I tried my hand at these last week, and I learned some stuff that may be helpful.
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?
Edited by shmmee, 23 April 2012 - 02:02 PM.
"and we should respect the people who make our blasters. Even if we do molest the hell out of them..."