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Dartsmithing Tips Archive

slug and ryan's guides now have their own threads in Ds and Bs

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#51 NerfMonkey

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 03:09 PM

Why do people register, then post one idiotic comment that pisses one or two people off MAX, get banned and we never hear from them again? It doesn't seem like it would be worth the effort to register on a forum you don't like and be an idiot in a two word post, then get banned.

For my most recent darts, I've started putting the foam in 1/2" ID vinyl tubing to straighten it and make it slightly smaller, which seems to work pretty good. They're better in my CPVC modded pump guns it seems and they travel a little more straight for me.

EDIT: Whoops, forgot to put the Pros and Cons. Sorry about that.

Pros:

Straightens FBR very effectively.
Sounds cool when you yank it out of there.

Cons:

Makes it smaller (might not be good for someone with a lot of spring guns that you want a tight fit)
It's hard to get the foam in the vinyl.

Edited by NerfMonkey, 20 October 2005 - 07:49 PM.

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#52 Sqiggs89

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 04:55 PM

Nice one TIS that got me laughing. Anyway....
Has anyone ever tried Crayolla Model Magic? This stucc is nice, but pricey.

Pros:
Lightweight
Flies far
Won't hurt (For those special few :rolleyes: )
Comes in cool colors
Easy to fit into barrels

Cons:
Expensive ( I got mine at Ben Franklin for like 30-50 cents) (But will be different for others)
Won't hurt
Harder to make the darts
Probably dies in a few weeks (Like splits apart, etc)

I like this stuff but I'll probably stick to FBR!

Peace out,
Napoleon
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#53 nerfisfun

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Posted 29 October 2005 - 09:21 PM

I found that making Megas is way easier then making micros, it took me approx 4 hours to make 2 packs worth, Appox. 2 hours per package, Megas take me 10-20 minutes for 1 pack, a fourty minute difference, but Micros fit into stock barrels with the removal of pegs.
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#54 Enigma1313

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 08:21 PM

Yea...I was looking for something made of foam to fit in my Grenade launcher, when I came across this. I saw you were looking for a link to buy FBR, so if you go to The Home Depot's Site and search for "107510" you can buy 20' sections of half inch caulking rod. You probably all know this for the most part, but i decided to throw it up here for those who didnt.
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#55 Mattf

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 05:36 PM

Here's a tip:

Keep an eye on your darts while you're hairdrying them to straighten them. Otherwise you get this (some of those were about three to four inches long once):

Posted Image

Pros:
Your darts are usable

Cons:
It takes time and attention, and you can't be playing with plaster of Paris in the meantime.

Also, I think this proves that hairdryers don't necessarily thicken them, especially if you have a hot one like I seem to :(
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#56 Kaiser

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 05:29 PM

Has anyone ever tried rolling a dart in packing tape? I tried this with a few sonic darts and they seem to fit a little more snug in the barrel. Since the tape is so smooth it shouldn't cause much resistance against the barrel when fired. Just wondering what others thought of this.
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#57 Anima

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 04:07 PM

I kind of stumbled upon a bag of FBR at Meijer the other day, and decided to finally try my hand at dartsmithing. I looked up a tutorial, and started in.

Mistake #1 - Using scissors to cut my FBR. It pinches it, and makes the cut-end not-flat. Not-flat = Extremely bad.

Regardless, I threw all the darts in a pillowcase and tossed it in the dryer on low. After a total of five minutes or so in there, not a single dart had straightened noticeably.

Mistake #2 - Getting impatient and pulling out my heat gun.
Mistake #3 - Suspending the darts for heating by using clothespins. The pinch in the foam never went away after I released the darts from the pins. (I didn't even use the pinching part. That was what secured it to the makeshift clothesline I set up with an Xbox cable. 9,9 I tucked the dart-ends into the end of the pin you squeeze to open the pinching-end. And still it disfigured the darts.)

The heat gun seemed to do nothing to the darts at all. So I brought it in closer. D'you know what happens when you grill a hotdog too long? That's what happened to the darts I brought the gun too close to.

Three darts were kinda-sorta straight after careful heatgunning, so I decided to dip them in Plastidip and test them out the next day.

Mistake #4 - Hanging the darts to drip so the tip was not level, causing the 'dip to dry in an uneven (unbalanced!) shape.


Despite all the mistakes, these darts ended up being extremely entertaining. I just plugged the pump on my Blast Bazooka, and was using it to test these darts. Each flew about ten feet, then seemed to stop in mid-air and start to...jig. It was as if each dart did a super-fast Riverdance performance just for me, and then fell straight down to the floor. I was incredulous. Must've been a terribly strange fluke! ...No, the other two did almost exactly the same thing.

