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There have been 412 items by shmmee (Search limited from 09-June 93)
Precision cutting and pasting:
It still needs more putty, and a new paint job. I ripped the smdtb (spider man dart tag blaster) off of the shoulder last night, and hope to integrate it a little more cleanly by replacing the valve with a blast button, and hiding the pump - or a slightly better pump inside the collapsible stock (so compressing the stock pumps the smdtb). Once done the 3 blast barrels should sit flat on the side of the shell without the brick of tubing beneath it.
I really didn't expect this to work - hence the overly ravaged screw ports and zipties.
8" pegt barrels, RF 20 bladder double layered with bike inner tube to increase pressure (still needs a bar across the front to trigger the overfill safety valve), dual action bike pump...
Rear loading hole with sch 80 pvc dart guide (still needs to be reinforced with more than just hot glue)
Internally it has a BS tank, and is operated by a clippard MAVO-3 valve. It vents (fires) the BS tank without venting the reserve bladder. The seal is pretty good. I just took the linkage that ran from the old pt to the turret, sanded half off till one side was flush and connected it via hose to the bs tank. Not shown are a pair of springs I had to run from the back of the turret anchor to the trigger.
I get 5-6 quick shots per fill, grouping around 80' in range.
Click the pic to see a firing video:
I don't think it's come up yet but what about "sand casting" off of an altered and optimized 3d printed part? I've looked into sand casting before. nearly all of the components are diy build-able including the forge. Sand and oil is cheap (way cheaper than silicone), aluminum can be bought as scrap and melted down. and you get a metal frame once you're done. It does make a rough surface though due to the coarseness of the sand. so there will be some finish work needed. There are also hazards though. If theirs any moisture on any tools that interact with the molten aluminum it flashes to steam and explodes molten metal everywhere so tools need to be preheated to melt off any water. Once the hazards are mitigated with procedure and PPE sand casting might be a very strong option. I don't know how thin walled a cast can get, but an aluminum shell could take any spring we could physically draw. Also with sand casting you could literally build the reworked internal supports out of cardboard hot glue and duct tape and the casting would duplicate them in metal. I'd bet a complete sand casting setup could be assembled for less than $100. And an aluminum shell - already reinforced for drop in internals? That's got to be a tempting final product.
Side note - I just brought home a new 3d printer with a massive 300x300x400 cm (roughly 12"x12"x16") build area. I'm semi inexperienced when it comes to printing and a complete noob when it comes to 3d design but I'd be happy to try to print anything that might contribute to this challenge.
Secondary side note, a contract company I work with has occasional access to a high end laser scanner (It can read stamping the 1/4" tall stamping on a flange from 30' away, and pick up the raised surface of a sticker on a flat surface) and I'm reasonably friendly with the guy who runs it. the next time we have a reason to bring the scanner in I'll try to have a gutted x bow make an appearance on site so it can be used as a "calibration test". I really don't know when the next chance is going to be for that though - could be weeks, months or never. If - and I do mean *if* i can scan a x bow or a tgg shell do we have any render experts I can punt the plans to for tweaking? are there any other super coveted blasters that I should add to the scanning short list? The cyber stryke Defender T3 pistol perhaps? (defender T3>any other pistol released due to plunger volume and overall sexyness level IMHO.)
late af to this but, were constant force springs mentioned instead of rubber bands? I think those work pretty well, based on the "Milan Mags/Swordfish Mags"
also I cry that this thing hasn't been further developed as it looks really cool
Bob O'Bob (if memory serves) once posted a write up on another site (years and years ago) where he used constant force springs curling up into a half circumference of brass to lift a follower. The tail simply ran to the top of the mag and snuggled up against the darts. It's an idea that has stuck with me since it could double the capacity of a 3" wide mag by splitting the mag into two chambers for two columns of half length darts. So, random thought, why not just cut a stock mag in half and print a flat back to stick onto the stock mag? You'd get two mags by sacrificing one stock mag (and what nerfer doesn't have a pile of useless 6 round mags to experiment with? Granted, the printed mags do look beautiful. I've never taken apart a "retract-a-badge" so I don't know what diameter they curl up into, but they may be a cheap and easy source of a doner constant force spring.
At the very least, the rubber-bands will have a limited lifespan and travel length in comparison to a CF spring. Less foam crushing power too.
- I've booked my hotel room (Garden Inn & Suites - if any other out of towners feel like taking the place over with me.) I've e-mailed them asking about a potential group discount but haven't heard anything back.
I'm still looking for more direction on darts and blasters. Who is going to be having the final approval for field use? Is it still SCUN?
I'm hoping to run with silicone ammo again (I'll be willing to send out samples of gumdrops 2.0 and (once I complete some more development) 3.0) I'm also hoping to run with a modified air blaster - but I know some nerfers (specifically on the east coast)have significant reservations about those. Dead space in the pump tube physically (and permanently) limits pressure to 15-20 psi, I also plan on reducing the tank (it's currently at the stock volume which is huge!). Once done it will have a 3 round burst RSCB and other innovative features. I know it won't be granted approval via the net - I'm just wondering who I'm going to need to be sending dart samples to / bribing for approval.
I'll be sure to bring back-ups just in case.
