How Woodworking Metal Detectors Work

Woodworking Metal Detector for denailing reclaimed wood

Handheld woodworking metal detectors, also known as wands, are portable devices used to locate and identify metal objects in wooden materials. They are especially useful in woodworking to prevent damage to cutting tools, such as saw blades or planers, and to ensure the safety of the final product.

Handheld woodworking metal detectors work by generating an electromagnetic field that interacts with metal objects present in the wood, causing changes in the field. These changes are then analyzed by the device's signal processing unit, which alerts the user if a metal object is detected.

The Lumber Wizard and Little Wizard are handheld woodworking metal detectors specifically designed to help woodworkers locate and identify metal objects embedded in reclaimed wood, such as nails, screws, wire, bullets, and other metallic debris. By detecting these objects, woodworkers can prevent damage to their planers, routers, jointers, bandsaws, and other cutting tools.

Using the Lumber Wizard or Little Wizard metal detectors can save both time and money by minimizing potential damage to woodworking tools. Here's how they can help protect your blades and other cutting equipment:

  1. Thorough scanning: Scan each side of the reclaimed wood in both directions (lengthwise and widthwise), holding the detector close to the wood surface. This increases the chances of detecting even small metal objects that may be hidden deep inside the wood.

  2. Detection alert: When the metal detector encounters a metal object, it will emit an audible signal (beep) and/or show a visual indication (e.g., a flashing LED light) to alert the user. This allows the woodworker to mark the location of the metal object and decide how to proceed with the woodworking project.

  3. Removal of metal objects: Once the metal object has been detected and located, the woodworker can remove it from the wood using pliers, a nail puller, or other appropriate tools. This prevents the object from coming into contact with the cutting blades and causing potential damage.

  4. Damage prevention: By scanning the reclaimed wood and removing any metal objects before cutting, planing, routing, or using other woodworking tools, you significantly reduce the risk of damaging your blades or other equipment. Metal objects can cause chipping, breaking, or dulling of blades, leading to costly replacements or repairs.

  5. Enhanced safety: Using the Lumber Wizard or Little Wizard detectors not only helps protect your woodworking tools but also improves overall safety. By identifying and removing hidden metal objects, you reduce the chances of injury caused by flying debris or unexpected equipment failure during cutting or shaping processes.

In summary, the Lumber Wizard and Little Wizard woodworking metal detectors help woodworkers detect and remove metal objects from reclaimed wood, minimizing the risk of damage to planer, router, jointer, bandsaw, and other cutting blades. This, in turn, saves time and money, and enhances the safety of the woodworking process.

See the Lumber Wizard 5 described by its creator Billy Carmen from Wizard Industries:

See the Little Wizard use and tuning: