Introduction: 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.


Comments

author
Cathie5757 made it! (author)2016-01-15

What a great idea! I use magnetized screw drivers for small exterior casing screws found on the putter casings of most electronics. Definitely going to add this update to my bench.

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lykle made it! (author)2012-09-09

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.

author
smoak made it! (author)smoak2012-09-30

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.

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ppanchal1 made it! (author)ppanchal12013-03-25

juzz stick yhe tip of the screwdriver to a powerful magnet n leave overnight....

author
jimvandamme made it! (author)jimvandamme2012-09-11

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.

author
amoliski made it! (author)amoliski2012-09-09

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.

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michaelmacnz made it! (author)michaelmacnz2012-09-09

Screws of all sizes are easier to place into tricky spots.... without falling down somewhere inside (the computer, engine compartment ) 8-)

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thing 2 made it! (author)thing 22012-09-09

After unscrewing something you don't lose the screws as easily. :)

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Spokehedz made it! (author)Spokehedz2012-09-09

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.

author
JHMc made it! (author)2012-09-06

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?

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michaelmacnz made it! (author)michaelmacnz2012-09-09

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.

author
mandolinible made it! (author)mandolinible2012-10-08

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!

author
pmann1 made it! (author)pmann12012-09-10

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!

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sconner1 made it! (author)sconner12012-09-11

I have A HDD magnet holding a large selection of take-out menus to the fridge. no other magnet is up to that feat.

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sconner1 made it! (author)sconner12012-09-11

He "runs to the fridge" for the fridge magnet that says "Immrroboto's Kitchen" and rubs it along the screwdriver shaft to magnetize it.

author
TubaJ446 made it! (author)TubaJ4462012-09-06

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 ;)

author
1up made it! (author)1up2012-09-06

I think he means to just grab a manget. ;)

author
TheGeekFather made it! (author)TheGeekFather2012-09-06

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.

author
sconner1 made it! (author)2012-09-11

One could also use the magnetic parts holder tray that's sitting on the workbench.

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immrroboto made it! (author)immrroboto2012-09-11

Think you might be seeing the front of my ruggedized laptop.

author
NightFire made it! (author)2012-09-09

Nice trick, just remember that you don't want to use magnetized tools around sensitive electronics.

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Wingloader made it! (author)Wingloader2012-09-11

I once put a hard drive magnet up to a CRT monitor. It looked really cool...FOREVER.

Don't use that monitor any more. :-)

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noonetrulylives made it! (author)2012-09-11

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.

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SimplyT made it! (author)2012-09-10

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.

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pddonovan2011 made it! (author)2012-09-10

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

author
lsippell made it! (author)2012-09-10

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.

author
alzie made it! (author)2012-09-10

If your bench has steel legs,
you dont even need the mounting screw.
Set up - 500mS!

Thats where i keep my assorted spare magnets.

author
Re-design made it! (author)2012-09-10

Good suggestion.

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

author
al_packer made it! (author)2012-09-09

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.

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volndawgville made it! (author)2012-09-09

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?

author
thing 2 made it! (author)thing 22012-09-09

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.

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maxhuey made it! (author)maxhuey2012-09-09

Simply rub the screw driver once or twice (in the same direction) pass the magnet..

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Lee Sanders made it! (author)2012-09-09

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.

author
chikid68 made it! (author)2012-09-09

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 .

author
jack8559 made it! (author)2012-09-09

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.

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Insonicbloom made it! (author)2012-09-09

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

author
pudtiny made it! (author)2012-09-04

Were in the DVD player did you find the nice round magnet?

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immrroboto made it! (author)immrroboto2012-09-06

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.

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pudtiny made it! (author)pudtiny2012-09-06

thanks, they look useful so time to go hunting!

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omnibot made it! (author)omnibot2012-09-07

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.

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vincent7520 made it! (author)2012-09-07

7.5 seconds in fact (after gathering all materials !…)
congratulations !…

author
TheGreatS made it! (author)2012-09-06

Sweet! As for me I just have two hard drive magnets with a string between them holding cords and the like. I'll remember to use them to magnetize my screwdrivers now...

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Kinsei01 made it! (author)2012-09-06

This is not a bad Idea actually. Cool.

author
l8nite made it! (author)2012-09-06

magnetic knife strips work nice over the bench, and keep the screwdrivers organized and handy.. nice tip though

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