P.S. I'll be driving from Salt Lake City to 'geddon. If anyone between here and there or can get to SLC on Thursday the 19th (my departure date) would like to jump in /carpool/ pitch in on gas let me know. I've currently got 3 (seats 4-5) in my car but can take the van (seats 7) if needed.
Historically 'geddon has been friendly to some of the more creative darts. I'm hoping they'll continue that. I'd like to introduce a new re-development of Gumdrop darts (gumdrops 2.0).
Any rules on darts and blasters yet? I'd just like too...plan ahead.
Fantastic war, as well! It was great meeting so many new faces, as well as seeing a few familiar ones as well. The guys that flew in from the east coast were all studs. I really need to make it out to an Apoc someday.
That was a fantastic venue! It had the best mix of close quarters and long range I'd ever seen. I absolutely loved the freeze tag and lunch time speed rounds. I'll definitely be bringing them back home to play in Utah. It was hilarious watching the younger nerfers absolutely dominate the speed rounds! Watching the little lady with the single shot paint ball pistol own round after round was especially incredible.
ALso, I am trying to source materials like this for reproduction Ultimator/XXL Bazooka rockets, but the only place I have been able to find them is by special order at about $2 each for just the foam tube, with 150 pieces minimum. If anyone else has seen, in any capacity, foam tubes with about a 2" ID, please let me know.
I think I remember reading in a much older thread that some pool noodle couplers (they once sold 2' long tubes to join two pool noodles together to build a floating framework) have been used to make ultimator replacement shells.
So, Hoping that worked. I can't actually see the pics due to work filters. Here's some pics of my failed prototype. The entire spool rotates inside the cookie tin so only the darts segueing between the mag and cam are moving independently of the spool. With a little more guidance between the stock mag and the cam, and a lot more rethinking for spring placement and materials (like having the ribbon feeding out through slots much lower in the mag and having a longer follower - instead of wrapping up and over the top of the mag, I think it could be viable.
Much of this topic actually hits on a failed prototype I made many many years ago. I think I still have it in a box somewhere. I'll have to dig it out. Basically, 2 ribbons from 2 tape measures are supposed to neatly guide a line of darts through a mag and wrap them around the center of a spool with the ribbons forming the walls while the darts transition from out the bottom of the mag to the center of the spool. Because the entire spool is rotating along with the wound up line of darts, you only get friction on the few darts that are spinning towards or away from the spool. The spool would also perform better as more darts were loaded in - increasing the leverage the tape measures could exert on retracting the ribbon.
The functioning theory was that as darts are placed inside the mag (between the two ribbons) the ribbons would travel with the darts, guiding them to the cog in the center of the spool and as the spool is wound the ribbons & darts, the ribbons would feed in and out from the tape measures keeping potentially hundreds of in a neatly wound spiral.
Theory collapsed into reality when I tried loading the thing. The ribbons failed to keep the darts neatly aligned during the mag to spool transition and as soon as they exited bottom of the mag they broke rank and jumbled into an un-extractable mess. I made a crappy ms paint drawing of expectations vs reality of that prototype but my work filters photobucket and I'm out of mobile data, so you'll all just have to wait till later. It could possibly work if there was a swinging guide running from the bottom of the mag to the cam, (keeping the darts aligned as it transitions) but after my initial failure I kinda stopped caring and threw it in a box. Also, I think I'd need something more sturdy than the 1/2" wide ribbon I was using. The ribbons were prone to bunching and twisting and falling off of the tape measure spool.
Another down side is that I had to chop off the fingers on top of the mag (the ones that keep darts from jumping completely out of the magazine). Without those fingers, a loaded drum has to be in a blaster or it will unload itself in quick glorious fashion. Knowing what i know now I probably could of kept the fingers and had just cut a slit for the ribbon to pass through instead. Better yet, instead of folding the ribbon over the top of the mag, simply pull the ribbon through slits at the bottom of the mag and have a longer follower (I used 1/2" lengths of dowel to make dummy darts for a follower) to make up the difference. Poof. no sharp fold on the ribbon and I'd get to keep the dart fingers at the top of the mag... wow, i'm actually starting to care about that project again!
My experience with RSCB's tells me that moist or damp darts do not like to slide - even through a straight tube. (my group recently had a nerf war during a rain storm). The thread is moving away from lung power to transition darts, and I think a fail has been avoided there. The humidity that blowing in the tube would of transferred would probably of impacted dart movement after a few hours of nerfing and advancing darts down the tube.
As far as pumps go, you can easily source a battery powered air blower by looking near the air mattresses. I've got one, it takes 4 "D" batteries so it's stupid heavy but it puts out more air than a computer fan. A little modding to a lipo would cut down on the weight and seriously increase the output.
I would also like to echo HasreadCoC's question (from the 3rd page of the Ohio Revolution thread) as to the durability of different colors of felt discs from McMaster. (it was mentioned that the green and black felt doesn't unravel as quickly as white) Does anyone have experience to back this up? I have to wonder which dart would have more life, the dart that unravels, but is noticable and easy to recover, or the dart that holds together, but disappears the moment it touches grass.
Thanks TaerKitty for starting a new thread, I was watching the Ohio thread / dart discussion with interest but didn't feel it was appropriate to post because I wouldn't be attending. (Wow that sounds like an awesome war though!)
