I've always wondered if it's possible to use a very powerful magnet to
remove nails from lumber? I'm sure that the magnet would have to be a
really strong electro-magnet, such as the ones they use to lift cars at
However, if this is possible, it may not be something that should be
exposed to the public, because it could become a weapon. In other words,
someone drives up to your home, activates the magnet, which removes all
the nails as well as steel plumbing, metal electrical boxes, your
appliances, and so on. This, in a matter of seconds, your home would be
nothing but a pile of lumber, with all your (non-iron) furnishings
buried in the pile, and all your iron metalic furnishings as well as all
the nails from your home, leaving the scene by some crook.....
And, dont forget, your belt buckle is metal. Say goodbye to your
On Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 2:37:19 PM UTC-4, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Here's a source for an electromagnet that lifts 2,000 pounds:
One thing to consider is that magnetic force, like gravity, decreases with the square of the distance, so an electromagnet weapon would have only limited range. Besides the electromagnet, you'd need a generator to power it.
A powerful magnet, with only "pin point" accuracy would be real useful
for nail removal. In other words, the magnet would be held right over
the nail head. I'm not sure just how much force would be needed though.
But considering I can remove a nail with a pry bar, I dont think I'm
applying more than a few hundred pounds of pressure. Yet, if the nail
head is even slightly below the surface of the wood, a lot more power
would be needed.
Which reminds me. If you ever get a tiny metal sliver in your skin, such
as a drill shaving, a strong magnet (such as one from a large speaker),
can and will often remove the sliver. I've done it! Much easier than
trying to use a tweezers and needle to dig it out (especially for old
farts like myself with failing eyesight)!
You would need exactly the same amount of force it takes to pull
the nail with a claw hammer.
If you think you'd somehow brace the magnet above the nail and the
nail will fly out, you're forgetting the decreases as the square
of the distance rule.
Still sounds like you're getting your science from X-Men.
On Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 7:54:35 AM UTC-4, Frank wrote:
In the "near field," probably just the distance, not the cube.
We were working on the lawnmower last weekend and dropped one of the bolts in the grass, couldn't find it.
I got my biggest magnet and swept the area, no luck.
So I took one of the bolts I hadn't lost (yet) and threw it down to a known spot, so I could test the magnet. Reached down with the magnet and heard two clicks, sure enough both bolts were stuck to it. FAR better to be lucky than good.
I'm not surprised because the magnetic power needed to do nail removal
would be in the range of the great particle beam accelerators with huge
magnets that go on for miles. Hard to fit the average particle accelerate
in your tool bag. I imagine that it would cost a awful lot in electricity
alone generate enough magnetic force to yank a nail from a 2 by 4.
Still, it's an interesting thought. When I was 9 I remember asking my Dad's
assembled engineer friends at barbeque why they didn't just put huge heating
coils inside snow plows to just melt the snow. I was *so* disappointed to
discover how much energy that would involve and nothing short of a nuclear
power snow plow could deliver it. Same sort of problem. Way too much
energy required to be practical.
On Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 7:53:07 PM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote:
I hope you posted that for the laugh of the day, not because it
would actually work. Clearly whoever came up with this idea is
clueless. Many of the claims made and drawings show it. For
example, you have a tool that looks similar to a hand held
driver drill, allegedly pulling nails from tongue and groove
flooring, they claim you can pull framing nails, etc. Even
assuming a handheld device could generate sufficient magnetic
force to hold onto the nails, have you ever tried to pull a
nail with a hammer by just grabbing it with the hammer claw
and pulling, ie without using the hammer for leverage to
remove it? Yet that is what this crap shows, the nails just
being pulled out without leverage. Also note that not a single
bit of physics is stated, ie what magnetic force can reasonably
be generated by such a device versus the force required to
pull the various types of nails claimed. If it really works,
a prototype would be very easy to build, where is it? The
patent office must have gone down the crapper like most of
the rest of govt. Good grief.
I asked myself why anyone on earth would waste their money preparing and
filing a patent application for something that anyone with an
engineering or science education would immediately realize couldn't ever
be made to work.
My best guess is that the "inventor" got hooked in by a greedy "patent
Or maybe even by a firm like the one George Forman is pushing on radio
and TV ads lately:
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