"After supper they set the galvanized washtub on top of the stove and hand filled it with buckets and poured in a scoop of lye and set the traps to boil"

As detailed in The Crossing, the preparations involved in setting a trap was a time consuming and laborious task, even before it came time to actually lay the trap outdoors. The trap would first need to be disinfected and then, after it had dried, wax or grease would be rigorously rubbed within the various chains and hinges. Afterwards, the trap would be hung outside so as to avoid infection from household odours.

 

Washing and greasing traps
Public Domain'Washing and Greasing Traps' - Credit: A. R. Harding
'Putting The Traps In Order'
Public Domain'Putting The Traps In Order' - Credit: A. R. Harding