Last night I tried again. I cut the foam using a hobby knife this time, sawing gently to avoid pinching. (I was using a stock micro to measure out lengths.) Once I had a dozen darts, I laid a strip of duct tape out sticky-side-up, then taped down the ends. I stuck the base of a dart to the strip, and tried the heatgun again.

It must be just the exact wrong tool to use for this. The darts straightened a tiny bit, then refused to improve from there. The tape worked extremely well though in keeping the dart secured against the blast from the heatgun.

I think I'm going to try and buy a test tube rack from Mendelson's this weekend, and use that to support my darts while they dry/straighten/etc.
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#58 WratH

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 06:43 PM

You have to put the foam in the dryer for ten minutes or more for it to take effect.
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#59 kaiman299

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 11:21 PM

My trick is that I cut a bunch of holes in a cereal box, and put a piece of fpr in that I already burned the dome in. It keeps the darts steady, makes the process faster, and less painful.
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#60 Renegade

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 11:34 PM

I have a black metal table that I use for mass producing stefans. Not HIGH quality stefans that i'd use in my primary's, but stefans good enough for spring pistols. They're not horrible stefans by any means, just not good enough for "high" powered guns.

Posted Image

All of those stefans are finished, but I went through and clipped excess glue, and added glue/smoothed out some after they were done to ensure decent quality darts.

Just a little batch of 300 or so stefans.
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#61 Carbon

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 12:25 AM

This is along the lines of using an ice cube to shape your dart tips. I've been using a frozen drink pouch (i.e. Capri Sun) when I make darts. Add the weight, fill with glue, press against the pouch for ten seconds. Pops right off when it's done, smooth and flush with the foam. Similar to using an ice cube, but I don't have to deal with any melted ice.

Edited by Carbon, 25 February 2006 - 12:26 AM.

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#62 Langley

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 01:04 AM

Mistake #1
Check out my directions for making a cutting template in the first post. It's just a piece of PVC that's almost totally cut through. You cut the slit into the piece so that the distance between the slit and the end of the piece is the dart length you want, and then you just push fbr through and slice it with either a hacksaw or a razor knife. The knife doesn't wear out the template

about the dryer- put them in untill the pillowcase and darts are as warm as anything you normally take out of the dryer. I don't think it's possible to melt the dart in a dryer, but don't hold me to that.

Mistakes 2-3
If you use a heat gun, use it on a long length of foam thats attached to something at both ends so that it's taught. I'd give it even strokes from a few inches away. Sort of what you'd do if you were spraypainting the foam with several coats of paint.

About the little 'jig' the darts did after a few feet- You need more weight in your darts. Plastidip on the tip isn't enough for firing from the blast bazooka. You need to hotglue some fishing weights or slingshot ammo into the tips before you dip.
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#63 rotoryfan

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 11:05 AM

I found a great way to stiffen your foam; it may have been said before, but put them in the freezer for at least 12 hours, and when you take them out, they will be much stronger. they don't decrease in diameter, noticably, and I did this immediately after straitening them with a blowdryer, containing them in a starbucks cup (with the dome lid elevated about 1/4" from the cup.) letting the darts fly around in the cup, so that the heat is aplied fairly evenly.

my friend also had identical foam, but his was considerably harder than my foam (before freezing) and it he told me that he left his cut foam on a radiator for 5 days and they were paler (sp?) and a bit straighter than mine were at the time. those darts were matchsticks, by the way.

also, on your stefans, (I'm only half-decent at making these) to make them pack less of a punch but with the same performance, dip only the very end of the dart in plasti-dip, with none on the sides, to get a softer, and probably more aerodynamic dart. two coats of it would be ideal. the dip I use is called grip-dip, and that works just as well.
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#64 Falcon

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 11:45 AM

For all of you who are having issues with any of the following:

I hear complaints about foam being too soft, not being straight, shrinking and/or expanding upon heating, and not having flat ends when cut.

THERE IS STILL HOPE!

Granted, this solution to your problems isn't exactly the most inexpensive, but it is done with nothing but THE most accessible materials around right now.

And yes, it works. REALLY well. These are the darts I use.

You'll need a pack of 1/4" slingshot weights (or whatever you use for weights, but trust me, these things are killer weights for darts). They're at Wal-Mart, Sport Chalet...just about anywhere that has a sports section that sells slingshots/BB guns/Paintball guns, etc., in 200-250 piece boxes.

Next, of course, some low-temp hot glue. DO NOT use Hi-temp; your foam will be toast.

Lastly, get some dart tag refill packs.

Get a pair of scissors. Gently squeeze the dart between your fingers near the base of the stock tip to find out where the rubber inside the dart ends, and just snip the tip off underneath this rubber. That should take all of a second or less.

