Uses For Magnets

I’ve been dreaming up a little art project for the last couple of days. Part of it requires having two revolving pieces ‘lock’ into place. While I was busy figuring out what kind of crazy spinning thingy-majiggies I would have to find (imagine going into a hardware store and asking where they kept the spinning thingy-majiggies), KJ thought of using magnets. As it turns out, that’s the perfect solution. So now…where do I buy small and relatively strong magnets.

I got a couple of them at a hardware store to test, but the smallest ones are too big, maybe 1/5 inch diameter. Smaller is better. Hello Google. I found this place called K&J Magnetics, which looks like they have what I need.

So of course, I started browsing around this site, and looking at what they have. They seem to specialize in neodymium magnets. Now, I don’t know what those are, but apparently they’re somewhat dangerous:

Eye protection should be worn when handling these magnets, because shattering magnets can launch pieces at great speeds.

Um, okay that’s a little scary.

The strong magnetic fields of neodymium magnets can also damage magnetic media such as floppy disks, credit cards, magnetic I.D. cards, cassette tapes, video tapes or other such devices. They can also damage televisions, VCRs, computer monitors and other CRT displays. Never place neodymium magnets near electronic appliances.

How near is ‘near’? Do they mean don’t put the magnet on top of the hard drive (thank you Captain Obvious) or don’t bring the magnet within three feet of the computer?

Never allow neodymium magnets near a person with a pacemaker or similar medical aid. The strong magnetic fields of the magnet can affect the operation of such devices

If I use these magnets in my art project, do I run the risk of causing someone’s pacemaker to fail?

Okay, so safety issues aside, we’re forging ahead with the neo-thingy magnets. I already have a particular use for my magnets in mind, but if I was running short on ideas, K&J Magnets has got it covered:

Magnets can be used to secure a cache in place, as a treasure in a cache, or even to retrieve hard-to-get cache.
Removing Dents from Brass Musical Instruments
Got a dent in your tuba? Fix it with a magnet. This is done by inserting a steel ball into the instrument of similar diameter to the thickness of where the dent is located. A large magnet is then used to control the ball and work it to the dent. Once in place, the ball can be rolled back and forth over the inside of the dent until the dent is worked out.
Holding a Pacifier to a Doll’s Mouth
Our D42 discs are a favorite of Berenguer Baby enthusiasts. The magnets will also work well with other dolls, teddy bears and stuffed animals.
Pierce-free Body Jewelry
Our smaller magnets (large ones will pinch and hurt) are often used as pierce-free body jewelry.
Holding “Star Trek Transponders” to Costumes (no kidding)
More than one customer has used our magnets to make removable and replaceable Star Trek Transponders for use in a production.

There are a lot more examples. These were just my favorites. Who knew.

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1. kj

“Holding a Pacifier to a Doll’s Mouth”

Ok so what if the baby has a pacemaker?