How to Use a Magnet to Easily Pick Up Metal Filings

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Introduction: How to Use a Magnet to Easily Pick Up Metal Filings

So, there have been many times when I have stepped on metal filings - they HURT!!

There are also many times where I have rendered magnets practically useless because they are covered in metal "fur".

Then I got it right, I combined a magnet with a simple household item and now have the best filing cleaner ever!

Here I will show you the method I have found best for cleaning metal filings without stuffing up your magnet.

Step 1: Prepare for MAGNET!

So, you probably are thinking; "I know, this is going to be another 5 minutes wasted..." You need to grab a plastic bag (the ones that will ruin the planet...) and find the bottom corner - there are actually two of them and it MUST have NO HOLES (or you WILL ruin your nice magnet...)

You should notice there is an interesting set of folds to make the corner, they also make a pocket like shown in photo 1 and 2.

You have to put the magnet in this corner of the bag, wrap the bag inside-out over the magnet and tear off the excess, there should be enough bag left to hold comfortably.

Now, start "sweeping" the affected ground with the magnet, you should see all the filings jumping up to the magnet!

Thanks for reading, if you want to see a few other cool things I have done with magnets you might like to check out these 'ibles:

  1. https://www.instructables.com/id/Anti-Gravity-Eddy-...

  2. https://www.instructables.com/id/Stop-Metal-Filings...

Happy 'ibling!

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user

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Please be positive and constructive.

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24 Comments

user

If you do make a mistake and get filings on the magnet: Duct tape. Press onto filings, lift away, repeat.

I use an old HUGE hard drive magnet for this (inside a scrap paper envelope) to sweep metal filings/dust up. You do have to be careful how you disengage the magnet from the envelope, so the bits fall into the bin, and not stick to the magnet :)

Interesting! Duct tape or Gorilla grip tape sounds like it would work well - thanks for the tip!

My magnet is a neodimium rare-earth magnet!

user

So is mine, about 4 x 2" and 1/3rd inch thick. I salvaged them from a huge old tech 2G hard drive, and removing them was "interesting" as the pair really wanted to stick together once the bolts were removed. Jig needed to keep them apart and extract safely, and they now live separately! They would happily crush your hand otherwise. One and a plate of metal is bad enough as a "clamp". But fine metal swarf and a good adhesive tape will still separate, just keep using clean bits of tape :)

user

No adhesive, just feeeeeling the force.

magnet1.jpgmagnet2.jpg

Wow, they look crazy!

Interesting!

I love pulling apart old hard drives, they are so cool :)

The magnets I have are the maximum size allowed for private use, any bigger and one either side of your finger will break it!

Where do you live that has a law about magnet strengths?

I've got a "death magnet" that will pull a bolt through your hand even through a table, & I've never heard of them being illegal or anything.

I Googled it and couldn't find anything about a law but somewhere along the line of owning two of these little things I came across that they were the max size in neodymium that a non-commercial person could have.

The two magnets I have cannot be pulled apart once clipped together, they have to be slid apart!

You should post a forum topic or an 'ible on the magnet - it would be cool to see!

This is something that everyone who has ever tried to pick up iron filings does on their second attempt :-) Hopefully by publishing this you'll save a few people one wasted magnet on their first attempt!

This is something that everyone who has ever tried to pick up iron filings does on their second attempt :-) Hopefully by publishing this you'll save a few people one wasted magnet on their first attempt!