Monday, July 30, 2012

Dart Shooter - the video

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Experimental Dart Shooter

I always wanted to shoot steel darts (the type used for recreational dart games). However, this is not easy. Lots of hurdles. First, steel darts aren't made for shooting. Therefore you can't shoot them overly fast as the tips break on impact. Second, the fletching is very vulnerable, in fact not made for any kind of pressure. Third, they can be quite expensive.

I found some on amazon, at 40 cents a pop! Quite cheap, but they certainly do the job.

I made an experimental pistol with my idea of how to shoot them. Toothbrush heads to hold them in place, extremely prestretched rubber and a "pinching" method to keep the backside firmly on the string.

This works quite well, the darts fly 15 meters without any problems. They stick into anything they hit - wood, aluminum, plastic.

I think this can be optimized for more compact sizes, and probably with a pump action mechanism. I had to add string guides and work with the ideal string length a lot until everything worked smoothly.

The darts are not lethal I think, but a lot of fun to play with.Amazing, what 4 cm active band length can achieve! Also note that the bnand wear is very low, probably because there is no tapering, and the bands never touch anything.

Monday, July 23, 2012

New crossbow: Bullpup design, full length arrows

Bullpups always fascinated me. There is something elegant and minimalistic about these weapons - plus, they are compact, but without any compromises regarding their performance.

Made a new one this weekend, and I am quite happy with the result!

One of the forum members made a list of my "best crossbows" - he features 30 different weapons. I did not realize how many crossbows I made these last few years! But this one ranks high on my own list for sure.

The video also features Geoffroy's knife and also a test of "Shaka Zulu's wet dream" against the body armor. Guess who won? :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Wooden sheath!

I traded with Geoffroy Gautier, a French knife maker. His knife arrived today! I am amazed by the quality.

He even threw in several wonderful pieces of noble wood! Will make nice frames from them soon.

Geoffroy does not do leather, so there was no sheath. I am not great at sewing either, and a bit sick of all that kydex. So I decided to make a sheath from baltic birch plywood!

I "upholstered" the inside with leather, so the knife sits very tighly in the sheath. Two magnets hold it in place. I used a leather belt loop from the hardware store, the type they sell so you can hang in a hammer. 3 Euros. Can't make one for that price at home. Oiled the wood with dark gun stock oil.

I need my right side free so I can fish out slingshot ammo from my pocket, so I will wear it on my left side.

Added a hole (steel rod) for a paracord string that I can tie around my leg, just so the is no flapping. 

I am really happy with the result!


Monday, July 16, 2012

New title: Teutonic wood warlord

Gizmodo covers me every once in while, a great honor.

I simply love that site. The funny, pointy and often sarcastic texts are outstanding. When they featured my latest video yesterday, the author (Sam Biddle) called me a "Teutonic wood warlord". Made my day!

See the article over at gizmodo

Oh, and here is the video:

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Assegai Launcher!

Have made a huge crossbow today, chambered for the Cold Steel Short Assegai (actually the long version will fit, too).

See the Assegai on the Cold Steel homepage

Basically, a supersized version of the throwing knife shooter.

Total length is 220 cm (7,2 ft), weight is 8 kg (18 lb). A monster!

In order to master the huge draw weight (about 200 lb) and draw length (power stroke is 130 cm = 51"), you wrap the rope that is attached to the muzzle around a tree and lock the rope with a carabiner. Then you take the weapon between your legs and walk backwards, until the string locks in place.

Then you secure the front "tree" rope and load the Assegai from the muzzle side.

The power is absolutely phenomenal. It went clean through the double straw mat (that holds back arrows shot from 70 lb compound bow), and stuck in the wooden shed wall. It fire WAY harder than you can possibly stab or throw the weapon.

I think this is about the biggest crossbow that is still somewhat portable! Great fun. Will do the video tomorrow.

Friday, July 13, 2012

"Cancer" Zodiac prize

Here is my Zodiac Sign frame for "Cancer". Finished it a week ago, but never gotten around presenting it as I have been a bit sick.

The handle is based on the Zodiac symbol - like this:

Of course I had to "squeeze" the symbol to make a functional handle from it.

I chose the red cedar wood (because I found it fitting for cancer), and used a 14mm multiplex core.

The fork is 19mm multiplex, inked in red.

Banded it up with a light TBG set - this is surprisingly comfortable, and very lightweight!

It is the prize for this month's competition - but there are no candidates yet. A pity, but then again I may have to keep the slingshot - a nice piece for sure.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A trade with a great knife maker!

I recently got a message from Geoffroy Gautier, a master knife maker from France. He suggested a trade - and looking at the guy's website convinced me immediately.

Look at Geoffroy's site here!

I asked for a large knife (always my preference), and it so happened that he had the perfect blade for me. He used Wenge for the handle, very pretty! Can't wait for the parcel to arrive.

It is hard to come up with a worthy slingshot that matches this masterpiece... he is a slingshot newbie, so I selected a Panther frame (fork hits won't destroy the steel), and attached a "hammer" handle made from red cedar.

This came out great - one of the most comfortable handles I made so far. 

I still feel a bit bad because I think I got the more valuable product, but Geoffroy does not think so. Great guy for sure. 

Will make several different band sets for him!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Four-arrows-crossbow: Progress

Made some progress.

Camo paint job done, and I also optimized the handle. This is now as compact as can be. Not much longer than the arrows. Weight is 3,5 kg (7.7 lbs) - not so bad.

Here you can see the lock/trigger assembly. The "clothespins" are strengthened with steel for safety.

Here you can see that the toothbrush heads are protected against the rubber bands - otherwise the bands would simply rip them away. This way, only the brush hairs are unprotected.

The "fork" part looks a bit like an Inka symbol, don't you think? I believe that there is no way to make this any smaller.

Will have to re-attach the bands tonite. This is a really cool design, probably the first of its kind.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A better super slomo cam?

I have been using the Casio EX-F1 Pro for a looong time now. The low resolution at 1200 fps is quite annoying, but it is the best I could afford.

I am constantly monitoring ebay for a better one, though - and today, I placed a bid.

See the ebay auction

I suggested a much lower price than the seller asked for - now he has 2 days time to accept or deny. Wish me luck!

Here is the camera specs - 4800 images per second at 800x600!

See the manufacturer specs (pdf)

I know this is a good camera, because it is almost the same model Destin brought a few months ago.