Traphouse Rebuild

St. John's Rod and Gun Club
2019 Trap Season

Story and photos by Andrea Bassan

(updated October 31, 2019 - see below)

The 2019 Trapshooting Season started off like most others at the St. John's Rod and Gun Club with regular trap maintenance, trap installs, target delivery etc.

The Trap Committee knew Trap D  required some repairs to the exterior but what wasn't expected was the poor condition of the traphouse below ground level. Traphouse D was built in 1975 and was starting  to show it's age. The walls were leaking, the concrete crumbling and it's structural integrity was questionable. So with that, Traphouse D was demolished and plans made to build a new one.

May 5, 2019


Construction of the new traphouse has gone well to date (June 6, 2019) with most of the labour being provided by Andrea Bassan, Peter Bassan and John Tucker. Roger Butler has been providing the electrical skills while Troy Coldwell has been putting his welding skills to use modifying the trap table to fit the traphouse's larger dimensions. Peter's 60 years of experience in building, concrete form work and and concrete pouring was a big help in undertaking this project.

The first step of the construction process involved drafting plans, excavating to the proper elevation, laying a bed of crush stone, forming the traphouse floor and roof and adding rebar to strengthen the poured concrete. 

May 20 - May 23, 2019


The decision to pour the roof and lift into place was made to take advantage of concrete delivery charges and avoid part load and minimum concrete order charges. Here, Andrea and father Peter complete the floor and roof pour on the first available nice day for the concrete pour of 3 cubic meter of 30 mpa concrete.

May 25, 2019


Andrea and Peter took advantage of the quick concrete cure time and installed the rebar cage a few hours after the concrete pour was complete. The rebar adds structural strength to the walls.


The concrete wall form work was done by outside concractor as this was the cheapest and quickest method to complete this part of the project. Purchasing the lumber and form work for this small job would have cost more than having a forming contractor complete the work. The next step after the wall pour was complete was to apply the concrete damp proofing coating, installing the drainage / weeping tile and connecting to existing drainage ditch.

May 27 - June 1, 2019


The next stage of the process will be backfilling, installing the roof, electrical hookup, door installation, trap install and a coat of green paint. Stay tuned for updates and the completed traphouse rebuild.

(Update - October 31, 2019)

June 8, 2019

Installing the precast roof was a tricky operation and involved a backhoe to lift the roof in place. Rebar lifting hooks built into the roofs rebar reinforcement worked as intended to provide a strap anchor. A cement based grout was used to attach and seal the roof to the walls and a little man power got the roof square and level.


Thanks to Wayne Healy, our skilled backhoe operator, and Johnny Tucker's good eyes the roof was laid in place with no problem. The rebar lifting hooks were cut off flush with the roof and patched with a little of the Sika patch.

July - August, 2019

The next stage of the trap rebuild involved the elecrical hookup, installation of the custom fabricated steel doors, stairs, a coat of permacrete paint, modification of the trap base, trap install and backfilling.


The club's other 3 traphouses were starting to show their age and were in need of exterior repairs. The concrete exterior was grinded to remove the old paint, the concrete patched with a Sika top coat / patch compound and then painted. We've tried several different types of paint over the years and none have lasted more than a season or 2. The paint would fade, flake off and not hold up very well in general. Hopefully we've found a solution to this problem. Permacrete is specifically designed as an exterior concrete coating and is commonly used on commercial buildings. It can be tainted just like regular paint and comes in different sheens. For our traphouses we went with our traditional forest green in a matte finish. So far the coating is holding up well.


A new (to us anyways) trap bank and traphouse numbering system was also used. The former Trap A to D numbering system got confusing during large shoots so we went with a more traditional bank and trap numbering system. Bank 1 is Traps 1A and 1B. Bank 2 is Traps 2A and 2B. This new bank system worked well during the 2019 Atlantic Provinces Trapshooting Championships.


On a related note, the St. John's Rod and Gun Club was selected a 2019 ATA Gun Club Fund winner. 

From the ATA webpage:

The ATA recognizes that ATA gun clubs are the grassroots for our Association. Most every angle within the ATA starts and ends with the success of our gun clubs. If they are not successful, the ATA is not successful. Therefore, this grant is to help enhance the clubs and grant them funds needed to enrich our sport. 

Any Active ATA gun club may be eligible for a grant to help fund a club project.  A project refers to any type of activity the gun club is doing to try and promote or
better ATA registered trapshooting at their gun club.

The St. John's Rod and Gun Club would like to thank the ATA for selecting us a Gun Club Fund recipient. The grant received will contribute to the cost of our traphouse rebuild and has already improved trapshooting at our club.

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