One of the keys to a better axe throwing experience is having properly maintained targets. While our emphasis is on end grain targets, the same rule applies to standard board target systems.
We need to remember that an axe was created to split wood apart! And yet we are in a business of throwing axes and trying to stop them from splitting wood apart. One of the keys to this is having targets that are nice and moist.
You should spray down axe targets every day, even if no one is throwing. When throwing, you should plan on watering axe targets in between groups or every hour or so. Put enough water on so the boards absorb as much as possible, and any excess starts to run off.
We use a watering system that we integrate into our no bounce border and end grain target systems, but standard pump us sprays can be used. We found the easier you make the task for your employees, the more likely they are to do it! So this rechargeable Scotts sprayer works pretty good if not using the integrated watering system. Just push the button and it sprays. No pumping. And it’s rechargeable.
Too much water??
Putting a lot of water on axe targets can have a few issues. You should make sure your floor does not get slippery. Slipping with an axe in your hand would not be good. The other concern people have is mold. Some try to combat mold with bleach, and that helps kill surface mold, it actually is counter productive for porous materials like wood. The best thing to do is spray some some white vinegar at the end if the day. It then smells a little like a salad instead of bleach as well! 🙂 it.
Cleaning Mold with Bleach
According to conventional wisdom, bleach kills mold growth. However, this is somewhat of a myth as bleach only kills the mold on the surface without affecting the membrane underneath. You need to kill and remove this underlying membrane to effectively remove the mold growth and prevent it from returning. Bleach cleaners cannot kill this membrane because its chemical structure prevents it from penetrating porous surfaces. This causes the mold membranes to move deeper into the affected surface to hide from the bleach. You should only use bleach to remove small amounts of mold that have formed on non-porous surfaces.
Another problem with using bleach is that it can actually multiply the mold growth. When bleach is introduced to mold colonies, the mold recognizes the bleach as a threat and reacts. Mold can actually use bleach as a food source once it has been exposed which will cause the mold to grow back faster and stronger. Even the EPA advises against using bleach for removing mold. Fortunately, there is another household item that can kill mold.
Cleaning Mold with Vinegar
White distilled vinegar is effective for killing small amounts of mold. It can kill over 80 percent of mold species commonly found in your home and as a mild acid, it can help prevent mold as well as remove it. After each day of play we take a spray bottle with undiluted white vinegar and give the boards a light coating.