Improve your work bench in about 4 seconds

Picture of Improve your work bench in about 4 seconds
This is so simple I wasn't going to put it up, but decided to after marveling at how I didn't think of it sooner.

If you're anything like me, you prefer to keep your screwdrivers magnetized and are sick of getting up and running to the fridge to "recharge" them (Also, you're too cheap to go buy a magnetic screwdriver).  Well fear not!  In two simple steps (one Instructable step) we can remedy this problem.

Step 1) Get a magnet and a screw that fits though it (or one magnet and two screws that don't fit through it).  I got mine out of an old DVD player I was cannibalizing  for something else.
Step 2) Screw the magnet to your bench in an out of the way, but within arms reach distance.

Voila.  Magnetize your tools to your heart's content.

1-40 of 43Next »
lykle2 years ago
It is a good tip if you want magnetized screwdrivers.
My problem is that I hate magnetized screwdrivers. All the swarf keeps sticking to it and it is messy. But then, I do a lot of metal work so there is iron all over the place.

So let me ask this in a different way, why do you want magnetized screwdrivers? I am probably missing something here.
smoak lykle2 years ago
It makes it much easier to not lose screws when working on projects. Especially great when the screws are so small. To magnetize the screwdriver just give it a few swipes across a magnet. To demagnetize it just give it a few swipes in the other direction.
ppanchal1 smoak2 years ago
juzz stick yhe tip of the screwdriver to a powerful magnet n leave overnight....
Demagnetizing a tool can be done with a soldering gun (not iron). The kind with a loop of copper at the end, and a jillion amps through it that heat it up. Just turn it on with the tool inside the loop, and draw it out over a couple seconds. The alternating magnetic field will neutralize the static field. Then again, if you want to magnetize something, do the same thing but shut off the gun without moving the tool out of the field. If you shut it off just right, you'll be at maximum field (just have to be lucky) and the tool will be magnetized.
amoliski lykle2 years ago
Heating a magnet will make it lose its magnetism. If you are annoyed by a magnetic screwdriver, heat it up. Then you can use a magnet to re-magnetize it again if you need it.
Screws of all sizes are easier to place into tricky spots.... without falling down somewhere inside (the computer, engine compartment ) 8-)
thing 2 lykle2 years ago
After unscrewing something you don't lose the screws as easily. :)
Spokehedz lykle2 years ago
For most people who are not working around metal lathes, they want a magnetic screwdriver because the screw sticks to the screw driver making it much easier to screw it into things.

For your application though, yes--it would get quite annoying to have magnetic screwdrivers around, as it would pick up all the ferrous chips that come from your lathe. I can imagine that being quite annoying to have to clean the little tiny bits from the blades of the screwdrivers.
JHMc2 years ago
This does look much easier than "running to the fridge"; but I, personally, have never heard of that ("running to the fridge") method of magnetizing anything either! How is that done?
A lot of fridges have a plastic concertina seal around the door to keep the air/heat/cold in or out.. Inside the seal there is a long magnetic / plastic strip...
To get the strip out of a junk fridge just split the seal open with a sharp knife and pull out the (brown) magnet strip... They are not very strong ...but... very handy and clean to use on any (steel) surface.
This is great news to me! I never knew. I often rummage for shelves and stuff from fridges at our recycling centre, now I'll be magnetised to the gunn'ls as well. Thanks for this - great stuff!
If you want a really strong magnet or two, try junking an old hard disc. You'll break your fingers trying to peel it off a metal surface. Very powerful!
sconner1 pmann12 years ago
I have A HDD magnet holding a large selection of take-out menus to the fridge. no other magnet is up to that feat.
sconner1 JHMc2 years ago
He "runs to the fridge" for the fridge magnet that says "Immrroboto's Kitchen" and rubs it along the screwdriver shaft to magnetize it.
TubaJ446 JHMc2 years ago
1) Run to the fridge (w/ tool obviously)
2) Grab a magnet off the fridge
3) Magnetize it
( he was just trying to be funny ;)
1up JHMc2 years ago
I think he means to just grab a manget. ;)
hmmm, I use a round "dragon egg" its the same diameter of a quarter. I usually stick my screws to it too. I loose so much stuff you would think this would have rolled away months or even years ago but nope, still have it. It sits in side an inverted Nuka Cola bottle Cap.
sconner12 years ago
One could also use the magnetic parts holder tray that's sitting on the workbench.
immrroboto (author)  sconner12 years ago
Think you might be seeing the front of my ruggedized laptop.
NightFire2 years ago
Nice trick, just remember that you don't want to use magnetized tools around sensitive electronics.
I once put a hard drive magnet up to a CRT monitor. It looked really cool...FOREVER.

