This page will take you through the basic steps to make a basic broadsword in the "old standard" FanWar style with the three and two chambered blades that are good for rough play and offer a high degree of safety.
Start with a length of Bamboo cut to three inches shorter than you want you finished sword to measure. Next, wrap duct tape around the tip of your bamboo msking sure to cover the tip so no wood is showing. Build up a "ball at the end by wrapping duct tape (and perhaps a little cloth if you don't want to waste your tape) until the ball at the end fits into the size of Pipe insulation that you have (hopefully 3/4 inch). Slide the bamboo stake with it's ball tip into the pipe insulation as far as you like leaving enough bamboo sticking out at the bottom for the size handle you would like. Tape the Pipe insulation onto the bamboo where the pipe insulation ends at the hilt (you should have something that looks like a bamboo handle with a very long pipe insulation "blade" wiggling around). Now, cut the pipe insulation off two inches past where the ball at the end of your bamboo is. This is important because if you cut it at where the ball is you will not be able to thrust with the sword. Next, take a little cloth, foam or cotton and stuff it into the tip of your sword and fill in those two inches between where the bamboo ends and the pipe insulation ends. Put a piece of tape over the tip so the cloth/foam/cotton doesn't fall out. What you have now is what I like to call a padded stick. NERO uses a version of this as their standard sword, but for me it is not nearly safe enough for younger players. Next, take your remaining pipe insulation and fold it in half, creating a point in the middle. Run this remaining pipe up one side and down the other of your padded stick and secure it with a series of duct tape straps horizontal to theblade. as shown here This creates two pipe insulatian chambers on either side of the central on offer maximum cusion. This design is the safest I have ever come up with and is highly recomended for children and hard hitters. You can pad the handle too with some scrap foam wrapped around it and duct taped on.