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Eraser Dart heads

Metal Free Darts

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#1 makeitgo

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 04:22 AM

This idea was inspired by Snicker's entry into Kane's Dart contest, in the quest for metal free darts.

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Using 7/16th inch brass, I cored out one of those Giant Erasers from the Dollar Store. Snicker's used a 5/16th inch hole punch for his eraser (we used different erasers).

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Each core is as thick as the eraser which is 1.75cm (0.69"). Each core can be sliced into 4 equal pieces. Each at approximately, 0.44cm (0.17"). Each eraser can produce 96 of these dart heads.

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I counter sunk and hot glued the dart heads into the foam.

*Optional - I use straw inserts in my darts to help with rigidity. I believe they improve accuracy and range.

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Although they do require a bit of elbow grease, they only work out to be about $0.011 per dart head. The total average weight of each of these darts is between 1.1g and 1.2g.

And of course, to answer the question most of you will have; yes, they are hopperable.

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Using 7/16th inch brass to create the cores and counter sinking the dart heads into the foam really help with this. They perform brilliantly.

I don't have a drill press but I'm working on mechanizing the coring process.

*Edit - Upon request, a little more detail for the process.

I tend to use the straw insert in Stock Nerf and Buzz Bee foam but the same can be applied to solid rod foam as well. No dremel or drill is required. Just some hand eye co-ordination and a bit of practice.

I use a length of straw just shy of the full length of the foam blank(s).

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By centering the straw at one end of the blank I simply twist the straw into the foam. Firm pressure as you twist will eventually bite into the foam. Once it has started to core, it will penetrate much easier as long as you keep twisting. It literally takes seconds once you've got the knack.

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Above, you can see where I've marked it off to cut.

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Pulling the straw out a bit, I cut.

Next I added a small ring of hot glue at the end of the straw.

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Next I quickly pushed the straw in. Note that I left the foam inside the straw.

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Creating the 'pocket' for the eraser is pretty easy. Using the tip of my hotglue gun, I simply melted away the necessary foam, like so. It's easier to roll the blank around the tip of the hot glue gun than it is to maneuver the hot glue gun around the foam.

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The process is the same for my stock foam blanks.

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Next I add a little hotglue to create a thin film to close up the hollow in the straw.

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If you don't want to use the straw insert just skip to this step:

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Let the whole thing cool down as you move on.

As you can see below, the eraser pads you've created sit nicely inside the pocket.

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Burn a tiny hole into one side of the eraser pad before adding a generous dab of hot glue. This allows the hot glue and the eraser material to have a better bond. While it's still hot, insert the dart head into the pocket of the foam blank. While the glue is still hot, you'll have a few seconds to squish it around to set in the correct position. If you've added just the right amount of hot glue, it will seep up the sides of the dart head where you can further adhere the foam along the sides of the eraser. The deeper the pocket , the better for hopper feeding.

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As you can see above, although I know both will feed in my hopper set up, the one on the right is more ideal.

Since the eraser is the weight and the padding weight distribution is properly set forward.

**Edit - short video of them being fired out of a hopper from a lightly modded TS.

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Edited by makeitgo, 08 October 2012 - 09:42 PM.

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#2 Bchamp22795

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 09:14 AM

These look awesome! Are ranges pretty much the same as slugs? How difficult is it to punch out the eraser? And could you attempt to compare the difference in pain vs a slug dart?
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#3 Curly

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 11:06 AM

Neato! On paper they seem cheaper than the FA24 foam slingshot weight domes I make. I'd like to see how ranges compare to your uber domes.Do you use just the eraser or does it need a weight under it? Using a triangle pattern might allow you to squeeze in a 4th row. Could you describe the counter-sinking process for the foam in greater detail? Could this be done with the tip of a glue-gun?
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#4 Carbon

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 11:41 AM

These are really nice looking. Two questions:

What method did you use to cut out the foam so it was centered, and didn't shred the thin amount of foam left over? I saw you said you used the brass to countersink, but how did you get that core out?

Does such a thin amount of foam in the countersink area negatively affect durability?

