THE BOX DEAD-FALL.
This trap is an old invention, simplified by the author, and for the capture of rats and mice will prove very effectual. It consists of a box, constructed of four slabs of 3-4 inch boarding, and open at both ends. The two side boards should be 10 x 18 inches; top and bottom boards, 6 x 18 inches. For the centre of the latter, a square piece should be removed by the aid of the saw. The width of this piece should be four inches, and the length eight inches. Before nailing the boards together, the holes thus left in the bottom board should be supplied with a treadle platform, working on central side pivots. The board for this treadle should be much thinner and lighter than the rest of the trap, and should fit loosely in place, its surface being slightly below the level of the bottom board. This is shown in the interior of the trap. The pivots should be inserted in the exact centre of the sides, through holes made in the edge of the bottom board. These holes may be bored with a gimlet or burned with a red-hot wire. The pivots may [Page 129] consist of stout brass or iron wire; and the end of one should be flattened with the hammer, as seen in (a). This pivot should project an inch from the wood, and should be firmly inserted in the treadle-piece. The platform being thus arranged, proceed to fasten the boards together, as shown in the illustration, the top and bottom boards overlapping the others. We will now give our attention to the stick shown at (b). This should be whittled from a piece of hard wood, its length being three inches, and its upper end pointed as seen. The lower end should be pierced with a crevice, which should then be forced over the flattened extremity of the point (a) as shown at (c), pointed end uppermost. The weight (a) is next in order. This should consist of a heavy oak plank two inches in thickness, and of such other dimensions as will allow it to fit loosely in the box, and fall from top to bottom therein without catching between two sides. A stout staple should be driven in the centre of its upper face, and from this a stout string should be passed upward through a hole in the centre of the box. We are now ready for the spindle (e). This should be about three inches in length, and bluntly pointed [Page 130] at each end, a notch being made to secure it at a point five inches above the pivot (c). To set the trap, raise the weight, as seen in the illustration; draw down the string to the point (e), and attach it to the spindle one-half an inch from its upper end, which should then be inserted in the notch, the lower end being caught against the extremity of the pivot stick. The parts are now adjusted, and even in the present state the trap is almost sure to spring at the slightest touch on the treadle-piece. An additional precaution