Drop the tip in a trash can, add the foam blank to your pile.

To actually make the blank-to-dart conversion, make sure your lo-temp gun's ready. To avoid angled tips, I use the back end of the stock darts for the tip of my stefans. The end I cut the stock tip off of becomes the back of the dart.

Stick the tip of your lo-temp glue gun into the hold on the flat end. Twist it around a little bit. This is NOT to make a gaping maw out of the hole in the dart. It is merely to expand the size of the hole a little bit.

Now, squeeze some glue down into this same end of the dart. The glue will go down and catch on the walls of the inside of the hollow foam, and will quickly plug it up. Fill this space that now has been plugged until the glue is almost to the top edge of the foam. The hot glue plug you ahve made should NOT fill the entire length of the dart. Only about 1/4 of the dart will have glue in it. This hapens naturally, so don't worry about being precise.

Now, take your slingshot weight, and push it down into the hole. The top of the weight should be flush or just above flush with the top of the foam. Notice how the weight is a perfect fit for the stock hole in the dart since you slightly expanded it at the beginning with the tip of your glue gun.

Now pick up your glue gun and squeeze some glue DIRECTLY onto the top of the weight. It doesn't look prety now, but hang tight.

This small misshappen mound of glue is all that you need. Drop the hot glue gun (ok, set it down nicely on your workbench) and stick the index finger of your free hand into your mouth. Don't be too slobbery, but make sure the pad of your finger is wet. Using the pad of your finger, press down on the top of the mound of glue, and use your finger to brush the glue down and around the weight. You can shape the dome with your finger without worrying about the glue sticking to your finger because your finger is a slick suyrface due to your licking it.
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#65 Anothernoob

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 01:33 PM

If I may...

If you're using lead weights in your stefans I would take caution licking your fingers. Not that I think anyone is really going to have serious problems with lead poisoning, but they do have warning labels on lead products for a reason. With steel or copper it's probably fine.
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#66 pat 1st Lt

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 09:00 PM

My clan's dartsmith usually takes the Dart Tag Refil Packs, and uses them to make stefans.

Materials:

Dart tag darts (Any number you want)

1/4" Slingshot bearings (As many as you have darts)

Scissors/knife (1)

Low-Temp Hot glue gun (1)

Low-temp hot glue sticks (For us, it's 1 stick for about every 15 darts)

Board with vertical nails in it (# of nails should be the same as # of darts)

Plasti-Dip (1 can, unless you're doing several hundred darts)

Rags/Newspaper (Enough to cover the space you are working in)

Stirrer for the plasti-dip (1)




Methods:

1) Take a dart, and gently peel away the tip from the foam, making sure not to tear the foam.

2) Cut the 'stem' off the rubber tip.

3) Re-insert the cut stem into the dart. Repeat steps 1-3 until you have no darts left.

4) Push the stem about 1/4" inside the dart, and insert one (1) slingshot bearing into to hole.

5) Using the low-temp glue gun, put a small drop of glue on the weight (Small being enough to fill the hole in the dart, but not cover the entire face of the dart).

6) Place the dart tail-end down over one of the nails on your board. Repeat steps 4-6 until you have no more darts.

7) Your darts should have cooled by now. Open the Plasti-Dip and insert a dart about 3/4" into the liquid. Pull the dart out on a five count (Count to five while pulling out the dart: on five, the dart should have exited the dip). Repeat this step until you have no darts left. When finished, make sure you re-cover the Plasti-Dip, as it will dry out otherwise.

8) Wait until the plasti-dip has hardened (Anywhere from ~20 minutes to 1 hour before the dip is hard enough to handle). Dip a dart in the plasti-dip just enough as to cover the hot-glued face of the dart without getting much on the sides. Hold the dart in for a five-count and remove it.

9) Place the dart tail-end onto a nail on your board. Repeat steps 8-9 until you have no darts left.

10) Leave the darts to dry again. Now repeat steps 8 and 9 (You should have dipped the darts a total of three times now; Once down along the sides, and twice only the tip).

11) After letting the darts dry for over two hours (This is important! The face of the darts must be very well dried!), dip just the flat face of the tail of the darts in the plasti-dip, so as to protect the tail of the darts from wear-and-tear.

12) Place the darts face-down, so the tail is facing up, and let the darts dry for two hours.



You are now the proud owner of some of the finest-flying darts I've ever used.

They take a while to make, but they are definatley worth it in high-power guns like the LBB, X-Bow, SM5K, SS2, Titan, etc.
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#67 Falcon

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 12:39 AM

I don't get all you people's fascination with plasti-dipping your darts.

Sure, it might look cool to some (though I personally think it's ugly) but you CAN'T tell me it doesn't rub on the side of your barrels if you're dipping them 3/4" into the liquid...

