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How to Build an Axe Throwing Target


For those who want to hone their skills before stopping by JD’s Hideaway for a friendly axe throwing competition, or those who want to prepare to join a competitive axe throwing league, having your own axe target is the way to go. 

In today’s blog, JD’s Hideaway discusses how to build an axe throwing target using two things:

  • Motivation! 
  • …And some basic supplies from a local hardware store. 

First off, you might be asking yourself a few questions. 

What Kind of Wood Should I Use?

It’s good to use spruce or pine wood, as these aren’t too hard but aren’t too soft either. If the wood is too hard, the axe won’t stick, too soft and the target will ruin. 

Vertical grain wood aligns with where the blade lands and this will help it stay secure after striking the board. Having a variety of texture on the wood’s surface, caused by deep to shallow knicks from a throwing axe, actually gives more places for the axe to land securely. 

Sheets or planks of wood should be, at minimum, 1 ½” thick to keep your axe from breaking through. Choose wood without many knots. You don’t want an axe hitting them and bouncing right off. 

Here Are the Supplies You’ll Need

It’s pretty standard stuff that you’ll find at any hardware store. 

  • Drill 
  • Level
  • Measuring tape
  • Nails 
  • Wooden board 
  • String (15 inches length)
  • 1 –  2″ x 10″ x4’ front base/ledge board
  • 5 –  2″ x 10″ x 4’ target backboards
  • 5 –  2″ x10″ x4’ target front boards
  • 3” Deck Screws (100 count)
  • Official WATL Target Stencil
  • Official WATL Marker


If you’re thinking about seriously practicing to compete in an axe throwing league, consider the World Axe Throwing League’s starter kit. It’s everything you need to make a backyard axe throwing target. 

Step by Step Guide: Building an Axe Throwing Target

Step #1.

Put two screws in both the front and back spreaders to connect to the ends of the bottom legs, the back brace of the target. Be sure to drill a pilot hole for your first lag screws.

Step #2. 

Screw the spreader into the center of the bottom legs.

Step #3.

Screw one of the upright vertical length spreaders to the top of the vertical lengths. It should be flush with the front of the vertical lengths.

Step #4.

Measure 23 inches from the floor to the top of the board. Screw the other upright vertical length spreader to the vertical lengths, the TOP of the spreader should be 3 feet (36 inches) from the bottom of the vertical lengths, and it should stick out 1 1/2 inches to the front of the vertical lengths (the width of your 2x10x4’ backboard)

Step #5. 

At this point, you should have two rectangle wooden boards. Screw the vertical length planks into the sides of the bottom lengths. Then screw the diagonal support lengths into the sides. 

Step #6.

Screw the diagonal support lengths to the back of the bottom horizontal planks. Drill them into the inside-facing part of the plank, then the inside of the vertical length planks.

Step #7.

Take your filler lengths and screw them into the front-facing portion of the vertical-length wooden boards. The 2×4 fillers might stick out to the sides. 

Step #8.

Screw the ledger board into the front of the upright boards. 

Step #9.

Screw the horizontal front boards to form the front-facing target. 

Step #10. 

Find the center of the board from top to bottom, by measuring the length with your measuring tape. Then find the center of the board’s width, by measuring right to left.  Screw-in a nail, about an inch deep, so that it sticks out but doesn’t go too deep. 

Loop your string around the screw and hold your sharpie marker as you slowly guide it around to draw a circle for the bullseye and two larger target rings.

Bullseye: 7 inches in diameter, 3.5-inch radius 
First ring (red): 17 inches in diameter, 8.5-inch radius 
Second ring (blue): 27 inches in diameter, 13.5-inch radius

Step #11. 

The clutch (the little blue dots found on the corners of a target) can be drawn using the bottom of a beer can to stencil around it, then color in the circle. 

Helpful Resources (WATL):

When it comes to drawing your axe throwing target, there are plenty of helpful resources and guides presented by organizations like WATL:


How do I Maintain My Axe Throwing Target?

Apply a water mist, using a spray bottle, to the wooden target board after using it to help preserve the wood and decrease splinters. Store it in a cool, dry place. You don’t want the wooden target to ruin in the winter cold, sweltering heat, or heavy rain. 

Book an Axe Throwing Lane at JD’s Hideaway

While you’re working on creating your own axe-throwing target, stop by JD’s Hideaway, grab a drink and use ours instead. Have a blast throwing axes, eating fried foods, and drinking delicious cocktails at either of our locations, in Lawton or Altus, OK. Visit our contact us page, or call us at 580-301-6764 to book a throwing lane.