How To Make A Target Board


Unassembled Parts:

Parts List:

  1. Plywood front: 1/2" plywood, 24" x 24"
  2. Plywood base: 1/2" plywood, 24" x 17"
  3. 2 hinges and screws (make sure the screws are 1/2" in length or that you have a way to cut them off).  If you are making many target boards, you should purchase a 72 long strip hinge and use a hacksaw to cut it up.  For small target boards, cut into four 18” strips (one per target board).
  4. 2 uprights: 2"x4" with the top cut at a 45 degree angle.
  5. 8 3" wood screws, get the kind with the broad thread (like decks screws) so you won't have to pre-drill.
  6. Anti-fatigue matting. Purchase it at Lowe's, it's found in the carpet department and can be bought by the foot off a roll. 36" wide. You will need a little more than 2' of matting.
  7. Contact cement. (Weldwood brand at Lowe's and not the "gel" formula.) You will need enough to paint the front of the target board and the back of the matting.
  8. Pipe wrap: 24" of pipe wrap (the foam stuff used to insulate pipes).

Assembly Instructions:

  1. Cut the plywood pieces and the 2x4's to size. Note that you can make 4 small target boards from one 4x8 ft sheet of plywood.
  2. Sand all the edges to remove any splinters.
  3. Attach the front to the base using the hinges.
  4. If the hinge screws poke through the plywood, file them smooth or if they are really long cut them off.
  5. Position the uprights so that the front of the target board is at a 45-degree angle.
  6. Drive two wood screws through the front of the target board into each of the 2x4's.
  7. Flip it over and drive 2 wood screws through the base of the target board into each of the 2x4's.
  8. Place the matting on the floor back side up.  Make sure that the ridges on the matting will be vertical when placed on the target board.
  9. Place the target board on the matting and using a Sharpie draw the outline of the target board front on the matting.
  10. Paint the entire front of the target board with contact cement. Be sure to get good coverage around the edges.
  11. Paint the square you have drawn on the back of the matting with contact cement. Paint a margin outside the square to make sure you get good coverage.
  12. Allow the contact cement to dry as per the instructions on the can. Be patient, if you put the matting on before the contact cement dries you will get bubbles behind the matting.
  13. You only get one chance to put the matting on. Once the two surfaces with the contact cement on them touch, they will adhere.
  14. Position the target board over the matting and press the two together.
  15. Flip it over and rub down the matting to get a seal. Rub around the edges and make sure they are firmly glued down.
  16. Place the board face down on a flat surface and put some weight on it and let it dry overnight.
  17. Use a sharp blade and trim away the excess matting.
  18. Use contact cement to attach the pipe wrap along the top edge of the target board. This will help protect your walls.
  19. Get your beverage of choice out of the fridge and drink it.

Making a "super-sized" target board:

The super-sized target board is made in exactly the same manner, only bigger. The dimensions are:

  1. The front: 36" along the bottom and 32" along the side.
  2. The base: 32" along the front edge and 22 5/8" along the side.  Note that the base is 4 inches narrower than the front.  Leave 2 inches on either side of the base when attaching it to the front (ie center it). 
  3. The 2x4's are 18 5/8" along the long edge and are positioned 4" in from the back edge of the base.
  4. Use 3 hinges instead of 2.  If you are using a 72” strip hinge, cut it into 24” lengths (one per target board).
  5. Anti-fatigue matting.  You will need 32” for each target board.
  6. These dimensions were chosen so that 2 target boards can be made from one 4x8 ft sheet of plywood.