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Picture of Magnetic Spice Rack
I love to cook and, as such, I have a huge collection of spices.  About a year ago I got tired of having to dig through my pile of spice jars to find the one I was looking for, so I decided to change it up.  Pulling some inspiration from Alton Brown and some commercial products that I'd seen I settled on a magnetic spice rack.  In looking around it would seem that I'm not the only one that came to this solution.  In fact, there's even another Instructable on the same topic.

Step 1: Equipment and Supplies

Picture of Equipment and Supplies
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To do this project you're going to need some supplies and equipment.

4 oz Round Clear Top Tins [Pic 1]
1/4" x 1/16" Neodymium Magnets (3 per tin) [Pic 2]
Paper Work Surface
JB Weld (or Other Epoxy)
Toothpicks
Paper for Mixing Epoxy
100 Grit Sandpaper (or Similar)
Damp Paper Towel
Label Maker
Pocket Knife Tweezers [Pic 4]

 
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guaps3 years ago
I built this and have been using these for about a year now. I love them, and have had a lot of compliments about them. I have a couple comments from what I learned, and a question about a problem I'm having.

I used super glue and decided to use two magnets. Sometimes I just have to learn the hard way. For the really heavy spices (think salt), two magnets was not enough. They would slide down the fridge. Also, after a few months, the superglue started to fail and the magnets started to come off the tins. I used JB Weld now and they are rock solid.

The really fine, ground spices (cinnamon for example) are giving me major problems. The fine dust gets between the lid and the rim of the tin and this makes it almost impossible to get the lid off. I definitely can't pull the lid off, and usually I can't twist it off either. I now have a pair of channel locks (pliers) in my kitchen that I use to get the lids off the ground spices. Anyone else having this problem? How do you keep the lids from binding?
jdagnys guaps2 years ago
How about tapping off the lid except the contact point and spraying/painting that with a thin layer of plasi dip or rubber spray paint? I haven't done this so I don't know if it would work but I just thought if it works for Ball jars it might work for this.
guaps jdagnys2 years ago
Sorry, I don't follow you. So the plasti-dip on the outside of the lid so it is easier to grip?

I'm still trying to find a solution to this problem, so I'd like to understand your idea better.
jdagnys guaps2 years ago
on the inside of the lid between the lid and the jar edge; however, more i think about it the more it seems that it won't work. the idea was to create a gasket-like effect so that the cinnamon will not slip between the lid and the edge of the jar, like on canning jars (http://www.canningbasics.com/images/canninglids2.jpg) but with out a two piece screw top it doesn't really work.
guaps jdagnys2 years ago
Oh, I see. That's a good idea, and one I haven't tried yet. I've got nothing to lose so I'll try it.
ReeseLloyd (author)  guaps3 years ago
I had the same problem with cinnamon specifically. I never did find a good solution to that problem.

Anyone else have a tip?
DianaW217 days ago

I made one of these and love it! I recycled an old cookie sheet that I spray painted to freshen it up. I purchased the tins online from Uline, they have several sizes and originally used magnetic tape on the back of each tin. As the adhesive onthe tape failed I just super glued them back on and they have been holding up well. It's been 2 years now. Never have solved the sticking lid issue for some spices.

DianaW217 days ago
RiverC2 made it!3 months ago

I made a quicker/easier project of this, I think, by simply putting two small magnets into the bottom INSIDE of the cans, rather than glue them to the bottom. And I'm not the least bit worried that these nickel-coated magnets will taint or foul the completely DRY herbs and spices they come into contact with. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J5VO2EA?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00 If nickel coating is good enough for some parts of my pasta roller, then it's probably okay touching dry herbs and spices.

I put the spice collection on the side of my refrigerator first, but didn't like the cluttered look in my kitchen. So I bought two metal bulletin boards and mounted them to the inside of my kitchen pantry door - good use of an otherwise unused space - and put all my spices there at eye level where they are easy to see and access. I was concerned about the lids not fitting tight enough and contents spilling out, so to overcome that I gave each can a little squeeze to make it every-so-slightly oval, which in turn made the lids fit tight as a glove, with no fear they'll fall off.

This whole spice organizing project was a huge and satisfying success, and I'm sorry I didn't do it years ago.

Bulletin2.jpgBulletin.jpg

Where can I find the metal bulletin boards??

dlhoefer23 days ago

Just found those magnets on eBay for $7.25/100

I've always loved these containers and this looks really cool! But I think exposing spices to light will make them go stale too fast, at least unless you use them up a lot faster than I do...

