Timber Framers Guild

Want to build a target

Posted By: brad_bb

Want to build a target - 07/13/09 03:38 AM

Ok, Now I finally understand that this axe throwing is. I went to the Kentucky rendezvous and got to try it for the first time and I'm hooked! I want to build a target here at my house. I'm sure there are any number or was "a" target can be made, but is there a good commonly accepted design? I'm assuming that a target of endgrain would hold up better? Should it be oak? The one at the rendezvous was build from some scrap cedar timbers where the target was not endgrain. By the end of the weekend, the center of the target was pretty trashed. Any help appreciated.
Posted By: TIMBEAL

Re: Want to build a target - 07/13/09 10:33 AM

Brad, I too have been chucking axes. I used a large chunk of pine, a cookie cut of the end of a log around 24" across, I have knots in mine, these should be avoided. End grain should hold up better than cross grain, would be my first impression. Having a saw mill makes gaining the material needed a snap. I used scrap 2x4's for the 2 legs with a back leg as well, these were tied together forming a base for the triangle. GRK screws of course and an impact driver.

What distance from the target were you using? What were the axes like?

Tim
Posted By: Thane O'Dell

Re: Want to build a target - 07/13/09 04:53 PM

I used spruce for mine and drilled 2.0" holes for legs then fastened a 4x4 pc of plywood to the front with center cut out. This creates a larger front to prevent glancing. However if you often hit the plywood with the axe it will be short lived.
Thane
Posted By: brad_bb

Re: Want to build a target - 07/14/09 03:00 AM

We were 20 feet away using Granfors throwing axe (double headed with shorter handle). I'll have to go to the local tree cutter and see how bit a chunk I can get. How thick should the cookie be? 4 inches? 6 inches? Is there a regulation sized target? What should the ring diameters be?
Posted By: TIMBEAL

Re: Want to build a target - 07/14/09 10:47 AM

I often forget about search engines. They sometimes end with good results. Time is a limiting factor, but here is one of many sites out there.

http://www.axtwerfen.de/Thr_0300_ENGL.htm

I didn't see any 2" framing chisels in the mass of thrown items.

Tim

Posted By: OurBarns1

Re: Want to build a target - 07/14/09 01:24 PM

That's a neat site, Tim.

I was thinking about how to make a target last night. Since the axe edge will most always hit vertically, why not arrange a few beams or thick planks (4-5 feet long) side by side vertically? Kind of like a giant laminated cutting board.

Glue and clamp them together then secure some cauls to the back or a backing of 3/4" plywood. A couple of legs (attached to the back w/ hinges?) and you're ready to take aim.

It would be heavy, but should hold together as the axe will penetrate parallel w/ the grain.
Posted By: Gabel

Re: Want to build a target - 07/14/09 02:51 PM


Axe throwing information on the Guild website

Don, have you made a target like you describe?

I bet it would get shredded pretty quick -- and be harder to stick the axe. Regulation targets always use endgrain -- helps the axe to stick and requires no fabrication. Every one I've seen is around 6-8" thick.
Posted By: Gabel

Re: Want to build a target - 07/14/09 09:33 PM

Actually, 6" is too thin now that I think about it. Ours at the shop is more like 10".
Posted By: OurBarns1

Re: Want to build a target - 07/15/09 02:02 AM

Hi Gabel:

I've actually not made a target like I described earlier. Just trying to come up w/ a design that's easier to come by than the traditional 3' diameter cut-off. Seems like that's why this thread began.

I do appreciate your comments and experience.

I tend to think my design would hold up pretty well actually. I envision mine made out of planks or beams at least 4" thick and 4-5 feet long. 8x8s would be best. Gluing them together like a giant cutting board would make them act as one solid slab, but w/out the warping issues. And the longer the better to resist splitting.

I do agree that it would be harder to stick the axe than in an end grain target. Maybe use pine. Just kicking around some ideas.

Posted By: brad_bb

Re: Want to build a target - 07/15/09 03:16 AM

Well, someone sent me this link. Grandfors has this on their site:
http://www.gransfors.com/htm_eng/index.html
Now I have to find a 3'+ diamter chunk, 10" thick or so.

Ourbarns, that is how the target was made that we used at the rendezvous. Some culled cedar 6X6's were glued and screwed with timberlocs with the grain running vertically. It worked just fine, but throught the course of 2 or 3 days, the center of the target was pretty trashed. If you could have easily removed and replaced the center timber, it would be alright. I just could help but hit it in the center each time.....and if you believe that one....
Posted By: kfhines

Re: Want to build a target - 07/15/09 10:23 AM

Don,

I think your Idea would work, use 8 x 8 cut offs approximately . 8 to 10 inches long band, glue or peg them together and throw the axe at the end grain. You would end up with a square or rectangular target to paint circles on.

kfhines
Posted By: OurBarns1

Re: Want to build a target - 07/16/09 12:04 AM

Originally Posted By: kfhines
Don,

I think your Idea would work, use 8 x 8 cut offs approximately . 8 to 10 inches long band, glue or peg them together and throw the axe at the end grain. You would end up with a square or rectangular target to paint circles on.

kfhines


You mean kind of like a big butcher block... you know they say that's how block planes got their name: from smoothing end-grain butcher blocks.

