Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Website Woes

Happy to say I think my website is back under control - it's been a tough couple months.  Long story short I have a new web hosting service and all my stuff has been migrated over.  I've also got a bunch of dart cases back in stock!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Out of Stock?!?!?!

Yes, I'm currently out of stock but no worries, there's a new batch on the way.  In a week or so I should have all wood types back online, if you'd like to be notified when they're ready just email Pat at and I'll be in touch.

Monday, December 15, 2014

3D Engraving

Ok, so it's really 2 1/2 D but anyway, one of the coolest tools in the shop is my little baby CNC so lets talk about it!

It's got a 7 1/2" table and is driven by a computer upstairs that I control with the tablet shown (remote desktop) - yes, I did drill a hole in the floor to make this happen but it was in the closet, don't tell my wife.

I use a program called CamBam to generate a gcode file and then load that into Mach 3 which is what actually controls the engraver.  In the videos below I'm using a model purchased from VectorArt3d called Mountains and Forest, pulled it into CamBam, set the depths, size, bit size, etc.  If I were doing text or a logo I'd go through the same process.  The actual engraving for a 3D model is a lot more involved than straight text or shapes (which is why its expensive).

For the first pass I use a 2mm bit in 'waterfall mode' this means it calculates how much material it can take off by following the contours (as opposed to scanning back and forth).  In the video above it has finished the waterfall and is starting on the second pass (1mm bit, very little overlap).

Here we're starting the third pass with a .5mm bit horizontally this time.

and here we're getting towards the end.  I then go over it with a polishing wheel on a dremel to take out any remaining scan lines and refinish to match the rest of the case.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

New Web Site!

Check out our new look!

Built by yours truly using wordpress, this site has a device independent responsive design, built in inventory management, affiliate program, shipping calculations, order notifications and social media links plus the standard eCommerce shopping cart stuff.  The goal was a user friendly store with a clean look and all the bells and whistles that go into a modern website, it was a lot of work but I'm very happy with the results and hope you will be as well.  Enjoy!  

Saturday, August 30, 2014

New Option

Yes - so, it's been a while since I've done any blogging, no worries all is well, just cranking out dart cases with nothing major to report. Until today! I had a customer request that I liked so much I had to share it.

As I'm sure you know one of the more popular customizations I do is a magnetic dart board emblem on the front of the case, this allows you to further customize your case by getting a 1 inch golf ball marker of you favorite team, or logo or whatever and using it instead of the included dart board emblem. It can also be used for a coin flip (that's how my local league determines who has first crack at the cork to start the game). You can get golf ball markers anywhere and they're almost always magnetic because many golfers use magnets to secure them to their hat, here's an example

Now then, the magnet that holds the emblem is very strong so to make it easy to remove I add a small indentation to the side so you can get a finger nail under the edge and pop it off.  Recently I had a request to use a hole from the back instead so you could push the emblem out with a dart tip instead of making an indentation on the front.  Enough gabbing, lets take a look!

Personally, I like the quick access of the indentation (left pic) for a coin flip, because you don't have to open the case to remove the emblem, which I do quite often in the course of a league night.  The 'poke hole' (on the right) however is a cleaner look and if you don't use it for a coin flip that much, or don't mind the extra step of opening the case, this might be for you.  I don't have it as an option on the order page yet but if you'd prefer this style just shoot me an email with your order, the cost is the same either way.

Shoot'em straight!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Just in time for Christmas I just put a new batch online! If you check my recent posts you'll see I've made some design changes over the last year or so and I'm pleased to say they have all worked out great. The new magnets and hinges really look sharp and perform as well as expected. The cnc engraving machine has also been a big hit thanks to Zen Toolworks (

If you're looking for something really unique let me know, I have a handful of special edition cocobolo cases on hand that haven't made it onto the website. I can send more info/pics if you're interested.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Out of Stock?

Yep - out of stock. But don't despair, I've got 30 more almost ready to go, I should be able to wrap them up in the next couple of days. Please let me know if you'd like to be notified when they're done.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Good News!

FINALLY - I've got a bunch of new dart cases ready to go online. I made some modifications to the design to account for changes outlined in previous entries (hidden hinges and round rare-earth magnets) and it took some time to go through the whole prototyping and approval process. I've got about 30 ready to go and wooden parts for 100 or so more so hopefully it'll be a while before I run out again.

I'm also excited to announce that I've added an engraving machine to the workshop and can now put names, initials, nicknames, etc on the front of the cases. There is also the option to have a dartboard emblem inset into the front of the case. Contact me ( for a quote, engraving starts at $15 and a dartboard is $5.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Christmas is coming

I've got 44 more cases in various stages of completion, they should be done next week - just in time for Christmas!

