How to Build a Mousetrap Car

Go the distance with this easy-to-make mousetrap-powered car.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Tie one end of the string around the rear axle -- the axle below the coiled spring of the mousetrap. Tie the other end of the string to the mousetrap's arm bar -- the bar that swings forward when the trap mechanism is tripped. Then turn the rear wheels in reverse, setting the trap as the string gets tighter.
  • Step 2: Use the ruler to spring the trap, releasing the arm bar to unwind the string and turn the wheels. Now assemble a group of friends to make mousetrap vehicles and hold your own mousetrap car drag races.
  • FACT: Agatha Christie's play _The Mousetrap_ is the longest continuously running play in history, with more than 24,000 performances since 1952.
  • TIP: You can use old CDs for wheels. Wrap rubber bands around them for traction.
  • Step 3: Fit the rubber washers over the ends of the dowel rods and attach the wheels. Then slip the cotter pins through the holes in the dowels.
  • TIP: Use a clamp or vice to hold the mousetrap firmly while you drill.
  • Step 4: Screw the eye hooks into the pilot holes. Then drill 5/64-inch holes through the dowel rods, near the ends, and slide the rods through the hooks. Make sure the dowel rods turn freely and extend far enough beyond the mousetrap to avoid friction and increase speed.
  • Step 5: Using a ruler, pencil a straight line along the middle of both of the mousetrap's shorter sides. Measure 1/2 inch in from the outer edges, and make perpendicular lines through the center line. Using the 5/64 drill bit, drill 1/2-inch deep pilot holes for the eye hooks at the points where the lines bisect.

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