Picture of Humane Animal Trap (Small-Med)
This is my first Instructable.  I apologize in advance for the semi-lubricated state I was in when creating it.

I built this trap to snag a couple of raccoons that have been getting into my dog and chicken feed, knocking over trash cans and trying to get into the garage.  Once they started getting a little brave and getting into actual fights with the dogs I knew something had to be done before somebody got rabies, and I didn't want to shoot the raccoons because, well... I don't like shooting something I don't intend to eat or that doesn't intend to eat me.  I also think this trap is sensitive enough to catch the fairly large mice and rats that nest in the large field behind my house and like to chew on hot tub wiring and steal animal feed.  We'll see.

Tools and Materials:

Table Saw
Dremel Tool (or any rotary/cut off type of tool)
Straight Edge (carpenters square, quick square, whatever)
Router w/ straight bit (Optional)
Hole Saw (Optional)

1 Sheet of 1/2 Plywood
Enough plexiglass to make a window or two
1 3" piece of PVC ~4'
1 1" piece of PVC ~4'
1 => 1" piece of PVC ~ 3'
1 2x4 ~1'
Wood glue
=<1" wood screws
<3" small diameter bolt with wingnut
2 ~2" bolts w/nuts
One small screw in hook or eyelet
Small amount of paracord or other small diameter rope
One empty tin can

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Step 1: Plywood Prep

Picture of Plywood Prep
Using a table saw or circular saw with straight edge guide, rip 4 pieces of 1/2" thick plywood 32"x16".  I did this out of a 4'x4x piece of plywood, which left a perfect sized piece for the back of the box once assembled.
Congrats on making the front page. My advice is to tack on some copper and iron doohickies and call it a Steampunk Humane Animal Trap, thereby distinguishing your design from other, similar Instructables. Then sit back and soak up all the positive comments.
badpanda (author)  whatisadrexel3 years ago
Good idea, and perhaps my next Instructable will be a sweet pair of mini steampunk goggles for the captured raccoon and some sort of steam engine powered dirigible to set him free in the sky on.
if you catch a porcupine in it . they will eat the wood to get out. lining with sheet metal helps.
...And then the walls close in and crush it to death? Seriously though, you should just shoot the thing. How are you going to release it while knowing that it won't turn around and bite you? They're vicious little things, and once they know that there is food to be had somewhere, they'll be back. You're best off just shooting it. If you shoot one, nature will just make more come springtime.
a friend of mine once had problems with racoons coming in through her cat door, so she set a trap inside the house, directly against the cat door. When she caught one, she'd bang on the cage with a bat, rattle the cage, and generally make the racoon's brief captivity an unpleasant experience. Racoons are smart critters, and are naturally afraid of people (unless they're rabid), so if you open their cage with a pole or a string, they're pretty unlikely to come towards you. No need to shoot anything -- her raccoon problem was permanently solved with a little bit of training.
mariocodu3 years ago
Vou ver se dá certo para o que eu preciso...grato
badpanda (author)  mariocodu3 years ago
Você está convidado
rhkramer3 years ago
Sorry, there is something wrong with your dimensions--you won't get 4 pieces 36"x16" out of a 4'x4' piece of plywood. Did you mean 36"x12", or did you have a bigger piece of plywood to start with?
badpanda (author)  rhkramer3 years ago
You are half correct and I was half wrong. It's actually 32"x16" so it was three cuts one length and one the other. Thanks for noticing! It's been corrected.
You're welcome!
SIRJAMES093 years ago

Good instructable. well written(least for me it was), I understood everything, & the pics helped a lot!

There are a few things I would change were it me building it, but that's just me...I'm weird that way.

Definitely a good instructable, one that I would reccomend to all my friends. :-)
badpanda (author)  SIRJAMES093 years ago
Thanks James, much appreciated. More to come soon I hope, working on something pretty neat right now :)
SIRJAMES093 years ago
A while back I made a trap & for the door, I used "L" shaped metal...2 pieces each side & the door slid down between them. no cutting needed, and the animals can chew on the metal all day & it won't hurt a durn thing. was a lot more secure too.
Creativeman3 years ago
Good work!..............

yea, but did you catch the racoon(s)?
badpanda (author)  Creativeman3 years ago
It's on loan to a buddy right now, the one who helped me build it since the racoons at his place have been pulling the heads off his chickens. He's supposed to deploy it this weekend and get back to me with pictures if he catches anything. I'll throw up photos as soon as I get one... I did catch my neighbors cat though so I know it works.
Microbe3 years ago
Not sure what type of critters you catch, but where I live in Australia you would need to either build it out of metal or line it with something like a printer's aluminium plate otherwise you are going to end up with a tripped trap, a hole chewed through the wall and no critter.
badpanda (author)  Microbe3 years ago
I think you just Crocodile Dundee'd me, that's not a knife...

