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  1. #1
    us
    Nov 2011
    3
    Metal Detecting

    Metal Detectors for Logs

    I found this site, which has helped answer a few questions about metal detecting. I am planning on getting a metal detector in the next few months that I plan on using to scan logs before milling (to find the nails and screws before the blade does!)

    I also may find that metal detecting is fun and I want to expand past searching in wood. So I have a few questions, and I am not trying to start any big debates. Just understand that I am an absolute newbie and may ask questions incorrectly.


    1. How deep can a standard 8" coil detect a 2" nail inside a log? One way if anyone had the time to help test this would be to stick a small nail under a couple pieces of wood to determine if it can penetrate well enough to give me a 3 or 4 inch area where the nail is at. Just for reference, I do not really plan on getting logs larger than 14-16" diameter.

    2. What would the best, cheapest metal detector be? The three that I see come up often in threads are the Bounty Hunter Pioneer 505, the Discovery 3300, and and the Garrett Ace 250. I would like to spend no more than $150 including shipping, and I am perfectly okay with a used detector. Also, what are the differences between the 505 and the 3300? I couldn't find anything directly comparing the two.

    3. How difficult would it be to find something in the wood, and use a discriminator to determine if it is soft enough to saw through, like lead?

    Finally, if you have any advice or comments that I didn't ask for, I am open to ideas and suggestions. Thanks. I hope these items haven't been covered too much. I tried searching, but I do not know the proper terms to use to find answers to these.

  2. #2
    us
    Jul 2003
    Elgin
    Fishers 1235X-8" CZ-20/21-8" F-70-11"DD GC1023
    6,579
    38 times

    Re: Metal Detectors for Logs

    I sure wish the city chippers would use something to keep those nails and other debris out of the playgrounds around here. One thing for certain, new wood chips always mean a new selection of iron to pick out of the playground.

    With a 14-16" dia. log you will find any substantial nail using most mid level and up detectors. Of course this would be done on the ground unless you wanted the machine to sound off on the rig bearing the lumber.

    First you might want to get a lot experience using the MD to find nails to get an idea of what size nails or other objects you're getting indications from. A small old bent nail might not be worth cutting a log if you're going for a more lengthy board and your saw may well pass it or not be dulled by it significantly. The only issue then is whether or not the remaining nail is an issue in the finished product.

    Check in with some of the lumber mill sites or do a google search of metal and lumber and see if there's a lot of info from others in the biz!

  3. #3
    us
    Nov 2011
    3
    Metal Detecting

    Re: Metal Detectors for Logs

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowbatts
    Check in with some of the lumber mill sites or do a google search of metal and lumber and see if there's a lot of info from others in the biz!
    Mostly what I've found are ones that are either specifically for loggers, with an arc shaped coil to curl around a log (very expensive), and detectors meant for reclaimed lumber. The reclaimed lumber ones are like the pointer style ones that you guys use, or the security wands. They are only good for the next pass through the saw.

    My dad has a very very cheap import (lower quality than HF) metal detectors, and I couldn't find a nail under 2" of wood. That's why I am thinking of getting a better one.


    One other question I would have is would a depth gauge be accurate at all to give an idea how deep a nail is into a log? It would save a whole lot of time if I knew that a nail or bullet was around an inch and a half under the bark, or if it was right next to the center.

  4. #4
    us
    Jul 2003
    Elgin
    Fishers 1235X-8" CZ-20/21-8" F-70-11"DD GC1023
    6,579
    38 times

    Re: Metal Detectors for Logs

    A depth gauge would be good if there were an existing hole not grown over or filled I guess.

    Most MD's from the mid level up will locate the stuff in the logs you're going to be checking. Most of those have fairly accurate depth indicators and with practice you could learn to determine the approximate size and orientation of the foriegn object you've located in the log.

    I've found coins in the middle of roots before and between my metal detector and my pinpointer I isolated the coin very well before removing the root.

  5. #5
    th
    Nov 2010
    Thailand/Europe/California
    Excalibur 2 1000
    1,025
    130 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Metal Detectors for Logs

    I'm sure many detectors that we use would work, but probably detectors used in the sawmill industry would be better suited. You didn't say where the logs are, laying on the grown, or off the grown. If they are laying on the grown, then you will be detecting nails that are in the ground also. Of course the amount of logs is also important to know, are you planing on doing one log a day or a hundred. I still think your best bet is checking with sawmills, but with the budget you have, I dint think you will find anything that is of any value.

  6. #6
    us
    Sep 2010
    Groveland, CA
    1,155
    341 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Metal Detectors for Logs

    Maybe all you need is a pinpointer. A hammer isn't going to sink a nail 2" into the wood. Sure growth will have a effect but not much. A pinpointer will be easier to store and handle as well. Bullets will go deep but they are soft by nature as they are intended to deform on impact.

  7. #7
    us
    I deal in reality

    Mar 2010
    Maryland
    XLT , surfmaster PI , HAYS 2Box , VIBRA-TECTOR
    7,863
    1952 times

    Re: Metal Detectors for Logs

    A regular detector would be a poor choice. It goes to deep and will pick up the rack plus most are poor poipointers. Harbor Freight sells a couple of pinpointers that are made for this purpose. They start at app. $16. If you want something that will go app. 6" your have to put out app. $180. for a small hand held detector with a app.4' coil made by Vibra tech. Frank

  8. #8
    Charter Member
    us
    Director-Search & Recovery Team of Oakland County.

    Aug 2005
    In Michigan now.
    Excal 1000, Excal II, Sovereign GT, CZ-20, Tiger Shark, Tejon, GTI 1500, Surfmaster Pulse, CZ6a, DFX, AT PRO, Fisher 1235, Surf PI Pro, 1280-X, many more because I enjoy learning them.
    11,821
    1960 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Metal Detectors for Logs

    I think you are going to have to bite the bullet and get a Pulse detector as they have almost no discrimination and go very deep. They also love to find iron and lead quite deep. Since nails are disc out with any disc setting and this is what you are looking for the PI's are what you need. Depth gages aren't very accurate on rusty iron and some survey crews use railroad spikes as waypoints. They are pounded into the lower section of the tree and get grown over. New pulse units start at $500 and you have to figure how much your saw blades are worth.
    (C) Sandman, 2005. All Rights Reserved.
    "TIME IS THE ONLY THING YOU NEVER GET BACK, WHY WASTE IT SWINGING A DETECTOR THAT ISN'T UP TO THE TASK."

  9. #9
    us
    Nov 2011
    3
    Metal Detecting

    Re: Metal Detectors for Logs

    Thank you all for your help and opinion. I think I have changed my mind from the three units earlier and I think I will get a Bounty Hunter Quick Draw II. Amazon has a kit with a pinpointer for $155, so I will have both options available right away. If the pinpointer breaks, I'll likely replace it with a Harbor Freight.

    The main reason for wanting the full sized unit is to scope out logs in a reclaim yard before I pick them up, to make sure it isn't full of barbed wire, screws that I can't see, nails, spikes, etc. And the pinpointer will be great for the next pass before going through the saw.


    Even though a PI unit seems like it would be the best, the bandsaw blades I have are only $30-$40 each, so it would take quite a bit before it would pay for itself.


    Thank you all again for your help. I will likely stick around some on this forum, because who knows, maybe I'll find some buried treasure in the salvage yard while finding a log!

 

 

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