Rube Goldberg style Leprechaun Trap Steampunk? Kinetic Sculpture?

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Project by mbfunke posted 03-16-2013 09:04 PM 8775 views 4 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Quinn, my son, was given a homework assignment to build a leprechaun trap. Last year we made a gentle trap that worked by confining leprechauns to a small apartment. Unfortunately, last year the leprechaun got away. Quinn decided that it would be better if we just shot the leprechaun, so he couldn’t run away. I mentioned that the point was to catch the critter alive, so that he could lead us to his gold. We decided that a nerf gun would be best.

The premise is simple enough. The leprechaun grabs the pot of gold and releases the small green car. The car rolls down a ramp and springs a mouse trap. Once sprung the mouse-trap pulls a string through a pulley. At the end of the string is a pin holding back a marble. So when the mouse trap springs, the marble releases down the marble race. At the end of the marble race the marbles fall into a bucket. The bucket is suspended by a wire attached to a pulley and another pin, so when the marble lands the wire is tugged through the pulley and the pin is pulled. Pulling this second pin releases a dowel to fall triggering the nerf gun.

The idea was simple, but pulling this off in a short period of time and in a portable fashion was a challenge. We used mostly things from around the house/shop and the kids loved it. So did many of the teachers.

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-- Mike Funke

7 comments so far

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135 posts in 3619 days

#1 posted 03-16-2013 10:59 PM

By far the most imaginative and most fun Luprican trap I have ever seen.
Your son must have been ecstatic.

-- We've got enough youth. Let's search for a fountain of smart.

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Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 4136 days

#2 posted 03-16-2013 11:07 PM

That is fantastic
Don’t ever grow up. :)


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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8787 posts in 4245 days

#3 posted 03-17-2013 12:47 AM

That’s cool…..

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

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125 posts in 3331 days

#4 posted 03-17-2013 04:46 AM

Very cool, love it!

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1405 posts in 3778 days

#5 posted 03-17-2013 04:06 PM

Great fun and remarkably inventive. You truly do have Rube’s blood in your veins.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

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136 posts in 3308 days

#6 posted 03-18-2013 12:22 PM

Man, thats awesome! My son and I built one for Kindergarten, but your’s kinda puts it to shame. We did a trap door over a lego box filled with straw. Gold sat on the trap door, which was only being held up by a thin piece of wood, almost cut all the way through, so that when the Leprechaun stood on it to get the gold, he’d fall. It worked, but he somehow escaped. Crafty little buggers. If he has a similar project next year, we’ll have to step it up. Thanks for sharing!

-- Albert Einstein - "I'd rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right."

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2016 posts in 3156 days

#7 posted 01-31-2014 06:48 PM

awesome project. I love seeing rube goldberg devices, and this one is really sweet!

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

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