The Wood Target (Block):
This is where it gets interesting. For the TomahawkGuys it is a never ending job trying to locate good trees to source our target blocks from. We have acquired target blocks from a local saw mill, tree cutting service, construction site, and have a 20″ chain saw handy in case we come across an appropriate downed tree we can harvest. Also ask your friends and relatives, you never know who will have access to a tree that needs to be removed. We find that the hawks will stick in most any wood as long as it is cured or seasoned. However trees like Ash etc are very hard and can beat the heck out of your handles if you bounce your hawk without sticking. We just prefer the softer woods and you will too but hey, you gotta’ go with what you have. Check In the “Resources” links in the right sidebar for a link to a chart listing wood in order of hardness. You can check there to see where a block of wood you may be considering rates on the hardness scale. I usually like the wood to be no harder than the 700 range.
Warning: You must let the target blocks season before you use them. Even an excellent wood such as Sycamore will bounce your hawks right off if it is still “green.” Amazingly though, we have used targets after only 2 to 3 weeks of curing after we have cut them off a freshly felled tree. On the other hand, we have used Poplar right after cutting and it seemed to stick just fine. Use your discretion on this.
Trees we have experience with so far include:
- Sycamore (excellent)
- Tulip Poplar (excellent)
- Cottonwood (makes a good target but is very soft, it has a shorter life than the others)
- Hackberry (excellent)
- Ash (very hard, splits easy)
- Sassafras (very hard)
- Beech (very hard)