No family room or rec room is complete without a dartboard. Learning how to make a dartboard will allow you to customize it based on who’s going to use it, playing style, and more. You can make a dartboard out of a variety of materials, however, the classic cork dartboard is by far the easiest to make, although many people prefer using a good bristle dartboard, since it provides a great playing surface. So, read on to learn how to make your own dartboard, following a few steps, what materials you’ll need, and how to set it up in your rec room or basement.
The Perfect Setup
A dartboard may be just what you need to bring family and friends together, to entertain the kids on a rainy day, or to train for an upcoming competition. If you love darts and you can’t seem to find the right dartboard, them making your own can be a great and affordable solution. There are many styles and types of boards to choose from, but here, I’ll go over how to make a classic cork board and what you can do to create your own custom dart setup in your family room, man cave, or basement.
The board is obviously the heart of a good bristle dartboard. These days, many sharp darts have been replaced by soft darts that have plastic tips, which can make it difficult to find a good sisal fiberboard these days. However, it’s worth making the effort to purchase one since they look better and last longer. You’ll also enjoy the solid thunking sound that makes throwing a dart feel more satisfying.
If you have a dartboard at home, then you should use metal darts. Look for a set of darts that come with fins and tips that are replaceable.
Cabinets are not a must, but many dart players prefer to use one since they will protect the dartboard from dust and debris and will protect the surrounding walls and objects from damage caused by a stray dart. The cabinet should be made out of wood that’s thick enough to hold up against stray darts. To learn more about choosing a cabinet for your new dartboard, click here to read my dartboard cabinet buyer’s guide.
Many dartboards are made out of cork. According to dart rules, the cork should be at least one and a half inches thick. This thickness prevents the dart from penetrating through the board and damaging the wall. The way the cork is mounted onto a piece of particleboard will help improve the level of protection to your wall while increasing the stability of your board. When you’re shopping for cork for your board, be sure it’s this thick and at least eighteen inches in diameter.
Dartboards are circular, so you’ll need to draw out a circle that’s eighteen inches in diameter. In order to do this, place a pin in the center of the board, attached to a string that’s approximately nine inches long, with a marker placed at the other end. Next, trace the circle, take a saw and cut it, trimming the edges for a smooth finish.
Marking the Board
Marking the different sections is the hardest part of making your own board. Be sure that you have the right colors for the job. To start, you’ll need to mark several concentric circles on the board, starting from the hole you made at the center.
The inner bullseye on the board should be half an inch in diameter. The outer bullseye will be approximately one and a quarter inches in diameter. Next, mark circles at seven inches and eight and a half inches. This will result in the triple score ring. Last of all, make some more circles at twelve inches and thirteen and a half inches in order to create a double score band.
This provides the basis of a board, however, you will also need to dive the board up into twenty equal sections. Avoid making the divisions in the outer and inner bullseyes. The easiest way to accomplish this is to use a basic board as your template, then simply copy the layout. You can also make a template using some cardboard or another type of material to trace around.
You can also add some wire, applying it over the dividing lines between each of the board’s sections.
Setting Up Your New Board
A dartboard doesn’t take up much space and it’s a great way to practice dart drills, which is one of the many reasons people choose them for smaller family rooms. When you’re playing a round of darts, you’ll need to have more space than most people think, in order to cleanly throw a dart. The dart’s path should be away from windows and doors. Ideally, it should hug the side of one wall.
Try adding a dedicated light that will shine of the scoreboard and the board itself. This is a nice touch that won’t take a lot of money or too much time. Many people prefer to put in a standard ceiling light and a deflector addon, which will point the light directly at the board. Adding a dimmer is also a great option.
When playing darts, having a scoreboard on hand will make it easier to keep score. You can choose from a variety of systems including a whiteboard, chalkboard, or pen and paper.
Make a Drink Rail
Many players love installing a drink rail, which is a nice convenient space where you can place your drinks while you throw. You can make a drink rail pretty easily using some trim and standard dimensional lumber. Make it wide enough to hold a standard cup or a small snack bowl. Many people will stand near their drink, so be sure to make the dart path a bit off of the rail in order to give players some space.
If you don’t have a dartboard cabinet, then you may end up throwing a dart right into a wall. It’s important to plan on having a backstop behind your board. This dart backboard can be made out of covered cardboard, wood planks, or cork. You’ll need to use something that a dart will stick into, something thick enough that won’t show a hole when you pull the dart out.
You should plan on using a fairly large section for the backboard. I recommend a six to eight-inch clearance around each side. You can make your own backboard or you can purchase one online.
The throw line is the line that a player is supposed to stand at to throw the dart. You’ll need to have some way to marl this line. You can use a simple throw rug, mark the floor with some tape, or get creative and put down some tile or stain your floors. If you have a little extra money to spend, you can even buy a nice laser toe line marker to impress your friends.
Learning how to make a dartboard and creating the perfect setup at home will allow you to enjoy a game of darts, whenever you want, with family and friends. Making your own home setup is also affordable and easy to do, even if you’re not very savvy with power tools. This project is also a great one you can do with the kids. In the end, if you choose the right materials and follow the steps in this guide, you’ll end up with a beautiful board that has a custom feel and one that will look great in your rec room, family room, man cave or basement.