Picture of Magnetic Shop Sweeper from an Electric Motor
I saw a magnetic sweeper used to pick up ferrous bits and pieces from your shop floor a couple of months ago. I thought this was pretty cool, and then I looked at the price tag and decided it wasn't that cool after all. Shortly after that my shredder crapped out so I ripped it apart and one of the things I was left with was the magnets in the motor housing. I had a bright idea to build my own magnetic shop sweeper, but no motivation until this contest came up. So this is how I built a magnetic shop sweeper out of stuff I had accumulated in my parts collection. I had to buy one part. So the reuse aspect and fact I didn't buy something that had to be transported halfway around the world from where it was made, makes this project green. Plus you can recycle all the little bits you pick up.
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Step 1: Materials Used

Picture of Materials Used
This is a list of materials I used. This is meant to be a guide not an exclusive list as everyone will have a different parts hoard.

  • 1 motor housing (or other big honkin' magnet)
  • 2 Castors or wheels of some sort
  • Metal rod (or a suitable alternative to serve as an axle) Mine happened to have threaded holes for screws in it.
  • 4 screws w/ nuts
  • 1 ¾" dowel rod
  • 2 pieces of scrap metal
  • Metal bonding epoxy
  • General use epoxy
  • 2 Plastic buttons from an electronic device (or other suitable material to serve as a hub cap)

Step 2: Tools

Picture of Tools
This is a list of the tools I used. As with the parts this is just a guide and not a must have list.

  • Safety glasses (Important: Lots of flying bits with this project)
  • Drill press with appropriate bits
  • Hand drill
  • Drill bit/screw sizer
  • Dremel (w/ giant heavy duty cut off wheels and grinding attachments) {or hack saw and files}
  • Bench vise
  • Clamps
  • Ballpeen hammer
  • Metal Punch
  • Pop riveter (w/ appropriately sized rivets)
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Jigsaw

I can give you a tip: Put the magnets inside a plastic bag, so you can easily remove all the metal shavings and small pieces of metal you might catch without risking to cut you. Then just flip the bag inside out so you have the magnet on the outside and the metal inside and pull the magnet away from the bag.

RadBear (author)  tgferreira1841 year ago
Awesome idea! I will have to try that.
By "shredder" are you referring to document, leaf, villain from Ninja Turtles, or some other type of shredder I'm not familiar with? I'm not trying to be a knob or anything, I just wouldn't expect a shredder to use a permanent magnet motor. Not that I have any experience with shredders, being more the type to keep sensitive documents squirrelled away for all eternity.

Here's a suggestion. If you made a removable cover, for the magnets, out of 'looneymum or Orange Crush bottle plastic, you could pull it off and get all them screws offa there in one swell foop. Or perhaps you already did so, and just removed it for picture clarity.

I reeeealy don't wanna sound like a nit-picker, (I've plenty of my own and they itch terribly) but I gotta call "homonym alert" on Step 1, which should read "parts hoard", rather than "parts horde", unless your collection of parts include a clan of Roombas, that prowl the carpeted steps (steppes). I'm not criticising here, I just thought others could benefit from the grammar lessons drummed into me by (strangely enough) Hekyll and Jekyll, on the early 80's Mighty Mouse cartoon (the Filmation Mighty Mouse, not the supposedly coke-sniffing Ralph Bakshi Mighty Mouse). Uhhhh where was I? It's a good thing you didn't use the other homonym of that word. Who knows what would have been said about, "parts whored".

Oh Lordy! I do get carried away sometimes (mostly in restraints, in the back of black vans with wire mesh over the windows).
RadBear (author)  incorrigible packrat6 years ago
I'm referring to a desk top paper shredder. Worked very nicely for about 10 months and then died from over use. Horde/hoard correction made. You avoided being a pedantic wanker by having a sense of humor. :) Also my brother has an English degree so I'm used to grammar correction.
mbear RadBear6 years ago
"Also my brother has an English degree so I'm used to grammar correction." As long as you remember he only corrects you because he cares.
RadBear (author)  mbear6 years ago
I know that but now I think he is stalking me.
mbear RadBear6 years ago
be vewy vewy qwiet- I'm hunting RadBears
RadBear (author)  mbear6 years ago
Elmer Freeze
RadBear (author)  incorrigible packrat6 years ago
I forgot to mention...that idea for a cover for the magnets is a really good one. I wish I had thought of it. I'll have to try and magic one up in the near future.
BigCoCo6 years ago
this is awesome! i need to make one of these to use after my brother does all of his metalwork. the plasma cutter and grinder tend to leave really sharp pieces of metal on the ground that are to small to see and pick up but have no trouble sticking into the bottom of my feet
RadBear (author)  BigCoCo6 years ago
Yeah, our dogs have to walk through my workshop to make it to the back yard and I'd be in deep trouble if paws became impaled.