# How to make an electromagnet: 14 steps (with pictures)

In an electromagnet, an electric current passes through a metal part generating a magnetic field. If you want to make a simple electromagnet, you will need a source of electricity, a conductor, and metal. Wrap the insulated copper wire tightly around an iron screw or nail before connecting the wire to a battery, and watch your new electromagnet attract small metal objects. Do not forget that you are producing electricity, so be careful when using the electromagnet to avoid injuring yourself.

## Steps

### Part 1 of 3: Wrapping an Iron Object with Wire

#### Step 1. Choose a nail or iron screw as a base

Choose a piece of iron that you have at home, such as a nail, screw, or bolt. Aim for 3 to 6 inches (7.6 to 15 cm) long, so there is plenty of room to wrap around the wire.

#### Step 2. Remove a piece of copper wire from the spool

Since you don't know the exact length you will need to fully wrap the iron object, don't break the spool wire yet. Position the wire so that it is perpendicular to the iron object, as this will allow you to wrap it many times.

#### Step 3. Leave 2 to 3 inches of copper wire left over at the end

Before you start wrapping the wire, leave 2-3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) of excess so you can connect it to the battery.

### Position the wire so that it is perpendicular to the iron object and at one end

#### Step 4. Wrap insulated copper wire around the iron object in one direction

Create a continuous spiral around the iron object to conduct electricity. Wrap the wire in a single continuous direction so that there can be a strong electrical current.

### It is very important that the wire is wound in the same direction so that the electricity flows in only one direction. If you wrap it in different directions, the electricity will also flow in different directions, and a magnetic field will not be produced

#### Step 5. Squeeze the wire as tightly as possible as you wrap it

Wrap the wire tightly around the iron object, making as many spirals as possible to generate the best current. As you wrap it, use your fingers to squeeze the loops. Keep wrapping and squeezing the wire until you reach the end of the iron object.

### The more wire you use, the stronger the electrical current will be, so be careful when making the magnet

#### Step 6. Wrap the wire around the entire nail

There is no set number of loops you need to do; just make sure to wrap the entire nail around the wire, pressing the loops against each other. You are done wrapping once you get to the end of the nail.

#### Step 7. Cut the wire so that the end is about 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm)

Once you reach the opposite end of the iron object, use a sharp pair of pliers or scissors to cut the wire from the rest of the spool. Cut the second end so that it is the same length as the first so that the wire ends reach the battery at the same distance.

### Part 2 of 3: Create Drivable Ends

#### Step 1. Remove 1 to 2 cm of insulation at the ends of the wire

Use wire strippers, sandpaper, or a razor to carefully scrape the insulation at both ends. This will allow the wires to conduct electricity more easily.

### As you scrape, the wire will change from the copper color of the insulation to the natural silver color of the wire

#### Step 2. Wind the ends of the wire to create a small circle

Use your fingers to bend the ends of the wire into a very small circle about 0.20 inches in diameter. These circles will touch the center of each end of the battery.

### Coiling the ends of the wire will help the battery maintain good contact with the wire

#### Step 3. Position the ends of the wire at each end of a battery D

Get a D battery, or a 1.5 volt one, and place each end of the wire on each end of the battery so that they make contact. Then tape the ends with electrical tape or duct tape to hold them in place.

### Position one end of the wire on the negative end of the battery and the other end on the positive end

#### Step 4. Test the magnet while holding the wire at each end of the battery

Once you have firmly attached the ends of the wire to the battery ones, test the magnet! Hold the battery and the iron nail near a small metal object, such as a paper clip or pin. If the object is attracted to the magnet, it means that it is working properly.

• If the battery gets hot, use a small towel to keep the wires attached to it.
• When you are done using the magnet, remove the wires from the battery.

### Part 3 of 3: Increase Magnet Power

#### Step 1. Use a set of batteries instead of just one for more power

Battery sets last longer and create a powerful electrical current unlike a single battery. You can buy them at hardware stores and battery stores, and they work like a conventional battery.

• Do your research before choosing a larger battery set to make sure you are using one that is safe and works.
• The ends of the wire will go to the positive and negative terminals, and you can fix them there using electrical tape.

#### Step 2. Get a larger metal object to create a stronger magnetic field

Instead of using a nail, opt for a metal rod that is about 1 foot (30 cm) long and 0.4 inches (1 cm) in diameter. Make sure to use this item with a battery pack to create a stronger magnet. You will need more copper wire to wrap around the entire metal item, so start with a whole spool.

• Wrap the metal tightly so that the electrical current is properly conducted.
• If you are using a larger metal object, the wire only needs to be wrapped in a single layer for safety reasons.
• Use electrical tape to connect the wire at each end of the battery.

#### Step 3. Twist the wire more to give the magnet more power

The more loops you create, the more power the electric current will have. Get a large spool of wire and loop as many loops as you can around the iron nail to create a very strong magnet. If desired, add multiple layers of wire on top of each other.

• For this, use the smallest iron object, such as a nail, screw, or bolt.
• Wrap the wire in only one direction around the iron object.
• Glue the ends of the wire to the battery using duct tape or electrical tape.

## Warnings

• Never use high voltage electricity with a large amount of current, as you may end up electrocuting yourself.
• Do not try to insert the wire into the outlet. This will conduct electricity, adding a high voltage to it and giving it a large current, which can cause an electric shock.