My Expensive New Welding Magnets

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SteveHGraham
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My Expensive New Welding Magnets

Post by SteveHGraham » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:23 pm

I'm welding a fair amount now. This week I needed magnets to hold something for tacking, and I realized the magnets were probably stuck to the side of my big compressor, which is still in South Florida. I went to Northern Tool and shelled out considerable money for more magnets. Then I tried to use them, and I realized they were useless because of the way my metal parts fit together.

I went to the refrigerator, which had a stack of cheap rare-earth magnets on it, and I used 4 of them to hold the metal in place. They worked beautifully. Wonder if anyone else does this. Seems like a good idea, especially when you don't want to get your expensive magnets close to the heat.

I ended up using a woodworking clamp with rubber pads for the final tack.
09 14 19 Kubota FEL brace with rare earth magnets for tacking small.jpg
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warmstrong1955
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Re: My Expensive New Welding Magnets

Post by warmstrong1955 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:08 pm

I have many. I also have a few angle magnets, with a on/off lever, to set things up at 90 or 45 degrees.

Here's a tip.....if you weld too close to a magnet, it can terrorize your weld. The arc, especially MIG, can go haywire....even tac'ing stuff can be a pain.
Also....get the mag's hot...and some will die.

So....keep some distance, and they can be a good tool.
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SteveHGraham
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Re: My Expensive New Welding Magnets

Post by SteveHGraham » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:34 pm

I always forget about the magnets affecting the arc, but I suppose they would be glad to remind me.
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STRR
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Re: My Expensive New Welding Magnets

Post by STRR » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:44 pm

Steve,

Heat and rare earth magnets are NOT a good combination. Tack well away from the magnets and move them if needed.

Good Luck,

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SteveHGraham
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Re: My Expensive New Welding Magnets

Post by SteveHGraham » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:54 pm

I don't put them where the tacks will be. I put them wherever they will work to hold the metal in place.

I don't really care if welding destroys them, though. They're really cheap.
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warmstrong1955
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Re: My Expensive New Welding Magnets

Post by warmstrong1955 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:51 pm

I have four Horror Freight welding set up magnets, about 6” x 6”. I’ve used them enough, where they have just about had it. Just tac’s with ‘em, but they have run out of good grip.
Think I paid about $3.00 a piece for ‘em....and I’ve got a lot of use out of them all, so they are easily expendable.
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BadDog
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Re: My Expensive New Welding Magnets

Post by BadDog » Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:13 am

I have many such neodymium magnets too, mostly from ebay, and use them all the time for many different things including welding (or holding a shield in place, print, etc.). As noted, just for tacking, keep the arc well away, and remove as soon as prudent. And it's not really about destroying the magnets, but rather that the stronger the magnet the more it interferes with a stable controlled arc. Luckily the force drops with the cube of the distance, so even the really strong (small) ones have little or know noticeable affect if you stay an inch or so away. For what it's worth, I find the 0.250x0.250 size the most useful in general (and cheap!), but wouldn't want to be without the dozen or so 0.500x0.500 (not expensive, but not cheap) I have on hand. Sorry, I don't recall the rating, but they are pretty hard to get off anything made of flat steel by finger strength.

I've also got a well beat upon set of the HF triangles, and a pair of squares separated by link bars. The former are more for encouraging pieces to stay put while I tack, but say the "hold something" would be a stretch. Sometimes they almost seem to fall off on their own. But that 2 square rig is an absolute beast to get loose from anything steel, almost too strong frankly as it makes getting things in position difficult at times. But for random odd angle joints I often have to make, often in 3D space, it's just the ticket, and I've often thought of getting another like it.
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liveaboard
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Re: My Expensive New Welding Magnets

Post by liveaboard » Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:51 am

I used to use the Indian system; hold it with one hand, close eyes and tack.
Also known as welding by braille...
But now we have autodark helmets.

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Re: My Expensive New Welding Magnets

Post by spro » Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:54 am

Yeah but which ones? I think head gear is pretty special and eye protection even more. Getting back to magnets, they pull the arc a different way than a clamp. I'm no where near your welding experiences but with stick welding, yep don't get close to the magnet. Sheeze, I have hard enough time already.

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liveaboard
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Re: My Expensive New Welding Magnets

Post by liveaboard » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:27 am

I bought a Lincoln autodark helmet, figuring I'd better buy the good kind for something so critical.
It died after a couple of years; it's battery won't hold a charge for more than a minute, making the thing basically a hazard.
I haven't tried splitting it open to get at the battery, but I will.
Now I bought a cheaper 'no name' one [you all know where that sort of thing is made], it has an off switch [I'm not so wild about that since I forget to use it], and a replaceable battery. It works just fine; ask me in 4 or 5 years and I'll tell you if it's a good one.

I've just spent 2 weeks working in Netherlands, with an old fashioned 'nodder' helmet.
Conclusion; after 20 years nodding and 2 years autodark, I want autodark in future.
What kind, I don't know. Since most people only ever buy 1 or 2 of them, comparisons are hard to get.

Magnets; my ex neighbor has 2 5kg monsters he almost threw away; I told him where to throw them should that decision be made!
Just stick them to my hull please.

GeorgeTurner12345
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Re: My Expensive New Welding Magnets

Post by GeorgeTurner12345 » Sun Jul 12, 2020 3:59 am

liveaboard wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:27 am
I bought a Lincoln autodark helmet, figuring I'd better buy the good kind for something so critical.
It died after a couple of years; it's battery won't hold a charge for more than a minute, making the thing basically a hazard.
I haven't tried splitting it open to get at the battery, but I will.
Now I bought a cheaper 'no name' one [you all know where that sort of thing is made], it has an off switch [I'm not so wild about that since I forget to use it], and a replaceable battery. It works just fine; ask me in 4 or 5 years and I'll tell you if it's a good one.

I've just spent 2 weeks working in Netherlands, with an old fashioned 'nodder' helmet.
Conclusion; after 20 years nodding and 2 years autodark, I want autodark in future.
What kind, I don't know. Since most people only ever buy 1 or 2 of them, comparisons are hard to get.

Magnets; my ex neighbor has 2 5kg monsters he almost threw away; I told him where to throw them should that decision be made!
Just stick them to my hull please.
yes sir you are damn right about battery issues as i have been going through same situations but it was resolved once i find quality auto dark welding helmet. There is no other better choice than auto dark. you just carefully look at its features, specifications and specially replaceable battery.

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Re: My Expensive New Welding Magnets

Post by John Hasler » Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:20 am

Any experience with the solar powered autodark helmets?

About magnets: The powerful rare-earth ones are quite heat sensitive. Alnico magnets are nearly as powerful and fairly heat resistant but will lose strength without keepers. Always store them with a piece of steel or iron across the poles. They will last much longer.

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