City-Data Forum Need a Magnetized Socket Extension (electric, connection)
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03-16-2017, 02:39 PM
 Location: SC 7,228 posts, read 4,216,571 times Reputation: 9965

I'm working on my car, and need to thread a nut that is hard to see and worst, hard to reach. If I drop it, it will be difficult to find and fish out.

So, determining that I need a magnetic socket, I decided to magnetize a 3" socket extension.

I went up into the house, grabbed a coil of about 16 gauge wire, wrapped it around the extension two+ times, and attached the stripped leads to a 14.4 volt battery I have for my tools.

I could only hold the leads to the battery for about 15 seconds as it got very hot fast. It took about 15 minutes for the extension to cool off enough to handle, but it now has a weak magnetic field. I'd like it to be stronger.

In order to achieve this, I guess I need to get a lower voltage battery (guessing about 3-5 volts) to be able to hold the leads without burning myself and being able to hold the coil to the batter longer.

At this point I am guestimating. Is there a rule of thumb or table that will work out the gauge, number of coils, diameter of the target rod, and voltage needed?

Last edited by blktoptrvl; 03-16-2017 at 02:59 PM..

03-16-2017, 06:41 PM
 Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama 16,027 posts, read 48,457,064 times Reputation: 25025
Try adding a resistance in the circuit (lamp, whatever) to lower the current to a manageable level, heat the extension slightly, place it in the field and tap it repeatedly with a hammer as it cools. The mix of metals will partly determine how much you can magnetize it. Warming and tapping encourages the atoms to re-align. The effect again will be slight, but should help.

03-16-2017, 07:15 PM
 Location: SC 7,228 posts, read 4,216,571 times Reputation: 9965
Quote:
 Originally Posted by harry chickpea Try adding a resistance in the circuit (lamp, whatever) to lower the current to a manageable level, heat the extension slightly, place it in the field and tap it repeatedly with a hammer as it cools. The mix of metals will partly determine how much you can magnetize it. Warming and tapping encourages the atoms to re-align. The effect again will be slight, but should help.
Yes, I read about the tapping... And thanks for the lamp suggestion, great idea.

03-17-2017, 10:42 AM
 24,821 posts, read 36,205,213 times Reputation: 32276
LOL!!

Sears.com

Sears.com

03-17-2017, 01:53 PM
 Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK 15,962 posts, read 26,090,609 times Reputation: 11541
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Tek_Freek LOL!! Sears.com Sears.com
That's an easy way.

This works for me: I saved numerous of the very small and extremely strong magnets that the old Sonicare electric toothbrush heads had inside. When it was time to replace the brush heads, I always removed the two magnets and put them away. All I do is to glue one of the magnets to the end of the extension using RTV silicone. The magnets are small enough not to interfere with the socket's connection to the extension.

03-17-2017, 03:00 PM
 35,383 posts, read 35,835,197 times Reputation: 13862
Use an electric glue gun. Glue the nut or bolt right to the wrench or socket.It's easily broken once it's threaded.
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