A Win for the Good Guys

Had a bit of a win today (ok, it’s pretty minor, but nevertheless [shrug]).  Was doing some shopping in Jaycar (an electronics store), for something completely unrelated to woodworking, and found a ‘handheld security detector’.  In plain English, it is a metal detector.

Normally, these can cost anything from $70 to $100 (and more), but this one was marked at half-price.  Ended up getting it for about $45.

So what has this to do with woodworking?  Primary use for one of these things is reclaiming timber.  You have some old timber salvaged from another project, such as an old fence, or deck, and you want to clean it up back to being pristine and square.  Old nails hidden in the timber (and can easily be below the surface of the wood) can destroy planer and thicknesser blades, or chip teeth off a tablesaw blade in no time at all.  By running a detector over the surface before passing it into contact with your expensive blades, you can be confident that not only will you end up with some great aged timber, but you won’t have chipped your planer blades in the meantime.

I just gave it a quick test, and it is able to pick up a single (paper) staple through 19mm of pine.  Not sure how it will go in other tests, but that one seems pretty acceptable.

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