Introduction: Magnet Pick Up Tool

About: Lifelong interest in making and learning new things.

Everyone needs a magnetic pick up tool to retrieve metal items that fall or roll into places where it is difficult to reach and retrieve. This tutorial will show how easy it is to make one with simple hand tools.


Telescoping mirror
Round washer magnets 1/8×1/8×1/8 inches ~(3×3×3 mm)
Clear silicon caulking
Machine screw 1/8×1 1/4inch ~(3×32 mm)

Step 1: Telescoping Body

The telescoping body was originally part of a telescoping mirror. In a previous instructable I cut off the mirror to make a bicycle helmet rear view mirror.

I normally don't like to cut up a perfectly working item just to make something else out of it so in making the rear view mirror I wanted to find a use for the telescoping body.

In my previous instructable I promised that you would see the telescoping body again and here it is!

Step 2: Safety Information for Magnets

Because neodymium magnets are so strong, magnet manufacturers provide important cautionary information about working with magnets. Please see photos for the information provided by the manufacturer as well as the information that comes with your magnets.

Step 3: Attaching the Magnets

The neodymium magnets are small in size but incredibly strong. To attach the magnets to the telescoping body, take the machine screw and file down the threads just enough so that it will fit inside the center hole of the magnets.

As seen in Photo 1, squeeze the silicon caulking into the end tube. Place the magnets onto the machine screw then insert the machine screw into the end tube, as seen in Photos 2 and 3. Wipe off any silicon caulking on the outside of the tube with a tissue.

The silicon will harden and secure the screw inside the tube.

Let the caulking harden over night before using the magnetic pick up tool.

Step 4: Using the Magnetic Pick Up Tool

The magnetic pick up tool is handy for retrieving metal items that are in places that are hard to reach. Simply extend the telescoping body to the desired length and touch the magnets to the metal item that you want.

To remove the item attached to the magnets, try to slide the item off rather than pulling it off. The magnets are somewhat brittle and too much force might break them. Also avoid knocking the magnets against a hard surface to keep them from breaking.

Step 5: Final Thoughts

This is a project that finds a good use for the leftovers of another project. I started with making the bicycle rear view mirror and now the magnetic pick up tool. Both are very practical, inexpensive and easy to make.

Here is the link to the Bicycle Helmet Rear view Mirror.

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