This post will show you how to build a cheap, light, but sturdy metal detector straight shaft for less than $40!
I originally wrote this post because I built a metal detector and did not have a shaft to use with it, but if you are tired of using the stock metal detector shaft that came with your unit, just follow the instructions below and youll have a straight shaft which can be adapted to any metal detector kit.
The benefits of a straight shaft include:
- Less fatigue from unbalanced weight distribution
- Customizable arm and mounting positions for weight distribution
- Cool factor
Items youll need:
- 47″ Metal Extension Pole (I purchased mine at Orchard Supply and Hardware for $5.99 part #WP-00244).
- Rav-X Era X Bar Ends (Found on ebay for $9.99).
- Metal Detector Shaft lock off ebay ($12).
- Tesoro Lower Arm with Hardware ($10.20 SKU#POLE-LOW. comes with coil mounting hardware. OPTIONAL if you are just making the straight shaft to upgrade your current metal detector shaft – take the old one off and put it on this one).
- Garrett Arm Cuff for AT Series ($3.95 SKU#9850601. OPTIONAL if you are just making the straight shaft to upgrade your current metal detector shaft – take the old one off and put it on this one).
- 6-32 1″ round head machine screw (to secure the arm cuff to the shaft), and split lock washer.
- 4mm Allen wrench for tightening the bar end.
- 25/64 drill bit (for the arm cuff hole).
- 5/32 drill bit (for the arm cuff screw).
- 5/64 tiny drill bit.
Step 1: Cut the Plastic Clad Metal Extension Pole to 39″
Step 2: Locate where you want the arm cuff to be placed and drill a hole using the 25/64 drill bit. I found it helpful to drill several holes in case you want to adjust the cuff out on the field. DO NOT DRILL ALL THE WAY THROUGH, just drill a hole through one side of the pole. You will need to drill a smaller diameter hole for the screw to secure the arm cuff on the opposing side of this 25/64 hole.
Step 3: Place the Garrett arm cuff in the hole you just drilled and use a drill bit small enough to drill through the threaded hole without damaging the screw threads (5/64 drill bit). Drill vertically and as straight as possible, so the hole being made lines up with the screw threads.
Step 4: Widen the tiny hole made on the other side of the shaft with a 5/32 drill bit. This hole is for the machine screw to fit through.
Step 5: Place the split lock washer and 6-32 1″ machine screw into the arm cuff shaft hole and tighten.
Step 6: Slide the Era X Bar end handle onto the shaft and place according to best fit and feel. The bar end should be placed so the slight angle is pointed away from the arm cuff. Tighten with 4mm allen wrench.
Step 8: Place and tighten the Shaft lock onto the end of the main shaft.
Step 9: Insert the Tesoro Lower Rod into the shaft lock.
Step 10: Drill holes to fit existing metal detector kit onto shaft using mounting holes as a template.
I didnt need to drill any holes to mount my DIY metal detector kit onto this shaft. Instead I used electrical conduit wall hangers that I found for $.50 at Home Depot.
Step 11: Enjoy your handy work!
I was pretty impressed that this shaft was sturdy, and surprisingly lightweight compared to the plugger straight shaft I have on my tesoro sand shark.
Need ideas and a source on coil housings?
Check out my post on how to use a thermo-formed plastic clamshell to build a durable (and good looking) DIY metal detector coil housing.