I was right. But a co-worker volunteered to help with the project. He had the woodworking experience and equipment, and also the interest in having the finished product. So together we made two of these things.
Tameshigiri is the practice of cutting objects with a sword. In older times, these objects were the bodies of criminals -- sometimes dead, sometimes still alive. Traditional sword arts maintaining the practice of tameshigiri use rolled tatami mats as targets now. The dowel peg visible in the top shot holds a mat upright. Mats make good targets as the resistance is very similar to a human limb without all the politically incorrect gore.
As per usual, the Bujinkan (at least the American Bujinkan) does things somewhat differently and manages to annoy the traditional arts while doing so. We'll cut tatami mats when we can, but we'll also cut foam pool noodles, milk jugs, and plastic two-liter bottles. You can fill the jugs and bottles with water for stability. (Just be sure to do a thorough clean-up of your blade before it gets put away.) Some curious members have even been known to buy roasts and try cutting through actual meat and bone. This sends the traditionalists into fits.
Let me just say this about cutting plastic bottles: they come cheap and I can still recycle the cut parts. It's green; even Al Gore will approve.
I put a small table top of scrap wood on top one of my pegs to hold milk jugs and bottles. I plan to put a similar table top on a longer dowel in order to vary the target height.
This is a view of the three-inch hole for the peg. The three-inch hole is sufficient to hold the stuff in place.
I was going to link you to the plans. However, it appears the company has removed them from their website in favor of finished stands for about $95. You'll not it looks prettier than mine -- but mine was about a third of the cost. Maybe I'll work up the gumption to reprint some version of the original plans on this site at a later date.