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Magnetic broom

How to protect yourself from rusty nails on the ground when barefoot
Author: Martin und Walter, Bad Vöslau, Austria
Online since: 21/04/2009, Number of visits: 474337
Table of Contents

Magnetic broom with block magnets

After the roofing work, many nails remained undiscovered in the gravel around the house. This is not particularly healthy for running around bare-foot...
We had the idea of fixing 15 blocks Q-15-15-08-N with adhesive tape on flat brass (about 30 cm long) at intervals of approx. 3 cm. You need two people for that, because the blocks gravitate towards each other heavily! To protect the magnets, we covered the whole brass bar with tear-proof adhesive tape.
Then, we we attached the wrapped bar to a short-haired broom with some adhesive tape. Thereafter, we patiently pulled the broom over the gravel, lane by lane.
The result was astounding: We "harvested" a total of 1,5 kg rusty nails that were not visible to the naked eye before.

Magnetic broom with disc magnets

Addition from customer Ulrich Prinz from Esslingen am Neckar (Germany):
I wanted to build my own version of a magnetic broom. Your magnets did the trick! I countersunk five neodymium disc magnets S-30-15-N and 12 ferrite disc magnets (FE-S-25-15) into a board (40 x 7 x 2& cm). I used a hole saw (30 mm and 25 mm) for that purpose. I wrapped the whole thing with clear packaging tape and tied it to a mop with a strong string that I looped through the grommets.
After fixing up the 300 m² roof of the farmhouse, we collected about 600 g scrap metal in the grass around the house. By walking up and down the lawn, we picked up rusty nails and screws, nail heads, hooks, pieces of wire, horseshoes and much more - all in all 221 individual pieces that can no long threaten our car tires or feet.
Financial cost and labor effort were well balanced. There might be more metal pieces deeper in the ground, but they don't bother us. Maybe we start a follow-up mission and catch some more.

Magnetic rake as an alternative to the magnetic broom

Addition from customer Siegfried, Villach (Austria):
I own a timber yard, where screws, nails and other metal objects can often be found strewn about. This could lead to tire damage. The idea was to collect these metal objects at the same time the wood chips were being raked up. To do this, I used magnets, screws and some sheet metal to make a magnetic rake from an old tool.
The handle came from an old shovel or broom. As a first step, I got a suitable strip of wood that was about 65 cm long and 4 cm x 6 cm thick and planed it off at an angle. For the 15 cylindrical neodymium magnets type S-10-10-N, I drilled holes 4 cm apart in the wooden slat and then glued the magnets into the drilled holes. To protect and secure the magnets, I cut a sheet metal strip to a size of 65 cm x 10 cm, bent it into shape and screwed it onto the wooden slat.
To turn the magnetic broom into a magnetic rake, I positioned a 6–8 cm long wood screw next to each magnet. They loosen up the ground, and the nails and screws end up sticking to the magnets at the same time. Lastly, I sealed the strip of wood with clear lacquer to make it weatherproof.