Bow And Arrow
August 1972

A Home Archery Target Range ~ BY Walt Knuepfer
How To Build An All-Purpose Archery Cabinet

IN DEVELOPING PROFICIENCY and subsequent love for the bow
and arrow, the necessity for a safe and adequate target becomes more pronounced
as one improves. Generally, assuming one has at least fifteen or
twenty yards of backyard room, the average archer-to-be buys a mat or
equivalent, shoots at it, and has frightening moments when he misses the
entire face.

His neighbors’ reactions will often give him cause to consider the problem
seriously, if he persists in picking up an occasional miscast arrow in their
yard. The seriousness of this problem need not be discussed further.
After a typical progression of events, it becomes increasingly evident
that a safe, practical, and aesthetically acceptable solution to the target
problem is required. After considerable study and design analysis, l decided
that a permanent positioning of the target would be best, since hauling a
three or four—foot diameter mat is a chore.

The evolved design consists of a substantial cabinet. able to accommodate
a four-foot mat. The cabinet illustrated was constructed in a workspace,
placed in position. and fastened with large washered lag screws. into four
cedar posts that were anchored below the frost line.

The cabinet, measuring approximately 4-1/2 feet square, provides a safe
coverage of approximately eight feet width by 6 1/2 feet height, with the
doors in the opened position. The hinged doors are held open by engagement
of long, heavy wire hooks, inserted into a screw eye in each door. When
closed, the cabinet can be secured by a padlock, if desired. The top and bottom
extensions are hinged in their centers and are stored in the cabinet
when it is closed. The top extension is positioned onto two three-inch pins,
emerging on the top of each door.

The initial design contained three- foot and two-foot diameter mats. The
two-foot mat was superimposed on the three-foot mat. This double thickness
of mats stopped 560—grain fiberglass arrows. As the mats wore the arrows
began to hit the Celotex lining in back of the cabinet and, ultimately, some
arrows penetrated into the half-inch plywood cabinet backing.

The layering of mats, which were moistened periodically, caused mildew
between the mats and the contact area with the Celotex backing. This condition
was corrected by building the cantilevered support frame shown,
which provides deceleration space for shot arrows, adequate ventilation, and
requires only one mat, which is a considerable economy.

The previous stackup of two mats evolved through necessity, to reinforce
a center shot mat, and to stop arrow passage. The present arrangement
works well. The mat extension is determined by two chains, anchored at
inside top corners, adjusted in length by a chain link attachment to two
screw hooks in the cabinet back. Two fold—up arms at the inside bottom
corners are dropped down toward the back to keep the mat extended and
free of swing.

The entire cabinet is painted any color desired. The one illustrated is
olive drab, to suite the environment or the archer’s taste.
With an archery range of this construction, you can invite your neighbors
over, demonstrate your proficiency, and eliminate any apprehension
they or you might have about casting arrows in your backyard.

The entire cantilever assembly, holding a four-foot Saunders mat, is
brought forward to contact with the ground. This positioning provides for
comfortable mat installation or removal and provides access to the rear
of the mat, where the two five- sixteenth—inch diagonally tied retaining
ropes can be snugged up and fastened.

The crossed retaining ropes are threaded through a half-inch diameter hole in
the two by four corner mat retainers. In constructing the cabinet doors,
the ones described are of five-eigths-inch outdoor type plywood. Any number
of decorative effects can be applied to the faces of the doors in the
closed position. The various trims applied to garage doors, available at
any lumber yard, will personalize the finished product and allow for
matching to fit with home surroundings. <—<<<

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