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Make Your Own Scale Wire Lobster Traps

Learn how to make wire lobster traps for your scale boat!


Here is a great "how-to" by user Sound Sailer:

Some time ago I offered to email this info to the limited number of folks interested, and did so. The question arose again today on how to make the wire traps I have on my model "Claws" so here tis. The materiel I used is 1/4" hardware cloth which is a wire screening with square openings. Should be available at most home center or hardware stores. I got mine at HD. In real life wire traps come in a few different sizes but I chose the 3'x2'x15" size and was making 1:12 scale.

I made a paper template like the photo below and then laid it on the hardware cloth and cut it out. You can use tin snips, diagonals, heavy scissors or any other tool you might have that will cut the wire. before cutting decide how you want to fasten the folded edges together. You could do that with separate small wire or monofilament tied or woven through the joints or else when you make the cut of the pattern leave nubs where indicated to fold over as fasteners. After cutting out the wire T shape make folds where indicated first folding the 3 long folds up to form a sort of square tube and then folding the ends up to make a box. Bending against a straight edge such as a metal ruler where the bend will go helps make a nicer bend. Fasten the ends together using either methods discussed and then cut out an opening on the left side of one of the 15" high sides you can also make the escapes on the opposite end of the trap which are the red painted areas in the photo.

Traps made this way are good enough to the eye for boats that are run RC often. A real trap would have a netted divider separating the trap into a parlor and the kitchen and you could add that if so inclined as well as a netting at the entrance, a top opening and weights if you really want to go scale or making a display model. You would want to add those details before fastening the folded sides. I did not go that far and it is obvious to onlookers that they are lobster traps without having all the details. Hope you all find this informative and helpful.

Edited to add that the reason for making the template rather than just cutting out the wire is that you most likely are going to make several traps rather than just one so the template saves time measuring out each pattern. Bill

I'll throw in a bonus detail tip for you lobster boat builders. A small diameter yellow shrink wrap tube cut into slices make good claw bands.:cool:

Last edited by sound sailor; Aug 29, 2013 at 09:02 AM..


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Old Aug 28, 2013, 05:34 PM
no such thing as to many boats
louie R/C NUT's Avatar
United States, NY, New York
Joined May 2010
2,264 Posts
Cool Bill thanks for the info .
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 06:26 PM
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Band1's Avatar
United States, NY, Queens County
Joined Oct 2011
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They sure look good Bill, you and Steve have the best lobster traps in the fleet !
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 06:26 PM
Grumpa Tom
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United States, CA, Los Angeles
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 07:16 PM
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Tim B.'s Avatar
Oakland Ca.
Joined Aug 2009
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Attsa Nice Work !
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 07:23 PM
Crackin' Claws
United States, FL, Oviedo
Joined Oct 2012
1,142 Posts
Thanks, Bill.
Got to make some of those.
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 07:26 PM
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Bob SF's Avatar
USA, CA, San Francisco
Joined Aug 2003
618 Posts
Hi Bill,
Thanks for sharing! I'll be making some soon. Very cool idea.
Bob SF
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 07:41 PM wants his boat
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United States, MA, Woods Hole
Joined Aug 2012
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Finest kind...Ayuuh!
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 08:14 PM
Plures Naves Quam Mentes
sound sailor's Avatar
United States, NY, Westchester
Joined Jul 2011
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Wanted to show my wood traps so you get the idea of the netting. Not sure if you can see the net divided the parlor and kitchen. I do know you can't see them in the photo but I painted small wood blocks with brick red to represent the weights. The netting, which you could use in either the wire or wood, is from one of those bath louffa things. It is stretchy so you can sort of shape it or make the openings larger.
After opening the photo once you can click on it two more times to get a larger photo and see the netting better.
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 08:19 PM
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needabiggerboat's Avatar
United States, NY, New York
Joined Feb 2012
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Very nice Bill There is just one thing missing Bill, and that would be the tip cup! Thank you for sharing with us!

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Old Aug 28, 2013, 08:20 PM
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United States, CA, Orange County
Joined Aug 2011
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Thank's for reposing, as they look great! I printed it this time. Charlie
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 08:29 PM
Registered User
Monterey Bay California
Joined Feb 2004
14,166 Posts
Yes, thanks for this, Bill- these can be the most tedious part of a crab boat but a most important detail- your process produces great results
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 10:05 PM
Registered User
United States, MA, Haverhill
Joined Aug 2011
145 Posts
Been "a lookin" for a nice, simple sketch or plan for traps for sometime and this sure fits the bill. Traps are what make the boat! I am attaching a pic of my scratch built 30" lobster boat that I will be building the traps for. I would have posted more pics, but for some reason I could only attach 1. They have changed the attachment procedure since I last posted pics and I haven't figured it out yet. Thanks a lot for sharing.:

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Old Aug 29, 2013, 01:36 AM
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Olympia WA
Joined Nov 2004
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Thanks for the repost. This time I have printed it off and have it in two places, the most important on the rear deck of my lobster boat. Nice tutorial. Jerryj98501
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 06:38 AM
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Jerome Morris's Avatar
Union, Maine
Joined Jul 2006
4,486 Posts
Here is a wooden trap I had to make for a boat built.
Trap is about 1 1/2" long
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