Two Letters Re: A Low Cost Source for Powerful Magnets

Hi Jim,
Just a quick note about the magnets from microwave ovens letter: Inside the Microwave there is a large capacitor (looks like a metal can with two tabs on the top of the can) – before you poke around inside, make sure that you discharge this by touching a screwdriver (held by the insulating plastic handle) between the 2 tabs – this is like poking in the back of an old television, and the discharge from that cap will knock you for a lulu if it’s holding a residual charge (and it can… for a long time.) If it didn’t spark – no
harm, no foul. If it did – that could have been your hand in there!

Also… there are articles on the Internet about converting a microwave into a (surprisingly good) stick welder for next to nothing – I have one and am building a second, and for what I use it for, it far surpasses the overseas versions of the wire feed cheapos. Sure, it’s a stick welder, but for a few bucks (much less than Harbor Freight’s 110 VAC wire feeds that will likely emit square smoke rings and die) you get a good unit and help reuse something that most sheeple would throw out!

Best always, and good prepping. – Susanne, at the Village Smithy

Magnetron and computer hard drive magnets have a great deal of strength.  I put them on my oil filters.  I pull the magnet on the old filter just prior to discarding it. I place it back on the new oil filter that is going into service.  Placing them there may trap fine particles of ferrous metals and keep them from acting as an abrasive.  I also place one near the drain spout or drain hole on my oil pan area.  I remove that one just prior to draining the oil for an oil change. The idea is the force of the draining oil will carry any metal particles trapped there out into the bucket beneath.  It may not help but I don’t think it hurts either.   Another good use for these magnets is to hold my tarps and blankets on vehicle windows during the winter months.  They sstay solidly in place even in very strong winds.  

Most hardware stores sell “super magnets”  A local TruValue hardware store sells a brand called Master Magnetic Inc out of Colorado or They are not cheap but you get what you pay for.  I have purchased them in the past to use on screen doors that don’t close correctly or to drag lost tools out of ditches or bodies of water etc. 

If money is no concern they are readily available from an assortment of on-line suppliers based upon the “pull weight” desired.  And yes, these are not toys.  They can easily crush fingers or body parts and should not be given to children.  It should also be remembered that the strong magnetic fields generated by these super-magnets can cause nearby magnetic media like audio and video tapes and the like to be erased.  Treat them with respect.

And if you are looking for a novel use for a super-magnet well, my neighbor used one of these very powerful but small magnet he purchased on-line on the bottom of his walking stick in hopes of discovering the ever elusive iron meteorite on his walks in the rocks.  He hopes to make some extra money even on his “downtime”. – R.B.S.