How to Build a Mouse Trap CarPosted by monsterguide
How to Build a Mouse Trap Car
Toy cars can be a lot of fun to build, but most of them involve the use of some hard-to-come-by materials and tools that can be difficult to use. Not so for a mouse trap car though, as you can make one in as little time as a couple of hours. They are perfect for racers, as they are self-powered. Moreover, most mouse trap cars only cost a few dollars to build (as long as you have the necessary tools around your garage). So, if you want to build your own toy car, but have no idea where to begin, the mouse trap car may be perfect for you.
The Power behind the Design
Mouse trap cars are so much fun because they come with their own power supply built right in – the mouse trap itself. Specifically the spring on the trap. By using a string to harness the power of the spring, you can easily drive the wheels of your mouse trap car. Almost all mouse trap cars use the same principal to operate, but the car described below was chosen for this guide because it is very easy to build. After making this car, you can try out your own designs using the same propulsion mechanisms outlined here. You can create almost any design you can imagine with a simple mouse trap and a few wheels.
You need the following materials to build your mouse trap car:
- A mouse trap (of course).
- Two metal rods that are each 4 mm in diameter and 15 mm longer in length than the width of the mouse trap you are using for the car. These rods will act as the axles for the car.
- Four eyehole screws that are barely large enough to put the metal rods through.
- Plywood or any other type of thinly cut wood for the wheels.
- Two rubber bands.
- Washers with an inner diameter of 4 mm.
While the materials for a mouse trap car are easy to come by, you may not have all of the a tools necessary. To build the car, you will need the following tools:
- Drill with a 3.7 mm drill bit.
- Jigsaw (a coping saw will also work).
- Compass to make a template for the wheels.
- Wood file.
- Wood glue or super glue.
- Epoxy (the type of glue that comes in two parts which you mix together).
- A small Jeweler’s File.
Building The Body
To begin construction, you need to use your pliers to pull the wire that holds the mouse trap open out of the trap. Also remove the bait holder, as this part is not necessary. Keep the wire catch to the side though, you will use it later. Also pull out any staples that may have held the previously removed parts in place. When everything is removed, take the eye hooks and screw them into one end of the mouse trap approximately 8 mm from each edge. If the wood begins to split as you screw the eye screw in, simply drill a small hole first.
Wheel and Axle Assembly
You can make the wheels by using the compass to create four 75 mm circles on the plywood. The wheels can be larger or smaller if you choose, but 75 mm is a good size for relatively long distance runs. When the wheels have been sketched, cut along your freshly drawn line with a jigsaw and file them down along the edges so that they are nice and smooth. Then take the rods and place them in a vice. Cut them to exactly equal length and file the ends so that they are nice and smooth as well. Cut about half way through one of the rods with the hacksaw and use the jeweler’s file to widen the slot enough to allow the wire catch that was removed from the trap in an earlier step to fit into the groove snugly. Cut a 7 mm piece of the wire catch and file down the ends. Using the epoxy, glue the piece of wire into the slot on the axle so that the wire overhangs only on one side. Let the epoxy dry overnight.
Mounting the Wheels
When the glue is dry, place the axle with the wire at the rear of the mouse trap (where the jaws of the trap rest when the trap is set). Place the other axle through its respective eye holes screws. Add washers to the end of the axles so that the axles will not slide out. Drill a hole into the center of each of the wheels with your 3.7 mm drill bit and then slide the wheels onto each of the rods.
Mounting the Engine
Now for the actual power behind the mouse trap car. Take your string and tie it to the middle of the jaws of the mouse trap (the part which snaps down on the mouse). Tie a loop in the other end so that the loop is located exactly at the rear axle. Cut off any loose ends. Take the two rubber bands and place one around each of the rear wheels for extra traction. You can glue the rubber bands into place so they will not slide off.
Powering up the Car
To use the mouse trap car, simply raise the jaws of the trap slightly and take the looped end of the string and place in over the wire that was attached to the rear axle. Reverse the car to allow the string to wind around the axle and pull open the jaws of the trap. Release the car on the ground and it will speed away.
A mouse or two at home can be easily caught with a well-crafted mouse trap, but if you’ve swarms of them running around your feet, maybe you should try these techniques how to get rid of mice. Of course, you also want to get rid of those nasty gnats buzzing around your face, so check out these tricks on getting rid of gnats, to drive them away from your home as well.
If you like building mouse trap cars, you may be interested in the following:
Mouse Trap Car Videos
Mouse Trap Car Images