Besides...the darts look incredibly clean and professional without it, and (in my personal guns) outperform any other darts I've tried...

Granted, I developed my version of the stock dart-to-stefan conversion specifically for my crossbow & NF, and then modded my SF to work with them as well...but still...

Posted Image

Frankly, in my own personal opinion, they're beautiful. And that's not just looks.

Can anyone explain to me the value of using the plasti-dip? If there's a legitimate reason other than looks (because as far as I'm concerned, it's NOT helping range at all) than I may retract my statement.
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#68 z80

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 04:05 PM

Its easy to make! I've worked on both, stefans are just kinda annoying sometimes, and you need more materials.
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#69 NinjZ

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 06:39 PM

I'm pretty sure the plastidipped ons are for stock blasters Falcon.
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#70 Falcon

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 06:47 PM

Well, THAT might explain my lack of interest...

Hmmm. Well, I can see how the rubber then wouldn't really affect performance, but now I'm not seeing how it requires less materials...

All write-ups on plasti-dipping darts I've ever seen required foam, weights, hot glue,a nd plasti-dip. Stefans require foam, weights, and hot glue. I'm not sure I follow how that's less materials...

But whatever works for you, I suppose.

Oh, and renegade...I like your metal dart rack table thingy. Pretty awesome. Do your darts happen to get creases in the foam after sitting in the table for awhile?
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#71 z80

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 10:49 PM

Ummm, matchsticks don't require weights....
http://1105matchstick.blogspot.com/ Check if you want.
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#72 sam

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 11:30 PM

Falcon, how do you make your modified stock darts?
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#73 Falcon

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 12:09 AM

Falcon, how do you make your modified stock darts?

You'll need a pack of 1/4" slingshot weights (or whatever you use for weights, but trust me, these things are killer weights for darts).† They're at Wal-Mart, Sport Chalet...just about anywhere that has a sports section that sells slingshots/BB guns/Paintball guns, etc., in 200-250 piece boxes.

Next, of course, some low-temp hot glue.† DO NOT use Hi-temp; your foam will be toast.

Lastly, get some dart tag refill packs.

Get a pair of scissors.† Gently squeeze the dart between your fingers near the base of the stock tip to find out where the rubber inside the dart ends, and just snip the tip off underneath this rubber.† That should take all of a second or less.

Drop the tip in a trash can, add the foam blank to your pile.

To actually make the blank-to-dart conversion, make sure your lo-temp gun's ready.† To avoid angled tips, I use the back end of the stock darts for the tip of my stefans.† The end I cut the stock tip off of becomes the back of the dart.

Stick the tip of your lo-temp glue gun into the hold on the flat end.† Twist it around a little bit.† This is NOT to make a gaping maw out of the hole in the dart.† It is merely to expand the size of the hole a little bit.

Now, squeeze some glue down into this same end of the dart.† The glue will go down and catch on the walls of the inside of the hollow foam, and will quickly plug it up.† Fill this space that now has been plugged until the glue is almost to the top edge of the foam.† The hot glue plug you ahve made should NOT fill the entire length of the dart.† Only about 1/4 of the dart will have glue in it.† This hapens naturally, so don't worry about being precise.

Now, take your slingshot weight, and push it down into the hole.† The top of the weight should be flush or just above flush with the top of the foam.† Notice how the weight is a perfect fit for the stock hole in the dart since you slightly expanded it at the beginning with the tip of your glue gun.

Now pick up your glue gun and squeeze some glue DIRECTLY onto the top of the weight.† It doesn't look prety now, but hang tight.

This small misshappen mound of glue is all that you need.† Drop the hot glue gun (ok, set it down nicely on your workbench) and stick the index finger of your free hand into your mouth.† Don't be too slobbery, but make sure the pad of your finger is wet.† Using the pad of your finger, press down on the top of the mound of glue, and use your finger to brush the glue down and around the weight.† You can shape the dome with your finger without worrying about the glue sticking to your finger because your finger is a slick surface due to your licking it.


Edited by Falcon, 25 March 2006 - 12:10 AM.

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#74 LordoftheRing434

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 12:26 AM

Yes, this does sound quite utterly newbish, but where do you get a hold of your Plasti-dip? I'm aware that I could be searching, but another post here will make it easier for others to find in the future.
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#75 Anothernoob

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 12:46 AM

Ok, I don't mean to spoil the mood but... isn't the point of dart-making to save money buy mass producing darts instead of having to spend more on refill packs? It seems to me like it defeats the whole purpose of stefans if you just go out and buy Nerf darts only to chop 'em up and drop wieghts in them. But hey, now that they have those new 30 dart packs of dart-tag darts, it might just be better to do it that way. Just a thought.
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