Uses Putting Magnets to Work in the Shop

shallow courtterbore that matches the thickness of the magnet. To get the best results, it's important for the magnet to be perfectly flush with the surface.

CUPS & WASHERS. While rare-earth magnets work great just by themselves, specially designed cups and washers (see margin on opposite page) allow you to make even better use of them.

The cup makes it easy to install the magnet more securely since the cup can be screwed in place, as in the drawing at the bottom of the opposite page. Once the cup is installed, the magnet just pops inside. As an added benefit, once the magnet is installed, its strength increases four-fold, (Tliis has to do with how magnetic fields align.)

For installations where the magnet needs something to "grip," like a cabinet door, you'll need to add a washer. Like the magnet, the washer mounts on the surface (or in a counterbore) with a screw. The washer is ground flat so the mating surfaces make good contact.

And in cases where you need a "cushion" between the washer and magnet (like a cabinet door), you can add a friction pad. These pads are also great for preventing a magnet from sliding along a metal surface.

AVAILABILITY. Rare-earth magnets and accessories are becoming more widely available. But I've found that mail-order sources on page

49 offer a wider range of sizes and shapes, like the V4" to 1" disk and rod magnets 1 like to use.

Rare-earth magnets are very inexpensive. (The sizes I like to use are all less than fifty cents apiece).

50 using tinem for all sorts of projects and shop accessories won't cost you much. And once you have a few in hand, you'll start finding all kinds of uses for them, K3


Handle carefully — large magnets can snap together unexpectedly, pinching fingers and skin in the way.

Wear eye protection — shattering magnets can propel sharp-edged chips at high speed in all directions.

Provide clearance — electronic appliances {computers, TVs, etc.) and media (creditcards, floppy disks, videotapes) can be damaged if magnets are placed nearby.

Do not use rare-earth magnets near people with pacemakers or other medical devices.

Do not burn magnets — toxic fumes will result.

Handy Accessories

Vise Pads. Magnets embedded in these wood jaw faces allow you to install and remove them in a snap any time you need to make a change.

The too! standoff shown here features two magnets to keep a chuck (or other needed accessories out of the way, but still easy to grab.

This magnetic belt clip keeps your measuring tape securely in place so it's always at hand. Simply "pop" it off when you need to use it.

, Easy On & Off Stop Block. Magnets in the edge of this stop block make for a quick and easy fence (or table) attachment when setting up for identical cuts.

Door Catch. The rare-earth magnet and cup in this shop-made door catch keeps the cabinet door closed and perfectly flush with the frame.

tools of the trade

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