All about tomahawk target building

You need to make a tomahawk target.To master the skill of tomahawk throwing you will need to make a target so that you can practice religiously.There are two parts to making a tomahawk target which are making the target itself and making the stand for it.In the start don’t expect to be throwing at a small target so don’t build a small (18 “) target instead build a bigger .When I started I made this same mistake and made an 18 inch pine log target.With this small target I was only landing about 60-70% of my throws.Just Landing!.Now I don’t make that same mistake with my bigger 35″ inch diameter target.Oh,how times have changed.Now let us get into the nitty gritty part of making your very own tomahawk target.

What can I use to make the target?

Well you definitely want to use wood as your target because what else will your tomahawk properly stick to.The question is if you want to use wood planks or log rounds.

Log Rounds

Log rounds are the best targets to throw at, especially when you use thicker ones. After one side is too scratched/chopped up, you can always just use the other side of the log or make the log thinner. A standard target is 16″ so it’s recommended that you get a log which is at least 20″ in diameter.

Wood Planks

This would be the second best option as a tomahawk target and on the plus side it is easier to build a target from. To build a good target out of planks of wood, you need to get about four 2×12 planks which should be atleast 6 feet in length. Lay them out next to each other and attach them in the back with a few 2×4’s and some screws. Place a 2×4 on the bottom, middle and top of the wood planks and screw them in. Thick planks aren’t recommended but as a beginner this is a geat way to start;Unless you are not a beginner and in that case you can use thinner planks.

Which type of wood should I get?

Tomahawks will stick on almost any kind of wood once it has been treated/cured.Curing/Seasoning the wood takes about 2-3 weeks.You definitely want softer wood for you target because if it is too hard then the tomahawk will not be able to stick and it will just bounce off the target.Check the list below for some of the preferable wood types.

– Sycamore
– Tulip Poplar
– Cottonwood
– Hackberry
– Ash (hard wood)
– Sassafras (hard wood)
– Beech (hard wood)

If you cannot get wood from this list then it is fine once you treat/cure the wood before using it.

Now on to the target stands

You have made a target but how will you make it stand up.For that you need a target stand.There are differnet stands that you can make.The type of stand that is good for you dpends on how big your target is and if you want it to be portable or not.

Basic Stand

Basically you can just nail a couple of 2×4 legs to the back of your target in a “V” pattern.Then just lean it against a tree or can use another piece of wood to make a tripod stand. It is quickly buit and is suprisingly stable.You just have to be careful of children and animals because it can be easily knocked out by them.

Custom Stand

A custom stand is a stand you create to fit your particular needs. One such is displayed in the picture on the left . The target is just leaning against the tree and can be simply turned around if the face gets too chopped up. The target is heavy so it is positioned in a way so that it does not fall forward. The blocks placed around the tree are there simply to protect the tree from any missed throws that might damage it.

Portable Stand

This stand is ideal because it can be moved around while at the same time able to hold heavier targets.It is more worthwhile to make if you have a large target block  plus it allows you to rotate th eblock to the other side.To make this, you will need need 2×6’s to have a sturdy block support system. Measure the front leg at  48”  with a 6” hinge block screwed to the top end. Use a 2.5″ or 3″ heavy duty hinge to connect the two front legs together. About 12″ from the top attach 42″ long back legs  with a 3.5″ x 1/4″ bolt using washers and a wing nut.Cut the top inside corner  at an angle so that  it doesn’t interfere with the target block.You can use  either 2×4′s or 2×6′s for the 9″ long block support arms which can be attached with screws anywhere on the front legs depending on how big the target block is that you are using.Use at least 3 screwsthat are  spread apart vertically as much as possible to help to resist the downward force that a heavy target would cause. Use screws instead of nails as it is easier to replace the arms or move them if the need arises. It is important that you cover the top of the stand with the top of the target block so that you do not hit the top of the stand, or more precisely the hinge as that will chip your tomahawk blade.

Heavy Duty Stand

The heavy duty stand is made out of good quality landscape timbers which can easily hold up our target. It lacks in the portablity department unless you have a truck, but it is still movable around the yard as long as you don’t have your heavy target block on it !You can build this by using five 8′ landscape timbers and a 3′ section of treated 2×4. To hold the wood together you can use two 6″ long x 1/2″ hex bolts and two 8″ long x 1/2″ hex bolts and about six standard nails. You will have to use a chain saw to cut the various weird compound angles to create “flats” on the timbers to get it to bolt together solidly.

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