HomeWild GearsUsing Rare Earth Magnets on Wild Gears


Using Rare Earth Magnets on Wild Gears — 5 Comments

  1. Interesting idea. There is a place I’ve dealt with many times over the years, K&J Magnetics, that sells many different shapes, sizes, and strengths of neodymium magnets. I would suggest rectangular ones. I believe you could get enough of the corner of the magnet between the outer ring teeth that three of them could trap the ring in place. When using one of the rings on a full sheet, a magnet on each side of the sheet should do the job, assuming your magnetic backing material is large enough. Pinning the ring between the magnets should need fewer magnets than clamping it to the table with them.

    I typically use an artist sketch board made of hardboard that’s about 1/4″ thick. I’m fairly certain a steel plate under this would provide enough attraction for the magnets to hold through the sketch board, particularly with larger magnets or a couple smaller ones stacked. Though sheet steel that size might cost more than a commercial white board. Just a thought for anybody having trouble finding an appropriate white board.

    For those not familiar with neodymium magnets, they are VERY powerful and surprisingly fragile. If you let them smash together, which they absolutely love to do, they will shatter. I’ve broken more of them than I should admit to. Be careful and keep them well separated.

    • Amazon listings variously give Gauss or weight holding capacity (for the ones with hooks), though the latter would depend on the surface it’s attached to.

  2. I got a 12 x 17 steel sheet and a pack of 6 rare earth magnets at Home Depot for under $20 and use it for both Spirograph and for Wild Gears. It works like a charm. No more pins, and no more putty.

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