Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Magnetic External Walls

Throw away those screws
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You'll all be glad to hear that work on the West Wing commenced this morning. This meant that, last night, I was bent over removing items such as hose reels that had previously been screwed on the existing walls. Planning, such a wonderful idea - I must get some.

Of course, being outside, the screws attaching these gizmos to the wall had rusted and were not easy to unscrew. The fact that it was 8:30pm, dark and chucking it down with rain made the task even more enjoyable. The final level of bliss was achieved when kneeling to remove the last few items. As they say on the bank adverts, "there must be a better way".

My first idea was "velcro walls". However, some of these items need to withstand great pulling forces, and I'm not too sure I want people waltzing up and tripping away with my easily detachable hose reel. The security aspect negates the ease of detachment.

So, electromagnetic walls. I propose that each external wall has a number of electromagnetic points, that are switched on from inside the house. Once activated the electromagnet has such force that it easily withstands casual or prolonged pulling. When switched off, the residual magnetism retains enough attraction to stop the gizmos outside from just plummeting to the floor. All externally fixable things will simply need steel fixers embedded within them as part of their construction - neater looking design as no fixing holes are now required.

The wall is now on, but only croissants or fishbones with inbuilt iron will be accepted.

PeterSilly, Nov 14 2002

The West Wing http://www.nbc.com/...est_Wing/index.html
Starring PeterSilly [thumbwax, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

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       I worry about the sheer amount of power required to constantly run enough large electromagnets to implement this idea. Your electric bill would be gargantuan, and it's not very good for the environment!   

       Instead, how about having really powerful permanent magnets on the *other* side of the wall to hold your assorted ironmongery in place? They should have little arms sticking out the side so that you can remove them from the wall with a standard car jack, and the stuff on the other side just drops off. That way, your idea still "holds up", but it uses no power and is all environmentally friendly.
pmillerchip, Nov 14 2002
  

       Just get a couple of road construction woikers - they always look like they're holding up walls (along with traffic)
thumbwax, Nov 14 2002
  

       [UB] - a side-effect of added security around your house, prevent unwanted visitors.   

       [pm] - you could supply the electricity from the forest of solar panels in the back garden. Also, you only need power up the bits you need. I'm not suggesting that the whole wall becomes one chuffing great big electro-magnet (although see response to [UB] above).   

       ['wax] - yeah, but then you'd have to feed them, and arrange for holiday cover and so on...
PeterSilly, Nov 14 2002
  

       How about making this like many electric doors work? Have strategically placed strong magnets that the items bond to, combined with an electromagnet designed to create an opposite field. That way you only need to apply current to the electromagnet when you want to release the items. Much easier on the electric bill.
krelnik, Nov 14 2002
  

       [krel] - ooo, I like that idea.
PeterSilly, Nov 15 2002
  

       Er, slight problem for anyone with a computer, floppy disks, credit card, magnetic earrings, watch, metal fillings, tin leg, pacemaker. Stops your bike getting stolen though...
LittleMissLoopy, Jan 30 2003
  
      
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