Trap throwers, also called skeet throwers or clay pigeon throwers, are simple machines that launch clay targets into the air for people to shoot at. Buying a trap thrower can be expensive, especially when one considers that it's little more than a spring-loaded throwing arm on a base. However, building a trap thrower yourself is no easy task either, and do-it-yourself traps shouldn't be projects undertaken lightly.
Needs and Ability
The first question that you should ask yourself when planning to build a trap thrower at home is what you will need out of this machine. If you need an adjustable height so that traps can be thrown higher or lower into the air, if you need a strong throwing arm to throw larger or heavier traps, or if you need some kind of automatic release, this is the time to plan for that. Once you've made up the list of what you want your homemade trap thrower to do, ask yourself if you believe you can build it, and if you're willing to put in the time and effort to make sure it gets finished.
Kit Versus From Scratch
The option that most people should take is to buy a trap thrower that needs to be assembled at home. This can be complicated, but a trap thrower purchased in this way comes with an instruction manual, as well as spare parts. If you're particularly handy though, there are lots of different methods that will work for building a trap thrower out of spare parts. Creating a trap grip from old paint can lids, attaching the grip to a broom handle, and adding a tightly drawn spring to the whole measure can work just as well for those who are good with tools. It's still a good idea to at least do some research and see if there's a guide to help make sure that your do it yourself trap thrower works as well as you want it to.
Testing and Tinkering
Of course, regardless of whether or not you build a trap thrower from a kit or from spare parts, the first trial run shouldn't be done with a shotgun in hand. Before you even take your trap thrower out into a field, test it in your own back yard (assuming you have the room). Don't just use it once and take that as proof that it works. Throw half a dozen clay pigeons at least, and watch the mechanisms. If your trap thrower makes a funny noise, or appears to be under too much stress, these are things you should notice and fix now, rather than later when you were planning on spending a few hours shooting.