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The Common Box Trap


which have not been covered by any of the previous titles. Several

novelties are contained in the list, and also a number of well

known inventions.

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.