# Using a Powerful magnet to remove Nails

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• posted on May 20, 2015, 6:37 pm
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 auto junkyards.
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 pants!!! :)
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• posted on May 20, 2015, 7:04 pm
On Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 2:37:19 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@spamblocked.com 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.
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• posted on May 20, 2015, 7:07 pm
snipped-for-privacy@spamblocked.com writes:

Too much X-Men.
A force like magnetism decreases as the square of the distance.
Even a junk yard magnet would have trouble at an inch (guessing). 2 inches, 4 times worse.
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Dan Espen

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• posted on May 20, 2015, 7:34 pm
wrote:

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)!
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• posted on May 20, 2015, 9:20 pm
snipped-for-privacy@spamblocked.com writes:

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.
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Dan Espen

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• posted on May 21, 2015, 11:54 am
On 5/20/2015 5:20 PM, Dan Espen wrote:

In three dimensional space its usually the cube of the distance.
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• posted on May 21, 2015, 12:28 pm
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.
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• posted on May 23, 2015, 7:51 pm
TimR wrote:

I used to do just that while chanting, "Brother go find your brother".
(It didn't work very often....)
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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• posted on May 20, 2015, 11:27 pm

--
Bobby G.

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• posted on May 21, 2015, 7:42 am
On Wed, 20 May 2015 19:27:09 -0400, "Robert Green"

VERY INTERESTING. Thanks for the link. I thought this was a possibility. I'm surprised they are not being sold at every hardware store!
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• posted on May 21, 2015, 11:22 am
On Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 3:43:05 AM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@spamblocked.com wrote:

You didn't fall for that, did you? The fact that they aren't being sold should tell you something. Anyone see even a prototype?
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• posted on May 21, 2015, 4:01 pm
On Thu, 21 May 2015 04:22:43 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

Exactly. You can patent just about anything. Being able to build it, make it work, and withstand a patent challenge is another matter.
--
Web based forums are like subscribing to 10 different newspapers
and having to visit 10 different news stands to pickup each one.
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• posted on May 21, 2015, 1:23 pm

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.
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Bobby G.

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• posted on May 21, 2015, 1:52 pm
snipped-for-privacy@spamblocked.com writes:

There is a BIG difference between a patent and an actual useful device.
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Dan Espen

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• posted on May 21, 2015, 11:20 am
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.
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• posted on May 21, 2015, 1:57 pm

You may have missed that this is an application, not an approved patent. Which shines new light on your anti-government rants - are they always built on such a shakey foundation?
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• posted on May 23, 2015, 8:13 pm
Robert Green wrote:

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 assistant."
Or maybe even by a firm like the one George Forman is pushing on radio and TV ads lately:
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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• posted on May 23, 2015, 8:40 pm
On 05/23/2015 04:13 PM, Jeff Wisnia wrote:

Yah, a homeowner wearing a medical implant like a pacemaker or insulin pump and a powerful magnetic pulse from a nail remover...what could possibly go wrong?
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• posted on May 24, 2015, 9:53 am
<stuff snipped>

I suspect you're right. Shows like "Shark Tank" also feed on the "become rich through invention" scams that seem to have cropped up like mushrooms after a spring rain.
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Bobby G.

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• posted on May 21, 2015, 11:07 pm

a force like magnetism decreases as the CUBE of the distance.
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