Now this I like, if rules would allow FBR tips (that are the same thickness as the felt in question) and other types of weights (as long as said weights were buried deep enough in hot glue completely inside the dart) I don't think anyone would have cause to complain; it would probably be cheaper than either full-glue domes OR slugs. Can we get a ruling on whether or not such darts will be allowed at Revolution and other such slug wars?
I'd like to add extra emphisis on deep enough with hot glue. The first steffans I ever tried to make had Fbr tips hot glued over a pair of pellet gun pellets (wad cutters, not bb's. My first mistake, don't repeat it.). The pellets shot through the hot glue and fbr tip and out the front, leaving a small dent in my oak cabnet. (good thing i was testing and not in a war type scenario). All 4 of that style did that on impact with a solid surface. I then went to washers. FBR over a washer wore quickly and became permantly compressed after hitting the wall a few times. Though, spherical BB's may act differently (with enough hot glue to keep them inside the steffan).
Using the triangular pointy bag really helps to fill from the bottom of the hole, out. Well worth a trip to the baking aisle.
When I made my batch, I actually tried a few with oogoo, but found it too annoying to squeeze out of the bag. Maybe I'll try those. As to your performance problem, are you sure it wasn't a problem with the weight of the darts? That was my main problem. Even though I didn't really get enough silicone in any of mine, I can't imagine that the little air bubble at the bottom could double the weight to 0.8g. Maybe the scale I was using was off. Or maybe I just need to drill deeper.
Dunno what you mean, they're definitely VANS. Kane said so.
20 darts weighed 16g =.8g per dart. They still feel light though, and I think the filling process has bulged the tip - changing my barrel fit.
When Kane posted them to Nhq, he called them CANS. When he posted them to Nrev he called them BANS, On NH - Kane called them VANS.
When Soloz1 asked about the discrepancy on Nrev he replied: "They are definitely BANS."
When Chyner asked about the discrepancy on NH he replied: "They are definitely VANS"
Nobody asked about the multi-forum names on NHQ, but he probably would of told them they are definitely called CANS...
I love the concept. Its absolutely brilliant! An elegantly simple solution to a challenging problem, but the name games are driving me crazy.
I made a dremel hole drilling jig:
Remove the outer half of the dremel attachment - keep the threaded nipple,add e-tape to your cpvc till it's a tight fit and insert fully into the nipple (till it's in as deep as it can go - you don't want it to shift further down while the dremel is running - it may expose the cutting bit to your fingers)! You must use the 5/16" football shaped high speed cutting bit (bit #124). The cylinder bit doesn't work. Cut access tabs out of the side of the cpvc - make absolutely sure the tabs do not drop below the level of the bit (for obvious safety reasons!) and WRENCH TIGHTEN THE BIT IN PLACE!
Hole depth consistency is by inserting the blank till it's level with the top of the cpvc guide tube.
Tune hole depth by raising and lowering the cutting bit.
I was able to hole out a dart every 2 seconds with this jig. It does need some tuning as many of my holes were slightly off center. Run your dremel at high speeds, and insert the dart somewhat slowly to lessen this problem.
I used a wire cookie cooling rack as a dart holder:
With the wire spaced at 1/2" apart, it held a ton of darts - no modding required.
I made a trial batch of 10 darts with hot glue, and 5mm & 10mm pom poms (for padding). 9/10 of them fishtailed wildly and only went 35'.
I made the next batch out of oogoo (silicone caulk (use the cheap $3 tube from Walmart) and a little bit of corn starch to speed the cure time from a week, to over night)and mixed in a bakers "icing bag". It's a triangular plastic bag used for piping icing. It worked marvelously well and was able to fill the 150 darts shown above in about an hour. They flew ok, but are probably a little light (5/16" wide x 1/2" deep hole in 1.5" steffans). They were hitting about 20' fewer than the few gumdrop darts I had left. I did not have any hopper misfeeds the entire day - not even from the darts without a felt pad. (plenty of problems with the warm sun softening the bow arms on my marshmallow cross bow and reducing the power though) Nobody noted or complained about a pain difference between darts with the felt disc, and darts without. If a good soft mixture of oogoo is used, the felt pad may not be necessary.
The downside to oogoo - the stench of curing silicone. Work in the garage or some other place away from people.
I know the main goal of this build is to produce metal free darts (it's a goal and passion I share), but I may try dropping a bb or other metal weight down the hole in the next batch I produce to see if I can get more than a sad 60' of range.
Over all these darts were incredibly quick and easy to make - all with cheap materials locally accessible.
One point of confusion though - they are "definitely called VANS", unless they are on Nrev - where they are "definitely called BANS"... Is there any hope of gaining some consistency between the two sites - least they start being referred to as -ANS?
That hole actually looks very nice, and I like the idea of a ball-shaped bit. A smaller one might be able to create an overhang so that the goo need not actually grip the foam.
Your speed is impressive to me. Was the tube the kind that goes in a caulk gun or a toothpaste dispenser?
The blue rubber darts also fired fine out of hoppers most of the time with no felt, but I found the level of pain at point blank on my hand to be unreasonable. My blaster may have been more powerful or my goo harder than yours. The blue stuff is certainly harder than most caulking silicone without cornstarch.
