Get Your Science On: Horseshoe Magnet

 In Get Your Science On, Shopcasts and Videos

Joe shows us how to make a strong electromagnet with a horseshoe.

What’s Going On

When electricity moves through a wire, it creates a magnetic field. We wrapped the horseshoe in many loops of wire, each loop roughly parallel to the next one. When the electricity is turned on, this creates a strong magnetic field along the horseshoe. The magnetic field can magnetize the steel bolts and pick them up.


A low voltage, high current power supply (we used a 14V/12A car battery charger)
Magnetic wire
A horseshoe or other iron object
Momentary switch, wires, and soldering supplies
Hot glue or clear adhesive (optional)

How To Build

Wrap the horseshoe with the magnet wire, making sure to always wrap in the same direction. Use the hot glue to keep the wires in place.

Strip off the clear enamel coating from the magnet wire using sandpaper or the soldering iron. Using insulated wires, connect one end of the magnet wire to the power supply. Connect the other end through the momentary switch to the power supply.