Target Darts.

Grippy Smooth Silver Points – A simple DIY way
Quite often I’m picking up a dart off the floor because the dartboard has squeezed it out like a zit.  Sometimes I can see it happen in slow motion while I line my next dart up... I’m sure you’ve seen it happen yourself… I end up trying to throw a dart under the falling dart to prop it up and stop it coming out the board. lol

It doesn’t really bother me too much at home while practicing, but in a match… now that’s a different story, and valuable scoring is being wasted.  So today I decided to attempt to add some grip to my match darts, without wrecking them, and hopefully keeping them looking as tidy as possible.

     
Here’s the comparison… Standard points are on the left.  Modified points on the right, with an almost machined look.  Dart 4 & 5 look a bit copper coloured near the tip but in real life they are as clean as dart 6.

The result…
I threw the darts back to back with unmodified ones and I can’t tell a difference in depth the darts penetrate a Blade 4 dartboard. You certainly feel the difference pulling them out though.  Oh, and if you use tridents like me you’ll notice these are harder to get back on and take off too.

     

So now I have a tidy looking dart point and they're grippy.  :-)





For those that'd like to know how I did it, read on…

Bear in mind this method might be tricky with tapered or funky shaped barrels.  You might have to experiment or maybe clamp using a dart stem instead of the barrel.

Tools:
  1. Battery powered drill; set in reverse gear (I’m fussy, I used the drill in reverse to get the micro scratches the direction of normal thread)
  2. A used P180 Bosch orbital sanding pad for wood (I'm sure any 180 grit sandpaper would work the same, if you try it test it first on something that don't matter)

Method:
  1. Remove everything from the dart to leave just the barrel and point.

  2. Lightly tighten a barrel in the drill, like in this picture (wrap some paper, thin card, masking tape etc around the barrel to protect it from any marks from tightening it up in your drill chuck.
       

  3. Lightly pinch the sanding pad around the dart point close to the barrel and start up the drill.  (Starting at the barrel and working your way out to the tip is the safest direction to do this).  If the drill has variable trigger speed, use it to start the drill slowly for safety.  You don’t need the drill on a fast speed because it would likely warm your fingers up a bit if you pinch too hard and cause too much friction.
       

  4. While keeping the drill running; use a continuous and steady motion and move the sanding pad in the direction toward the tip of the dart point. (I’d say it took me about 5 seconds from barrel to tip).  Repeat this (from barrel to tip) until you have a nice uniform circular fine scratch along the entire point. It took me about 5 passes to get the effect I wanted with a used sanding pad.
       

  5. That’s it… Now repeat the process with the remaining darts.  
    Note:  Don’t use the same part of the sanding pad because as it gets too worn it will just polish your dart points and not give you clean fine scratches that you want.

The micro scratches have shown a negligible difference to the diameter of the point (less than 0.01mm).  

Points I have tried with this method:
Designa silver 35mm – They turned a copper colour at first but after a few more passes it gets past this thin layer and back to silver again.  
Unicorn silver 35mm - The points used in this tutorial.
Masterdarts silver 32mm - Worked well

Although I have used the above points with success, I cannot guarantee the same for your points.


DISCLAIMER
If you intend doing this yourself then PLEASE be careful.  If you are not confident using the tools in this way yourself then DON’T do it, ask someone with experience to do it for you.  It is easy to do but you need to be aware of the possible dangers of a spinning drill and the actions involved.  I take NO responsibility for anyone following this method.



Thanks for reading and I hope someone finds this useful at some ‘point’.



Update: 2.5 months on and the points are still as grippy and tidy as when I first did this.   :-)
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They will look shiny now but with all points I scuffed they started to corrode slightly after a while. It will probably be no different with this method because the original layer is sanded off.

