Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Kitten-Proof Mousetrap Mk.II

When I put up my first kitten-proof mousetraps, I quickly found that I had made a mistake. Mousetraps are only effective if approached from the right end, otherwise the mouse can at best escape unscathed and at worst be heavily injured and suffer. Neither would be very desirable, so I modified my design to include a closed end. Here's how to modify a Mk. I to include the closed end. I'm adding the updated size formulas for cutting the cardboard at the end. If you are building from scratch, these instructions go between the folding and the installation of the trap.

1. Mark where your tube should end.
With the tube open, mark that place with a pen. If you cut the long side across the corrugation, it will now make a nice ruler for you.
I left some excess because I had a velcro spot stapled in place that I wanted to preserve. Ideally you can let it end at the end of the trap itself. As always, best leave a little margin.

2. From that point, measure outward a little less than the side's width for the first two sides, that's the inner closing side and the base.

3. Measure out a little more than the sides' width for the remaining three sides.

4. Cut off the excess as shown in the picture. You should get a little step at the second fold:

5. Cut inward as far as your tube end mark from the first step along all four folds. Cut away the part of the outer closing side (that's the fifth side as we're counting here) along the tube end mark.

6. (no picture) Fold in the first two flaps you made along the tube end mark, or whatever corrugation is closest, it's easier that way.

7. Fold in the remaining two flaps one corrugation out from the tube end mark.

8. Glue or staple the lower two flaps together so the inner closing side and the bottom are locked into a right angle.

9. Do the same with the remaining two folds so the back side and the top are also locked into a right angle.

You should now have a construction as shown in the picture, with two right angle half-boxes and a free closing flap. If you did it right, the two closing ends should slide into place nicely without touching.

Congratulations, you now have a cat-safe, mouse-friendly (so to speak) mouse trap.

Last but not least, as promised, the updated size formulas:

Width: unchanged.

Lenght: (L(paws) +L(trap)+Width*1.1) *1.1.

Be sure to include the extra margin as you'll cut some of it back off!

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