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Hints and Tips #1: Finding nails in re-used wood

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Blog entry by Dave Rutan posted 11-05-2014 08:16 PM 1554 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Hints and Tips series Part 2: Let Your Jigsaw Blow the Dust! »

[Legebla ankaĆ­ en Esperanto]

When I first started collecting free wood from along the street, it occurred to me to protect my power tools by making sure as possible that all the nails were out of the boards. If memory serves, Norm Abram placed this idea in my head. I bought a down and dirty wand style metal detector to check out the wood as I clean it up. The one pictured cost less than $20, maybe about $10 really. I’m not sure. I bought it several years ago from that auction website. I will say it’s not flawless. Small staples escape its detection capability. There’s no substitute for an additional look-see with they eyes.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!



6 comments so far

View CFrye's profile (online now)

CFrye

8739 posts in 1302 days


#1 posted 11-06-2014 04:38 AM

Bet that has saved you many a blade, Dave. I didn’t realize they were so inexpensive.

-- God bless, Candy

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1651 days


#2 posted 11-06-2014 12:07 PM

Candy, It does when you use it. During that stair tread shelf project, I thought I had removed all the staples and nails. Didn’t bother with the detector because ‘I knew what I was doing’. I cut one end off and discovered an 8 penny nail shank, nicely polished in the wood. The bright side is that it didn’t seem to wreck my blade, nor did it fling out and hit me. I dug it out and carried on.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1086 posts in 2858 days


#3 posted 11-06-2014 12:22 PM

I too use a metal detector, but, as you say, they aren’t perfect, so I have a backup.
After I have finished with the instrument and extracted all the metal it finds I go over the wood again with a rare earth magnet. Not a wimpy one, but one taken from a discarded hard drive.
When passing over any metal it will let you know with a tug on your hand. if the metal is heavier than a staple it will stick to the wood firmly.
I also use it to locate wall studs. Believe me, it will find metal under sheet rock.

Don

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View nomercadies's profile

nomercadies

577 posts in 1801 days


#4 posted 11-06-2014 10:30 PM

What brand is your detector? Seems like something I should put on the wish list for those that wish to buy something for Christmas for … me.

Thanks for the magnet idea too Don.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1651 days


#5 posted 11-06-2014 11:10 PM

nomercadies, The only markings on my metal detector are ‘metal detector md-300’ If you google that and choose ‘shopping’ they will pop up, or you can just go to eBay. It’s definitely low end, but mine works.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View nomercadies's profile

nomercadies

577 posts in 1801 days


#6 posted 11-07-2014 03:57 PM

Found it. Thank you.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

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