The tube was actually a disposable icing bag - picture a wedge shaped Ziploc bag, fill it with the silicone caulk and a level spoon ful of corn starch, twist the back of the bag, to lock the contents in and kneed till mixed, then clip the tip and twist more to put the contents in the bag under pressure so only a little added pressure squeezes out the oogoo. The fine tip really helps to fill from the bottom of the hole up to avoid air bubbles. Twist the back of the bag as needed to keep the pressure up.
Once done, just throw the bag away.
And... the bag in use - Conveniently, my wife needed to frost cupcakes when I got home from work! Ignore the little plastic/ metal tip, you don't need that.
Mixing about 4" (guessing - I'll check the tube when I get home) of caulk from the caulk tube (mark the plunger location before you start) with one table spoon of corn starch gives you about an hour of working time, (so make sure everything is set up before hand) and gives you cured silicone that's about as firm as a gum drop.
I just wish they performed better. In retrospect the filling process could of forced out the thin retaining wall of the fbr, giving a tighter than normal dart fit - and my crappy ranges. Perhaps a gentle squeeze to the uncured tip would be more beneficial than a bb.
Load and prime all loaner blasters and line them up along a center line in the field. Personal blasters may be loaded but un-primed and may be held by their owners. This game was played on a basketball court and the court size was just about perfect. 6 tables were laid on their side as barriers (3 on each side - optional). Small piles of darts are placed behind the 6 tables.
Start with some brief instruction on blaster operation - especially the clip fed ones. "POINTY DARTS ONLY". I lost count of how many screamers I had to pound out of clips.
Line everyone up and count them off into two teams. Teams start touching opposite walls of the court.
At the word "go" teams rush forward to either grab a loaner blaster (hunger games style) or touch their personal blaster to the center line. Play begins immediately.
People with dart blasters may not progress beyond the center line. People with ball or arrow blasters may progress 5' beyond the center line to fire. Swords were originally given the right to completely penetrate enemy lines, but that broke the game and all swords were removed.
Once a player is shot they drop all ammo where they were standing. With their blaster in the air they walk to the center and place their loaner blaster on the center line (they can always choose to hold on to their personal blaster) and then keep walking to the enemies back wall. Once they touch the back wall they re-spawn as a member of the opposing team. (like blob) Their first order of business is to risk life and limb grabbing a blaster from the center line.
Play ends with one lonely hold out getting massacred by the rest of the group.
Rounds lasted about 30 min.
Why it works:
Dropping all ammo at death discourages hoarding.
Dropping blasters at death encourages people to try many different blasters and keeps people from getting stuck with "the crappy gun" for too long.
Having established "team sides" avoids the "what team are you on?" confusion of many other team games.
No one sits out so everyone stays engaged. The rules are simple enough that players can govern themselves. I actually spent 90% of the night playing instead of refereeing! (10% of the night was spent clearing taggers out of clips...)
Granting 5' of approach for balls and arrows makes them a serious asset. I spent most of the night looking for my ArrowStorm.
The larger team will handicap themselves by depleting their ammo.
The smaller team is handicapped with the difficulty of getting a new blaster without getting shot.
For large groups where large amounts of loaner blasters are used (or participants are willing to let other people use their blasters) - this game type absolutely rocks!!!
I would love to be able to "pipe" oogoo into one of these caps like I was frosting a cake, but unless something was glued to the inside of the cup first, and pressure could be applied to force silicone into the fibers, I just don't see oogoo staying put.
I can see and appreciate the overall potential of these, but I think the end product needs to be as much or less work as a slug.
I think we may be better off with more traditional foams as padding on this one.
There is another downside that I see that hasn't been discussed yet: At the end of any war, there are going to be darts left on the field. FBR may not exactly be biodegradable, but it will at least go away over time. I would hate to leave a public field littered with plastic shot gun projectiles which would remain for months after a war.
Another thought: these are probably classified as firearm munitions. Should they be recognized while nerfing, their presence can be explained, and defended. Should they be recognized the days/weeks/ or even months after a war - local law enforcement could be involved and an investigation launched to figure out why their field is littered with fire arm munitions. Because actual firearm munitions were involved, such an investigation could actually end in jail time for the users/host/and maybe participants. Foam with a washer on the tip is easy to laugh off. Using even a relatively harmless component of something designed to kill...maybe not so much.
As intriguing as these are, as much potential as they hold, and even if they were found to outperform steffans in every category, I really think we should take a step back and examine the legalities and consequences of modifying actual firearm components before falling in love with them, or even experimenting with them.
Any gun loving ATF experts out there who care to comment? I don't think I would allow these at any of my wars until I knew it wouldn't end in me calling my wife to bail me out of jail.
Okay, let's get to brass tacks. I'm willing to start a group buy of these from Cabby's, then send them off to interested parties for R&D. This way, we won't be talking out our posteriors about theory. Anyone interested? Price will be my cost ($0.02 each) + S&H.
I'm thinking of buying 20g for use in 1/2" PVC, because I don't have anything barreled in 3/4" PVC, or ending in a 3/4" coupler, but I'll buy a bag of 12g if we get enough people to take at least half the bag ($5 for 100) off my hands.
Still concerned about the legality of it, but curiosity is also getting the better of me. I'll take 100 of the 1/2" variety, and consult with a gun nut friend of mine. Shoot me a Pm with a pay pal address when you have them available for sale.
