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How to Lift Heavy Steel

Kevin admits he is getting older and could use some help picking up some of the heavy metal he works with. So he bought a lifting magnet with 1,000 pound capacity. That should be plenty - he doesn't plan to work with anything heavier than that.

The magnetic lifter has a big, heavy lifting ring and a handle to release it from the metal. Unlike his plate lifter, which picks up metal plate from the edge, a magnetic lifter is for picking up bigger pieces of steel plate from the middle. That lets you get heavy metal off the cart onto the workbench, and off the bench.

It's also big enough and strong enough that Kevin can pick up some of his big sculptures. When he finishes his sculptures, he can grab them up with the lifter, pick them up with the gantry crane, and load them into the truck or trailer. He says: "I think it's really going to save my back."

How do you use it? It's a permanent magnetic, so it's always "on." You stick it to metal and, when you want to get it off the steel, use the release lever to pull it loose.

Keep the magnet on a piece of cardboard, wood or aluminum, because it sticks pretty well!

On the opposite side of the release lever is a large Allen screw that goes all the way through the magnet and comes out the bottom. Screwing it down lifts the magnet so it can't stick to anything, so it's like turning it off.

Always store the magnet on a piece of wood, cardboard, the box it came in, whatever, to keep it clean.

Next Kevin uses his block and tackle with the lifter to lift a piece of 1" metal off the floor. It sticks to the metal with a click. The magnet works through rust and paint, although you don't want to have too much paint between the magnet and the metal - anything that keeps the magnet away from the steel weakens its lifting capacity. Be sure you don't get under it!

Kevin lifts the metal onto the bench. This piece of steel is smaller than some longer steel beams and bigger plate he has outside - using this tool is going to make his life easier. He lifts the metal onto the bench and releases it, placing the magnetic lifter on some cardboard.

To clean the lifter, brush it off with a whisk broom or blow it off with an air hose. Wear your safety glasses - it's going to pick up some steel particles.

Kevin found this magnetic lifting tool at Magnetic Tool just searching for "magnetic lifting devices." It cost about $560 or so, but compared to chiroproactor bills, a back brace or blowing out his back entirely, it's worth it!

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