Instructables

Speedy Gonzales: How to Make a Mousetrap Racecar

Picture of Speedy Gonzales: How to Make a Mousetrap Racecar
Oh, what better a way to start off the new semester than by building a racecar? Why, building a racecar using a mousetrap, of course!

In this Instructable, I will not only show you how to build a mousetrap car, but also some tips and tricks that I learned in my own building process.

Back off, PETA. No animals (or pet rocks ;]) were harmed in the making of this Instructable.
 
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Step 1: Gather Thine Materials

Picture of Gather Thine Materials
In order to built your Mousetrap car, you will need:

1. (2) Balsa wood side rails (8" x 1/2" x 1/4") - mine came pre-drilled; but you'll have to drill holes (slightly larger than 3/16") in yours for the axle

2. (2) Brass axles (6" x 3/16" tube)

3. (1) Brass lever arm (6" x 1/8" Tube)

4. (4) CD's to use as wheels - I used those clear things that you get when you buy a pack of black disks; these work fine, too

5. (8) Rubber CD spacers

6. (4) Metal thrust washers

7. (1) Victor Mousetrap

8. (1) Zip tie to use as axle hook

9. 36" Kevlar String - if you can't find Kevlar, any type of thin string, even fishing wire, works well enough

Note: In class we were provided with these kits; you can order them rather than trying to gather all the parts individually.

You'll also want these tools:

1. A hot glue gun and hot glue or super glue

2. Needle-nose pliers

3. Wire cutter

4. Scissors

5. Protractor, optional

6. Sandpaper, optional
adianand2 months ago

aditya

hey its simple i could make it

cosondu2 years ago
Could you add an illustration for this one please.
pieman124 years ago
how's the distance on it
boot leg -_-
dewman33994 years ago
hey i dont get how the zip tie serves as a axle hook.
I was wondering if you could explain in more detail?
firemanfu4 years ago
Loos good, I've made a few in the past, but my favorite would have to be the one i'm currently building in my 10th grade engineering class, since the majority of the parts are being designed in Autodesk, then are being made on the 3-D printer our school had donated last year, ill post pics once it is completed...
dcirera5 years ago
what are the size of your cd spacers??? is it the same with the axle or smaller???
Thank you for this instructable. It's thorough, helpful and gives every single step by step needed to help you through. The illistrations help immensily.
WHAT IS THE BLUE THING FOR.?
Labot2001 (author)  greendoratink5 years ago
WHAT IS THE CAPS BUTTON FOR?
Pickles3066 years ago
Yours doesn't looks too bad, I had to make mine about 6 years ago back in high school. I have a few suggestions, depending on how much modification you are allowed and/or time you have. Mine went across a full-size gym lengthwise about 3 1/2 times (probably about 300 feet or so)... the trick isn't length, but to make the trap spring very slowly. I made mine out of very light metal strips that I tack-welded together. I made it into a triangle shape with the point end being in the front. I also used a mini-cd for the front wheel with no rubber band at all (less resistance), and placed it in the middle of the triangle construction. The mini-cd made it sit lower in the front, helping it as well. The back wheels were 4 large cds that I had super-glued rubber bands around for traction, all based on one axle. I cut the mousetrap bar so it wasn't a square shape, instead just a straight bar, and took a piece of copper that was about 4 feet long and tack-welded it to that. On the end I made an eye-hook to tie fishing wire to. I found it had enough leverage when it pulled that it wanted to pull the spring out of the wood on the mouse-trap, so I also tack-welded metal bars on the bottom of the mouse-trap so that the small metal staples holding it in couldn't pull through the wood. The metal-on-metal for the axles helps it spin faster (especially with a bit of graphite!). When it came to wrapping it around the axle, I took a thread spool and covered the inside with a rubbery caulk. This caused the axle to spin slower (so you could get more distance out of the wind, instead of speed, an important aspect) and the rubbery surface made sure the fishing line didn't slip much within the spool. My total design was about 4 1/2 feet long and took me about 20 hours of hit-and-miss construction, but it was definitely a winner for length. I would post pictures, but I didn't bring it with me when I moved to college and to be honest I'm not sure if it hasn't been destroyed by now. Anyways, just a few ideas!
sweet need to do this for school now, this will definitely help!
You call that a few?!?!
i gotta do this for a project and we're allowed to copy people's designs... so do you mind if i use yours? oh, and how far did yours go?
Labot2001 (author)  bitesnkisses5 years ago
Yeah, you can go ahead and copy mine... You just have to credit me (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike) ;)

Err, I don't remember how far mine went... this was a while ago.
corey115 years ago
hey try to add a video.. i want to see this thing in action..
Labot2001 (author)  corey115 years ago
Sorry. The assignment was months ago - the car is gone and done now.
Cool, I just got the mousecar assignment.
sgt.paper6 years ago
were u live in texas? i live there too
I'm a Texan! YEEHA!

I actually live in the same town as Miachel Dell... free computers! Kinda.
Labot2001 (author)  sgt.paper6 years ago
i used to live there... near plano.
sfsmini19126 years ago
bahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah
Labot2001 (author)  sfsmini19126 years ago
wtf?
Keith-Kid6 years ago
hhmn...original.

Cool.

One more thing: are you a god?

Tyler713247 - kid god job
Labot2001 (author)  Keith-Kid6 years ago
erm, actually its not all the original. sorry to disappoint you :/ and lol, yeah i noticed that too, but no, contrary to popular belief, i am not a god :]
Tyler7132476 years ago
kid god job
LinuxH4x0r6 years ago
Cool! I'v seen these before and they can actually get pretty fast! For some reason when I shut a mouse trap on my finder it doesn't hurt.

texas sucks

Labot2001 (author)  LinuxH4x0r6 years ago
.... uh, you best be glad you put a strike-through on that last one...
Its just that I moved to new mexico 4 months ago and I hate the whole south. Its nothing personal.
Great, and I mean great, and I mean great Instructable Labot. Good pictures, detailed steps, awesome job. And your image... it's kind of weird haha. :-)
Nice Instructable!
Labot2001 (author)  GorillazMiko6 years ago
lol, thanks!
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