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Old 02-16-2010, 07:10 PM   #16
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Drilled into metal in wall, now drill bit is magnetized...


As a retired machinist, and having studied Metallurgy, I will say that the drill bit may have become magnetized just by drilling into another metal. Pardon me for not thinking the drill motor may have been battery operated. I have had brand new, non-magnetized drill bits become magnetized during a drilling operation. I/WE always associated this phenomena with the fact I/WE were drilling tool steels and other exotic metal alloys. I will state: I find it unusual a homeowner would come across a metal within the home that would create this magnetic effect. I will also state: It could happen. I still say that IF it were my home--I would want to see what is back there. Then you state that your wife was using the drill--maybe it could be her magnetic personality! Keep us posted, David

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Old 02-18-2010, 09:07 PM   #17
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Drilled into metal in wall, now drill bit is magnetized...


Hey everyone- sorry for the late reply. My wife and I took a little break Tuesday to watch Lost, and after watching that, I was worried whatever was in my wall that magnetized a bit might bring down a plane if I wasn't careful when drilling (that's a little Lost humor for you all).

So, I just got around to drilling in the wall to expose what it is that magnetized the bit. I went with a larger bit, and, lo and behold, it came out magnetized as well, with little metal shavings on it!! (I tried to attach a picture- I'm not sure if it worked...) SO, I went with an even larger bit to try to open up the plaster and get down to where the metal was. And.....nothing. I went a bit at a time, peering in after each bit, and after an inordinately deep amount of plaster/wall material (looked like nearly two inches!) I was drilling in wood, and wood, and wood, and wood. I went way deeper than my screw would need to go, and no sign of a metal panel, pipe, or anything of the like. I never felt any significant change in resistance to lead me to believe I was drilling through metal. So...? Ghosts?

On the upside, it would appear that there was no harm, no foul in the wall, although there is still an air of mystery here that may weigh on my mind. There's definitely something, I think, to what hayewe farm said about heated metal tending to become magnetized. However, my new problem is what the heck to do with this hole- it's too deep and wide for the screw now- is it crazy to think that I can fill it with wood filler and saw dust and still use it? Probably. I think I'll just have to cut my losses, patch it, and see if there's any room to the left where the stud is undamaged. Or, if all else fails, wall anchors.

Thanks for the advice and kind words, everyone. And thank you Thurman, my wife does indeed have a magnetic personality! This is a great board!
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