However I have quite sweaty hands sometimes and hold my darts with the non throwing hand by the points alot, sometimes grip them by the point too depending on the dart. So people who don't usually touch the points might keep the shiny look.
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I did it for the grip not for shiny.
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(06-15-2016, 09:01 PM)Swiiiitch Wrote: I did it for the grip not for shiny.
Yes I get that is the main goal but you also stated "to keep them looking as tidy as possible" so I thought you meant them to look non scuffed/worn. Which they do though Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images. For me scuffing by hand with either sandpaper or a sharpener will suffice but might try this sometime.
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I see... when I wrote "to keep them as tidy as possible" I meant doing a tidy mod and not make a pigs ear out of it.  Writing eligable content is not my best asset. Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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Very nice Mod! Very finished! Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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I do it with my dart sharpener.
It doesn't look as good as yours in the end. But they get very grippy.
As a second option, why not change the points? I prefer. I changed the point of some sets I have.
But nice tip anyway.
Thanks.


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You might find that you get a better finish using 150 or 180 grade wet/dry paper used wet.
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lucas bittencourt Wrote:why not change the points?
I'll spend only if I have to... haha

I like plain silver points on my darts, I don't know why but I always have. The points in this topic are only a couple of months old, but they are not naturally grippy from the start.  I was looking for a cheap simple solution to add grip to my favourite type of point (making them grippy similar to black points) without making them look shabby.  

Besides, it takes less time to do this once in a while than change them.

little al Wrote:You might find that you get a better finish using 150 or 180 grade wet/dry paper used wet.
Then I would lose the grip.
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(06-16-2016, 10:46 AM)Swiiiitch Wrote:
lucas bittencourt Wrote:why not change the points?
I'll spend only if I have to... haha

I like plain silver points on my darts, I don't know why but I always have. The points in this topic are only a couple of months old, but they are not naturally grippy from the start.  I was looking for a cheap simple solution to add grip to my favourite type of point (making them grippy similar to black points) without making them look shabby.  

Besides, it takes less time to do this once in a while than change them.

little al Wrote:You might find that you get a better finish using 150 or 180 grade wet/dry paper used wet.
Then I would lose the grip.
 No the grade of paper gives you the grip a 180 grade of wet & dry will give you the same tram tracks as dry paper of the same grade it clears away the swarf/chippings better
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Nice detailed post! +1 from me Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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(06-16-2016, 11:24 AM)Little al Wrote:
(06-16-2016, 10:46 AM)Swiiiitch Wrote:
little al Wrote:You might find that you get a better finish using 150 or 180 grade wet/dry paper used wet.
Then I would lose the grip.
 No the grade of paper gives you the grip a 180 grade of wet & dry will give you the same tram tracks as dry paper of the same grade it clears away the swarf/chippings better
I agree wet paper does create a better finish than dry but it also makes a right mess in your hands and everywhere else too.  Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

The dry sanding pad I used was the best solution I had to hand and it's much cleaner to work with.  It left a very negligable amount of dust, easily cleaned up with a dry kitchen towel.  Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.


@Grip
Thanks :thumbup:
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excellent! I cant believe I hadn't thought of this before. I used to scratch my points up with a dart sharpener. I tried using my belt sander but even with a high grit belt it took a little too much off. I like this idea much better because you can vary the speed up and as you said, you can go in reverse and get out of all of the other scratches.

nice job.
MC
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Thanks MC, yes it's a simple and effective method that can get overlooked... For me tonight it worked really well, probably too well... I just got back from a match and for the first few games I were tugging the darts out the board because of the extra grip I was getting and ended up pulling flights off and leaving them on the throw line without realising.  Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.  I did it twice.  I soon got the hang of it though.  Later in the match I hit a 180, with one of the darts just hanging in there thanks to this mod.  Nice... Happy night of darts Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.


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i tried this over the weekend and it worked out really really well. it lasts a lot longer than just scratching it with a stone. when i throw i always have one finger on the point of the dart so when i do scratch or scuff up the point it usually only lasts maybe a few hours because of my touching the points all the time. but this has lasted 3 days so far. another thing i like about it is that it only takes a second and it doesnt seem to wear the point down very much at all. obviously if you are using sandpaper on metal you are removing a little bit of metal, but i just hit it about 2 - 4 seconds on low speed on the drill and using my digital calipers the difference was so negligible that it didnt even measure.

good tip!
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