How to Soften Wood for Axe Throwing: Expert Tips and Tricks

How to Soften Wood for Axe Throwing

To soften wood for axe throwing, soak it in water for at least 48 hours. Additionally, you can use a wood conditioner or steam to make the wood more malleable.

Methods To Soften Wood

Softening wood is essential for axe throwing enthusiasts who want to improve their aim and accuracy. By softening the wood, you can reduce the risk of bounce back and increase the likelihood of the axe sticking firmly into the target. In this article, we will explore four effective methods to soften wood: soaking, steaming, boiling, and chemical softening. Each method has its own advantages and can be used depending on the type of wood you are working with. Let’s dive into the details!

Soaking Method

The soaking method involves submerging the wood in water for an extended period, allowing it to absorb moisture. This process helps to break down the wood fibers, making it more pliable and easier to cut. To soften wood using the soaking method, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a container large enough to accommodate the piece of wood.
  2. Fill the container with water, ensuring that the wood is fully submerged.
  3. Let the wood soak for at least 24 hours, or longer for thicker or denser pieces.
  4. After the soaking period, remove the wood from the water and gently pat it dry with a towel.
  5. Allow the wood to air-dry completely before using it for axe throwing.

Using the soaking method is an effective way to soften wood as it penetrates deep into the fibers, resulting in improved flexibility and easier splitting.

Steaming Method

The steaming method involves subjecting the wood to steam, which softens it by relaxing the fibers. Here’s how you can soften wood using the steaming method:

  1. Prepare a steamer or a large pot with a steaming basket.
  2. Place the wood in the steamer or pot, making sure it is exposed to the steam.
  3. Allow the wood to steam for approximately 1 hour per inch of thickness.
  4. Once the steaming time is complete, carefully remove the wood from the steamer or pot.
  5. Let the wood cool and air-dry completely before using it for axe throwing.

The steaming method is particularly useful for thick or hard woods, as the steam penetrates the fibers and makes them more pliable, preventing the wood from splintering upon impact.

How to Soften Wood for Axe Throwing

Boiling Method

The boiling method involves boiling t

he wood in water, similar to the soaking method. By subjecting the wood to boiling temperatures, the fibers become softened and easier to work with. Follow these steps to soften wood using the boiling method:

  1. Fill a pot with enough water to fully submerge the piece of wood.
  2. Place the wood in the pot and bring the water to a rolling boil.
  3. Allow the wood to boil for at least 1 hour, ensuring consistent heat throughout.
  4. After boiling, remove the wood from the pot and let it cool and dry completely.

The boiling method is effective for hardwoods that are difficult to soften through other methods. The high temperature softens the wood fibers, making them more malleable and resistant to cracking when thrown against a target.

Chemical Softening Method

The chemical softening method involves using specific chemical solutions to soften the wood. This method can be particularly useful for hard, dense woods that do not respond well to traditional softening techniques. Here’s how to soften wood using the chemical softening method:

  1. Choose a suitable chemical softener, such as a wood softening agent or mineral oil.
  2. Apply the chemical solution to the wood, ensuring complete coverage.
  3. Allow the solution to penetrate the wood for the recommended time specified by the manufacturer.
  4. Gently wipe off any excess solution from the wood.
  5. Allow the wood to dry completely before using it for axe throwing.

Using a chemical softening method allows for targeted softening of specific areas of the wood and can be a practical solution for woods that are resistant to other softening methods.

Tips And Tricks For Softening Wood

If you’re an axe-throwing enthusiast, you understand the importance of using the right type of wood for your target. However, some types of wood can be too hard and difficult to penetrate, making axe throwing a frustrating experience. To overcome this hurdle, softening the wood is a handy technique that can make the wood more forgiving and help your axe land with greater precision. In this article, we will explore various tips and tricks for softening wood, including choosing the right wood, proper preparation, effective soaking techniques, optimal steaming and boiling process, and precautions when using chemical softening methods.

Choosing The Right Wood

When it comes to axe throwing, the choice of wood is crucial. Certain types of wood are naturally soft and can be easier to work with, while others are more resistant and may require additional softening methods. Here are a few wood options that are commonly used in axe throwing:

Wood Type Softness Level
Pine Soft
Poplar Medium
Willow Medium
Birch Hard
Oak Very hard

Proper Preparation Before Softening

To effectively soften wood for axe throwing, proper preparation is vital. Before you begin the softening process, make sure to follow these steps:

  1. Remove any bark or outer layers from the wood using a sharp knife or scraper, as this can interfere with the softening process.
  2. Ensure the wood is clean and free from any debris that could affect the softening agents.
  3. If the wood is thick, consider splitting it into smaller pieces to facilitate the softening process.

Effective Soaking Techniques

Soaking the wood is a common method used to soften it for axe throwing. Here are some effective soaking techniques:

  • Submerge the wood in water for a period of at least 24-48 hours, allowing it to absorb moisture and become more pliable.
  • Add a small amount of dish soap or fabric softener to the water to help break down the wood’s fibers and accelerate the softening process.
  • For harder woods, consider using a mixture of water and vinegar to enhance the softening effect.

Optimal Steaming And Boiling Process

Steaming and boiling wood are alternative methods to soften it. These processes help to make the wood fibers more flexible and easier to work with. Here are the steps to follow for optimal results:

  1. Prepare a steamer or a pot of boiling water.
  2. Place the wood in the steamer or immerse it in boiling water.
  3. Allow the wood to steam or boil for at least 1-2 hours, ensuring the heat penetrates the entire piece of wood.
  4. Remove the wood from the steamer or boiling water and let it cool before using it for axe throwing.

Precautions When Using Chemical Softening Methods

If you are considering chemical softening methods, it’s crucial to take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety and the longevity of the wood. Here are some important considerations:

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using chemical softening agents, such as wood softeners or wood conditioners.
  • Wear protective gloves and eyewear to avoid contact with harmful chemicals.
  • Test a small, inconspicuous area of the wood before applying the chemical softener to the entire piece.
  • Allow the wood to dry thoroughly after applying the softening agent to avoid any adverse effects on the wood’s structure.

How to Soften Wood for Axe Throwing

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Soften Wood For Axe Throwing

What Is The Best Soft Wood For Axe Throwing?

The best softwood for axe throwing is typically pine due to its density and durability. Pine provides a good grip for the axe and absorbs impact well, making it suitable for axe throwing.

How Thick Should Wood Be For Axe Throwing?

The wood for axe throwing should be at least 12 inches thick to ensure it is sturdy enough.

Why Won’t My Axe Stick In The Target?

Ensure that your axe is sharp enough to penetrate the target effectively. Proper technique is important as well – adjust your distance, aim at the center, and throw with enough force. Experiment and practice to find the right balance that allows the axe to stick firmly in the target.

What Is The Secret To Axe Throwing?

The secret to axe throwing is a combination of technique, practice, and focus. It’s essential to learn the proper grip, stance, and throwing motion. Regular training and repetition improve accuracy, while concentration helps maintain consistency and precision. With dedication and skill development, anyone can master the art of axe throwing.


Softening wood for axe throwing can greatly enhance your throwing experience. By following these steps and using the right materials, you can achieve a softer wood texture that allows for better axe grip, reduced bounce, and increased accuracy. Remember to always prioritize safety and practice proper axe throwing techniques.

With these tips, you’ll be on your way to mastering this exciting and challenging sport. So go ahead, give it a try and see the difference for yourself!

Md Meraj

This is Meraj. I’m the main publisher of this blog. Wood Working Advisor is a blog where I share wood working tips and tricks, reviews, and guides. Stay tuned to get more helpful articles!

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