I thought it would be fun to have a dart set-up at our house. Only problem is that we don’t have a space that makes sense to be a full time dart alley (arena? stadium? pitch?). Anyway, I thought of doing something portable that you could set-up where your car normally goes and take it down when you want your car to go there. Here’s the story of my build, so that you may partake in the joys of darting bulls-eyes too!
Dart boards are heavier than you remember. I’ll bet the one I purchased weighs in at a hefty 6lbs, just based on my butt scale. Because of this, you need to make sure your easel is half-way sturdy. Also, you’re firing projectiles at it so you don’t want it to be unstable laterally. It can’t be flapping around. My bill of materials was simple; 1. find something tripody that’s inexpensive and easily modded, 2. Buy a dartboard, 3. Use stuff from my treasure trove of saved crap in my workshop to marry the two together. 4. A backboard 5. Floor mats to save the darts from concrete. With my list in hand, I was off to the store.
I picked up this easel from the big box art supply place. It’s called a field easel. I guess the makers of this “field”easel were envisioning their customers hiking out to the local marshland to capture its riparian splendor in all its ducky and grassy and watery glory. Mine’s gonna be a dartboard support. It was on clearance for $39.00! I also grabbed one of those science fair tri-fold displays to use as a backboard.
I also picked up a dartboard, ‘workout’ mats and a 20lb kettlebell (unrelated) from Canadian Tire. For you non-Canadians, Canadian Tire is like if Walmart, Home Depot and Costco had a baby...but without groceries, lumber or a pharmacy. With all my materials, I set home to figure out how to put it all together.
My concept was to build something that would support the dartboard on the easel where sweet artwork would normally be held. The dartboard has a screw right in the center that is designed to slide into a bracket that you normally screw into a wall. I had some scraps of wood leftover from my Ikea Pedalboard build, so I used them for the brace. Here’s a photo of it sitting on the easel.
Because of it’s weight, I decided to add a block to the top that would basically hang the dartboard and bracket from the top of the easel. The bottom bracket is just to add additional stability.
Now, the next thing to tackle was how to hold the bracket firmly in place so it didn’t spontaneously fall apart like an E39's cupholder. I rummaged through what I like to call my MacGyver bins (my wife calls them my junk drawers of crap) for inspiration. The stuff in those shop drawers, leftover stuff from old projects or repair work on the cars or the house, have saved me so many times. If it’s got a thread or is made of metal or rubber, it never gets thrown out.
Here’s what I came up with. Astute readers will see I used a toilet stud and a light fixture bracket to create a captured bolt for the back of my bracket (junk drawers of crap my ass)
Because I used the toilet stud, I had a perfect wing nut to go with it!
I put the spacer in the slat of the easel to prevent the easel support from bowing when I tighten the nut, giving it a solid stack-up.
So there you have it. Everything folds down and comes apart for storage, you can easily adjust everything for proper height. I marked off the floor so i don’t have to remeasure every time.
This is the after picture of a fairly rambunctious night of drinking and darts, proof that this monstrosity actually works!
So the next time someone tells you that your home is not “set-up for darts”, you tell ‘em that with a bit of work, and a parts bin full of crap, ANY house can be a dart house.