Here are a few ideas. Some are practical, others not. YMMV.1. Tagger Stefans
I have lots of stock foam, and still use them for indoor firing. Some of the modded blasters tend to do nasty things to the darts. Small round stickers over the hole keep them from shredding, but the impacts seem weaken the glue so the heads fall off. So, I'm left with more than a few sticks of 2.25", cored-out, neon-coloured foam.
This is more of an aesthetic dartsmithing idea than anything else. It does help in locating the darts, especially outside, but that latter part is more theoretical than experiential for me. I don't end up at (m)any wars, as WA-area Nerfers can attest. Still, orange (or canary yellow) does stand out more than grey against the taupe and other muted hues of American Office colouring.
At any rate, this is 3/4" of FBR, a #8 washer, then 1/4" slice of Nerf foam filled with hot glue. They're just another form of glue-dome stefans, and perform about the same. They sting about the same, too. Let's look at that in the next idea.
===2. Indoor Stefans
Even from an amped-up NF, glue-dome and felt-tipped stefans can sting a little at close range. For serious Nerfers, that's part of the whole point, but for people just starting out, they may balk at the idea. Here's a simple way to alleviate some of the pain.
The ones on the right are FBR-tipped stefans. Ranges are comparable to my felt-tipped stefans using the same foam. Tested with a 4B, a Pistol Splat, and a modded TTG. As an experiment, I trimmed some of the top to give it a more Streamline profile, but that doesn't seem to help distances any. (This was before I got caught up on this thread, so I acknowledge they're war-illegal.)
- Take a short length of 1/2" PVC, about 6".
- Cut slots almost all the way through with a (foo)saw 1/4", 1", and 1.5" from one end. Keep cutting until the blade is in contact with the opposite inner wall of the pipe. Make sure this cut is square to the length of the pipe. Using a miter box is highly recommended here, as is taking your time with the (foo)saw.
Disclaimer: This is a standard step in making stefans - I'm not saying it's anything new; I'm just including it for completeness' sake.
- Take another run of PVC, this one about 2". Solvent-weld it against the first pipe under the cuts so the ends are flush. PVC cement and primer will run you $8 to $10, and will last forever. It's well worth it here, because hot glue alone won't cut it. Let it cure for the time stated on the can. Mine says two hours.
- To stiffen the joint, add a fillet of hot glue on each side. Make sure not to get glue into the slots you just cut.
- Feed the string of FBR through it, placing the end flush with the end of the PVC with the slots you just cut. Depending on your preference use the 1" or 1.5" slot to chop your FBR into chunks, then stuff them in a pillowcase, air-dry them with a hair dryer or clothes dryer, yadda, yadda.
- When you have a bunch of foam blanks, take the back of some sort of sticker, such as a bumper sticker. Lay a half dozen washers on it, then dot a bit of hot glue in the center of each, enough for the bubble to spill over the center opening appx 1mm.
- Press the FBR on it, holding it true for 5 seconds (alternately, devise some sort of rig to hold it true.) Doing it batches of 6 allows the glue some time to cool, but still remain tacky. This will cut down on melted foam, which will keep the ends true.
- (Optional) If you want single-washer darts, you're done. If you want to double the weight, repeat and glue a washer on the other end of each FBR blank.
- When you're done, you should have a bunch of FBRs with a #8 washer glued to one (or both) ends. Now drop a bit of hot glue on the washer, enough to form a dome about the diameter of the center opening, and press another FBR (or it's washer) against it. Hold for 10 seconds. Do this sitting down, so you the recent glued FBRs don't have to support the weight of a whole bunch of washers.
- You now have a long chain of FBR again. Feed it through the aforementioned PVC pipe toward the .25" slot until the washer shows (the chain will end in a single washer, but we're going to take care of that very soon.)
- Cut the FBR chain through the slot. You should have a chunk of FBR 1/4" longer than your desired length. Glue that one to the other end of the chain, keeping the downrange orientation the same.
- That's pretty much it - advance the chain until the washer pair shows, then cut it. You should end up with a bunch of FBR-tipped darts with 1/4" of foam at the business end, and 3/4" or 1" of foam 'up-range'.
Sorry for the blurry picture, but it's hard to do closeups with this camera.
This is a semi-practical tip, but only if your blaster needs 3 BBs and a slug of hot glue to reach max range. (If that is
the case, I don't want to be shot by it.)
Seriously, it is very slow, and probably good only as a 'novelty' stefan, somewhat similar to the tagger stefan, above.
- Cut a 1/4" ring of CPVC.
- Get some sticker backing paper, such as off a bumper sticker. Cut a 2" x 1/4" strip of it and hot glue it to the inside of the CPVC ring, slick side inward (otherwise you wouldn't be able to glue it.)
- Get a flat magnet, such as these, available at Michael's Art Supply stores. Lay the rest of the sticker backing paper over it, slick side upward.
- Drop 3 BBs on the magnet and nudge them into the triangle if needed. Place the CPVC ring around them and fill it with hot glue. On a full-sized hot glue gun, I gave each one a full trigger squeeze.
- Wait for it to cool. This will probably take 30 seconds to a full minute. When it's utterly solid, poke it out of the ring.
- Flip it over. Put a drop (appx 1-1/2 to 2x the size of a BB) of hot glue in the center of the three-BB-triangle.
- Press FBR blank against it and count to 10.
Yes, incredibly slow. The results look good, but the process takes forever. It's good if you need that much mass in your dart, or you like the looks, or you think there's a market for them.
Edited by taerKitty, 06 June 2010 - 11:30 PM.
Fugly is a feature.