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Forum topic by Divotdog posted 03-19-2009 05:25 PM 5408 views 5 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Divotdog

65 posts in 2906 days


03-19-2009 05:25 PM

Has anyone ever used magnets to hold a lift-off lid? I ask this question because I made a box with a frame and panel lid. I was intending to use some cool invisible hinges but thanks to sorry planning (:> I realize the lid is too thin for these type hinges. It has a red oak frame about 3/8 thick, with rounded edges. The panel is resawn soft maple and is in a slot about 1/4” deep. I think this design would also prevent using a rabbet on the bottom.

So I though of using magnets mortised into the box sides and (slightly) into the lid frame. The box is about 10 X 6 and the lid frame is about 1 7/16 wide – so it’s not very heavy. I dont really want to use a hnge visible from the outside – mainly because of the rounded frame edge – but I may have to. I also wonder if a magnet only about 1/16” thick would really keep a lid in place. And I wonder if a frame and panel lid should be a lift-off type anyway – would hardware placement be awkward? – Thanks, David

-- David, Dallas,Tx - golf weather is hot but it's cool in the shop


14 replies so far

View 's profile

593 posts in 3436 days


#1 posted 03-19-2009 05:56 PM

Inlay some rare earth magnets and cover them with veneer. They will be absolutely invisible and they will hold way more than the whole box. Actually you should choose them carefully to avoid putting on some too strong ones.

A couple of places you can get very valuable info are:

Insert the usual disclaimer here, I just pull the sites from my bookmarks.

EDIT: I was looking at one of the pages and found these for you. Each one is rated at .9 lbs of force for a disc of a mere 5/32 in diameter and just shy of 1/16. And at 15¢ apiece they definitely won’t kill the budget (they have a minimum order though).

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kshipp

179 posts in 3242 days


#2 posted 03-19-2009 06:04 PM

I was also going to suggest some rare earth magnets. We use Neodymium-Iron-Boron (NdFeB) at work and they are amazing.

I see some magnets on this site that look like they may be what you are looking for.

Also, there are some on the surplus page at K&J that Jojo linked to.

Make sure you use an appropriate epoxy to install the magnets and don’t drop the magnets on their own as they are brittle.

-- Kyle Shipp, http://battleshipp.blogspot.com

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Divotdog

65 posts in 2906 days


#3 posted 03-19-2009 06:31 PM

These sites are right on the money – thanks, guys. Now I need to consider how the lid should lift – maybe I will upload a pic later.

-- David, Dallas,Tx - golf weather is hot but it's cool in the shop

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Mike

391 posts in 3081 days


#4 posted 03-19-2009 11:11 PM

We use reare earth mags at work. I made a tank bag for my bike out of some rare earth mags I got on ebay.

Sewed them onto soft suede then onto the back of the bag added wings. Stick it on does not scratch the gas tank and even at 80 it does not go anywhere.

Just be aware of the amout of hold try before you commit.

-- Measure once cut twice....oh wait....ooops.

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Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 3197 days


#5 posted 03-21-2009 05:20 AM

I have a document showing how to use a couple of rare-earth magnets to achieve a swivel lid if you would be interested.

Also, from personal experience – make sure when you install your magnets that you have dissimilar poles facing each other, Just doesn’t hold a lid or door worth crap when you havr N-N or S-S facing one another!

Jim

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View 's profile

593 posts in 3436 days


#6 posted 03-24-2009 06:47 PM

Jim that document you mention seems interesting. Any chance to get it?

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Dkol

72 posts in 2825 days


#7 posted 03-24-2009 08:51 PM

I use super magnets quite often in various applications, especially as “latches” for boxes. I buy from these guys GaussBoys great prices, good selection and reasonable shipping. The 2 or 3mm disks would probably be enough pull, I have a bunch of the 6X1mms and I am amazed at how strong they are.

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boxman

104 posts in 2896 days


#8 posted 03-25-2009 04:58 AM

I’ve used magnets for a box I made & they were 1/4” in diameter & 1/8” thick, the neat thing about these is these magnets have a hole in the middle so all you have to do is drill your hole put a magnet with a cut down finishing nail just sticking through lower the lid & it will show you a mark for you to drill the matching hole, I used one magnet in opposit corners, worked OK.

-- john, Moose Jaw, Sask, j.soika@shaw.ca

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Divotdog

65 posts in 2906 days


#9 posted 03-25-2009 02:34 PM

Hey Jim – How can I access your doc on using magnets?

And boxman – Can you tell us your source for the center-hole magnets?

Thanks for all the info – I bought some cheap neodymium magnets at Harbor Freight just for testing. They are 1/4” diameter and 1/16” thick – and yes, it is surprising how strong they are.

I am still wondering if I will be able to cover them nicely – I have a red oak box and I do have some red oak iorn-on veneer tape but I have never used it.

-- David, Dallas,Tx - golf weather is hot but it's cool in the shop

View ghazard's profile

ghazard

382 posts in 2973 days


#10 posted 03-26-2009 09:06 PM

Divot, Your thread came up at a perfect time…I am planning magnets for a box project as well…although just as a closure in conjunction with hinges. Good info here.

Couple of side questions for thoes of you who have used magnets for lids…What do you use to afix the magnets? And do you use magnets top and bottom or just on one side and a metal plate on the other?

Thanks, Greg

-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

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Divotdog

65 posts in 2906 days


#11 posted 03-26-2009 09:16 PM

While I am obviously not one who has used magnets I plan on mortising them into the lid and carcass sides and covering them with oak veneer tape. I just rec my magnets yesterday so I will practice on some scrap.
Good luck, Greg – will post later.

-- David, Dallas,Tx - golf weather is hot but it's cool in the shop

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Hawgnutz

526 posts in 3540 days


#12 posted 04-06-2009 05:15 PM

Divot,
If you keep the magnets slightly skewed of each other theyt won’t grab with their full force. This would come in handy if they grab with too much force. (Rare earth magnets do grab pretty powerfully.) God luck. I look forward to your post of the box.
God Bless,
Hawg

-- Saving barnwood from the scrapyards

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 3197 days


#13 posted 04-06-2009 08:47 PM

Here’s the article on using magnets for a box pivot hinge:

Pivot Hinge with Magnetic Appeal
Recently, I made a guitar pick box with a pivoting lid. I used a pair of 3/8”-diameter rare earth magnets to create the pivot hinge. To install the magnets, I drilled a hole down through the lid and just far enough into the box edge to seat twothirds of the thickness of one of the magnets. I glued one magnet into this stopped hole in the box. Then I inserted the other magnet into the hole in the lid until it mated with the fixed magnet.

A dab of glue locked this top magnet in place in the lid, followed by a little mother-of-pearl disk to hide it. Since the bottom magnet protrudes slightly from the box, it nests in the lid hole to keep it perfectly aligned. The two magnets are strong enough to hold the lid in place while pivoting.”

Pivot Hinge with Magnets

Hope this helps – I have no idea where this little tidbit came from!

Jim

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View Wingstress's profile

Wingstress

335 posts in 2979 days


#14 posted 04-07-2009 02:37 PM

In case anyone is interested, Radio shack sells pairs of rare earthmagnets for a couple bucks. I think they are for holding glass stereo cabnits closed, but they work well for lids. They say 1/8 diameter on the box, but are closer to 3/16. I usually by a pack or two to avoid the minimum buys that you will find on a website.

-- Tom, Simsbury, CT

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