How to Build a Mouse Trap Car

A car mouse trap can be very easy and fun to build. It represents taking something normally found in the home and recreating it into something with a bit of fascination. Building them has even become popular in competitions at various high schools and colleges. Follow the steps below and you can build your own mouse trap car, with just a few household tools and items.

Tools required

  • Pliers
  • Hacksaw
  • Jewelers file

Materials required

  • Mouse trap
  • Plywood
  • String
  • Eye hooks
  • Screws


  1. The first step is to remove the bait holder from the mouse trap, then use the pliers and pull the wire out of the mechanism that holds the mouse trap open. Use the eye hooks and screw them into the end of the mouse trap about 8 mm from the edge or you can drill a small hole to insert the screw.
  2. Mark some circular lines in the plywood by using the compass to make a wheel size of about 75mm; this size makes the wheels good for moving over long distances. The lines for the wheels have been sketched in the plywood cut out four (4) wooden wheels from the plywood for the car mouse trap using a jigsaw. Then file down the edges so it has a smooth finish. Use the rods to put them in a vice. Cut them to the exact equal length and file the ends so that they are nice and smooth as well.
  3. Cut halfway through one of the rods with the hacksaw and use the jeweler’s file to widen the slot enough to allow the wire catch that was removed from the trap to fit into the groove. Cut a 7 mm piece of wire and file down the ends. Use the epoxy glue and attach the piece of wire to the slot on the axle to that the wire overhangs only on one side. Allow the glue to dry overnight.
  4. Put the axle with the wire at the jaws of the trap when the mouse trap is set. Put the other axle through its respective eye-hole screws. Use washers on the axles to ensure that it fits tightly and doesn’t slide out. Make a hole with the 3.7 mm drill bit into the center of each of the wheels then slide the wheels into each of the rods.
  5. Use the string and tie it to the middle of the part of the mouse trap jaws. Tie a loop in the ou end so that the loop is located exactly at the rear axle. Cut off any loose ends. Take the two rubber cans and place one around each of the rear wheels for extra traction. Glue the rubber bands in place so it doesn’t slide off.
  6. To use the mouse trap car, simply raise the jaws of the trap slightly and take the looped end of the string, and place it over the wire that was attached to the rear axle. Reverse the car to allow the string to wind around the axle and pull open the jaws of the trap. Release the car on the ground and it will take off.

Tips and Warning

  • A wooden dowel or plastic can also be used in place of the steel rods as the axle if steel rods are not available.
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