The Common Box Trap
Categories: MISCELLANEOUS TRAPS.
which have not been covered by any of the previous titles. Several
novelties are contained in the list, and also a number of well
There is probably no more familiar example of the trap kind than
that of the common wooden box-trap, better known, perhaps, by our
country boys as the rabbit-trap. A glance at our illustration, will
readily bring it to mind, and easily explain its working to t
not particularly acquainted with it. These traps may be made of any
size, but, being usually employed in catching rabbits, require to
be made quite large. They should be made of hard seasoned wood--oak
or chestnut is the best--and of slabs about an inch in thickness.
The pieces may be of the following dimensions: let the bottom board
be 20+7 in.; side board, 20+9 in.; lid board 19+7 in., and the
end piece of lid 7 in. square.
The tall end piece should be about 16 inches high by 7 broad. Let
this be sharpened on the upper end, as seen in the engraving, and
furnished with a slight groove on the summit, for the reception
of the cord. Now to put the pieces together.
Nail the two sides to the edge of the bottom board, and fit in
between them the high end piece, securing that also, with nails
through the bottom and side boards. Next nail the lid board on
to the small, square end piece, and fit the lid thus made neatly
into its place.
To make the hinge for the lid, two small holes should be bored
through the sides of the trap, about four inches from the tall end,
and half an inch from the upper edge of each board. Let
small nails now be driven through these holes into the edge of the
lid, and it will be found to work freely upon them.
The principal part of the trap is now made, but what remains to be
done is of great importance. The spindle is a necessary feature
in nearly all traps, and the box-trap is useless without it. In
this case it should consist merely of a round stick of about the
thickness of a lead pencil, and we will say, 7 or 8 in. in length.
One end should be pointed and the other should have a small notch
cut in it, as seen in the separate drawing of the stick. The spindle
being ready, we must have some place to put it. Another hole should
be bored through the middle of the high end piece, and about 4 in.
from the bottom. This hole should be large enough to allow the
spindle to pass easily through it. If our directions have been
carefully followed, the result will now show a complete, closefitting
In setting the trap there are two methods commonly employed, as
shown at a and b. The string, in either case, must be fastened
to the end of the lid.
In the first instance (a) the lid is raised and made fast by the
brace, holding itself beneath the tip of the projecting spindle,
and a nail or plug driven into the wood by the side of the hole.
Of course, when the spindle is drawn or moved from the inside the
brace will be let loose and the lid will drop.
In the other method (b) the spindle is longer, and projects several
inches on the outside of the hole. The brace is also longer, and
catches itself in the notch on the end of the spindle, and another
slight notch in the board, a few inches above the hole.
When the bait is touched from the inside, the brace easily flies
out and the lid falls, securing its victim. Either way is sure
to succeed, but if there is any preference it is for the former
(a). It is a wise plan to have a few holes through the trap in
different places, to allow for ventilation, and it may be found
necessary to line the cracks with tin, as sometimes the enclosed
creature might otherwise gnaw through and make its escape. If there
is danger of the lid not closing tightly when sprung, a stone may
be fastened upon it to insure that result.
This trap is usually set for rabbits, and these dimensions are
especially calculated with that idea. Rabbits abound in all our
woods and thickets, and may be attracted by various baits. An apple
is most generally used. The box-trap may be made of smaller dimensions,
and set in trees for squirrels with very good success.
There is still another well known form of this trap represented
in the tail piece at the end of this section. The box is first
constructed of the shape already given, only having the lid piece
nailed firmly in the top of the box. The tall end piece is also
done away with. The whole thing thus representing a simple oblong
box with one end open. Two slender cleats should be nailed on each
side of this opening, on the interior of the box, to form a groove
into which a square end board may easily slide up and down, the
top board being slightly sawn away to receive it. An upright stick
should then be erected on the top centre of the box, in the tip of
which a straight stick should be pivoted, working easily therein,
like the arms of a balance. To one end of this balance, the end
board should be adjusted by two screw eyes, and to the other the
string with spindle attached. By now lowering the spindle to its
place, the further end of the balance will be raised and with it
the end board, and on the release of the spindle the board will
fall. This plan is quite commonly adopted but we rather prefer
the former. But as each has its advantages we present them both.