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Ever have a screw loose? If so, you might need this easy to build attachment to help you find that screw — including plastic ones that a magnet would miss.
Thanks go to Frank Ford for the original article in MAKE, Volume 13.
To download The Lost Screw Finder video click here and subscribe in iTunes.
Check out the complete Lost Screw Finder article in MAKE, Volume 13 and you
can see that in our Digital Edition.


  • Dave

    Didn’t Kip Kay make a video not to long ago showing how to get an earing out of a sink by putting pantyhose on a wet vac nozzle? The same method could be used here, fast cheap and easy.

    • KipKay

      No that wasn’t me but if it ever happens I’ll know what to do! Thanks!

  • Pete

    …but all I caught was a spider and 4 ants. They didn’t even fight each other or anything. xD Now I’m scared to put my hand down there tho. D:

  • Aud1073cH

    great project. I’ll have to make one in case I upset my small screw bin again.

    The first thing I do when I drop a screw is listen. On a hard surface, I can usually hear the general location of where it stops.

    Second I grab a flashlight – I always have a couple around. I turn it on and hold it at floor level. The beam doesn’t light the floor, but anything sticking up higher than the surface. (Laser pointers also work well.) I’ve even found eyeglass and laptop screws using this method.

  • Aud1073cH

    great project. I’ll have to make one in case I upset my small screw bin again.

    The first thing I do when I drop a screw is listen. On a hard surface, I can usually hear the general location of where it stops.

    Second I grab a flashlight – I always have a couple around. I turn it on and hold it at floor level. The beam doesn’t light the floor, but anything sticking up higher than the surface. (Laser pointers also work well.) I’ve even found eyeglass and laptop screws using this method.

  • Joy Sharma

    guess we all face this problem …
    i just use a few magnets at the end of a stick :-)

  • RSS downloader

    The download link on this page doesn’t work:
    http://cdn.makezine.com/make/WP78Lostscrew.m4v

  • KipKay

    The link is working now. Thanks for the heads up.

  • KipKay

    Yea that does work but only on magnetic screws. If it’s plastic or brass like the one I was trying to find…you need something else.

  • Timothy M-H

    A lot easier way is to do this: (assuming you have an extention attatchment) take a filter, screen, etc. and put it over the mouth of the tube. turn it on for a moment to suck in a few inches of it, making sure to leave some free. put the attachment over it to secure it in place. It looks like this: Pipe-> :::::::::::::::::|::::::::=======. The | represents the bottom of the screen, the edge is somewhere around the ::== junction of the pipe and extention. When you vacuum, all the big stuff is in the screen and you pull it out and it’s in a handy little bag.

  • Timothy M-H

    A lot easier way is to do this: (assuming you have an extention attatchment) take a filter, screen, etc. and put it over the mouth of the tube. turn it on for a moment to suck in a few inches of it, making sure to leave some free. put the attachment over it to secure it in place. It looks like this: Pipe-> :::::::::::::::::|::::::::=======. The | represents the bottom of the screen, the edge is somewhere around the ::== junction of the pipe and extention. When you vacuum, all the big stuff is in the screen and you pull it out and it’s in a handy little bag.