I use a lot of salvaged lumber, and have devastated my planer and jointer knives, not to mention my saw blades, with embedded nails, screws, and even a bullet! Now that I have the Little Wizard II, I no longer have that problem. This compact metal detector is extremely sensitive, able to detect framing nails and pin nails alike. It even detects rusted metal residue. So far, I have seen it work on steel, aluminum, brass and copper.
To use the little wizard, I pan it over the salvaged boards, staying within 1/4″ of the surface. When the wand detects metal, the unit beeps and the row of 5 LED lights illuminate. The number of lights indicate both the amount of metal detected, and distance from the metal. I am able to detect the head of a drywall screw through one-inch thick hardwood! It takes less than a minute to check an old 10 foot long 2 x 8, but saves me half an hour or more in a blade or knife change. Sometimes I elect to remove the nails, other times, I just cut the boards around nails and into pieces for small projects. The Little Wizard optimizes my lumber salvaging. It is great for those who mill urban lumber, and even for detecting studs on construction sites. At less than $25.00, it is one of the most useful tools in my shop.
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Little Wizard II Portable Precision Metal Detector, $20.99
Wizard Industries www.wizind.com