A week or so ago I posted about my problem with a pair of
pliers which slipped into a cavity through a narrow opening.
I have now retrieved the pliers, and for those of you who
helped with useful advice I have written below a bit about
the process. Many thanks to you guys.
From Pep Boys, the auto parts store, I purchased a moveable
mirror on a metal wand about 15-20" long. I also purchased
there a magnet (first tested to ensure it would pick up a
comparable sized pair of pliers) on the end of a flexible
metal wand, again about 15-20" long. Each cost about $6-7.
From an electronics store I purchased, for $12, a small LED
I tied a string to the flashlight, and lowered it, along
with the mirror on the wand. I didn't mention before that
the hole through which I had to work was at the end of a
very tight crawl space, so there was no opportunity for
another person's hands to help me. With the string in one
hand, and the mirror wand in the other, I tried
unsuccessfully to locate the pair of pliers in the cavity.
Next step was mounting a drop light over my shoulder with a
100w incandescent bulb in it, and just using the mirror.
That was better, and I saw where the pair of pliers was.
Then I inserted the magnet wand, and that proved difficult
since everything in the cavity was steel/iron and the magnet
was pulled around. Eventually I was able to make contact
with the pair of pliers, and move it around on the floor of
Then I was able to pull it directly upward toward the
opening. As I tried to pull it through the opening it came
off the magnet. I tried a few more times and then when it
got near the top I used a pair kitchen tongs to reach in and
grab it and pull it farther up until I could grasp it in my
One happy camper.
My next project is to fabricate a semi-permanent cover for
that opening, with some small holes in it for ventilation.
Thanks again guys.
"I appreciate those who walk out from the edges with
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