Electro Magnet

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Introduction: Electro Magnet

DO NOT PUT THIS UP TO THE COMPUTER SCREEN OR IT WILL TURN PURPLE, SHUT DOWN, NOT REBOOT FOR ABOUT 5 HOURS, AND MAY DISABLE INTERNET. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT. You will need a battery, nail, and about a foot of copper wire.

Step 1: The Nail

Follow the pic. and make sure wire is wrapped so it is touching nail.

Step 2: Finish It Off...

Follow the pic.











You have made an electro magnet!!!!

Thanks to my school for teaching me this!!!

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21 Comments

This is a great Instructable, but you need to add a main image of the final project to the intro step. Please do that and leave me a message when you have so that we can publish your work. Thanks!

great instructable I love it

Can it work with a paper clip

its really good but coundnt you get zapped if you put uninsulated* wire on it

you're not going to get zapped by 1.5 volts

Hello. This is a great instructable and exactly what i was looking for but I have a few questions.

1.) Does the guage of the wire affect the magnetism?
2.) Does the amount of wire increase the magnetism?
3.) Is the nail really neccasary? Does it serve any other purpose than keeping the wire orderly?
4.) Does the voltage affect the magnetism?

The gauge of the wire effects the resistance in the wire. lower gauge - less resistance.

A longer wire will have more resistance than a short one. A higher resistance in the wire, will limit the amount of current able to pass through.

A longer wire will make you able to do more turns, which makes the magnetism stronger.

Somewhere in there is a trade off as Betelgeus mentions.

The nail increases the magnetism, aswell as it will 'define' or make the magnetic field more focused if you will. The amount of voltage applied decides the amount of current. The amount of current and number of turns are important for the magnetic fields. More current and/or more turns makes it stronger.

current = voltage / resistance.


The voltage is mostly what affects the magnetic field power. The nail (best if iron) does increase the magnetism dramatically, as iron is a ferrous (highly magnetic) material. There's a point where the length of the wire is optimal for the voltage being used, before that there's not enough wire to create an optimal field, and any longer and you would loose voltage to resistance and cross-inductance. The same applies to the gauge.
However, if you go and try to use a 9 volt with this setup, the amount of wire shown in the instructable is likely to short out and heat up very quickly.

1. That looks like uninsulated copper wire there, what you will end up doing is creating a short circuit that will get very hot. You need to use insulated wire. Also, you should try a longer piece of wire, You will get a stronger magnet this way and less heat. 2. If you bring this near a CRT monitor it won't knock out your whole computer. If you bring it near an LCD (flatscreen) it's likely that nothing will happen at all.

It's most likely enameled wire aka "magnet wire", it only look insulated. You will want to remember to strip the ends or heat them up enough (soldering iron can be good enough) to make sure you will have electric contact for your battery.

The magnet should work even if those wires aren't perfectly touching the nail. The current through the wire cause a magnetic field with a focus in the center of the loops. The nail enhance this magnetic field and giving you a defined North and South pole.