How to Retrieve NMR Samples That Are Stuck Inside the Magnet.




One day the sensor which tells the spectrometer if there is a sample inside the magnet stopped working. So the sample changer put samples in the magnet until it was full. Oh dear!

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Step 1: Non-magnetic Tool.

I needed a rather long, non-magnetic tool to retrieve the samples. So I took a long plastic tube and put a piece of yarn inside. I attached a rubber band on the one end and a piece of wood on the other.

Step 2: Introducing the Tool Into the Magnet.

Now you can carefully introduce the contraption in the upper part of the magnet and try to loop the rubber band around the NMR sample.

Step 3: Gripping the Sample.

This is somewhat tricky, especially if the sample is far down inside. Once you get the rubber band around the NMR tube you can pull on the piece of wood and tighten the loop around the sample tube. I added a picture to show you what I mean doing this on my desk. Of course, I was not able to take a picture from inside the magnet.

Step 4: Recovering the Sample.

Once you have a good grip on the sample you can pull it out of the magnet. Be careful not to break the NMR tube and try not to accidentally remove the cap from it. While working at the magnet be especially sure to regard the safety regulations and do not let any small object fall into the magnet.

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    4 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Great idea! Not all of us have spectrometers, but think of the times some fiddly little non magnetic object has fallen into a hard to reach spot. I've added it to my "to make" list. As it happens, I saw something very similar in a catalog recently. I'll post the location if I run across it again, and no, it wasn't a snake catching stick or the glorified 3 pronged pickle grabber. ( I already have several of those )

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Hi! Thank you very much for your kind comment! I know there are not
    many NMR technicians out there. When the problem with our spectrometer
    occurred I was desperate and did not find a solution online so I had to
    tinker this tool by myself. And when it worked I felt an urge to tell
    the world :D


    2 years ago

    Oh, that is great!!


    2 years ago

    Quite a niche instructable but I love it! great thinking!