Edited by Carbon, 08 October 2012 - 11:42 AM.

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#5 Mully

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 01:00 PM

Wow, awesome!
$1 for 96 heads is a great deal.
I think I want to stick with slugs though, because of the padding.

Mully
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#6 Curly

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 01:44 PM

These are really nice looking. Two questions:

What method did you use to cut out the foam so it was centered, and didn't shred the thin amount of foam left over? I saw you said you used the brass to countersink, but how did you get that core out?

Does such a thin amount of foam in the countersink area negatively affect durability?

I'd think if you used the hot glue on the bottom only the foam "sleeve" it won't be under much stress unless pulled from the eraser. The bottom of the eraser is the main breaking point that I see. Provided the hotglue can grab the rubber it should be fine.

I'm not sure if I understand you correctly, but you should be able to poke the rubber out of the brass with a dowel rod.
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#7 lionhawk

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 03:21 PM

They look very nice, good idea, but I have two questions.

1.What did you use to core the foam to get precise fit for those heads?

2.What are the ranges compared to slugs?
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#8 makeitgo

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 04:02 PM

...I think I want to stick with slugs though, because of the padding.

Mully


I have a few Slugs from NoM with McMasters green felt over the steel washer and the padding isn't exactly 'cushiony' enough in my opinion for your particular argument. At the velocities that our darts fly, that little bit of padding doesn't diminish the 'sting' when the hardness of the washer makes it's way through the 2mm of felt. Hence the 'dime/washer' type welts.

This eraser is relatively softer than the washer-felt combination since the cushion factor runs throughout the entire 4.4mm of the dart head.


These look awesome! Are ranges pretty much the same as slugs? How difficult is it to punch out the eraser? And could you attempt to compare the difference in pain vs a slug dart?


Ranges are equivalent to slugs from my observations and just as accurate percentage wise. The eraser is actually quite soft.

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Using the stub of 7/16th inch brass, it wasn't too difficult t bore out the cores. Just time consuming. I didn't 'punch' out the cores. I bore them out. You have to let the brass do the work. Firm pressure as you 'twist' but not as hard as if you were driving in a nail. It takes about a minute per core. That's why I'm trying to McGuyver a drill/dremel bit.

The pain factor is less of a 'sting' with just as much thud.

For example; flick your forehead with your finger nail. That would be like getting hit with your traditional Slug. Now repeat the experiment but instead of 'flicking' with your fingernail, poke your forehead as hard as you can with your finger tip. The 'impact' is equivalent but the 'sting' is substantially diminished. Therefore the welt factor would also be diminished.

The point in Nerf Wars is to hit/tag your opponents not to hurt them. With these eraser darts (no official name yet), your target will still know they're hit but the welt and cut factors would significantly decrease. Don't worry, bruising can still occur so those can still be worn as a badge of honor,

I'd like to see how ranges compare to your uber domes.



There's a reason why they're called 'Uber Domes'. Ranges of these eraser darts are the same as my Rubber Headed darts. Ever so slightly better than Slugs but not as good as my domes. My domes are pretty much the best I've produced that would still be war legal (in Canada) but I've since favored safer alternatives. Cracked glue domes can be pretty nasty.

Edited by makeitgo, 08 October 2012 - 05:33 PM.

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#9 Curly

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 07:04 PM

There's a reason why they're called 'Uber Domes'. Ranges of these eraser darts are the same as my Rubber Headed darts. Ever so slightly better than Slugs but not as good as my domes. My domes are pretty much the best I've produced that would still be war legal (in Canada) but I've since favored safer alternatives. Cracked glue domes can be pretty nasty.

I've never had a dome crack on me, and I used them at HBH5 which was reasonably chilly. Below freezing could probably produce that, but the glue I buy at Walmart doesn't seem to crack at normal temperatures. Do you think it would be possible to add a #6 or something below the eraser to beef up the ranges?
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#10 makeitgo

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 07:32 PM

I've never had a dome crack on me, and I used them at HBH5 which was reasonably chilly. Below freezing could probably produce that, but the glue I buy at Walmart doesn't seem to crack at normal temperatures. Do you think it would be possible to add a #6 or something below the eraser to beef up the ranges?


