Make 'shatter' targets for BB and air guns that are free and eco-friendly. Ok, that's free as in no money, just time, effort and a sense of satisfaction. These targets disappear in a most gratifying manner, leaving nothing behind but wooden splinters and sawdust. They break-up just fine with a 'half-power' Daisy Red Ryder at 20 yards and prevent the 'Did I hit it?' syndrome of paper targets for younger users. But I've got to admit I get a kick out of them just as much.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Saw. Bandsaw is easiest/quickest.
Drill. Pillar drill is easiest/quickest.
Wax. Fresh wood is very 'sappy' and will clog a saw blade and coat the drive wheels of a bandsaw. Wax saw blade thoroughly and regularly to save a lot of cleaning later. Press a candle to either side of the blade while running. This is a tip I could have done with the first time I made these.
Step 2: Why Do It?
This can be a good project for anyone with a junior shootist in the family, as they can join in the process at any point you feel them capable. The cutting (perhaps not), the drilling (perhaps), the drying (definitely).
From scratch, these probably take about an hour to make a hundred or so, I've not timed it. But cutting or drilling during odd moments when you find yourself out in the workshop with no idea how you got there or why,(am I the only one?) can soon make a stock of hundreds.
Step 3: We've Started!
Find any old or new stick from say 1 to 2 inches in diameter and roughly trim off any twigs and knobbles. There's no need to be too meticulous about it. This is just so the stick lays reasonably flat for sawing. Now start to cut slices. Slices should be one-eighth of an inch thick or less. Cutting straight across the stick produces the smaller, rounder size. while cutting at an angle, obliquely across makes larger, oval discs.
Step 4: Drilling.
Now just grab a small pile of those discs (say an inch) and stack them up. With a suitable bit in the drill, make a hole off to one side, but not too near the edge. I use a target box of double-thick ply with five 4-inch nails hammered through from the back into a cross shape. A quarter inch hole slips on the nail just fine even after drying when the holes may become mis-shapen or shrink.
Step 5: Drying Out!
Drying. Lay the discs out onto a wall in the sun if possible. After a while they will bow like little dishes. Turn them over and they should flatten out. An airing cupboard should do the job if the weather doesn't improve from what we in England have had lately. The dryer the better for storage, otherwise they may go mouldy or rotten.
Step 6: Now the Good Bit!
Hang them up somewhere safe and start shooting. You won't go back to paper targets.