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This is a mini tutorial about the use of Neodymium ("rare earth") magnets.  As you may have read here in different build threads, these little devils are invaluable when constructing a set of TK armor.

BUT.. there are a few things to consider before purchasing and then using them...

 

For purposes of this tutorial, I will be referring to magnets that are 7/8 inches (23mm) in diameter and 1/8 inch (4mm) thick, (as seen below) with a strength of N40.

 

CVra5f5.jpg?2

 

These things are STRONG!  (Imagine a regular magnet the same size, but 10 times more powerful).  This is a good thing for our purposes, but you should know a few quick facts first:

 

1.  I mentioned that these are strong already, but know that the strength is such that they can (and will) jump up to 8 inches to reconnect with each other or another metal object.  If your finger is between the magnets and this happens, it can cause injury, from bruising to serious cuts.  They also can (and will) shatter, and flying chips can cause eye injuries.  In a word, be careful.  I suggest wearing eye protection, but that is up to you.

 

2.  Due to the strong magnetic field, those with pacemakers or the like should take extra caution when handling these.

 

3.  Whatever you do, keep these away from children.

 

Now that I've scared you a bit, on with the show!

 

When considering what size to buy for your build, I cannot recommend the 7/8 x 1/8 size enough.  The reason being is that you will only need one on each side of the connection you are gluing, and they have a large surface area.

 

Anything smaller (or thinner) and you run the risk of having to "double up" (stack) them to get the proper adhesion, and the thinner ones shatter more easily.

 

When you receive them, they will have little plastic separators between each one.  To get them apart, the easiest (and safest) way is to slide them.

 

BhzryKr.jpg?2

 

As you separate them, again, be sure to keep them as far apart as possible to prevent shattering or injury.  (Save the plastic inserts).

 

After separating them, I strongly recommend doing one of 2 things...

 

1.  Wrapping each one in masking or painter's tape, (this will prevent them from scratching your armor) or

 

2.  Making mini "sachets" for each one.

 

The tape method is quick and easy, but the sachets are really handy if you have the time.  To make them:

 

Cut 4" (10cm) squares from a piece of fairly thick cloth, (not t-shirt type material) for as many magnets as you have.  Place one magnet in each one**, and secure it with a zip-tie.  (I used a rubber band for the photo, which will not work in real life).  This gives you a "handle".

 

NOTES

**Be SURE that you do half facing one direction out and half facing the other (north/south poles).  Otherwise they won't adhere.

Using a sachet will not prevent them from shattering.

Cricket added a great example photo and tips in a post below.

 

 

ztHy7Pz.jpg?1    skktQRg.jpg?1

 

After you have applied the E-6000** to the seam you are gluing, place one magnet on the top of the cover strip, and carefully add one to the opposite side (inside).

 

To keep the cover strip tight to the join along the entire length, I suggest placing magnets every 3-4 inches apart.  If you see any areas where the cover strips are not flush with the armor, add more magnets.

 

ZQAnDoZ.jpg?1

 

For the ends, you can use clamps as seen above.  Be sure they have rubber or plastic on the ends, though.

 

 

After the E-6000 has cured (usually 12-24 hours) it's time to remove the magnets!

 

IMPORTANT!

I have found the best way to remove them is this:

 

First, remove the clamps.  Then, using one hand, grasp the magnet on the top closest to the end.  Using the other hand, SLIDE the one on the inside out, keeping them well apart.  Stack them using the plastic separators they came with.

 

Now, it's time to look at that perfect seam and think "Hey, I'm one step closer to approval"!

 

NOTES:

 

**  As the vast majority of TKs will tell you, E-6000 is really the best adhesive out there for armor.  Unless you are an experienced builder, if you choose to use CA (super) glue, know that if it runs, you run the risk of it bleeding onto your armor or causing the magnets/sachets to adhere to your seam.  You have been warned.

 

1.  There is no such thing as having "too many magnets".  I know they are not cheap, but the more you have the more pieces you can glue at one time.  I recommend having no less than 12.

 

2.  There are many sources to purchase this size magnet, and the prices can run up to $3.00 each.  But, you can find them on eBay most of the time for a lot less.  This seller for instance offers them for $9.99 for six, which includes postage.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/6pcs-Super-Strong-Neodymium-Rare-earth-Magnet-Disc-for-sale-7-8-dia-x-1-8-thick/281060567507?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

 

Another good source is here:  https://totalelement.com/products/3-4-x-1-8-inch-neodymium-rare-earth-disc-magnets-n52-8-pack

 

 

3.  When you have completed your build, please consider "paying it forward" to someone in your Garrison/Squad who is starting their build by selling them your magnets at a reduced price.  "Troopers helping Troopers"!

 

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I remember getting a set from china, via ebay, with only a few pages from a local newspaper as packing, thought they had not arrived, then noticed they were stuck to the inside of my letterbox :)

 

I also found them really handy for finding a few nails that had been used on a wooden window frame that had been skimmed over......see, they also have practical uses.

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Could I add a suggestion to your great info piece?  When making magnet sachets, it's a really good idea to make sure that you've got polarity-correct pairs.  An easy way to help identify magnet pairs is to assemble them using fabric with high-contrast colors.  Kind of like this:

 

41539049162_3afdacebfe_c.jpg

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7 hours ago, Cricket said:

Could I add a suggestion to your great info piece?  When making magnet sachets, it's a really good idea to make sure that you've got polarity-correct pairs.  An easy way to help identify magnet pairs is to assemble them using fabric with high-contrast colors.  

 

 

Excellent idea, Christine!  Thanks for sharing that!  :jc_doublethumbup:

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Follow-up on magnet strength. I went to ebay and purchased the 7/8 X 1/8 magnets with a strength of N40 (versus the others you also mentioned that referenced N52). Given all the comments on how strong they are, I figured I'd go with the lesser of the two so they don't risk too much pull-squeeze between the ABS and result in much of the glue being forced out. Not sure if that's even a concern, this is merely me guessing, without much applied experience as yet that a light pressure between surfaces ensuring they make even-contact is enough.
 
Is there a strength factor that you'd recommend over the other in relation to the glue scenario?
Thanks in advance for any insights or experience on this.

Edited by Linus

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On 5/4/2018 at 3:04 PM, Linus said:

Follow-up on magnet strength. I went to ebay and purchased the 7/8 X 1/8 magnets with a strength of N40 (versus the others you also mentioned that referenced N52). Given all the comments on how strong they are, I figured I'd go with the lesser of the two so they don't risk too much pull-squeeze between the ABS and result in much of the glue being forced out. Not sure if that's even a concern, this is merely me guessing, without much applied experience as yet that a light pressure between surfaces ensuring they make even-contact is enough.
 
Is there a strength factor that you'd recommend over the other in relation to the glue scenario?
Thanks in advance for any insights or experience on this.

Sorry for the late reply, Dave, but the N40 are just fine and create a great bond without being too powerful.  Great question!!!  :jc_doublethumbup:

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Thanks Joseph, appreciate the follow-up. Just started my actual build but having bought only 12, I'm guessing I'll need more before the build is complete due to breakage or multiple parts drying :wacko: so that helps me to know what to continue buying...

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One thing to note: The 7/8" magnets are fantastic, but they're too big to fit into narrower areas such as the forearms.  So it might not be a bad idea to get some smaller ones, as well, specifically for those smaller parts.

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