One of the younger members was asking about trap mods and since I needed to work on some anyhow so I figured I put together a 101.....class I guess
So first things first : NO YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO THESE MODS TO CATCH FUR
Just gonna go ahead and save alot of folks the time and breath
Anyhow gonna show just the basics. Also gonna put explain this for somone who may not weld much or metal work in general.
So as far as tools you don't need everything I got but a basic welding is reply all you need. A welder ,welding hood,a few pairs of vice grips a 4 1/2" angle grinder, flap disks ,a good round and flat file ( single cut is the best I found ) and I piece of flat steel, a knock out plate would be just fine.
As far as my welder,it's just a little ole harbor freight flux core wire welder. Not as good as a gas set up but for like $110 bucks
it's only a 90amp so you can run it off of regular house socket. Also you don't need to run a shielding gas lots of splatter on the lower power setting though.
So where gonna be moding up a ole Duke 1.5. You can always buy these used pretty cheap so their a good place to start. If you mess one up you can always buy another off any muskrat trapper for a few bucks.
I prefer to do things in stages some I'm not hoping all over the place.
First where gonna measure for our laminations. A flexible tape makes it super easy. I like to come back about an 1/8" to 1/4 when I cut my lams to make sure I have clearance for leavers.
Now theirs alot of options for lamination material round stock and square stock being two of the most common. #9 anneled trapping wire is a pretty good place to start if you have it. Cheap easy to shape and weld. You don't have the same coverage ( diameter wise). But since we have such a small size trap a 20d nail will work just fine and with the tip and head cut off it almost the perfect measurement.
Now the problem with using a nail of this size on a round jaw trap is it's pretty hard to bent do shape on the trap. With a square jaw trap this isn't really a problem but qith a round jaw it is. So we're gonna to shape it into a lam. Now you can do this in a bunch of ways but I'm going to use my trappers bender tool.
Before we do that though we're going to go a head and get rid of the chain set up you can cut off the jhook or just bend it open and keep it. Dont throw away your old chains and swivels by the way,theirs always somome on the trap shed that will be happy to buy them.
Now let's get into our bending stage. Here where gonna make our base plates lams swivels and so on. Now I'm using a trappers bender tool. It's a wonderful lil tool to have and it's what I use to build my various mod parts. You can get them at almost every trapping supply house for like $25-$30. So to bend our lam your going to chunk it in the bender and do small bendsstarting at the middle and going to the right then flipping around and do the same. The pictures should be pretty self explanatory.
Making your lams like this your gonna get some crappy ones the first few times but it's fine,nails are cheap lol. I would also like to say you may want to add a little extra bit of bend on the ends .
You also want your lams to be as straight as possible,after you make a bunch you can check them by laying them on a anvil or table and checking them like so.
If it has a little hump in it or it's not pretty flat just take a hammer and give it a few wacks . The reason we're doing this is because if it's cockeyed or all warped your noting going to have a complete flush set up with the traps jaw face. Like it many be perfectly flush on the ends bust that cocked part has it backed off the jaw face 1/16th". So kinda makes having a lamination job pointless. So this is about that you want. Dosent have to perfect but you don't want what it looked like in the last pic
For round jaw traps,you want your lam raise up very slightly so when you come it down it's some what of a pressured fit.
Now if you just get some #9 anneled trapping wire it's super soft and you don't need to use the bender just cut them to length, clamp the middle then the sides and tack em up.
So where still in the bending stage so now where going to make our base plates and swivels.
There are really two reasons for a baseplated. The first one is to strengthen the bottom of the trap. Originally this was a mod the fox trappers in the east stared doing when the coyotes started moving into areas when it was only ever fox. These traps where mainly old Victors #2's and 1.5s . These where pretty light traps and the metal was pretty thin because they where mainly made for fox which arnt very powerful animals. Problem is when a coyote gets caught in somthing like that they where much more powerful and would actually bed the bease of the traps and snatch the jaws out. Now your left with a pretzel or a trap that's going to be a pain to put back together . Well welding on that base plate to the bottom of the trap reinforced the bottom so that's it's much much harder for that to happen. So Mr.Coyote may be able to yank the jaws out of the base and escape but putting jaws back in a straight base is much less of a pain then trying to restraighten your base.
The second reason is to change the pull direction of the trap. Usually trap chains are connected from the side of the trap. Well that puts the animals foot in a bind because its not a straight pull. How ever baseplating will give you the option of a center connection where the chain is connected directly under the trap so when the animal is caught it is a straight pull and in theroy ( and guys will argue day and night about this) cause less damage.
And even if you prefer a side pull like many water trappers we can still base plate. Now most of the newer traps are of a much better quality and you don't need to worry about frame /base bending as much but if your waning to turn some old muskrat traps into some fox traps in places where you have the chance of a coyote wandering into a set it's not a bad thing to do.
Now for our smaller traps a 20d nail will work just just fine. And here's how we're bending them. Again don't get discouraged if you mess a few up.
Now as you can see we actually have two base plates. The one on the left being a offset base plate and the one on the right being a centered. The off set base plate give more of a side pull affect but the main reason I use it is because if makes it easier to set across the knee or calf.