It was about 10:1 silicone to cornstarch. I have yet to actually test the density of caulking silicone, but all of the web resources say that most silicone rubbers have a density between 0.9 and 1.2g/cm^3. With an estimated density of 1.0g/cm^3 and an estimated tip diameter of 1.0cm, you should be using molds that are about 10~11mm deep to meet the current specifications for slugs and APOC standards. So how deep are your molds? I expect something like 1/2" or so, correct? If you drop a felt disc at the bottom and use another on top, they should be perfect. Except for, you know, being 1/2 an inch longer than your other darts.
Actually my most recent darts are about 3/8" deep + felt. My next generation (clylinders) will be 1/4" deep, but hopefully a little wider (a full 3/8" wide) to increase surface area. I don't think I've done any that come close to a full 1/2" deep. How have they worked for you? I don't know if you've had a chance to try the felt backing yet, but have you had any trouble keeping them glued on?
I'll try your 10:1 ratio of corn starch with a felt tip on my next batch. (As soon as I get the next form set up.)
Just to avoid frustrations, Ge II silicone is listed on the oogoo instructables thread as one of the silicons that won't cure faster with the addition of corn starch. It's one of the caulks that cures by releasing moisture instead of absorbing it.
Based off a 10.1 oz tube of GE II weighing 0.8417 lb, a 3/8" diameter, 1/4" deep head would be 1.544g.
The weight calculation should be pretty close by volume between brands. Thanks for figuring that out.
To those well versed in steffan weights - would 1.544g be too heavy, too light, or just about right? I haven't started drilling on the next form yet, so it would probably be good to know if I should carry on as planned.
A homemade, consistent, metal free, mass producible dart head made from materials readily available at almost any hardware and craft store!
It uses a home made mix called "oogoo" as the main dart head material (silicone caulk + corn starch to shorten cure time). http://www.instructa...gru-Substitute/ Read it, it's great.
With recent advances made, I feel confident enough to present this as a completed and functional product. The bond of the head to the felt backing is nigh inseparable! I pulled with my fingers, and gave up. I pulled with pliers, and the head tore in half before separating from the felt!
Credits: Thanks to Darth Maker for the discovery of oogoo, Taerkitty for thinking up the felt backing, and Just some Bob for coming up with the gumdrop name. Also thanks to those who helped with other ideas, and encouragements while this concept was being developed. This has truly been a group effort, without the nerfing community (special thanks to Nerfrevolution.com, where this was developed), it would never of gotten off the ground.
The format of this write up will be a written format, supported with video of the process. That way everyone can see just how incredibly easy these things are to make.
For pointy heads - a polyethylene (white plastic) cutting board of any thickness greater than 1/4".
For flat heads - 3/8 - 1/4" white plastic cutting board (2)
counter sink: "four cutter cutting bit" ((It's a counter sink with an adsustable center bit - sold at any hardware store)#10, or #12- though #12 heads have been known to jam a hopper - but that could of been a pre-felt separation issue. I'll have to re-visit #12's the increased surface area might help decrease pain.)
3M window and door silicone caulk (or any other clear silicone caulk with a ton of warning labels on the back. NOT GE II silicone. It cures by releasing moisture instead of absorbing it.) It should reek of vinegar while curing.
Ziploc bags (to mix in) Gallon size for batches larger than 100 heads
square of felt large enough to cover your dart form.
Mineral spirits (optional - softens the final product)
A work space you can temporarily stink up.
Drill press or drill with masking tape to mark a depth/ stop drilling ring
Wood paint stir sticks
scrap sacrificial board - opt. (to make a flat head form put it under your cutting board as you drill, any flat drillable material will work)
clamps/screws - opt. (helpful)
3/4" (or larger) scrap of PVC to use as a roller, longer scrap of cpvc to slide in and use as an axle.
Packing tape (or other) to tape your mixing bag to the table to hold it in place while you mix.
#10 (.375") or #12 (.425") "four cutter counter sink (For pointy head darts)(or a normal 3/8" or 7/16" drill bit - for less pointy heads) to drill your form with.
Uni-bit to pilot drill your form holes (for flat holes) (optional) They stay centered better, so you can space your holes closer together.
Materials Video: (click to open in new window and view. Not sure how to embed video. Feel free to PM me with pointers. Also, wow I hope I really don't sound like that. I sound like frekin' Kermit the frog.)
Form making basics
The majority of time spent on this project will be invested in making your form, but it's infinitely re-usable, so no big loss! Spend the necessary time to lay it out well, and do it up right.
Space your holes as close as you dare to drill if you plan on separating the heads with scissors, about 1/8" apart if you plan to separate them using a punch. Use the width of your counter sink as a guide. I laid the flat tip of mine on the edge of my board and traced around it with a permanent marker, then drew lines coming off of the point with a framing square. Try to line your holes up in straight lines so you have the option to cut them apart with scissors if needed. Off centering every other line will fit more dart heads on the mold, but it will add time to cutting them out. Leave at least a 1/2" border unrolled around the outside of your form.
To make a pointy head form: (Easiest, but not by much)
Set the depth of the internal shiny drill bit in the counter sink so it's barely poking above the black part of the bit (adjustable via hex screw). Chuck it up in your drill press / drill. Set your depth to 1/4" below the surface of the cutting board. (Less if you want shorter heads, more if you want taller heads). Drill out your heads. This plastic drills very easily and cleanly, but it did leave some scraps clinging around the center hole, so go back through and check to make sure their aren't any small pieces left behind.