For this batch I'm going with a different magnet. I've been using ceramic ones forever but they're not always the same size so I've had to chistle/force them into the pocket that holds them and that's just not how things should be. So, welcome to the world of rare earth (Neodymium) magnets. These have the look and feel of metal, are incredibly strong and have a countersunk hole in the middle so I can screw them in place (attaching metal to wood using glue is tricky). They are also perfectly round and exactly 1/2" inch in diameter so a forstner (flat bottom) bit and a #4 screw should be just what I'm after.

If you've followed my old posts you know I don't make these changes lightly or without a lot of research and experimentation. I think this is a definite improvement and if I like them, I'm sure you will too.

I'm also dabbling with a facebook 'in the workshop' page so stay tuned!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Ok so, hinges have been a nightmare. My beautiful brass 3/4" x 4" hinges have been discontinued and are getting really hard to find. I did manage to get 28 of them but with the new batch going online today I used up more than half.

The good news is that I found an alternative that doesn't compromise the quality of the cases - in my view it is actually an improvement. It's called a barbed or kerf-cut hinge. It fits into a slot on the inside of the case so the entire hinge is hidden from view except for the knuckle. If I use the offset variety the case will still open 180 degrees to lay flat when it's open and it exposes a lot of wood that was previously hidden behind the brass piano hinge. I have to buy a special blade and arbor to cut the slots for them but the hinges themselves are easy to find and I can get them in bulk.

I'll put pictures up when I've completed a couple and tested them out.

Since I've been out for so long and there were a number of people waiting I expect this batch to go fast so I'm already starting another one.

Happy darting!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

New Batch on the Way

As you can see, I'm once again out of stock but don't dispair! I've got 18 more dart cases in progress (including all wood types) that should be done soon - I'm waiting on hinges again, hopefully things will go smoother than last time.

So anyway, if you'd like to be notified when they're available please shoot me an email at

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Batch is Online

I just added a bunch of Cherry and Walnut cases to the site, unfortunately I am out of Mahogany blanks. I've got some on order but they won't be in for four to six weeks. If you would like to be notified when they are back in stock shoot me an email at and I'll be in touch.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Sorry for the delay on the next batch of cases - my hinges were on back order, then the order got screwed up so they had to order them anyway, I'm told I should get fifty hinges *sometime this week*.

If you'd like to be notified when the cases are ready let me know and I'll email when they're done.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

New Batch On The Way

As you can see from my inventory I'm down to one single Walnut case but have no fear, I'm starting on a batch of twenty or so that should be online next week.

If you're waiting on a particular wood type, drop me an email and I'll be happy to notify you when they're ready.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mods and Fixes

I've had a number of requests for modifications from people who's darts won't fit into the cases as is, the overall dart dimensions are given on the design page (6.25" and 5/16" barrel diameters or less) and I've come up with a number of ways to meet their needs.

The length of the case is pretty much fixed, no way to grow the blanks longer than they are. I can, however, put longer flaps on the case so there is a more pronounced gap between the wooden end of the case and the enclosing flap. This bumps up the max allowed length by half an inch. Not a perfect solution by any means, the flights are less protected and, in my opinion anyway, it looks a little odd. I've had several people ask me to do it though and they always seem happy with the results.

More common are those folks throwing brass bombers - you've seen them, big, fat darts usually known as the dreaded 'house darts' you get from the bar if you left yours at home. Some people like them though and I do my best to accomodate. I have a half round, .5" router bit that I can put on the router table and with a properly positioned fence and stop blocks it's not a big trick to expand the grooves. I have a link on my site to a guy that makes wooden darts, turning them on a lathe and adding hardware, his darts come in at about .4" in diameter so this works well for those. Occasionally someone will have a set of darts right at the 5/16" limit and their darts catch on the epoxy covering the posts holding extra flights and coins - a couple passes over the epoxy with a fine grit piece of sandpaper usually takes care of this.

The next request is about flights, there are lots of different size flights out there, some of which are pretty big. I designed the case around what are called standard flights, some people call them kites. The larger flights, when on the darts usually fit within the case when they're on the darts, it's the pocket on the inside for spares that is sometimes an issue. A flat bottomed 1 1/4" forstner bit fixes this problem nicely by rounding/extending the top of the storage pocket to the desired size. A drill press with a clamp is absolutely required for this to keep things from moving around.

These are custom modifications and I usually charge an extra $10 to $15 due to the work involved, even with a method and some practice it takes time to set everything up and refinish the case once the modifications are done. Repairs are a different situation and are, of course, free of charge.

Scratches (a.k.a. character). I've never had a case actually returned due a scratch but there are some things you can do if it bugs you. The easiest is to get some furniture wax (I use minwax but I don't think it matters, there's a number of products out there that would work, I do however, prefer the paste type to any of the liquid ones) and buff lightly with a cotton cloth. This is also a good way to clean the case and make it look brand new. For a really deep scratch you can try putting a damp paper towel over the area and going over it *lightly* with a hot iron. The steam will penetrate the exposed wood and it will expand slightly. I haven't done it myself but I'm told it works. Personally I'd just buff it with wax and call it a sign of maturity (like my crows feet).

