I wanted to create a unique ink stamper for the holidays. I came up with using rodent traps for the closing action and an everyday eraser for the ink stamp. I choose to create a snowflake pattern by carving into the rubber eraser.
Step 1: Gather the Components
Large Rat trap
Small mousetrap - I used a small trap for this application because I thought the wood is already designed for impact. Other wood could also be used.
Hot glue gun
All-purpose glue sticks
Rubber eraser (jumbo)
Carving tools (discount tools work just fine)
Vise or pliers – for bending
Spring clamp - large
Paper stock (I used envelopes)
Ink pad – used for rubber-stamping
Step 2: Get Started
Release the spring tension off a large trap and a small trap. This is done by moving both spring arms off the snapping wire.
Completely remove all the hardware off the small trap. I used a small trap for this application because I thought the wood would work best, because it is already designed for impact. Other wood could also be used.
On the large trap remove all but the spring and snapping wire.
Temporarily place small trap under snapping wire. Take a moment and mark the point where the small trap crosses the snapping wire. I used a sharpie. The marks are for the bending operation.
Step 3: Bend the Snapping Wire
I used the jumbo eraser for this project.
I temporarily placed the small trap and jumbo eraser under the snapping wire to determine the angle fo bend the snapping wire.
I used my shop vice and pliers to bend the wire to an angle that would allow the stamp to strike flat.
Otherwise, the stamp strike would only produce a portion of the image.
Step 4: Carve the Snowflake
I first put the snowflake image on the jumbo eraser with a sharpie (marker).
I put a small mark where I needed to cut down the eraser. Note: the smaller the area around the snowflake means less to material that needs to be remove. Cut down the eraser to final size.
The background needs to be removed to produce the image.
I used my carving tools to remove the background, the snowflake needs to stand proud to receive the ink.
To make sure that I removed all of the background, I did a test stamp.
So far so good.
Step 5: Assembly - Gluing
I used a large spring clamp to hold the small mousetrap with the jumbo eraser to the large trap for gluing.
I started gluing the small mouse trap to the snapping wire of large trap. I used general-purpose hot glue.
After the hot glue cooled for a while; I moved onto gluing the carved eraser to the small trap; using the general-purpose hot glue.
Let cool completely
One cooled put the spring wires back over the snapping wire.
Step 6: Stamping
I used a regular green inkpad to load the ink onto the snowflake. The spring pressue of the trap worked well in loading the ink, to the stamp.
Keeping the stamp out of the way, I removed the inkpad and replaced it with an envelope.
I pulled the stamper back further and released it to imprint the envelope.
I was able to stamp a few envelopes with just one loading.
When I was done stamping, I used a dry paper towel to pull most of the remaining ink off.
Then I used a wet towel to remove the balance of the ink.