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Latex Weapons vs Boffer Weapons

Cain

New member
Banned
Um.... what equipment should I have been using when handling latex?
When handling powdered latex, a mask and protective gloves are the bare minimum.

Leaving aside the allergy problems, latex powder is extremely irritating to skin and mucous membranes. It can inflame your hands, even if you're not allergic, so you want protective gloves. Personally, I prefer ones of at least elbow length. However, inhaling latex could seriously hurt most people, so the face mask is essential. Even a bit of the powder in the eyes can cause a lot of pain, if not permanent damage if things go really bad.

If you've ever worked in a factory with a lot of latex products, you'll see this is pretty standard PPE. The MSDS for liquid latex is similar: it requires a respirator and protective gloves, as well as requiring a well ventilated area. That's just the standard stuff off the safety sheets, if there is a known issue I'd definitely up the PPE. Otherwise, by US law, those are the minimum requirements to handle latex safely.
 
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Requiem_17_23

Mrglglglgl
Validated User
... Is this one of those things where we're talking about different products again, like acrylic paint? Liquid latex in the UK is something you can pick up in any art shop and is routinely used by stage makeup artists. I have literally painted the stuff on my face.
 
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Vorpeseda

Floof
Validated User
Yeah, painting it onto your face is common over here, and it's often used to stick lightweight prosphetics for larp, such as ear tips for elves.

I used to play a character who had scars like Heath Ledger's version of Joker, which I did by dabbing latex onto my cheeks, waiting for it to dry, and then taking a pair of closed scissors and dragging them across the latex to tear it.

I've been using it for things like that, and making LARP safe throwing weapons. Throw safe weapons are easier and cheaper to make due to being able to use any available foam due to not having a core. Latexing in this case, adds enough weight to actually fly through the air instead of spinning around a few feet from you.

I've never worked with powdered latex, and all my usage of liquid latex is using craft store supplies at home. I suspect that the rules Cain has mentioned are to do with using it on an industrial scale, where more people have to be accounted for, including the likelihood of allergies. I take care to not ingest it or get it in my eyes, and keep any room I use it in ventilated.

I've not used isoflex, so my creations tend to have the colour fade after the first event I use them, but even the most worn throwing weapon I've made is still usable. My impression of isoflex is that it's a lot harder and nastier to handle than latex, and I'd want to research it more before trying anything with it.

Having moved home, I don't have anywhere practical to do this sort of thing anymore.

Presumably the big name weapon makers have some safety gear, and obviously, they have dedicated areas for this.
 

Requiem_17_23

Mrglglglgl
Validated User
Oh, yes, liquid latex in large quantities you would have the MSDS for ammonia (you might have noticed that it smells of wee).

IsoFlex, which goes over the latex, is a 'gloves and outdoors' thing and if I owned a respirator I'd wear it but I wouldn't sweat it too hard if I didn't.
 

Cain

New member
Banned
Oh, yes, liquid latex in large quantities you would have the MSDS for ammonia (you might have noticed that it smells of wee).

IsoFlex, which goes over the latex, is a 'gloves and outdoors' thing and if I owned a respirator I'd wear it but I wouldn't sweat it too hard if I didn't.
Yeah, I think we've got a slight communication mistake.

Small amounts of liquid latex are ok, once you account for allergies, but even those say to use in a well ventilated place. There's special care instructions on the last few bottles I had.

Building boffer weapons, however, gets closer to the industrial scale. Especially if you're going to mass-produce them. I wouldn't tackle any good sized project without proper PPE. Like Vorpal Soda said, the industrial standard over here requires a mask and gloves at bare minimum.

I don't want to quibble over what is and isn't industrial, so I'll try to clarify. The Material Safety Data Sheets, or MSDS over here, is the guideline for any toxic effects a chemical might have, and includes the best ways to avoid them. In theory, everyone is supposed to follow them all the time. In practice, people often skimp, especially when the amounts are small.

So, what I'm saying is the "by the book" answer. Vorpal Soda appears to be giving the practical answer. Honestly, I think the best thing to do is meet in the middle.

That said, I do think there's enough of a warning that you shouldn't try and learn this on your own. Get someone experienced to teach you. It'll be safer that way.
 
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