How To Make Your Own Dartboard

Following these easy steps for building your own dartboard, and enjoy this bar-room activity in your own home.

If you've taken the time to look around, you'll notice that dartboards are fairly expensive. Why spend the cash on something when you can just as easily make one yourself? Making a dartboard is a fun and easy way to get new sports equipment for your home, while using your own skills and know-how along the way. With this handy guide, you'll be making a dartboard in no time, and soon you'll be enjoying the traditional pub game in your own home.

First, find an appropriate piece of material to work with. Too thin or light and the darts will not stick in the board properly and might fall out. Even worse, they may punch clear through the material and leave your walls full of tiny holes. Too thick or sturdy, however, and the darts may not be able to pierce the material at all, eliminating the fun of the game. A hard board can also ruin your darts, bending their tips or breaking them. For this reason, stay away from wood boards.

Instead, try and find a piece of cork, such as you can find in post boards or note boards. Most office supply stores carry these types of boards, but you can also often find them at garage sales or second-hand shops. If the cork is too thin, you can line up multiple layers of the material, securing them to each other with wood glue or other epoxy. The end result should be cork about 1 or 1½ inches thick, to protect your wall and give the darts enough material to stick into. If you have extra materials handy you may want to consider making a backboard for the dartboard, to catch any stray darts that miss the actual board. It may save you considerable wear on your walls. For a more in-depth project, the do-it-yourselfer can also make their own dartboard cabinet, with places to store extra darts, the board, as well as a nice design for when the dartboard is not in use.

Once you have your cork material ready, and at the appropriate thickness, it's time to cut the material into the correct shape. As you know, dartboards are circular, and should be exactly 18 inches in diameter. Use a ruler to mark out the circumference, then trace out the size of the circle and cut away the extra materials. Now you are ready to mark out the basic layout of the dartboard.

While the face of a dartboard may seem fairly complicated, it is simplified by the fact that all dartboards are standardized. If you have trouble, just find another dartboard and copy the same layout. With that in mind, in case things get complicated, here is a brief summary of how to mark out the face of the dartboard. First, you should mark out the inner rings of the dartboard. There are six rings to worry about: the inner bull's-eye, the outer bull's-eye, the inner and outer edges of the double ring and the inner and outer edges of the triple ring. We'll take this one step at a time.

The bull's-eye is the easiest to mark. Just measure a small circle with a diameter of half an inch at the center of the board. This is the inner bull's-eye. Next, mark a slightly larger circle around this one with a diameter of 1.25 inches. This is the outer bull's-eye. The inner bull's-eye is generally colored black and the outer is colored red.

Next, mark out a larger circle by measuring 4.25 inches from the center of the board. This will be the outer edge of your triple-score band. Mark a thin band with a width of 8mm (or 5/16 of an inch) inside this circle. This is the triple score ring. Finally, do the same with a larger circle measured out 6.75 inches from the center of the board. Another ring, with a width of 8mm will complete the double-score ring and finish the layout of your dartboard.

Next, divide the board into 20 equal sections, radiating out from the bull's-eye. The bull's-eye is not divided, but the double and triple rings are. Each slice of the board has a particular number assigned to it, with the slice on the top always marked as 20. Now that you've got the rings and slices marked out on your board, you can divide the sections with thin metal wire if you wish to give your dartboard a professional look.

You can buy spider wire at all major dart supply shops, the standard material used to divide sections of the dartboard. The spider wire is often useful in that it clearly marks which darts land in which sections. Secure the wire along the lines you have marked on the board with small metal staples. Regular staples work well, and standard dart staples are also available at most equipment shops. Finally you are ready to mount your completed dartboard!

The board should rest approximately 5 feet 8 inches off the floor. That's just about eye level for most people, but feel free to adjust it to where you feel comfortable. The standard height is 5 feet 8 inches from the center of the board. Measure out from the wall approximately 7 feet 9 inches, and mark a line where the players will stand to throw the darts. If you want, you can mark a second line closer in, where younger or inexperienced players can shoot from.

Pick an area with low traffic and no intervening objects to mount the board. There should not be any valuable or breakable objects anywhere near the dartboard, as darts can rebound off the board and hit nearby objects. Next, make sure the dartboard is secure against the wall and will not move or fall off when hit with a dart. If possible, use multiple hooks or straps to hold the board in place, as you will be pushing and pulling the darts in and out of the board often. You can buy board fasteners at dart equipment supply shops, designed to secure a dartboard effectively. You do not want your board falling down, so take the time to secure the board properly. Now that your board is up and ready to be used, go out and get some darts and start playing!

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