To make a semi-flat head form:
Use some fine bolts (or even spare nerf gun screws) to join your cutting board to your sacrificial board. The sacrificial board will keep the edges on your exit holes clean and level.
Adjust the depth of the drill bit to to drill partially through your cutting board and into your sacrificial board. The size of the exit hole in the cutting board will be the diameter of the flat spot on your head. Your heads will be as tall as your cutting board is thick, so be picky when you buy your board.
Use a "four cutting" counter sink to drill your holes partially through your cutting board, and into your sacrificial board.
Credit for the backer board goes to Taerkitty and originally K9 for suggesting drilling through and using a backer board to take off the point.
To make a flat head board (cylinder):
Drill through your cutting board (1/4" to 3/8" thick board - board thickness defines head height) using a 3/8", or 7/16" bit (depending on how tight you want your tolerances, and how heavy you want them to be). Bolt another cutting board behind it.
To tip the cylinder heads in felt - prep felt discs by using a hollow punch and a hammer to pound through stacked layers of felt (I've gone through 6 at a time) separate the discs, and place one in the bottom of each hole. Gently separate the board from the backer (nothing holding the discs in place but friction), coat the back of the form in backing tape, re join the form and backer, then press the discs into the tape to hold them in place. (You'll have packing tape sandwiched between your form board, and backing board.)
(Currently developing similar method to tip them in dryer lint. - hopper feeding with out felt discs on the tips)
Squeeze silicone caulk into a Ziploc bag (use a name brand bag with the double strips of seals. It's a wasteful mess if the bag opens while mixing.) 6 complete squeezes from the caulk gun makes 175 3/8" tall heads. If you want to add mineral spirits, to soften the final product, or oil based paints to change the color, add it and mix it in now. I don't have an exact ratio of mineral spirits figured out here. I just added and mixed till it didn't feel quite so thick. Tape your baggie down to a table, and mix it back and forth with the roller.
We haven't added the corn starch yet, so no rush. Make sure you have every thing you need for the rest of the process close at hand, and your form is secured some how to the table. If you're making flat head darts, screw or bolt your drilled head form onto an undrilled piece of cutting board. (That will keep oogoo from shooting out the back) Once you add the corn starch, the clock starts ticking!
Add 1/2 spoon full of corn starch for every 1 squeeze of silicone into your bag. Squeeze out the air, and tape your bag down to your table, make sure it is sealed, and mix it together with a roller. The corn starch shortens the cure time of the silicone from 24-48 hours down to 2-4 hours!
I thought I took video of the mixing, but it didn't take. It's pretty self explanatory, I'm sure you can figure out how to mix two or 3 ingredients in a plastic bag.
Filling the head form
Video (again, click to open in new window and view):
Once mixed, roll every thing away from a corner, and lop off a large corner from the bag. Roll it back towards the corner, and squeeze the glob out onto the form.
Glob of Oogoo waiting to be pressed into the head forms. You can see the backer board clamped to the head form board in this pic it was just a small, trial sized board though. I would recommend bolting them together. (It should reek of vinegar. Open windows and such.)
Smear it into the divots with a paint stir stick, scrape off the excess.
Lay your felt over the board, and go over the top of it with a roller. Rub your thumb swiftly over the top of the felt. This will help work the uncured mixture into the fibers of the felt.
Allow to cure (should feel semi firm if poked). I have waited as little as 4 hours to remove them from the mold.
[I'll add a video of the dart heads coming out of the mold as soon as I can take it.]
Once cured Pull the felt off of the mold, and the heads will come with it! Separate the heads by either cutting them apart with a pair of scissors, or use a punch and hammer (harbor freight - $8)
Pointy (before we discovered felt backing):
And after we discovered felt backing:
Flat (before we discovered felt backing):
Cylindrical felt tipped heads:
[pic goes here once they're out of the mold]
Note: save your unused tube of caulk for later by cutting a corner off of a plastic bag, fill it with silicone, and hold it on with a rubber band.
Now glue the felt side to your fbr using your favorite glue and be done with them! [I'll update with a pic of some finished darts later]
Ranges: depend largely on the size of the dart produced. Previous (heavier versions) flat heads have out ranged my slugs by 25'. It's raining all week here in Utah, can't do range tests.
Hopper feeding: sucks.
We may want to work out some sort of padding/coating on the tip.
- feel free to throw out some suggestions!
(see slugs domes and other dart heads thread for development http://www.nerfrevol...t=2443&start=60, as well as the original counter sink dart heads thread: http://www.nerfrevol...&p=30679#p30679
[edit: added form description - cylindrical heads]
Edit: Wut. My felt tore, leaving a thin layer of fibers on the dart base. I stuck it back on. If I put felt on both sides and rip it off one, I can then glue it on the torn side. The intact side acts as the tip padding, as there's no leverage to make it tear.
That's awesome! It's great to see more people experimenting with this concept! Could you post a pic of your padded tips?
Of a curiosity, do you have any idea how thick your felt is? It seems to me that the higher ration of corn starch, the stronger the felt bond, the more resistant to tearing off, but the harder the head is. The felt I've used is propapbly the thinnest cheapest felt available. (craft store) It's just pure speculation, but because there is less material between the two bonds (head/felt bond and FBR/felt bond) they may bond to more common fibers, and result in less propensity to separate. Heads separating from the felt is new news to and I'm certainly not saying it isn't possible, but if it was filming up before you could finish getting the felt on, that might explain the failed bond.
