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K'nex Gunning Guide Video Series Answered

Alright, it's simple, I originally wanted to make a guide, but in instructables or wiki form. This wouldn't be quite as helpful, and I want to start making videos again, so I figured I'd start up a video series purely for making K'nex weapons. It'd help out newbs by teaching them all the common techniques to hopefully get them past the generic gun stage and start making their own creations. At the least, it'll be a time killer for me this summer. Does anyone else that's good on camera want to help out? The format will be simple, we'll start linear in lessons but then reach a point where we'll branch off so that newbs can decide what they want to learn about next. The first video will introduce them to gunning in general, the most basic parts (pin, trigger, and barrel). Then we'll work up from there. So each episode will explain a concept or part, show demonstrations of different constructions of a part or concept (for example, all the different types of barrels you can make), then we'll build in real time a gun using what we just taught. We'll tell them the piece count and give detailed instructions so they can build along and make a weapon to understand what they just learned. We'll hopefully mix it up enough so they're not getting the same generic building methods hammered into them (i.e. use different bodies, barrels, triggers, etc. each time).

So yeah, I'm hoping to spit a few out each week if possible. I'll only need a couple others to help out just because I don't want to tackle every part and concept by myself. We'll probably need to design new, simple weapons for the sake of demonstrating a single concept without complicating the rest of it. A little change up in persons should keep the series interesting. I need people with good speaking skills ("um"s will need to be few and far between) and good video quality.

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JonnyBGood (author)2015-01-27

Wow... all the originals are back on one page...

So as normal I kind of glanced at the general conversation below my comment and it seems to me that the general consensus is to get more builders in our hobby, and methods to go about doing so. My opinion on the matter is that I agree with the informational short summarized video approach. I agree to this because youtube seems like the easiest main street to a media presence. However we have to put some body to these videos that would attract a larger audience, making it minimally amusing to someone who doesen't even want to try to make K'nex guns. As to how, I don't know, I'm not a youtube sensation.

Lastly I always laugh when I see an older member preach about the innovation of the good old days. Seriously, there is still innovation on the site. K'nex guns now have higher standards on functionality and appearance thanks to all that work back then. Don't discount what you guys started the new crowd (including myself) still have some tricks up our sleeves.

Sorry too rant, but thats kind of my style.

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TheDunkis (author)JonnyBGood2015-01-28

I'll see what I can figure out. I'll just start making videos and see what sort of format I settle into. At worst, I'll remake videos if they end up too long or not informational enough. And I'm not taking ownership of this by any means. The idea was that we could make this a community project.

I don't know if that's the exact message you got from me. I didn't mean to put off that K'nex guns have been going downhill. I've been saying they've started to plateau. Back then, we just came up with more new concepts in a shorter time, there were rapid developments. And a newb could come up with something simple but novel. The example I overuse is that as a newb I came up with the angled handle magazine. Incredibly trivial now, something new back then. So we could contribute to innovation as well. Nowadays, what we see today is similar to what we've seen a couple years ago. It's not like we have anything revolutionary. I'm not saying you guys don't have cool ideas, we do see them, just not as often. Partly it's just less people building in general, so we're depending on the few of you still building on a regular basis to keep innovation alive. But then the regular innovators tend to be older fellows who don't have the time to build on quite a regular basis. I've plenty of ideas left myself, just not the skill nor time to complete them. I don't doubt there is a lot left to accomplish. It's just that things are getting more difficult, we're getting busier, and we're not getting new people filling our shoes.

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JonnyBGood (author)TheDunkis2015-02-03

Well if it's a community project, count me in! I'll be happy to make a video, given someone sets the standards first. Also I'd like to see the first video so when its out.

Secondly I don't mean to sound like I think the original members think the community is going downhill. I don't know exactly how to put how I translate some of comments so I'll stop trying too. =P

Another idea to spread popularity of our hobby is too try to get other si.Lila hobby group interested. I'm going to try reaching out to the Nerf community because I consider knex a step up from nerf (as far as ranges and skill required) and a step below airsoft and paintball (in my opinion). We just need to emphasize the total customizability of our hobby compared to these others.

That's some more of my thoughts on the matter.

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TheDunkis (author)JonnyBGood2015-02-04

That's what I planned on. Setting up a format and then letting other people develop the series so it'd grow at a reasonable pace without my hand. But now I've little time to begin the series so I'll see if I can accomplish that before I leave. Otherwise it might be a few months.

Well regardless, there's plenty left to innovate, we could use some fresh minds to help out.

I assume that was supposed to be "similar hobby group" though that was eerie given one of my sister's names is Lila. I don't know about tiering K'nex relative to Nerf and Airsoft, but I will say that Nerfers will probably be the most interested. Especially with the new line of foam dart shooting K'nex sets, I'm really hoping to grab so newbies that way. I'm sure the potential builders are out there. There are people who if you showed them a K'nex gun and asked them if they wanted to learn how to do it, they'd say yes. I'm sure there are plenty. It's just a matter of finding them. I've also considered going on the K'nex Facebook page and posting about K'nex weapons, but I know that might not fly well.

