Whether you are an avid hunter or an amateur shooter, archery can be a rewarding pastime. Like any hobby, however, outfitting and supplying yourself can be expensive. Save yourself some money by constructing you own archery target. Using foam for this target is an inexpensive and effective way to build, as foam can withstand multiple arrow strikes and will not damage the arrowheads as they enter or leave the target.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Foam boards
- Banding machine
- Wooden boards
- Strong tape
Purchase the foam for your target from a sporting goods or hardware store. Select high-density foam, generally between two and four pounds. This type of foam will exert more pushing power on the arrow, bringing it to a stop without damaging the arrow itself. Polythene and ether foams are recommended.
Stack the foam boards on top of each other to form the basis for your target. Remember that these boards will be condensed, so be sure to use enough to give yourself a sizeable target. The number of layers you use depends on the size of the target you want and the thickness of your boards.
Compress the material with a banding machine. Banding machines will apply a significant amount of compression without a lot of work on your part and keep the weight consistent and even across the target, which is the best option for a target meant to be effective in stopping an arrow. If you do not have access to a banding machine, compress the material by hand. Set a sturdy wooden board, such as a piece of plywood, on top of the stack of foam. Add significant weight, such as a number of cinder blocks until the material is tightly compressed.
Add more foam boards if the compressed target is too small. Your ideal finished target should be at least two feet thick. The height will depend on your preference.
Bind the board and weights to the target using strong rope. Tightening the rope will add to the compression of the foam. Secure the rope tightly with duct tape or another strong tape.
Tips and warnings
- If you are unsure about your choice of foam, consult an expert at a hunting or sporting goods store.
- When compressing foam by hand, evenly distribute the weight across the top of the target to ensure that all areas have the same effective stopping power.
- Whenever working with weapons, be aware of your surroundings. Even the best archers will miss the target. Be sure there is nothing behind or around the target that can be harmed by arrows.
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