Thursday, May 25, 2006

24 gram Bumble Bees

My beautiful wife, whose opinion is invaluable to me, has determined that this is the best possible configuration for these darts. As always, her taste is flawless. And indeed when we still lived in Seattle and we would occasionally go to the bars she would use these darts exactly like this. I have also thrown them so configured and they are surprisingly easy to throw well. My normal opinion of micro shafts is that they belong on really long darts or no where at all, but here they work. These darts I bought from Mueller a few years ago and when I bought them they were called 20/20's. These days you see them around the net as "Chunky Stubbies". I think of them as my Bumble Bees. I do not throw these very often and that is partly because I used to think that they are so hard to configure well. They need either a really long stem or a short aluminum stem, and require a standard sized flight. Since then however, I have learned how to throw a small flighted dart. I think I'll give these another run.

Points: Fixed
Barrels: 24 gram 20/20's
Stems: Micro Aluminum
Flights: Smooth Mini Polys

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I am very glad I decided to back blog my various collections. This way I can simply go to the Month that holds the collection I am looking for and peruse. Usually I keep all my darts in their cases in a box in the attic or somewhere else due to the occasional bout of minimalism that comes over me. So when I am feeling restless with a particular set of darts I can take a quick look at my collection without having to break them all out. I know what I have by scrolling down the page. I did this the other day and saw my KC's by Laserdarts and decided to break them out and see how they did with the nylon dynastar stems I have been using lately.

Wow am I glad I did. I have been burning up the board with them. A week or so ago I did a best of three match against mcvickj on ezchalk and I won in two. And that is saying something because he is quite a good shot! In practice with them I hit several 120+ shots a couple ton-40's and even a Faux Max. The hat trick shot below is what made me think of the idea of "rediscovering" darts.

It seems that one of the benefits of owning a lot of sets of darts is the opportunity to see starkly how your throw has changed. And I believe that sometimes our throw changes without our realizing it. It is similar to owning a puppy and thinking that she seems to have stopped growing but your neighbor says: "Everytime I see her she is so much bigger!" Because we live with our throw every day we do not notice the microscopic changes that settle in. But pickup a set of darts you used to throw with and it is more obvious that something is different. The KC's for example were fun when I first got them but I eventually set them aside because I thought they just were not throwing well for me. Now I think my throw has improved to the point where I can use them with reasonable success.

Changing stem or flight preference is another great way to rediscover old darts. I have fallen back into the spinning flight frame of mind and I have been using my dynastars lately. I have changed my stem and flight preference many time in the past and it seems that when I do I always break out the darts again thinking, "I wonder how these would do on GT's..." etc etc. In the weeks the have passed since I started this post I have now moved on to my old favs the 16 gram Radarts with dynastar stem and flight.

I like them quite well. ;)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Dynamod Generation 2

My first attempt at the dynamod lasted for a couple of years or maybe more before I was forced to find a a new system. The fatal flaw with the first system was that I was using the rubber gasket from the GT push-in shaft system and the rubber dried up and got weak. And moving the dynamods from dart to dart and back again (I have several weights of GT darts) further weakened it. I guess it was inevitable that the system would eventually break down. The next generation of dynamod is much more solid and much more movable from dart to dart.

While dart surfing one day I came across the spinning flight system over at and noticed something I'd never seen before. The Pro-Line Dynastar stems. They are these tiny little stems with very small threading designed for the Dynastar (or Pro Line) dart line. I bought a set of them hoping it would be the same thread size as what is used for the GT stems. Alas, it was not. The pro-line stem was much smaller threaded than the GT stems and did not fit the GT at all. I shrugged it off as a failed experiment and set it down for a while.

But look:

I found a way to do it. I ordered a sample of surgical micro-tubing for a different project I'd been working on and I decided to see what would happen if I used a small length of that tubing as a buffer between dart and stem. So I screwed the pro-line stem into the capilary tubing first, cut the tubing off at the end of the stem with a razor, and then screwed that into the back of the GT dart and voila! Perfect fit. It is snug too. I can try pushing the stem left and right and there is virtually no give so it is as if the threading were in the perfectly. In fact it is so snug that I needed to use some plyers to finish screwing the stem in the rest of the way. In the picture you can see the stem, the 2ba adaptor for the stem, as well as the stem in the dart itself. I am very happy with this arrangement, and I have been throwing the Gen-2 Dynamod on my 20 gram GT2's for a couple of weeks now very happily and I have seen no signs of weakness in the new system. However, I have commisioned the creation of yet another generation of dynamod!! More on that later.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Dynamod Generation 1

For those of us who really like the GT line of darts and who also really like the Dynastar stem and flight system we are constantly caught betwixt two opposing worlds. The GT takes only it's own proprietary shaft system and the dynastar stems come in either 2ba thread or this other very tiny thread meant only for the "Pro-Line" line of soft tip darts.

