Spider Box

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Introduction: Spider Box

About: My name is Troy. I'm a Mechatronics and Aerospace Engineer. I make things out of wood and electronics and spend time outdoors (especially SCUBA diving).

This simple box looks just like any other box. It's made from an old pallet; however, this box contains a hidden secret that should get more than just a slight reaction from an unsuspecting passerby. Encased in this simple wooden box is a plastic spider that will surprise anyone trying to open your box.

I tried to get the reactions of a few of my friends on camera, however they were all too suspicious of me. If you get any great reactions with your spider box, please share them in the comments.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Materials

  • Pallets
  • Plastic or Rubber Spiders
  • Dowel
  • Rod or thick wire (I used an old bicycle spoke)
  • Small nail

Tools

  • Plane
  • Saw
  • Router with 1/2" and 3/8" bits
  • 1" hole saw
  • Clamps
  • Glue

Step 2: Reclaim Wood

Using the widest boards on the pallets (mine were just over 5" wide) plane the thickness to 1/2".

Step 3: Cut to Size

Cut the boards down to the following dimensions:

  • 2 Sides - 5" x 6" x 1/2"
  • 1 Bottom - 3 1/2" x 6" x 1/2"
  • 1 Back - 3 1/2" x 4 1/2" x 1/2"
  • 1 Front - 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" x 1/2"
  • 1 Top - 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" x 3/8"

Step 4: Router for Joints

Using a router and two bits, cut the Rabbet joints 1/2" wide and 1/4" deep and the Dado 3/8" wide and 1/4" deep.

Step 5: Dry Fit

Dry fit everything together and make sure that it looks good to glue.

Step 6: Make Spider Mechanism

This is the part that makes the whole thing possible. Cut a dowel 3 1/2" long. I had one that was 7/8" just lying around so I used that.

Take a 1 inch hole saw and cut out a blank from one of the 2x4 pieces of the pallet. Drill out the center of the blank to fit over the 3 1/2" long dowel.

Be careful, remember that pallet wood is extremely dry and can easily break.

Glue the blank in the center of the dowel.

Step 7: Glue Together

Glue everything together. Make sure that your spider mechanism turns freely.

Step 8: Attach Spider

Drill a hole in the abdomen of the spider the size of whatever wire or rod you are using. I used an old bicycle spoke I had lying around.

Drill a hole in the center of the round spider mechanism the size of your rod.

Make a rough bend in the rod so that it fits inside the box.

Glue the spider on the rod and the rod on the mechanism.

The great thing about this is you can use whatever type of spider you like. I've even seen some boxes made with a fake small rat.

Step 9: Attach String

Pull the spider all the way out of the box and drill another hole in the mechanism. Glue a small nail in place. Tie a small string onto the nail.

Put the spider back in the box and put the lid in place (you may need to sand down the front of the box a little to allow space for the string.

Holding the string in place, open the lid slowly till it's clear of the spider. Mark the position of the string and lid and staple in place.

Step 10: Lid Pull

Open the lid and see where the spider lands. That's going the be where to locate the pull for the lid.

Step 11: Bait Your Victim

Some people are nosy enough to look into your box, others may need to be baited. The label of "Candy" may work for some people. Depending on your setting you may need to be creative in different ways to lure your victim.

Pallet Contest

Participated in the
Pallet Contest

6 People Made This Project!

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42 Discussions

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HorusCok
HorusCok

11 months ago

Thanks for the inspiration. Besides using a cat toy mouse, I made a slight modification to simplify the construction and mechanism. I drilled out recesses on each side and used a solid dowel. The mechanism is actuated through friction, when the lid is pulled back. I glues a couple of layers of old sand paper strips directly to the dowel to make up for the gap between the dowel and the lid. The sand paper grips the lid when it's open and turns the dowel and the mouse retracts when the lid is closed.

I also fond that using a larger dowel provides for a lot more control over when the mouse pops up; smaller dowels spin too fast and don't allow the lid to clear before the mouse wants out.

The lever attached to the mouse is just a piece of 12 g copper wire I had laying around super-glued into a hole drilled into the dowel.

1/2" plywood scraps, simple butt joints, ebony stain and a coat of wax. I wasn't overly concerned with fit and finish - it's a gag for a white elephant exchange over Thankgsgiving.

20191123_180659.jpg20191125_103109.jpg20191125_103120.jpg20191125_103044.jpg
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misterxp
misterxp

2 years ago

Nice istructable for making a box too! Thanks!

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valveman
valveman

2 years ago

This is a great gag project.

I bet you have heard a lot of screams when people have opened the box.

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Willys36
Willys36

2 years ago

How about adding a wire to the roller with a lead fishing sinker on its end that counter weights the spider and sucks it back into the box

spider weight.jpg
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tomatoskins
tomatoskins

Reply 2 years ago

You can definitely do that, however I found the weight of the wire and spider to be enough to pull it back it with no counterweight needed. You can see the GIF in the intro showing this.

0
TheOrchidGirl
TheOrchidGirl

4 years ago

Oh my gosh!! Someone did this to me once!!! :D

0
makaylamehrens
makaylamehrens

4 years ago

Is anyone selling one they made? I went online to purchase one but 30.00 is way to much for one of these

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App119
App119

4 years ago

cool

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Dustin Rogers
Dustin Rogers

5 years ago

OMG!! This is perfect. A new co-worker is terrified of spiders. Must build this soon. Great work.

I confess. I infected my beloved big sister with the geocaching bug. Earlier this month she had me help her build a wooden box that pops a ghoulish head out above the lid when the cache is opened. I guess I need to write another Instructable... This spider one is terribly ghastly!

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Catley
Catley

5 years ago on Introduction

As a 50-year former arachnophobe, I would say to choose your victim with care and be sure they don't have a weak heart and do have a good sense of humor, or you would be in trouble. Sometimes the fun and humor is all for the person making the practical joke, and none for the recipient. Not that I haven't enjoyed surprising or mildly scaring friends and family once in a while.

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Nrgdragon
Nrgdragon

5 years ago on Introduction

Replacing the spider with the curved end of a spoon and putting something in it=catapulted SOMETHING to the face...

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dimmaz88
dimmaz88

5 years ago on Introduction

Awesome. I expected it to be one of those automated 'useless' boxes. That would be the next version :)

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stringstretcher
stringstretcher

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

I have one with a furry paw that comes out... made this a few years ago :P

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2F_BKe-XWo4