Kidding. Yeah, I'm not trying to catch crocs, just racoons. No evidence of any chewing yet, most of the surfaces inside are flat and would be hard to get a chewing angle on, and I imagine if you checked it daily it would be pretty unlikely anything would get its way out that quick with a can of tuna for bait for it to chow on. If I do notice heavy chewing I could probably patch it up with just some aluminum flashing or even chicken wire. I've seen a lot of similar traps used by others and they were all wood and lasted as long as they held up to the elements. Thanks for the feedback though.
greatpanda3 years ago
Cool! My dad did a similar thing for catching pack rats- same box, except with a peg to hold the door open, attached to the snapper of a mousetrap. When the bait was wiggled (hung from a string attached to the trigger of the mousetrap), it would jerk out the pin and close the door.
rhino3 years ago
I use this same basic design to trap feral cats, but I have found they do not want to go into a closed space, so I put expanded metal on the back wall instead of closing it in with wood. That way they can see through the other side and are more inclined to enter the trap and take the bait. I used two wooden strips on each side to slide the door into because I did not have a router and my bait bar and see saw mechanism are made from scrap wood as well. Some animals do not like the smell of man made materials so I left off any glue and just used wood screws to assemble mine. Also I store it outdoors so it does not pick up lots of strange odors from the storage shed.

This was an exceptional instructable. Well written and illustrated.
LifeWarrior3 years ago
The fulcrum is very slick and very well designed, actually makes me think of another use for the fulcrum besides trapping.
badpanda (author)  LifeWarrior3 years ago
Thanks... yeah the original idea I had in my head wasn't very good, but once I realized I had a few feet of scrap 3" PVC lying around too this one came to me. I'm so happy with it I've been trying to think of alternative uses as well... like maybe a counter weighted system for some other applications I've been tinkering with. Let me know if you use this in some non trap related build I'd love to see it.
Shadoof! Always a good choice for extra pipeing

Followed by Archimedean screw  - lay poly pipe at 45 deg make stand for each end. Put a spiral of poly tubing round the pipe - lower end in the water - when you turn the ware flows up the tub and out of the top.
badpanda (author)  rickharris3 years ago
And well, it's just fun to say shadoof!
Both also interesting concepts not to mention every time I hear that name i think of Merlin's owl. And yes shadoof!
rickharris3 years ago
Nicely made but at a cost and time spent. My example is much cheaper and quicker to build.
Great Job Panda! The other instructable listed above me would not hold up to a raccoon. It's good to see that there is a trap on here that would hold up.
Wasn't intended as it is for a large animal BUT it can easily be beefed up - Heavier wire for example. The doo would need to fit better as well.

Just pointing out that over engineering isn't always the answer.
badpanda (author)  rickharris3 years ago
I apologize if my superior over engineered build hurt your feelings. I thought it was pretty obviously over engineered considering I made mention several times about the purely cosmetic or the unnecessary. I wasn't trying to to go minimalist here, I was trying to have a few beers with a friend and build something cool, and sometimes that my friend, is the point.
Panda and Rick,
Just my 2 cents but both serve the purpose their intended for, Obviously ricks is from a minimalist design frame of mind and panda's is obviously from an engineered design frame of mind. Being of both worlds they both have solid designs. Just my thought rather than argue who can build a better mouse trap collaborate on the design and build a third with the best of all the qualities, Minimizing cost and time, with an over engineered design. As it stands you both are in an un-winnable debate.
True, apologies exchanged :-)
Hey it's cool! It was just an observation, I just thought there were 2 really good switch designs both based on pre-medieval machines, which is really sharp to see them used in modern productions. It just came across on the comments that it sounded like that old mousetrap thing. Anyhow no offense intended on that though, it just occurred to me that a couple good designers working together might come up with something even more interesting.
If I came across critical I apologise : It was just a comment. Your design and engineering are excellent. Peace! :-)
badpanda (author)  rickharris3 years ago
Thanks rick, apology accepted. The written language often fails in conveying ones true intentions. You have some great and very useful builds out there and I'll be looking for more. Peace!
badpanda (author)  rickharris3 years ago
It's a design that has been around as long as people have been trapping animals so I wasn't trying to re invent the wheel here. I guest cost is relative, it looks like we both built it out of crap lying around the garage. The only thing I had to buy for this build was a wing nut, and I picked up a bag because wingnuts always come in handy. Oh, and beer, I did buy a 6 pack of beer. I wanted to build something that would last a long time, always be effective and that broke down for easy transport or loan to friends... and something that limits exposure to the trapped animal, which is why I chose not to use the extra chicken wire I had laying around and build something formidable. Good build yourself, now people can strike out for the quick build or the Cadillac, and anywhere in between. Happy hunting.
d1wolf3 years ago
Pretty low tech. i like the trigger. Mine uses an electronic trigger - a simple scr circuit and a micro switch on a teeter board. Gotta recharge the gell cell once a week. put my "window" on the top but made it out of chicken wire so the summer heat could escape. It also helps when you have to hose it out because you know those pesky possums like to crap in it.