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TheDunkis (author)2015-02-02

Well, just never got around to it, and now I'm sorry to say I'll probably be out of action for a bit. I just got a job out of town. I'll be preparing for that until I move. I'll be moving in with my friend at his parents' house temporarily until he finds a house. So until then, I'll only be taking the bare minimum with me which won't include my K'nex. After we do get a house (sometime later this spring), I'll bring the rest of my crud over and can start building again.

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Knex Lego Maniac (author)2015-01-25

Growth in community will come with great builds.

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And great builds come with fresh ideas. Fresh ideas from new people. Innovation has stagnated of late, anything that could draw attention to the community and bring some new people would help us move onwards.

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TheDunkis (author)2015-01-22

Reviving this topic. Geez, been two and a half years since I posted this. Time, where does it go? Anyway, I'm interested in starting this again. College occupied a lot of my time. Now it's mostly just my job, games, and friends. Recently I've been tired of gaming, so I'll probably try to be more productive, but as if I've held a K'nex related promise that many times... Anywho, the community has been dwindling for a while now. One of the reasons I suspect is because it's just harder for newbs to jump in. It's not as accessible. They don't have as much they can provide, but they have a lot to catch up on before they feel accepted. Basically my goal is to introduce people to K'nex gunning and get them up to speed as quick as possible.

This is a work in progress, but I'm thinking the starting order will go something like this:
1. Basics of K'nex guns - I show an incredibly simple block trigger weapon. I go over the firing pin and block trigger. I'll also introduce the tube barrel concept.
2. Basics of power - I think this will be good to teach ASAP, and it'll naturally lead into Killerk's pistol. Basically just introduce the bullet lock concept and maximizing pin length in order to get the most range.
3. The true trigger - Something else I want to get out of the way ASAP. Block triggers are so obsolete, most builders here probably don't even know what I'm talking about. I'll probably just use a tube barrel weapon with a true trigger. I may need to introduce handles in this too.
4. Block bodies and barrels - I'll basically talk about how tube barrels are good for range and accuracy, but are otherwise not piece efficient or as easy to design with. I'm going to skip magazines on tube barrels because, while easy, they're just not a good design practice. I'd rather get them into block barrels right away before moving into magazines. I'll go over each barrel type in separate videos, so for this one I'd just start with a simple snowflake-connector width barrel and make it a simple single shot.
5. This is where things are more open-ended. Difference concepts could be introduced by this point, but some would optimally be done after others, though not necessarily. I'd probably want to discuss some more practical, but simple barrel-body types before getting into other concepts. I'd probably introduce the yellow connector-black hand-rod width barrel.
6. I'd like to introduce magazines as an option to learn about by this point. I'd probably introduce the concept of magazines first with a basic fixed on. Videos in the magazine series would then show examples of different magazines for each ammo and then get into more advanced topics like removable magazines, roofed magazines, etc.

That's all I really have planned at the moment. It could really go in many different directions, but we'd have to make sure we're all on the same page.

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oodalumps (author)TheDunkis2015-01-22

I don't think there are new builders to teach. Lack of innovative content has in turn made interest decline. The best thing you can do for the knex gun community is to keep building guns. We can't get anybody to make them for us.

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TheDunkis (author)oodalumps2015-01-23

There aren't many new builders, yeah. I believe there are still potential builders out there that just don't know about K'nex gunning yet. I only happened upon it by chance from Youtube and then found my way to Instructables. So part of the trick would be finding new builders in the first place. I realize I'm getting hopeful over something that may not even happen. I'm going to keep building and hope for the best.

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Mepain (author)TheDunkis2015-01-24

I think ooda is right, but it doesn't hurt to try. Besides, it could be a fun project for you.

I'd like to add my 2c here while you're still in the planning stage anyway. Less so about the content, more so about the delivery. I notice you have ideas for a ton of different videos, but I'm not sure if that many videos would be well-received by people (mainly kids with short attention spans) trying to learn about the hobby. A few ideas:

-keep the number of videos to a minimum
-keep the videos short (maybe 3 minutes average)
-make them interesting (don't just talk to a camera while pointing at knex gun parts)

A thought has occurred to me: are you trying to get the attention of people outside the hobby, teach new people who already have been taken by the hobby, or both? I suppose this next bit will depend on the answer to that question.

You can probably figure out how to fit all the basics into a 3 minute video without it seeming cluttered, provided your script is concise and well written. This would encompass pretty much your points 1-4. If you are indeed trying to grab the attention of newcomers, it might be a good idea to start the first video with a 30ish second segment showing what the hobby is about with war footage, shooting guns at stuff, replicas, whatever seems cool.

I think it is supremely important to do a bit (possibly a whole video) on ammo itself. The type of ammo will almost always determine the various systems a gun will use.

Following that, you can do a video all about ammo storage methods, including magazines and turrets. Since turrets are so simple, it shouldn't take long to explain those, and you can then expand on the variety of magazines available.

Perhaps a video on the physics involved can be done as well (with comparisons, again, for the kids). It could demonstrate the optimal ways to transfer energy from x propulsion method to y ammo type, etc.

