Drywall Screw Pickup Tip - Fine Homebuilding

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Reader Quick Tips

Drywall Screw Pickup Tip

comments (2) January 28th, 2010 in Blogs, Project Gallery
Dadzor Dadzor, member

Pickin up screws 1
Pickin up screws 2
Pickin up screws 3
Pickin up screws 1Click To Enlarge

Pickin' up screws 1

Hi, Chuck

I find many of the tips really useful, so I thought I'd return the favor.

Ever spill a mess of drywall screws and prick your fingers picking up the sharp little suckers?  Well, to quote a well known tipster: "There's a better way!"

Get a tin can and a magnet.  Make sure the magnet will stick to the can.  The stronger the magnet the better. Drop the magnet into the can so that it sticks to the inside bottom of the can. Put the now-magnetized can on top of the screws and lift.  Each time you do so, screws will stick to the bottom of the can.  Hold the can over a container with one hand, and lift out the magnet with the other.  The screws will drop into the container. Repeat until all screws are retrieved.

If the screws are all over the floor, use this variation (much easier on my old knees and back).  Tie a string to the magnet first, then place it inside, on the bottom of the can, and drop the can onto the pile of screws. Use the string to lift the can and the screws come with it. Again, lift out the magnet to drop the screws and repeat as necessary. 

No more bloody fingertips.  Works safely and painlessly every time.  

Matt Alexander

Pasadena, Newfoundland

Design or Plan used: My own design
posted in: Blogs, Project Gallery, tip, drywall screws, clean up

Comments (2)

portraitmac portraitmac writes: If the magnet was strong enough, you could put he magnet on the bottom of the OUTSIDE of the can, then put the can down on the pile of screws upside down. Then when you pick up the can, turn it over, and remove the magnet, the screws would already be in the can! This wouldn't work with a coffee can, but it would be handy with a tuna can or an old metal cake pan.
Posted: 12:01 pm on March 9th

grateful.ed grateful.ed writes: Hi Matt,
Thanks for this excellent tip. We must be in the cosmic coincidence zone here. Last week we videotaped a bunch of new tips, and one of them was about this exact topic. The variant that we shot puts the magnet inside a plastic bag. Drag it through the screw pile, collect a bunch of screws and then turn the bag inside out. They're trapped in the baggie.
Posted: 9:41 am on February 1st

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