How to Build a Bird Launcher

Written by misty barton
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A bird launcher is a bird cage with a throwing mechanism activated by a manual pull string or a remote device. Hunters use them when training young dogs, releasing the bird only after they have positioned the pointer or retriever. A set of three to five launchers are typically used during training. Making your own launchers can save a significant amount of money.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • 1 x 1 lumber
  • 1 x 6 lumber
  • Two 3-inch springs
  • circular saw
  • wood screws
  • netting
  • thread
  • sewing machine
  • 1/2-inch aluminium flat bar
  • drill
  • string
  • metal L bracket
  • small cabinet hinge

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  1. 1

    Cut two sections of 1 x 6 lumber six inches long and one section 12 and 1/2 inches long using the circular saw.

  2. 2

    Cut two sections of 1 x 1 lumber 11 inches long and a section 24 inches long.

  3. 3

    Cut a section of netting 10 by 15 inches. Window screen material will work well for this.

  4. 4

    Screw the 1 x 6 x 6 squares of wood on top of the 1 x 6 x 12 piece. The 1 x 6 x 6 pieces should be screwed so that the face of the boards is flush with the ends of the 1 x 6 x 12. This creates a box with open sides and the base structure of your bird launcher.

  5. 5

    Set the 1 x 1 x 11 pieces of board on top of the 1 x 6 x 6 squares to form a T on each end. Screw them into place.

  6. 6

    Stack the ends of the two springs on top of one another and screw them to the floor of the box. They should be screwed down in the centre of the box's width, one inch down from one of the 1 x 6 x 6 ends.

  7. 7

    Bend the aluminium flat bar so that it forms three sides of a rectangle with a 10-inch length and two 8-inch sides. These metal pieces are the launcher's throwing arms, so you will need two of them.

  8. 8

    On one end of each throwing arm, turn a 1-inch tab in to run parallel to the arms' length. This creates a tab to attach the springs to the arms.

  9. 9

    Drill a hole using a 1/16-inch drill bit in each tab.

  10. 10

    Sew a 3/4-inch casing into each of the 10-inch-long sides of the netting using the sewing machine.

  11. 11

    Run the aluminium throwing arm through the casing, just like you run a curtain rod through the casing on a curtain.

  12. 12

    Drill a hole using a 1/8-inch drill bit in each side of the throwing arm by which to attach it to the 1 x 1 x 11 boards on the frame. The holes should be located four inches down from the corner of the throwing arm on each side.

  13. 13

    Screw through the holes in the throwing arms into the 1 x 1 x 11 lumber, 1/2 inch in from the end of the board, inside the wooden box. The screw should not be too tight since it is imperative that the arms move freely. The end of the throwing arm with the tabs should be attached to the same end of the box as the springs

  14. 14

    Attach the springs to the throwing arms by threading the end of the coil through the holes drilled in the tabs.

  15. 15

    Attach the 1 x 1 x 24 piece of lumber to the outside of the box using the small cabinet hinge to form a release arm. The hinge should screw into the centre of the end of the box and into the side at one end of the 1 x 1 so that the release arm can lay flush vertically against the end of the box .

  16. 16

    Drill a hole through the end of the release arm and run a long string through it to use as a pull string for the release.

  17. 17

    Attach an L bracket to the release arm 7 inches up from the hinge. This forms the latch that holds the arms down until you pull the string. Pulling the string will drop the release arm and allow the throwing arms to toss the bird as the springs contract.

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