I'm pretty confident all these ideas can be done in 2-4 minute videos, depending on the subject of course. If the first videos seem well received, you could expand upon them with various concepts, or even the history of the community. To be honest, I've been thinking about doing this type of thing for a while, but I have neither the personality nor the perseverance to do it.

Best of luck in any case!

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TheDunkis (author)Mepain2015-01-24

Thanks for the advice. I figured at worst, yeah I just have a bunch of videos that I let sit for a while. I'll be working on other hobbies so it's not like my life depends on the success of this.

Well, that's the trick, isn't it? There's a lot to teach in little time. And it's difficult for me because I tend to ramble in detail. But then K'nex is a hobby where you need the patience to build in the first place by following instructions so I figured the kiddies only interested in building a gun and being done wouldn't really be beneficial to the community anyway.

So what I'll have to end up doing I assume is breaking it down between the basics and the in-depth. I'll keep the basics short and easy for kiddies to follow. I'll keep these videos to a minimum. Then I'll have different in-depth videos for any teens/adults that may be more interested in learning about different features. These I'll try to keep compact, keeping it to one video per topic and starting at under 5 minutes but expanding up to 10 minutes later on for more advanced topics when people are clearly liking the videos. I think 10 minutes is the magic number given the video game commentaries and other crud kiddies watch online these days when they're clearly interested. But obviously I'll go as short as possible. Maybe I'll make an instructable series too. So, for example, avoid the clutter in the magazines episode demonstrating all the different kinds of magazines for each ammo size, just get the basics of a magazine out of the way and include a link to an instructable that shows the different ways to make a magazine for the different ammo.

I figure I'll make a new Youtube channel for these just in case others do end up helping out. I'll probably make an introduction video that goes on the channel page to get all the details out of the way such as Instructables, getting K'nex pieces (preferably online instead of in stores), keeping it a creative and not a violent hobby, etc. The kids won't be interested but it'll be there just to seem more professional at least. The first video will show off a big build, whatever I have lying around and describe that's what they could end up building. I'll say that's it's basically easy to start making a K'nex launcher (I'm going to avoid words like weapon, gun, shooter, etc. for the paranoid parents though probably won't make a difference). Then get started right there. It'll be a simple block trigger with a short barrel and minimal pieces. I'll leave the video at that, a short demo, so they can choose to look on if they want. The second episode I'll probably go over the basics and tell them how they could improve the block trigger pistol concept to shoot farther. Get out of the way as much as I can without overloading them.

I figured I'd cover ammo at a point, yeah. For the purpose of starting, a kid can cram whatever rod they want down a tube barrel. I'd just get it out of the way for anyone not interested that oodammo and yellow rods are just the way to go. This is something else I'd probably just redirect those more interested to an Instructable. The basics of physics, as I said, I'd probably get out of the way in the second episode, then I'll elaborate more in an in-depth later.

I'll start writing up a script today.

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oodalumps (author)TheDunkis2015-01-24

Whatever the first video is, it should be something that gets attention. More advertisement than education. Put holes in popcans. Show replicas from COD games. Show knex war footage. Attract new builders, then explain how to build stuff in subsequent videos once people seem interested.

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TheDunkis (author)2012-08-01

Bimpidy bumpidy boo, we need you. C'mon anyone with plenty of free time and decent camera skills? I'll start and give you the first video as an example of what we're doing. I'll see about doing it this weekend. Hopefully I can actually keep my word on that.

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Knex.X (author)TheDunkis2012-09-25

I could, however I live in Holland

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Sharir1701 (author)TheDunkis2012-08-12

i guess not... i'm still waiting to see your first video and To Do list to be able to tell you for sure if i can help or not. by To Do list i mean what videos you need to be done.

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knexguy (author)2012-09-01

Nope, I was just using uni as a shortened version of University. I'm in the UK so Iowa would be quite a commute.

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knexguy (author)2012-08-30

I'm in. Still interested?

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TheDunkis (author)knexguy2012-08-30

Finally someone replies. XP Well, now I'm back in college and my roommate is at the room so much, I'd have to wait until weekends when I'm back at home, but otherwise I'd be willing to give it a go still.

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knexguy (author)TheDunkis2012-08-30

Ok, I've still got a month til I head to Uni, and I'd probably record them in bulk as I work through a project. Gives me some motivation to get good with Sony Vegas too.

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me is assisin (author)2012-07-24

Senior Waffleman has sick stuff imo, maybe he wants to help ye? :3

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I cant sorry, i have absolutely no time on my hands.

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Sharir1701 (author)2012-07-26

i'm deep into my S3 at the moment (btw, check it out on my profile, i guarantee you'll like it), but i was gonna help anyway... until i read that last part about the "um"s i think i can still help, i can write down what i'm gonna say to prevent any "um"s. anyway, let me know if you need me. i'm always available. also, i need a time killer as well. when i'm not working on my gun, i find myself with few things to do all day, and my friends are pretty much lazy asses (not that i'm not one...) but anyhow... you get the point.

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tytiger33 (author)2012-07-24

It's great to see someone finally doing this. However I cant do it. I don't have a decent digital camera for video, pictures however is a diffident story. So good luck to you Dunkis.

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