LumberJocks

Shop Tips & Tricks #25: SHOP AIDS and PICK-ME-UPS

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by GnarlyErik posted 01-14-2019 04:32 AM 778 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 24: MAKE HAND SANDING ALMOST FUN! Part 25 of Shop Tips & Tricks series no next part

The older I get the more I become compromised in physical flexibility. These days it can be a struggle to raise something up off the floor or retrieve something which has rolled into an impossible place (don’t they ALWAYS do that)?. If I actually get down on my hands and knees it can be a hassle to get back up again, so I’m always looking for ways to avoid doing that.

Over the years I’ve devised little ‘helpers’ for use around my shop. These cost little or nothing and can be extremely handy. Even if you’re not as old and compromised as I am, you will likely find some of these very useful. And trust me. Sooner or later if you live long enough, you will get old, stiff and creaky too!

So-called ‘Mobility Reachers’ have been around for a while and I have a couple about my house. The ones with a little magnet in the end are very handy, which gave me the idea to make use of magnets in my shop.


A typical ‘Mobility Reacher’

I’ve become a HUGE fan of ceramic (AKA ‘ferrite’) magnets. You can order almost any size online, and many handy sizes come in lots of ten or more. China is the world’s main source of ceramic magnets and sells them cheaply. I prefer the ones with a countersunk hole for mounting. Ceramic magnets come in handy for so many things around the shop. Some comparatively small ceramic magnets can lift 100 times their weight or more. A one-inch diameter by 4 mm thick circular magnet can lift a 4” C clamp or a 16-ounce hammer off the floor. Sometimes I put one in my pocket and then stick something to the outside of my pants like pliers, and walk around to amaze the kids with my ‘magnetic’ personality.

The sweet thing about ceramic magnets is that some are powerful enough to attract things in close proximity. You can slide one under a bench or into other inaccessible places and wave it around, and if there’s ferrous metal there it will find it. And how many times have you dropped a small screw or critical pin or other part in a place hard to get to? And how about that box of nails or small screws you’ve just spilled all over the floor? Ceramic magnets can be your friend in any shop!

But you drop non-magnet things too, and you have to deal with those another way. The reacher is one way and another solution is a little fixed-in-place pin (a common nail) at the end of a stick which can be used to pick up anything you can get the pin to engage. I’ve made myself several ‘retrievers’ of various lengths which employ both a magnet and a pin in the ends. These are kept in strategic locations around the shop.

The following photos are pretty self-explanatory:


A 24” pickup stick with magnet and pickup pin


Detail at the business end of 24” pickup stick showing magnet and pin


Detail showing pickup pin (nail) for picking up non-magnetic items


Detail of 40” pickup stick with 1’-1/4” ceramic magnet at one end


Detail at pin end of 40” pickup stick

Another aid is something I call a ‘Handy Pick’, which can be used for picking up heavy wood parts from the floor without bending over. It is merely a sort of heavy oak club with a 1/4” bolt screwed into one side at the heavy end of the club. The head of the bolt is cut off and the bolt is sharpened to a point. This pin is then driven into the end or side of a heavy plank to enable it to be lifted without bending over very much. The pictures and a short video will give you the idea of how this thing works.


Oak pickup club or ‘Handy Pick” for raising heavy wood planks from the floor


Detail of pin end of ‘Handy Pick’

Click here for short video

Maybe these will give you some ideas to help around your own shop.

-- "Never let your dogma be run over by your karma!"



3 comments so far

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

853 posts in 2948 days


#1 posted 01-14-2019 02:00 PM

As you know, French people like to play the ” pétanque ”.
It is a sport practiced by many elderly.
They use a “ramasse boule ” which is a magnet at the end of a cord or laniard.

I have a telescopic arm with a magnet and a led lamp integrated into it. I have bought it for a few Euro with a telescopic arm with a mirror.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2301 posts in 3087 days


#2 posted 01-14-2019 03:31 PM

Handy ideas, Eric!

Trouble is, I have young kids. So, they scatter/hide my nails, screws and small tools all around the shop, so they can take turns with the brother or sister hunting for them and picking them up with a magnetic pickup tool. Of course, they don’t find them all, so I’m always seeing little metal things around behind and under things.

I do tell them to use the nails and not the GRK cabinet screws, which are a lot more expensive.

<sigh>

-Paul

View GnarlyErik's profile

GnarlyErik

320 posts in 2583 days


#3 posted 01-14-2019 11:23 PM



As you know, French people like to play the ” pétanque ”.
It is a sport practiced by many elderly.
They use a “ramasse boule ” which is a magnet at the end of a cord or laniard.

I have a telescopic arm with a magnet and a led lamp integrated into it. I have bought it for a few Euro with a telescopic arm with a mirror.

- Sylvain

Thanks Sylvain – ‘Petanque’ looks fun but I would have to find someone to play with! I too, have a ‘ramasse boule’, but bought it as a ‘fishing magnet’. It’s actually one of those right angle magnetic holder that welders use to hold two metal parts at right angles for welding. It is quite powerful and I use it to ‘sweep’ for nails or screws in my driveway.

-- "Never let your dogma be run over by your karma!"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com