Snaps. The only reported problem I've had that resulted in someone mailing me a case to fix has been a snap that pulled free of the wood. There are #6 screws and super glue holding the snaps on the face of the case (see previous post) and they are very sturdy but wood being a wonderful unique material sometimes has weak spots and if the snap happens to be on top of one, there may be a problem. To fix it I use epoxy putty, this is a tube of two tone goo that you cut off a small piece and roll it in your fingers to mix together. You can find it in the plumbing section of almost any hardware store, it shapes like putty and hardens like steel so once it's worked into the hole where the screw pulled out it is important to scraped the top flat before it hardens. After the epoxy bonds and sets, I let it sit over night, then I redrill the hole on the drill press, squeeze in a good shot of super glue and replace the screw and snap *careful* to make sure it's not overtightened.

And that about it for reported problems, I did have a friend locally that leaves his case in the car and the temperature change caused the glue holding the metal emblem on the front to pop loose but that was easily fixed with a bit of epoxy (he used the gel type super glue and it held for a while but two part five minute epoxy gives a better bond).

I hope everyone had a good holiday season and is off to the start of a fabulous new year. Shoot well and point'em if they leave their twenty open.

Friday, December 5, 2008

New batch, day two.

Day two starts with more sanding, my trusty green scrubby pad lets me get into all the grooves and pockets. This gives a nice smooth surface and takes care of spots where the varnish may have dried unevenly. Next is a coat of furniture wax (I use minwax, same brand as the tung oil I prefer) applied with an old dart tshirt that has seen better days.

Now we're ready to drill holes - holes for the interior rubber strips, holes for the screws that hold the snaps in place on the front and flaps on the back and a 1" round, flat bottomed hole for the dart emblem. So yes, lots of holes, and we're not done yet. The brass hinge is placed in the routed slot for it then wrapped with rubber bands to hold everything together while the holes are drilled (six per hinge). I have a #3 self centering hinge drill bit that makes all the difference in the world - hinges, especially piano hinges are tricky, everything has to line up exactly or the case doesn't close properly. A drill press is a wonderful thing.

The interior strips to hold the coin and flights are cut from a bicycle inner tube. Gluing rubber to wood is difficult at best so I put small wire nails through the end of each rubber strip and then clip them off, creating a post in each end. These are glued into the holes I drilled for them earlier and a drop of epoxy on the top seals them in. Epoxy (the 2 part, 5 minute variety) also holds in the magnets and the emblem.

Last step is to put on the flaps, although I have to get them ready first. I order the flaps pre-cut but have to punch holes where screws and finishing washers hold the leather to the back of the case as well as setting the snaps. I have a hand held snap tool that does an excellent job, if you've ever used one of the snap sets that come with an 'anvil' and a hammer, this is way easier.

Screws hold the snap studs to the front of the case and the leather flaps to the back. I put a drop of super glue into the holes before the screws go in because this is the part of the case that takes the most strain. The only repairs I've had to do are due to snaps that pulled free of the wood. This is very rare and I haven't had a problem with it since I started putting superglue in the holes on the front.

So, that's the end of this batch, next time I'll talk about modifications and repairs that I've done over the years.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New batch, day one.

I started with blanks custom rounted from solid wood, there's a CNC supplier in Texas that does the work for me. The interior pockets have to line up exactly (we're talking 1/64") so the high precision CNC equipment does an excellent job. This run was five Cherry, five Mahogany and eight Walnut - Walnut being the one I run out of most often.

The first step is to cut the slots in the ends of the case, this is done using a jig and a dual combination miter saw (rotates to both plus and minus 45 degrees). The cuts are made from the inside of the open case, although it is still in two pieces. To create an X for each dart when the two pieces are put back together, that's 12 cuts per case so the jig comes in pretty handy. Because of the circular shape of the blade and the position of the jig, the angle at the end of the cut matches the bottom angle of a standard dart flight.


The next step is to route a slot for the hinges, a router table with a straight bit works well for this. Again, a jig is used to cut the right depth and width groove. Two cuts per case, one for each side. When placed together a 3/4" x 4" brass piano hinge fits exactly into the combined groove.

Then it's a matter of sanding and finishing. A belt sander works great for the front and the back but the rest must be sanded by hand, especially the edges of the grooves cut in the previous step. A 'green scrubby pad' works well for this - and is much less messy than steel wool. I then dip each side of each case completely in tung oil (a type of varnish), rub it in with a cotton cloth and put it in the rack to dry.

Thus ends the first day of dart case building, more to follow.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Hi Folks!

Welcome to my new website, redesigned just in time for the holidays.

I'll be starting a run of 18 cases this weekend and will post more as I go but for now,thanks for stopping by!