Instructables
Picture of Magnetic Gem & Mineral Float Tester
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The reason why I created the magnetic gem and mineral float tester: I purchased a box full of used Silversmithing tools and in the bottom was a collection of gems and minerals. I needed a helpful diagnostic tool to identifying and sort my new found collection. I read on several ways of testing using commercial equipment. Since this is a hobby, I decide to read further on alternative ways to test them. I came up with my version of a magnetic float tester. Using the magnetic affects on the specimen floating on a water surface, to identify the specimen.
Why gem and minerals are magnetic: Some gems and minerals are magnetic due to the metals contained in them. Gems and minerals can be attracted or repelled by a magnetic field. The level of observable attraction can be noted as minimal, moderate, and maximum. Gems and minerals can be divided and recognize by observing the range of the responsiveness they demonstrate when the magnetic field magnet is applied to them.
 
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Step 1: Items Used

Picture of Items Used
· Ruler – capable of being cut to length
· Household scissors
· Drill press
· Drill bit 25/64 (3/8 could also be used)
· Circular surface level (levels in all directions at once)
· Hacksaw
· Miter box or good eyes
· File – made for metal fine tooth
· Deburring tool
· Finger nail polish – I used yellow to match painted aluminum
· Large 1-inch metal paper binder clips
· Threaded furniture glides (come in sets of 4) size = 1 – 1/16 threaded glides only need three
· 6-foot aluminum level – cut to 8 inches
· Float chamber clear water tight plastic 1 ½ inches wide - 4 inches long - 3/8 inches deep
· Tweezers plastic (metal is shown, plastic would work better)
· Two water tight containers – large enough to fill float chamber – I used plastic film canisters 1 ¼ inches in diameter by 2 inches tall. One is just for storage of borax the other to contain the mixture of water and borax. The volume used was 1 tsp (teaspoon) or 15 ml.
· Small spoon – used to scoop the borax
· Plastic wand – used to push foam
· Dense cell plastic foam – enough to make a few 1 x 1 x 3/8 thick inch squares, this foam must be capable of floating and not retaining water.
· Eyedropper – if float chamber is too full of mixture used to draw liquid out.
· Rare earth magnet – 11/16 diameter 1/8 thick coin size
· Helping hands
· 3 by 5 index card plastic box
BARKing10 months ago
Cool, I didnt know that was a way to test Gems & Minerals. It would be nice to have a list of common gems and minerals that are tested this way and the results that help identify them. or a link to a trusted resource.
Not sure of a real need to level the base as the water will level as long as it is deep enough to float the specimen.
Fikjast Scott (author)  BARKing10 months ago
Thank you for viewing my instructable.
I agree; I would like a trusted list of properties. In my research, there are several different partial lists. For me, if I can just sort them quickly from glass I will be happy. Mixed in the box of gems and minerals I bought, there is faceted cut glass.
Leveling: Well I touched on the aspect of the difficulty finding a good floating chamber. I agree; water will self-level. I guess I like a little flair or fun in my projects. I like going to the Henry Ford Museum and notice all the little extras on the equipment / machinery on displayed. On my car, there is a cover where I believe a cigarette lighter fits; it is a non-functional button. I tell my wife to push this cover / button when she starts on me about my driving.
Warmly
Scott
I think I will install one of those buttons in my car before I do any other projects. ;)
jessyratfink10 months ago
Super thorough documentation and it looks like a great setup! :D
Fikjast Scott (author)  jessyratfink10 months ago
Thank you for the kind words and viewing my instructable.