The only issue I see w/ a big end grain "glue-up" is you'd probably have to keep it out of the weather. 8x8s would move, shrink, expand and bust each other up.





Posted By: OurBarns1

Re: Want to build a target - 07/16/09 12:08 AM

Originally Posted By: brad_bb
Well, someone sent me this link. Grandfors has this on their site:
http://www.gransfors.com/htm_eng/index.html
Now I have to find a 3'+ diamter chunk, 10" thick or so.

Ourbarns, that is how the target was made that we used at the rendezvous. Some culled cedar 6X6's were glued and screwed with timberlocs with the grain running vertically. It worked just fine, but throught the course of 2 or 3 days, the center of the target was pretty trashed. If you could have easily removed and replaced the center timber, it would be alright. I just could help but hit it in the center each time.....and if you believe that one....


I bet you hit the center!

That's neat to hear the rendezvous used the big laminated cutting board style. I'm guessing a private target made in that manner would hold up much longer.

Have any pictures of the axe throwing?
Posted By: kfhines

Re: Want to build a target - 07/16/09 10:23 AM

"You mean kind of like a big butcher block... you know they say that's how block planes got their name: from smoothing end-grain butcher blocks."

Yah that's it. It's not an ideal target but it would due for awhile. Most of my cut offs are pretty well dried by now so I don't think they would move around to much. As for the end grain soaking up water you need to paint the bulls eye on it any way, that would help.
kfhines
Posted By: brad_bb

Re: Want to build a target - 07/16/09 12:53 PM

On that grandfors link, if you click the axe throwing link, they show all the target and throwing axe dimensions.

I did hit the bullseye a number of times, but not every time for sure. I was too busy having fun and don't have any pics.
Posted By: OurBarns1

Re: Want to build a target - 07/16/09 01:36 PM

Originally Posted By: kfhines
"You mean kind of like a big butcher block... you know they say that's how block planes got their name: from smoothing end-grain butcher blocks."

Yah that's it. It's not an ideal target but it would due for awhile. Most of my cut offs are pretty well dried by now so I don't think they would move around to much. As for the end grain soaking up water you need to paint the bulls eye on it any way, that would help.
kfhines


kfhines,

I'd paint/seal both sides...since you've got the material, maybe you can make one up and give us a report on its service?
Posted By: Gabel

Re: Want to build a target - 07/16/09 03:58 PM

The built up targets that I've made were done with smaller cookies with a 90 degree corner put on them. Join 4 and you have a sort of cloverleaf shaped target. It seems like a 20" or so log is required to get a good target doing it that way. We toe screwed the 4 quadrants together and then put a piece of ply on the back (1x's would work) and screded through it into the back of each section several times. you could also do that with timber cutoffs.

I wouldn't paint or seal it, though, if it will be in the weather. My experience is that wood lasts much longer in the weather if it can dry out quickly after it gets wet. The paint/sealer only traps moisture, facilitating rot.
Posted By: TIMBEAL

Re: Want to build a target - 07/16/09 05:30 PM

[quote=Gabel The paint/sealer only traps moisture, facilitating rot. [/quote]

Interesting concept. The time spent sealing could have been used throwing the axe.

If you are using a round log for the target leave a knot cluster on the back for structure, face the clear wood to the front.

Tim
Posted By: toivo

Re: Want to build a target - 07/18/09 06:09 PM

we've got 2 targets in our backyard- both out of a big balm of gilead poplar. one is a 6 foot chunk standing upright. it's propped up also with a stick driven into the ground and notched into the back of the target, though with the weight of it this seems kind of unnecessary. the other one is a section of the same tree with the end grain facing out, propped up in a Y of the same tree again. it's smaller (20" across) and harder to hit. it's easy to line up side to side- its the up and down that's more challenging, especially as you change distances from full revolution to 1 1/2.

the upright poplar is definitely getting chopped away at, but when it's gone there is more to the tree left.

be sure there are no rocks behind the target! just in case you happen to miss.

my parents had a fancy axe range- with a kind of gallows log structure that supported a hanging log. that was the party game back then.

oh and for accuracy and sheer dandyism- a daisy stuck in the target makes for a greater challenge. it's like shooting at a big moose- you're more likely to hit what you want if you aim small.
Posted By: aastaronline

Re: Want to build a target - 03/10/15 08:06 PM

ive always just used the base of my tree stumps.. we chop them into 10 inch think slabs then fasten them to the side of the barn or lean them on haystacks
Posted By: brad_bb

Re: Want to build a target - 10/18/15 02:47 AM

FYI I did make my target and finally painted it with my niece today!
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