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
--Rudyard Kipling

However, there is good news: I am working steadily at forcing Earth and Sky before the Judgement Seat with at least two different modifications, and maybe a third, for the dynastar system, which I am dubbing the Dynamod. The GT line of darts is just absolutely terrific. I cannot sing it's praises highly enough. The taper is so salient and supple that any person is compelled to pick it up and throw it at something. The progressive forward weightedness of the dart barrel is very forgiving and will correct many subtle flaws in form and execution. Thus it is the perfect barrel style for me.

I feel similarly about the dynastar system. I like the free spinningness of it, as the slightest whisper of a breeze will send it into a blurring frenzy as it spins on the little wire stem effortlessly. The molded flights are always square, and the whole system resists robin hooding better than any other stem and flight system out there. So it just seems natural to somehow strive to combine the two systems into one dart.

My first effort at this unholy union can be seen below. It all started one night when I was tossing darts and I was using a dynastar stem in a regular, 2ba threaded dart. The stem was nylon with the nylon part very short and the wire stem longer. I did something and I cannot remember what but the result was that the little wire stem came clean out of the nylon base!! I was surprised to see that the stem came out so easily, but nonetheless there it was.

This was back in the days when GT darts only had the push in style stems that had the little rubber housings that held the metal stem that pushed into the back of the dart (oddly hard to describe...). It occured to me to wonder if perhaps the wire stem that has come loose from the nylon base of the dynastar stem might not fit into the rubber gasket portion of the GT stem. Alas it did not. However, it spawned the following idea:

What I did was I wrapped some scotch tape around one end of the dyna-wire to make it thick enough to fit in the gasket snugly, then I bought some of the heat-shrink tubing from a hobby store. I cut the heat-shrink tubing to fit and used my heat gun to form it onto the entire assembly. The result was a slightly unattraactive dynamod for my GT's. When I first put this ssytem together I had not yet started blogging and I did not have a digital camera, whatsmore I only had my 28 gram GT's. I do not have a picture but the dynamod is easily transferable to any GT dart. The darts in the pic above are 20 gram GT2's. This was my dynamod for several years. Until the rubber gasket from one of them broke off inside one of my darts!! Time for a new plan. More to come.

Friday, May 12, 2006

12th Lifetime Ton-80

Last night I was in an excellent beer bar for a Belgian beer fest and they had a dart board. So my friends and I got up to toss a couple. It was only a soft tip board, but we had fun despite that short coming. I'd forgotten how big the targets are on a soft tip board!! I happened to have my "just in case" darts with me which can be configured for either steel or soft, and for once in a long long time, I was required to load the plastic tips instead of the steels to get some darts in. Here is the set we used, and which I ton-80'd with:

They weigh in at 17 grams in this configuration. As seen they are wearing dynastar stems and flights and have the lightest, brass, insert in them to make them light ennough for soft tip. When I have them built for steel tip I have the tungsten inserts in them which adds about four mor grams per dart. We started out playing "Cricket/200" and to be honest I have no idea what the heck the 200 means, as I tried to get 200 points to win but that didn't work. I ended up having to close everything and then I won. After years of steel tip the soft tip world has become a mystery to me. At anyrate the guys I was playing with were not very good but they enjoyed it well enough. I talked them into playing SIDO 701, and in this game I got several tons, a ton 40 and this is when the ton-80 occurred. I do not have a picture unfortunately. I asked the guys if they had a picture phone and they said no. :( I finished that game with a two dart out. I had 73 left, stepped up to the oche and hit trip-19 double-16 as casual as you please, still holding one of my darts. It was fun.

But I wish they'd had a steel tip board.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Fairway Darts

I found this board on ebay and managed to win it uncontested for ten dollars. Probably the best deal I have ever seen for a dartboard. The board itself is a sisal board and as we all know, unique and rare sisal boards are nice to find. Paper wound unusual boards are a dime a dozen as are many of the American made wooden dartboards. But since a sisal dartboard is so much more difficult to make than a wooden board (the process and materials I mean), and so much more expensive than a paper wound board, there are fewer of them.

Fairway darts is the third golf related board I have purchased for my collection. It isn't as well known as the Par-Darts board (I had never seen it before) and not as complete or pretty as the Club House Golf board but it is still a nice high quality board. I have scoured the internet looking for mention of this board and I have not seen a single reference anywhere. Not a mention in any google page or dartboard collection page. This is good from a collector's perspective because that makes it rare, but it is bad because I have no idea who made it, and no idea what the rules for the game are.

So here is a call for help: anyone with any information on this board, the maker, the era, or the rules, please let me know. Thanks!