Intro: How to Make Matchstick Stefans
This is an Instructable for matchstick stefans, which are homemade darts that will outperform stock Nerf darts in most cases, and are cheaper than standard Nerf darts. This type of stefan is easier to make than regular stefans, because you don't need to make those hot glue domes on the tops of them, which I could never master.
If there is anything that you think I should improve just tell me, because this is my first Instructable.
Step 1: Tools and Materials Needed
Tools you will need
A hot glue gun cool heat, not high heat, high heat will melt through the foam backer rod
Materials you will need
Half inch Foam Backer Rod or FBR( can be found at Home Depot or any other hardware store) don't get Foam King, it's junk
Steel airgun shot, or steel BBs .177 Cal. or 4.5 MM, they are both the same
Performix Plasti Dip( can be found at the Home Depot in the paint area around the spray paint)
A carpenters square, but if you don't have that you can just use two rulers( one to measure the FBR and one to keep it straight.
Step 2: Cutting the FBR
When you have your materials, first you will want to cut your FBR. I cut mine about two inches, so they can fit in barrels easily, and aren't too long, but you can cut them whatever length you want, just make sure they are straight, because it will really help with your other steps. This is where the carpenters square, or rulers come in. If you have a carpenters square, then just line the front part up against the stop and use the top part to determine where to cut. If you are using two rulers, then use one to keep the FBR front straight, and use the other to press your FBR against, so your cuts are semi-even, and you know how long the foam should be. Just keep cutting until you either die of boredom, or you think you have enough.
After you are done cutting your darts place them in either a pillow case, with the open end closed, or a mesh bag. After you are done with that, place your darts in the dryer for 10 minutes. When the darts are ready to come out of the dryer, check them to make sure they are straight, if they are not, then put them into the dryer longer.
Step 4: Melting a Hole in the FBR
Once you are done straightening the FBR in the dryer, you are tasked with the most precise part of stefan making. First you have to heat up your glue gun. After you are done with that you want to melt a hole in the middle of the FBR put a tiny bit of glue in, but remember the hole has to be in the middle or the stefan won't fly straight. Don't worry it you didn't melt the hole right in the center, you can just make another hole in the center and fill in your old hole with hot glue. After you create the hole, then place a steel BB into it. If your steel BB easily falls out, then put a little hot glue on it to keep it in place, because you are going to dip it in the Plastidip.
Step 5: Plastidipping Your Stefans
Get your Plastidip, open it, then stir it intil you think it looks good. After you are done with that, get the FBR that you placed the steel BBs in, and dip the side with the steel BBs into the Plastidip. After you've dipped the soon to be darts, create a better dome by holding the dart upside down and lightly tapping it untill the plastidip is centered. Then blow on the top of the dart, untill you are satisfied that the dome dosn't have any major imperfections. After you are done place the darts upright, and let them dry. If you think that the tip is too small, than let the tip dry for the time suggested on the can, and dip the dart again. And don't get upset if you don't do so well on any of the steps, it takes some time to master anything, especially somthing like this.
When you are pleased with your darts, then just load them in your gun of choice, with the air restricters removed ( if you don't know what air resisters are, or how to remove them just research nerf mods, here or go to google, and type in air restricter removal and your type of nerf gun, and you should get it) and fire those stefans off.