They're already at 1.1 to 1.2 grams. adding a #6 washer might put it over the edge as far as legal dart mass is concerned. I will say this about these eraser darts (hate that name), they perform better than my Fruit Loop Slugs which do use a #6 washer. I haven't made a video of these eraser darts but I did make an accuracy/range test video with my Fruit Loop Slugs. Check out the video in my Workout Mat barrel Spacers post.



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#11 cheyner

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 08:11 PM

I like these MiG, I might have to try them out myself sometime.
Will you be using these at all at Hell?

Edited by cheyner, 08 October 2012 - 08:11 PM.

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#12 Scooter1

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 11:59 PM

You might want to try a a hollow punch in a drill instead of chucking brass into a drill (difficult and ineffective in my experience). Hollow punch
I've used these hollow punches to cut 6mm craft foam circles and felt circles for slug variant darts a bunch of times, works like charm. Also, I have one suggestion for these eraser darts; if you want to make them a bit softer to get hit by, you could stick some adhesive backed craft foam to the bottom of the eraser before you cut out your circles and it may help some. Good work!

Edited by Scooter1, 08 October 2012 - 11:59 PM.

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#13 s0lidace

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 07:26 AM

These look so cool.. I'm already thinking of buying these in bulk xD

Will These sorta ones do?

http://www.dollartre...00302/index.pro

http://www.amazon.co...s/dp/B0040ZJMPU
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#14 makeitgo

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:55 AM

These look so cool.. I'm already thinking of buying these in bulk xD

Will These sorta ones do?

http://www.dollartre...00302/index.pro



Those are the exact ones. My eraser says "My Bad" on the other side.



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#15 jburn

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 12:20 PM

Great write up, I love the pictures! This seems like an excellent and easy replacement for #6 washers.

The eraser provides weight while being safe and looks pretty sharp. I'm diggin' the various colors available. Pretty ingenious dart heads, I think.
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#16 IrishMonk

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 02:16 PM

MIG, I think you may have just found the most viable replacement for slugs, especially for those of us without the right tools for let's say, VANS. Plus, this method is very cost and time efficient. Actually, everything about this method is pretty much perfect. Well done. :)
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#17 therealnerfjunkies

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 07:20 PM

These are awesome. I'm looking into making these. Keep it up and you will be a contributor! ;)
Also, how long are your darts?
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#18 snickers

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 08:52 PM

MIG, I think you may have just found the most viable replacement for slugs, especially for those of us without the right tools for let's say, VANS. Plus, this method is very cost and time efficient. Actually, everything about this method is pretty much perfect. Well done. :)

...... or just as good as my darts (snicker doodles).

Edited by snickers, 09 October 2012 - 08:52 PM.

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#19 BlueBomber

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:32 AM

These dart heads look amazing! Not too mention cheap and durable. What about naming them "Go Darts"?

Please don't necro topics without something significant to add. This thread was last active in early October.

Wow, really? Sorry, didn't notice that.

Edited by BlueBomber, 27 December 2012 - 08:49 AM.

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#20 Crazy Modder

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 05:01 PM

I only have two questions (one of which went unanswered). 1) What length did you cut these darts 2) I noticed you were using larger sized foam (noticed the tan looking one) so what size brass would you recommend to bore out heads that would work for grey 1/2in foam. Since i tried the size brass you listed and the glue combined with the eraser melted clean through the pocket. Any advice on this?
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Edited by Zorn's Lemma, 10 April 2013 - 10:56 PM.

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#21 CheeseRat

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 06:39 PM

Amazing dart design! It seems perfect, except for those few misfires that occurred. Those are due to the high-friction of the rubber. Could you add felt or paint over the rubber to make them less grippy and feed easier? :huh: Also, since you said eraser tips hurt less, would it be safe(not too painful) to carve out the edges of the tip to a dome to increase aerodynamics and to make them feed better?

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Edited by Zorn's Lemma, 10 April 2013 - 10:56 PM.

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