While I still haven't been able to do any measured range testing, I did have a chance to do some serious war testing. Of all the darts I was able to find after the war, not a single one showed even beginning signs of failure. Some were glued to the fbr with hot glue, some with goop. The hot glue ones were much faster to build, but that's just because of the quick set time of hot glue.
They did hurt less than hot glue domes, and it was agreed that gumdrop heads would be an acceptable dart head material for future wars. (We eventually agreed to get away from domes, due to the ouch factor.) Hopper tests (with out any felt on the tip) was a substantial failure. It would only fire every other shot- the first shot serving to prime the dart into position. That's a problem that will need to be corrected if these are going to receive any widespread acceptance. My barrel fit/length may of been a little off as well. I forgot to shorten it due to volume loss added by the hopper.
I spent most of the wars shooting them out of my barrel replaced (just a basic insert done - for now! hee, hee, hee.) big salvo. Wow, I love that gun. My last batch could stand to be a little heavier - based on flight characteristics displayed, and as previously discussed - could use a larger surface area to absorb impact. The salvo and I (with gumdrop head darts) did well over all, getting more than our share of hits during the war. The slc nerf scene is definitely picking up!
Keep up the experimenting. I really do like to see pics of this concept, as well as successes and especially failures being documented.
Oh man, I feel bad laughing about it, but this is a great description. I'm so sorry, I saw that second one start to curve in flight and my eyes got wide and there was nothing I could do because you were frozen and couldn't get out of the way. Every once in a while, an Artifact gets a mind of its own and decides to go on an adventure. I accidentally hit a teammate of mine in the back during one of the last rounds, I managed to hit Ryan's blaster at about two hundred feet purely by chance via a corkscrewing dart, and I hit Zorn in the shoulder while he was taking photos because a dart decided it would rather dive-bomb him instead of continue on the arc on which it was shot.
Ha, ha. Don't stress it. The artifact dart gut shots and the zing bow crotch shot was probably just karma balancing out my cosmic ledger after my own carpe confusion.
...and i'm definitely using that playing card team picking method at my family reunion this weekend.
It was a great war! I was so thrilled to have been able to make the trip out again - even though it was a last minute, poorly prepaired mad dash of a decision.
*Watching Langly quietly eliminating every single member of a 5 man team for two speed rounds in a row. He picked us all off with brutal precision and I can honestly say that it was the most beautiful display of nerfing i'd ever witnessed - even though i was on the opposing team both times.
*My cell phone holster acting as a codpiece against cannonballs zing arrow. Thank the nerfy gods that my holster was on the front of my belt! It was one of those situations where I could trace the flightpath, time froze and I knew there wasn't a dang thing I could do to change the outcome (besides squealing like a little girl as i braced for impact). Sometimes ya just get lucky.
*getting two tags with my gas station suction cup-on-a-stick shooter pistol.
*All of my blasters functioning for the entire time! That's a 'geddon first for me.
*Great rounds and fantastic organization. The playing card distribution was absolutely brilliant!!! It made deciding teams as smooth as butter. So many variations to pick from. red backs vs blue backs, suits, colors, numbers vs royalty... awesome. We were all able to keep the same card the entire day and teams changed fluidly and quickly.
*Thrifting a cool hat that actually fit my giant noggin. No nerfs found, but i've been looking for a non-ball cap hat for ages.
*Aggressively running my buzz saw during the final round of 3-15. Didn't get any tags, but team-dartsweep for the win!
*The face cards vs numbers round of freeze tag. Numbers had so many more players but team face card had most of the high powered and most experienced nerfers. It just balanced out beautifully. It was like a plauge of ants fighting a few grasshoppers.
*Catching a pre war dinner with Bags and picking up a few more ballistic balls, a weird Tyco double barrel shotgun and a high quality hand crafted wand from the kindness of him and his shop. You're a class act Baghead.
*Only two welts - both from Zeke, both were gut shots straight to the belly button. The second was intended for the guy running up behind me to tag me back in but his blaster is cursed with a sadistic spirit that grows stronger as it feeds on pain so it opted to drop one welt right on top of the previous one instead targeting the guy behind me. It was great moment, A great painful moment but a great moment none the less.
*Forgetting my team colors had changed during the first round of carpe and spending the first half of the round railing my own team mates with my a a bow. I am so, so, so sorry! Carpe has always confused me. Im not sure why, Its a semi simple game but the strategy of it just goes all to crap in my head once the Adrenalin of nerfing gets mixed in. That was not a proud moment for me and I felt like an absolute noob-doofus for the rest of the morning. I am ashamed and I really can't apologize enough.
*$4.50 a gal gas and a communal urinal fountain trough at a Philips 66 gas station outside of Barstow. I've never seen so much nope in a single gas station.
Everything is still curing in the forms, but here's what I've tried doing differently:
Increased diameter to 7/16" (1/4" tall), and a flat conical shape. (increases surface area, and mass)
Tipped the dart heads by dropping a felt disc down each individual head form prior to fill.
