Friday, March 25, 2011

Magnetic Pickups

I use this tool a lot. It helps offset the handicap of stiff knees and back and being clumbsy. It seems as if I drop things several times a day which bounce away into some hard to reach place. Fortunately most of those dropped items are steel and can be retrieved with a strong magnet.

At each of the various work stations I have placed a long shaft magnetic pickup. Here is how they are made. Cut 48" - 60" of 3/16" round. Draw a 1" taper and torch heat a 1.5" segment about 9" from the tip and bend a 180 hairpin with about a 1/2" radius. Then I clamp the bend in the vise and heat about 1.5" of the tip and wrap it around the shaft to form a comfortable handle loop.

On the opposite end I weld a 20d nail and polish the face of the nail with a flap disc. Then I apply a thin layer of Goop adhesive to the nail face and a rare earth magnet disc 1/8" x 1/2" is placed followed by another drop of glue and another magnet. When the glue is dried I have a very durable light weight magnetic pickup.

Each magnet has a pickup force of 5.3 pounds so the tool can lift about 10 pounds. A packet of 14 magnets costs about $10 so that will make seven tools for the shop and require about thirty minutes work and it will save a ton of time and awkward bending.

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