Don't use that monitor any more. :-)
Might have missed it but I didnt see anyone mention speaker magnets. I have a set hanging on the wall. I use them to "catch" my tools. I set them inside the hood of my cars when I work on them and just toss my tools at the magnet so they dont 'disappear" on me.
SimplyT2 years ago
Another great source for magnets is your electric toothbrush. Whenever I change my toothbrush head, I try to pop off the magnets, sometimes they come off perfectly, other-timeststafb they break. Also once in a while one magnet comes off clean and the other stays with the metal mount, which is then easy to work with/screw down. They are great little magnets.
LOVE this idea and real easy to reproduce. I almost bought a Magnetizer from Snap-On Tools but instead went an even easier route. I bought these sheet magnets from Snap-On instead. Their holding power increases 400% when you apply them to a metal surface, my toolbox is all metal so it was a 'no-brainer' for me. I put ALL my screw drivers on these magnet sheets and they are all magnetized now! Saves allot of frazzled nerves when working with real tiny screws
lsippell2 years ago
I bought a device about 20 years ago that has 2 slots in it. Stick your screwdriver in one of them and it magnetizes it. Stick it in the other and it is de-magnetized. It's about 2" x 2" x 1" in size. I think I got it from Snap-On or Mac Tools.
alzie2 years ago
If your bench has steel legs,
you dont even need the mounting screw.
Set up - 500mS!

Thats where i keep my assorted spare magnets.
Re-design2 years ago
Good suggestion.

Here's what I do. While it holds the tools it also gives them a good dose of magnetism.

al_packer2 years ago
I have a speaker magnet (cylinder) set flush into my workbench by the drill press. It does a good job of keeping the chuck key from wandering away.
Just curious.... how long does it take to attain a 'magnetic charge' on screwdriver? Is this something where you just touch it and it's good for a one-time use; or if the screwdriver remains in contact with it for a period of time, it will hold the magnetic charge?
Usually if you leave a screwdriver "attached" to a magnet for a few hours, or over night it becomes magnetized. It depends on how long it takes for the molecules to line up according to the magnetic force and how strong the magnet is.
Simply rub the screw driver once or twice (in the same direction) pass the magnet..
Lee Sanders2 years ago
If you need to de-magnetize a screwdriver that you magnetized this way just whack the business end of it on something like an anvil, vise or the head of a hammer a few times. It works.
chikid682 years ago
I find that the magnets from old hard drives work great for magnetizing screwdrivers and even wrenches they are quite strong attach one to each end of a thin metal strip and voila instant magnetic strip for tools .
jack85592 years ago
You can also just stick a small magnet to the side of a screwdriver shaft and leave it there. It seems to give the driver more magnetic strength also.
that's cool, I use a giant 12" speaker magnet that I unscrewed from the cone and nailed to the side of my bench - I did accidently erase my iPod when I walked past it one time but it's certainly useful!

by the way if you like Stripboard electronic projects there is a good site HERE
pudtiny2 years ago
Were in the DVD player did you find the nice round magnet?
immrroboto (author)  pudtiny2 years ago
Good question! It was located in the DVD tray and would have been directly over the center of the DVD during operation. I just tagged it in the photo as well. Hope it helps.
thanks, they look useful so time to go hunting!
omnibot pudtiny2 years ago
Other good places for small magnets include the focus on the laserhead in any CD, DVD etc. Also modern headphones (any type) has proper neodymium magnets.
vincent75202 years ago
7.5 seconds in fact (after gathering all materials !…)
congratulations !…
1-40 of 43Next »