Homemade Silicone Dart Guide

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Homemade Silicone Dart Guide

Post  Nine on Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:52 am

Well, since there's no dart making guide here I might as well post up my process.  This method could definitely be improved, but it does let me make consistent metal free darts.  



To make these darts, you will need:

Clear silicone caulking (I used GE silicone I)
Caulk gun
Felt sheets
Scissors
1/2" Foam backer rod
Hot glue gun
Hot glue
Cutting board
Drill w/ bit of desired dart size
Tape
1/2" PVC
Hack saw
Knife

Okay, to start this process we are going to need to make a mould for the dart heads.  To do this, I used my drill and a 3/8" drill bit to bore out uniform holes in my cutting board.  I used a piece of tape to mark off my drill bit at the preferred depth so that all of the heads would be roughly the same size.



After getting your moulds prepped, go ahead and fill them with your silicone:



Cover those holes with your sweet pink felt and press it into the silicone with a PVC roller:



Repeat the process for however many moulds you made and leave them to cure for at least 24 hours:



Now to make your blanks; the actual foam part of your darts:



To make these, I used a hacksaw to cut slits at 1 inch intervals along a segment of 1/2" PVC:


In the future, I would recommend cutting 1.5 inch blanks for improved accuracy

Then you can use this template to cut your blanks at a uniform size with nice square ends:





Throw these in a pillowcase and put them in the dryer for 6-7 mins on medium heat.  This straightens the blanks and expands them a bit to give you a better fit for springers.
(Don't think a picture is necessary for this)

Now once your dart heads are all cured and your blanks are cut and straightened, we can move on to putting these darts together.

First, you'll need to cut out your dart heads from the felt.  Then burn a hole in your foam using the tip of your hot glue gun:



Fill that hole with hot glue:



And press a dart head into the wet hot glue, making sure it stays straight:



Repeat this until you've used all of your dart heads or all of your blanks



Hopefully this helps you make some safe and reasonably durable darts.  If you're having problems with them sticking in your barrels, loading them backwards may help prevent jamming, with a bit of a sacrifice in range and the like.
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Nine
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