knife/ax target how to diy

Today we were *supposed* to be building a swing set, however, my hardware is not here yet so we jumped onto a project Lars has been really wanting for a long time.

We got super lucky that a friend had a pile of deck wood in his yard that was 2x6x14.  (This made our project virtually free) This time Lars did all the research and after a year of using a really bad stand and then searching the internet, he found this target on youtube that was the ‘best’ in many respects. I watched it a few times and figured out the dimensions as we went.  In the video he says he uses 2×6’s but they really didn’t look like 2×6 to me, but, I just went with it figuring that if you are using 4×4 blocks a 2×4 would be a little skimpy.  After acquiring all the 2×6’s and making the frame I found in the comments that he actually used 2×4’s. Oh well, mine is stronger.  He also used bolts and I used screws, again, preference.  So, up to you if you use 2×4 or 2×6 or a mix; here is my how-to so you can save some time on dimensions.

img_0424.jpg

A great pile of free wood!  I have plans for the remainder to be garden structure to keep out our deer heard

Wood

  • 4×4 – enough to make 100 4in blocks
  • 2×4 and 2×6 – I am skipping a precise list here because it depends on the length wood you have what you need, look at the cut list instead.
  • 1/4 plywood – enough to cover 3.2 x 3.2, I used 2 pieces I had scrap

Hardware

  • 110 1.25 screws
  • 28 (min) 3in Spax #10 <- maybe it is overkill but I love these things

Tools

  • chop saw and circular saw
  • measuring tools
  • protractor
  • drill/bits

Measurements/cut list

Target;

100 blocks of 4x4x4.  Despite being called a 4×4 it is not 4 inches, my set of 10 measured 3 feet. <- glad I double checked this or it would have been a re-do.

Stand

  1. Uprights; (2) 7f
  2. Foot/bottom; (2) 4f
  3. Diagonal; (2) 4f
  4. cross piece for the bottom; (1) 3f 6in
  5. top and bottom of the ‘frame’; (2) 3f **double check your row of 10 blocks and adjust to match.  If you want a different sized target to adjust to compensate.
  6. Spacer; (2) 8in apx (scrap ok, big enough to accommodate the wood you use on an angle)

 

Order of Operations.

There are probably many right ways, this worked for me well.

  1. Cut 100 4x4x4 blocks.  Double check the measure <- Lars did this while I did everything else
  2. On upright (1) mark 4f from the top of the stand, mark.  take your actual lower frame piece (5), line it up at the mark and then mark below it.  (sorry I didn’t take any pictures of it on the ground!)
  3. Lay foot (2) down, put the upright (1) perpendicular 11 inches from the front of the foot.  Check 90 degrees with a protractor/square.  Fasten with 2 fasteners.
  4. add the spacer (6) 3in from the back of the foot.  Fasten with 2 fasteners.
  5. Put the diagonal (3) between the spacer and the bottom of the mark on the upright to make a triangle, there will be some sticking out at the top and bottom.  At this point, you can either mark the angle and cut to make it neat, or, leave it overhanging. (I left mine, helped on my lumpy ground for stability)  Fasten with 2 fasteners on each end.  **see pictures below for a visual**
  6. Repeat 2-5 for the other side, make sure you mirror it so you have a left and right side.
  7. Stand up a side, with the foot on the outside and the angle on the inside, fasten the bottom of the frame (5) perpendicular at the mark you made onto the upright.  After 1 fastener, make sure it is level front/back.  Add the second fastener.  **Might not be 90 degrees because of gravity, it will be better after the 2nd half is on.
  8. Stand up other side and fasten bottom of the frame at the mark.

    img_0425

    bottom of the frame and cross piece (next step)  *note* I added scrap wood under the front to compensate for my uncut angles in the back to get levels right.

  9. Put cross piece (4) across the front of the foot at the upright.  Check that the uprights are level/90 degrees and fasten.

    img_0432

    bright white is the ‘cross piece’.  You can also see the arrangement of the foot, upright, spacer, and angle.  

  10. Add all your blocks!  This is fun for kids.  Make sure the end grain is out.
  11. Insert the top of the frame, there will be extra protruding up.  This is another variation from his design, he has the top bolted into the end grain to ‘clamp’ down the blocks.  I have had bad luck fastening into end grain and this method clamped just fine.  Fasten from the sides, both sides.
  12. Put the back on, fasten around the sides and then into each block.  We used an offcut to make marks where each block is.  Does not need to be exact, but, this is a necessary step because it is the best way to keep the blocks ‘in’ when you are pulling knives out of them.  Also, when one is ruined it can easily be replaced and the other blocks don’t fall or shift.

    img_0433

    100 blocks screwed in place

We actually moved our frame between step 9 and 10 because I was worried it would be very heavy but whatever you do, don’t move it until the blocks are fastened, you will see why.

This is great for knives, ok for axe.  I have a few ideas for axes in the future and if it works out I’ll share.

After 3 days use and one massive windstorm, all is well with the stand and everyone enjoys it.

 

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