How to Make an Axe-Throwing Target

How to Make an Axe-Throwing Target

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If you want to become proficient throwing an axe, you must practice regularly. However, throwing axes around your back yard is serious business; you must use a large, sturdy target to keep the activity safe. Additionally, it is important to use a suitable wood that allows your axe to penetrate the grain without unnecessarily dulling the blade.

Items you will need

  • 6 wooden planks, 12-inches wide, 72-inches long and 1-inch-thick

  • 3 pine 2-by-4s

  • Cordless drill

  • Drill bits

  • Pencil

  • Measuring Tape

  • Wood screws, 2 1/4-inches long

  • String

  • Paint

  • Paintbrush

Constructing the Target

Step 1

Lay the six wooden planks flat on the ground, with the sides of the planks touching.

Step 2

Drill six pilot holes in each 2-by-4 with the cordless drill – spread the holes evenly along the length of each 2-by-4. These pilot holes will make it easier to connect the 2-by-4s to the planks.

Step 3

Draw a line about 12-inches from each end of the planks, and draw a third line about 36 inches from either end of the planks. Place a 2-by-4 across each line, so that the bottom, middle and top of the target have support.

Step 4

Insert a screw into each pilot hole and drive them through the 2-by-4s and into the planks. Take the time to realign the planks after driving each screw, to ensure that no gaps are present between the planks.

Painting the Bulls-Eye

Step 1

Find the center of the board by drawing a line 36 inches from the top of the target and 36 inches from the side of the target. The two lines will meet at the center.

Step 2

Mark the string at 3-inch-intervals by using the measuring tape. Hold the end of the string on the center of the target, and hold the pencil at the first marking, with the string stretched between them. Keeping the string taught, trace the first circle. Move the pencil to the next mark on the string and repeat the process to produce the second circle. Repeat the process one final time by moving the pencil to the third mark and tracing the final, and largest, circle.

Step 3

Paint each ring a different color using the paints and paintbrush. Red is often used for the bulls-eye, but you can make the rings any color you desire. Apply at least two coats of paint to each ring. If you only have one color of paint, you can paint the first and third ring, while leaving the middle ring unpainted to produce enough contrast to be able to see the rings from a distance.


  • If you rest your target against a tree, be sure to protect the tree against misses by placing additional planks or tree rings above, below and beside the target.


  • Use softwood planks, rather than those made from hardwoods, which will not allow your axe to penetrate as easily. Pine and cedar planks work well, as do cottonwood planks, if you can find them.
  • Place the target so that the grains of the planks are oriented vertically. This makes it easier for your axe to penetrate the wood
  • You can rest the target against a tree or build a stand to hold it off the ground.
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