Instructables
Picture of How To Make An Electromagnet

Magnets are one of the most fun things to experiment with. With a few materials you can easily make your own electromagnet.

For more projects visit our blog.

Step 1: Materials

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List of materials:

  • Insulated Copper wire - thin insulation is best, I used crocodile clips and enamelled wired, which is also called magnet wire
  • A Battery
  • An Iron Nail - as used in my 'How To Copper Coat An Iron Nail' video see that here.

(Optional Materials)

  • Iron filings
  • Paper clips

Step 2: Coil The Wire

Picture of Coil The Wire
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Simply running current through a wire produces a weak magnetic field. But this is usually too weak to give us visable results. By coiling the wire closely we amplify the magnetic influence which gives us visable results. The closer these windings are the better the electromagnet will be.

Step 3: Making the magnet stronger

Picture of Making the magnet stronger
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To make our electromagnet stronger we can give it an iron core. This will boost the power of our electromagnet and give us better results. This is as simple as winding the copper enamelled wire around an iron nail and securing it with sticky tape. When you connect it to a battery you will a have a stronger electromagnet. There are some simple things we can do to make our electromagnets stronger.

To make electromagnets stronger we must do the following:

  • Add more windings
  • Give it an iron core
  • Increase the current flowing through the wire

Step 4: Make Your Own Iron Filings

Picture of Make Your Own Iron Filings
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You can make your own iron filings by filing down a spare iron nail. Don’t forget to put a piece of paper down to catch the filings as they drop and help you see them.

One piece of safety advice, don’t leave your battery in a position where it or the leads attached to it could come into contact with the iron filings. As they are very small, if electricity runs through them they will get super hot and burn.

Here is our video in case you missed it.

 
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