Bought a hollow punch set and a 1lb dead blow hammer (plastic hammer filled with pellets that transfer all of the energy into the object it's striking). Tried punching single felt discs out of felt (felt is substantially cheaper off of a bolt from a fabric store. I bought a full square yard for $2.39) It was difficult to punch through a single thickness of felt, but after folding it over into 6 layers, it punched well, with about 4 blows from the hammer. It also made 6 discs per 4-5 swings.
I placed a disc in each head form, but they shifted, and rode up the sides of the wall, so I coated the back of the form with packing tape, and stuck the discs to the tape in the bottom of the form. That solved the shifting, and kept them in place while filling.
Everything else was done as normal.
I'm concerned - due to the difficulty of punching through a single sheet - that it may be difficult to use the punch to separate the heads from the backer felt. I was using a scrap piece of maple floor board to pound on. Would some sort of softer material be more effective as a pounding board? Some sort of rubber, or a pine stump (facing the grain) or sacrificial layer of felt glued to the board help to make punching out discs and heads more effective?
I'll get pictures up when I can. Thanks all.
Drilled out some more holes and made another batch of about 30 darts.
Is everyone using a paint stir stick to poke the oogoo into the holes? I prefer using my fingers... or if possible, a plastic-coated wooden rod about the same diameter as the tip diameter. Makes sure you get the oogoo all the way in, and it's pretty quick. Then smear some more over and repeat.
The amount of cornstarch may also affect the smell... if it acts as a catalyst, more vinegar smell is generated, and it's generated faster.
Edit: On felt: You should be looking for felt that does NOT fall apart easily - fluffy felt makes bumpy/unbalanced dart heads.
Darksircam: Thanks for helping to keep this concept alive!
With a solid piece form I did have some difficulty getting the air pockets out, and the form filled, about 1 of 20 heads were defective because of that. With a 2 piece form - It's much easier because air can escape between the boards as oogoo is pushed in.
The instructables site suggests wrapping anything you want to use as a spatula in "Gorilla tape" (gorilla [same brand as gorilla glue]brand duct tape. Cured oogoo will peel off easily from that stuff.
My experiment of "outsourcing" dart production to my sister is going well. She's had a 1 or 2 batch learning curve (first batch the backing felt wasn't pressed into the oogoo enough, so there was a poor bond to the felt), But I'm now confidant that anyone with a form and the patience can make these.
I've slapped a PTEG'd 7.5" RF20 turret onto a big salvo. I don't know what ranges are compared to slugs, but the 20 shots I took (minus the few from a belligerent tank) averaged 75'. The max was 99, min was 54'. That is a pretty big spread, not sure why, though I suspect turret seal issues. I don't know how slugs would compare, but I'm at least hitting war worthy ranges with these darts.
With 3.5 squeezes out of a caulk gun, and roughly 2-2.5 spoonfuls of corn starch, I was able to make about 45 darts. There was a lot of waste since not every mold hole got filled. I'll have to do a better job at that in the future.
You said "Have you tried using GE Silicone I?"
Does this mean that you've been using it? If so, I don't have to worry about using my Walmart tubes conservatively, since when I'm out (of my 3 tubes I bought), I can just use GE I.
Shmmee- Those heads look fantastic! I love how neat the uppermost felt looks!
My latest batch used 2 spoon fulls corn starch to 3 squeezes caulk. They came out much softer than my previous batch. Darksircam suggested a volume based ratio of as little of 10:1. Your ratio might be a little rich. They look great though!
Edit: The cruse was filling to the last 6 cabins. I had to purchase the tickets while they were still available. I'm really, really, really hoping the tenth is solid, cause i just may cry if it changes now!
Darts now feed well - no misfires, I've tested four times with a five-shot hopper.
These should be more durable than slugs as well - foam-felt attachment is more secure and less prone to breakage as the felt bends with impact.
That's great! Poor hopper feeding has been one of the big down sides to these things. Thanks for doing a fix for them!
Here's a thought for getting the felt to stay put while filling:
Use a mold with holes breaking the back surface (drilled fully or at least partially through) Peel off an Avery sticky label (of appropriate size) and stick it to the back of your form. You'll then have a sticky surface exposed at all holes. Stick a felt disc in the bottom (label should hold it in place) attach backer board, and fill as normal.
You should also be able to re-use the label by shifting it slightly to expose some fresh stickiness.
This is the first thought to strike my mind when trying to tip the gumdrop heads, but further thought of a mold with felt on top, felt on bottom, and cured oogoo - perma-bonded to both sides of felt cured in the middle - turning the mold into an oogoo sandwich steered me away from it. Individual pre-cut dots are probably the best way to go.
Another idea is to put a sheet of felt clamped in between the two boards, but then they would be harder to punch out, because you cannot put the head through the punch prior to punching through the felt.
Awesome! Do they feed any better in hoppers with a felt tip?
I was just looking for something that would cover the head like Darth Maker said. Felt heads solve that problem anyway.
Precut felt heads, yes. I've yet to acquire a reliable method of punching holes. Especially with the thick felt. Ah well. For each dart I make, I peel off the felt on one side and use it for the tip of the next batch.
Four of the eight darts turned out well. Examples of the good and the bad. I experimented with just throwing felt pieces in as well - turned out very lumpy. The main problem here is that the felt doesn't STAY at the bottom - might leave some deadspace. You can also use thicker boards with this - I think I'll be getting some 1/2" thick boards for the final molds.