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Using Rare Earth Magnets for Clamps


kittykatjaz
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Dan Erlewine, master guitar repairer, uses rare earth magnets for clamping and several other clever uses. Everything from holding easily tipped over plastic cups of varnish to a metal surface, to temporary mounts for tools needed at arms reach. I had an article he posted through stew-mac about all the uses he has for them, but I failed to keep it.

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ok well i guess ill let the cat out of the bag on my latest idea(in design stages right now), awhile ago while doing bass repairs i thought to myself there has to be a better way to clamp patches, so my idea is to make a plaster mold of a bass top that has electromagnets pushed into it, turn it on and bam(as long as the plaster holds, may have to be made of metal) and then put scraps of metal on the top

anyway the earth magnets, from what ive seen they are very fragile. but from my guitar repair days, it works

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Ms Jaz, I use them all the time for crack alignment or gluing clets. I suggest two sizes to get you started: cylinders 1/2 inch in diameter by 1/2 inch high and cylinders 1/4 inch in diameter that are 1/2 inch high. When placed on the outside against the varnish, have a thin, soft plastic film under the magnet to prevent the varnish from being scratched. Place the outside one in place, first, and then bring the inside magnet into place.

Mike D

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I've found the rare earth magnets in different sizes in some of the larger craft stores at very reasonable prices. I've gone to "encasing" the magnets in a strip of wide plastic tape (packing tape) to avoid metal-to-wood contact, and by making the tape a couple of inches long, it gives you something to grab onto to slide the magnets apart.

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