Rat-Trap Race Cars

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Project by darkhollow posted 05-05-2012 08:18 PM 7667 views 9 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These pieces are fairly self-explanitory… They are made from Victor brand rat-traps, Sassafras, with tempera paint and model-airplane wheels. There is a string that wraps around the axle and hooks over the bail-arm of the trap. when the traps are sprung, the race is on!

-- You say Luddite like it's a bad thing ...

11 comments so far

View Texchappy's profile


252 posts in 3460 days

#1 posted 05-05-2012 09:29 PM

Cool but how many fingers do you loose racing them?

-- Wood is not velveeta

View Tom Goodman's profile

Tom Goodman

198 posts in 5372 days

#2 posted 05-06-2012 12:07 AM

Jeepers ! . . . I remember making these when I was a whole lot younger. But these are a whole lot cooler.

-- - " If you want square work, You don't cut corners. " - -- Tom Goodman, Santa Maria, CA. [email protected]

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 4488 days

#3 posted 05-06-2012 08:40 AM

Now those are cool …!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4044 days

#4 posted 05-06-2012 11:27 AM

pretty nifty

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Douwe's profile


62 posts in 3526 days

#5 posted 05-06-2012 11:31 AM

This is great! Never seen it before.
It gives a whole new dimension to ‘joining the ratrace’.

-- Douwe

View vakman's profile


301 posts in 3643 days

#6 posted 05-06-2012 06:29 PM

Those are some cool looking models, nice job!

-- - Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true. -

View PaBull's profile


969 posts in 4905 days

#7 posted 05-06-2012 07:36 PM

Darkhollow, I have never seen these before, please explane how these work.
I love the cars, this reminds me of the Pine Car Derbe.


-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View darkhollow's profile


60 posts in 3757 days

#8 posted 05-06-2012 08:15 PM

explanation of function… There is a string that goes through a hole at the back-end of the car. This string is wrapped around the back axle of the car. there is still a bit of string sticking up through the hole, with a small hook on it. The trap is set in the usual manner, and the hook is placed over the bail-arm of the rat trap. The hook make it safer than it would be if one were to try to wind the string around the axle after the trap was set, or to attempt to tie the string around the arm of the set trap. the car is placed on the ground, and the trap is sprung with a small stick, dropped weight, or whatever is at hand that will do the job (NOT a finger, not even a friend’s finger!) When the trap goes off, it pulls the string that is wound around the back axle, causing the wheels to spin and the car to go. There are no brakes, nor is there steering. These are actual, large, Rat-traps (almost seven inches long), not mouse traps, and thus it would be easy for one to break a finger with them if not careful. When working on them or displaying them, it is easy and necessary to disconnect the springs from the arm. one need simply lift the spring end off of the arm, putting it back on race-day. this will make more sense when you look at a trap. or course, the idea works just as well with mousetraps; I first heard about mousetrap cars, have never seen one, but came across these traps at a hardware store and decided to have some fun with the idea.

-- You say Luddite like it's a bad thing ...

View MrsN's profile


988 posts in 4766 days

#9 posted 05-07-2012 04:32 PM

My students make mousetrap cars, but these look way cooler then the ones we make. If you search YouTube for Mousetrap cars you will find lots of videos of mousetrap races. We use mousetraps becasue I don’t want any broken fingers from rat traps.
nice job on these, how far do they go?

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 3546 days

#10 posted 05-07-2012 11:03 PM

NOW THATS COOL! I need to make a few of these :)

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Leonard5's profile


377 posts in 3933 days

#11 posted 08-01-2014 08:05 PM


-- Leonard H.

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