WATCH FOR EXAMPLE - This will give you an idea of what can be done. (I disagree with the ropedart being called a 'little brother' - it is designed for penetration, not blunt force trauma as is the meteor hammer.)
~There are stories of these passing through solid oak doors.
~The blunt side can be swung with enough power to crack skulls.
~The cord can be used to entangle and bind.
~With skill, the dart can change directions mid-flight, appearing eratic to the opponent.
~It is easily concealed.
~It is stunning to see one in use.
"As folklore goes, this weapon was first used by Du Mu, a general in the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-24). Once, when he fought with another general named Cheng Peng, he used his free dart five times but was taken by the opponent. Then he used the rope dart instead and knocked Cheng Peng off the horse to the ground."- Soft Weapons Li Keqin Li Xingdong
This is not necessarily the traditional method (which varies greatly in and of itself) of formng a rope dart (there are four sides, and no metal rings are used to link the dart to the cord, etc.) but it is absolutely able to get the job done. This was basically a feasability test, my next will look nice as well. Check out the images, as some are tagged.
Check out my site, Funditor for more :)
Please comment on and/or rate this instructable.
Step 1: From So Humble a Beginning
Don't worry about rust, it will come off...
Step 2: Lop Off the Head
Step 3: Remove Rust and Begin Shaping
At this point, round off the corners of the side if you so choose or implement any other sort of design you like.
Step 4: Drill Hole
If you are annoyed by my lack of numbers and measurements, think of this: I don't know optimum numbers. Look at the pictures to have an idea of what I did, then guess and improve as you like. I taught this to myself, so my way is not the 'right way'; your guess is as good as mine. If you are desperate for a measurement, just comment, and I'll let you know.
Step 5: Shape the Spike
Using a grinder or file, begin to shape the dart. The front should taper to a (sharp) point. It can have any number of sides greater than three (as you approach infinity, the shape becomes conical). Mine has four. Experiment and see what you like.
You can taper the dart along its length one way or another if you like, and add in any sort of design which pleases you.
At the back of the dart, I put in angled cuts to prevent the dart from catching on the cord as it pivots.
BE CREATIVE!! My design is UGLY and UTILITARIAN because it was a TEST (will make a nice one, eventually). This can be your test too, so make it look nice.
Here's some food for though: Engrave or Etch :)
Step 6: Round Off Hole
Step 7: The Rope and Link
WARNING: DO NOT USE NYLON OR OTHER "DYNAMIC" ROPES. THEY HAVE ELASTIC PROPERTIES WHICH COULD CAUSE THE DART TO RETURN TO YOU UNPREDICTABLY WITH GREAT FORCE.
Get a short piece of narrow, strong cord (like climbing accessory cord) which will fit through the hole you drilled. Alternatively, you could use a metal ring, several, or some sort of chain. (I'll be using a type of chain for my next.)
Again, be creative.
I used the Zeppelin Bend to form a loop from the spike, then a bowline to secure the rope to the loop. At this step you could attatch a brightly colored bandana or other sort of tail. This would help you track the dart as it moves at very high speed, looks nice, and confuses opponents.
This Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons image is from the user Chris 73 and is freely available at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Zeppelin_Bend_HowTo.jpg under the creative commons cc-by-sa 2.5 license.
Step 8: Wrist Loop
Tie a prusik knot or taut-line hitch at the end of the rope to form a loop. This loop can now be slid to adjust to the size of your wrist.
Step 9: How to Use
This is a VERY BASIC outline of what to do:
Slide wrist loop over your non-dominant wrist (right wrist if left handed), then wrap rope once or twice across that hand. Hold rope with other hand (leaving several feet between hands) and start twirling the dart around. Release. Repeat. There are many advanced techniques (such as rebounding the spike with your foot) which you'll learn as you go.
If you don't want to kill anyone, replace the dart with a ball of kevlar, soak in gasoline, light on fire, go to a beach, and impress crowds.
Whether you love this instructable or hate it, let your proverbial voice echo through cyberspace by clicking the + or - in the top right corner :)
Like this? Check out my new site, funditor!