There has been a number of postings on the making of blowgun darts, mostly on how to make the cones, making darts from bamboo skewers, nails, bicycle spokes etc. I will not dwell into the basic stuffs of making the whole dart, but rather how to make a more effective dart. I presume that most of you will know how to make the cone and methods of keeping the cones centre. If in doubt, please refer to other instructables available.
This is something new I have just discovered, I have never read any postings of someone using a discarded umbrella to make lethal and effective darts for a blowgun. A regular sized, 8 ribbed umbrella would yield about 8 pieces of target darts, 40 pieces of mini broadhead darts and 64 pieces of broadheads!
You would need some basic tools, a pair of pliers with cutters, a hammer and a metal file or a rotary tool.
If you have a Dremel, you can complete the whole process much faster.
Step 1: Finding a Donor and Dismantling.
You would need a donor umbrella with metal components, preferably a discarded or broken one. Recycle my friends, recycle!
If your umbrella ribs and stretchers are made out of carbon fiber, you cannot use those, just post it to me instead of throwing it away, I can make some very fine darts out of those rods and share it here with you.
Start by cutting out the canopy (the fabric) from the frame.
Then disassemble the ribs and stretchers from the hubs. They are usually bound by wires, you can either cut them or twist them to open with a pair of pliers.
Cut or drill out the rivets holding the ribs and stretchers so that they can be completely disassembled.
You will get 3 components out of it, the ribs (longest part), the stretcher (same as the ribs but thicker and shorter) and part of the stretcher, a solid small diameter steel rod.
The components as per the picture. I have cut the ribs into 2 parts as it is very long, you are going to cut it anyway, might as well do it earlier.
Step 2: Cutting Up the Ribs and Stretcher.
The ribs can be cut into 5 pieces each rod. I like mine to be around 4 inches to 5 inches as lighter darts would mean a flatter trajectory, hence more accuracy. I ended up with 40 pieces from the ribs alone.
Discard the joints from the ribs (as per picture).
The U-channel stretcher can be cut into 8 pieces per part. That means a total of 64 pieces of potential broadheads!
Lastly, the solid small sized rods would be easiest to process, you do not have to cut it up. The size is good as it is and you end up with 8 pieces of it.
Step 3: Making of the Broadheads.
We start off with the easiest, take the small solid rod, file it to a point and attach a cone. You can surf for other instructables on the making of a dart cone, I do not have to repeat the process as they are all the same. You can get 8 pieces of target darts this easy.
These darts are no good for hunting as they are too small to do any considerable damage.
Making the broadhead from the ribs and stretchers wool be the same. Flatten the tip of the U-channel beam with your hammer. Cut a pointed tip with the cutters and sharpen it with your metal file or Dremel. Attach cones to the now sharpened ribs.
As for the stretcher broadheads, you can clamp the sharpened broadhead to your regular bamboo dart to make it even deadlier.
The pictures are self-explanatory, you just need a bit of imagination in putting things together.
These darts can be bloody sharp and cuts like a knife, depending on your sharpening skills of course, so practice hunting with care and keep darts out of children's reach.
Step 4: Please Use With Care.
These darts can be lethal so exercise care when using it or even when storing it. I keep all my darts in PET bottles from carbonated drinks, fruit juices, mineral water etc. The bottles are kept locked and out of children's reach at all times.
Do not shoot at your fellow humans and pets if you do not want to get on the wrong side of the law.
I have used these darts on BIG rats and they expire in seconds. So please use with care.