at Lowes, or other hardware stores.  You want the highest possible pressure rating, because the more pressure the item can take, the less chance of it breaking with sharp edges when we are playing.


Tennis Balls, you can get 3 for $1 at Wal-Mart or other stores, or you can glean dirty balls from the muddy spots outside a local tennis court.  People just don't seem to want to retrieve and clean their tennis balls. 


50 pound or greater fishing line, we may put some pressure on the devices, so get strong fishing line.


High strength strapping tape, again for safety, the tape and fishing line keep the tennis ball in place.


Making the device:


Cut the PVC pipe into lengths slightly  *(4-6 inches) shorter than the golf tube.


Drill one small (1/4-3/8ths inch hole) in the golf tube, about 2 inches from the top with the ring.


Drill 5 (1/8 inch) holes in the PVC.  One is about 4 inches from the bottom.  The other four are equidistant around the top, 1 inch down from the top.


Attach your tennis ball to the top of the PVC using fishing line through two opposing holes, tied over the tennis ball and secured with a square knot.  Do this again with the other tow holes (It helps to put both sets of fishing line in place before securing the tennis ball.  Make the second knot over the first knot, and then double knot both strings over and under the other each other, fixing the tennis ball securely to the PVC. 


Pretend you don't have any fishing line, and secure the tennis ball to the top of the PVC with strapping tape.  Run a final security tape around the top of the PVC, just below the tennis ball, securing the strapping tape and fishing line.


Fill the bottom of the golf tube with expanding insulation foam.  This will probably harden and push out of the bottom of the tube, cut it off even with the bottom.  This will prevent the end from squishing, and make it less possible to gouge out your eye.  It will also keep the PVC from shoving all the way through the Golf Tube, if the Tennis Ball were to be knocked off. 


Now take the two parts, and make them pretty.  Spray the PVC and Tennis Ball with steel, silver or Iron Paint.  Use the adhesive shelf paper with the wood grain to wrap the golf tubes. 


Now all you need to do is put a small dowel, (balsa wood or a match stick) through the top hole of the Golf Tube and the bottom hole of the PVC, and your weapon is ready for use.


By Caius Fabius


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IRPA-N America * Imperial Roman Provisional Army * Legions of North America, United!