Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Detect Metal in Wood with the Lumber Wizard

My family purchased a farm when I was a teenager. I remember helping my father tear down an old milking barn. We used some of the wood to build a tool shed. I remember what a pain it was trying to find all the old nails and screws that were left in the wood after it was removed. If you weren't careful, it could really be a pain if you happened to find a nail with a finger.

My dad was always careful when sawing the wood. He didn't want to hit an old nail and tear up a blade or have small pieces fly out and end up on the ground. The Lumber Wizard would have certainly been handy for scanning the pieces before cutting. Some of those small pieces of metal I just couldn't see, and my dad missed a few as well.

Recycled wood is wonderful to work with, but you run the risk of damage each time you machine it. Old nails, screws, and fasteners will wreck expensive planer, jointer, and saw blades quicker than a wink, but the Lumber Wizard can keep that from ever happening in your shop again. It's a metal detector for your wood, The Lumber Wizard locates metal buried in wood up to 6 inches thick. In addition to the sound alert, you can plug an earphone into the jack or set the unit to vibrate instead. A smart designer engineered the handle with a little bend in it, so you won't be dragging your hand along the wood surface, a small touch that any blind or visually impaired person will appreciate. For about the cost of a good carbide blade, you'll be saving yourself countless ruined bits and blades. And that makes the Lumber Wizard a smart investment.

Designed specifically for woodworkers in noisy work environments. Lumber Wizard features a low voltage vibrator, which could alert a deaf/blind user when metal is detected. By sweeping Lumber Wizard in a circular pattern at least a 1/2 inch from the wood surface, it will identify all types of metal or steel items by emitting a high-pitched tone. A nine-volt battery is required but not included. No calibrating, no measuring, no guessing! A Little Wizard is also available for greater accuracy.

Click this link to purchase the Lumber Wizard from
Click this link to purchase the Little Wizard from

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