Making A "Robo" Rat Trap

The first question I will be asked is, "Why". So I'll cover that up front. I'm not sure, but it was a challenge. I always wanted a thinner rat trap so I could carry more in the same space in my pack, and because I was talking about it a while back with a friend and he said, "That would be cool, why don't you do it". The second question is always, why "Robo" Rat Trap? Again, I'm not sure, but because it was sleek, modern, and hi-tech looking it somehow reminded me of the movie "Robo Cop." 

Anyway, the wood on a rat trap is only so thick in order to hold the large staples which hold all the pieces on. The staples have to sink in far enough to hold in the wood.

I wanted to make one out of 1/8" aluminum, lighten it with holes, and peen over staples on the bottom made from 3/32 piano wire (which I use for bails on my pots).

I started, obviously, with a regular rat trap and took the components necessary for making my own. The staples had to be ruined to get the parts off, so I made some with 3/32 piano wire using a small jig. I used 1/8" aluminum plate, which just happens to be what most street signs are made of (go figure). After laying out the required holes for the staple attachments, larger holes were laid out to lighten the plate (The holes could have been bigger).

The aluminum plate with staples made for attachments, and holes being drilled to lighten the plate.

Holes completed and parts attached. Peening the staples on the bottom was the most difficult part.

Bottom of plate with peened staples.

Close-up view of the Bait Plate attached.

Close-up view of the Spring Assembly attachment.

Close-up view of the Bait Plate Latch.

After it was completely built and tested, a few coats of O.D. Green paint and it was ready for the pack. Now I need to make some more! Here are some photos of the completed project.

Top View of the finished "Robo" Rat Trap.

Side View of the finished "Robo" Rat Trap.

Bottom View of the finished "Robo" Rat Trap.

Less than 1/4 the thickness of a standard Rat Trap!

Ready to put in my food gathering kit.

The weight of the wooden trap is 5.1 oz. and my aluminum trap 5.7 oz. (only 0.6 oz. more). If I had drilled larger holes in it, I probably could have made it lighter, but I wanted it to be solid to hold the spring when set.

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Copyright © 2011 by John D. McCann