I used a small (4 Oz.) tube of Loctite Polyurethane Base Construction Adhesive (Item no: 1452291) and works very well on a single 5/16" dia. x 1/8" thick magnet, holds the same weight and when center mounted, is a bit taller to make it easier to tilt and remove. No mixing the adhesive and way less mess because the tube allows a single dab application.

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=19707886

http://www.kjmagnetics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=D52

Single magnet holds the same weight and when center mounted, is a bit taller to make it easier to tilt and remove.

http://www.kjmagnetics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=D52

RiverC23 months ago
RiverC23 months ago
RiverC23 months ago
MonicaK15 months ago

I thank you for the link to the affordable containers. I want to put them on the back of my pantry door, but am worried about the lids on the containers staying on tight. you mentioned the containers don't move from slamming the freezer door, but do you have any issues with the containers themselves staying closed? The lids do not screw or twist closed, correct?

ReeseLloyd (author)  MonicaK15 months ago
The lids on those particular tins don't screw on, but they do fit tight. I never had one pop off even on the few of them that I dropped.
jstephens9087 months ago
would superglue not have a strong enough hold?
ReeseLloyd (author)  jstephens9087 months ago
It may have. I was worried about the flexing of the metal tins breaking the superglue bond. Epoxy turned out to be a pretty good option. However, next time I'd rough the surface of the magnets with a little sandpaper or buy the adhesive dots that are available now.
slisher7 months ago
I made these as a birthday present for my wife. Wells drink loose leave tea and she hate how the little bags clutter up the counter. Wells purchased two "The Board Dudes" magnetic chalk boards and mounted them in the kitchen.

Thanksgiving for the idea and directions!
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meteormurat7 months ago

a really space saving hack idea !

thanks!

I suggest you look at the deal on other sites, like Amazon for the magnets

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001ANVAHI/ref=wl_it_dp_o...

I like the idea except for the part about putting them on the refrigerator. I have noticed that the sides can be warm and will shorten the life span of herbs and spices. Sunlight is also a detterant. I am thing that a metal sheet on the interior of a cabinet, away from sunlight will be the way I go.

Nice idea! I've been stressing out on what to do in my kitchen!

could you not glue the magnets onto the inside?

Beechcreek2 years ago
You could save time and maybe even money and buy magnetic spice tins.
Nope. Magnetic spice tins run $4 a tin. Which would make my $20 home project a $200 spice rack.
metrometro1 year ago
I did this, and it worked great. However! I used insufficient quantities of JB Weld, and the impact of tin to fridge (thanks to the pull of the magnets) has cracked off about 25% of the magnets. I was trying for a nice clean dab, which is not the right approach. Slather that action on there, build up around the sides.
jdagnys2 years ago
on the inside of the lid between the lid and the jar edge; however, more i think about it the more it seems that it won't work. the idea was to create a gasket-like effect so that the cinnamon will not slip between the lid and the edge of the jar, like on canning jars (http://www.canningbasics.com/images/canninglids2.jpg) but with out a two piece screw top it doesn't really work.
jdagnys2 years ago
How about tapping off the lid except the contact point and spraying/painting that with a thin layer of plasi dip or rubber spray paint? I haven't done this so I don't know if it would work but I just thought if it works for Ball jars it might work for this.
firefly682 years ago
This is a great idea that I wish I'd seen before investing in a regular spice rack!
Wow.  That's a lot of spices.  Looks great.  "Cept my fridge is stainless steel and it won't hold magnets!  Where do you get the tins????  Thanks.
metalgrannie, your fridge may be like mine--it looks like stainless but is really aluminum on front and steel on the sides. Magnets stick to steel. I don't know why it's aluminum, it's just as !@#& hard to keep clean as stainless!!
Have you tried the side of your refrigerator? The front on my refrigerator is stainless steel but the side isn't. That's where I put my spices - in closed containers with twist off tops (to solve the clogging problem) and using magnetic tape instead of glue-on magnets.
ReeseLloyd (author)  metalgrannie5 years ago
Thanks!  That's interesting about your fridge.  Stainless should hold magnets quite well.  Tins came from Specialty Bottle -> http://www.specialtybottle.com/index.asp?PageAction=Custom&ID=39
Steel is a mixture of several different metals chiefly iron.
Stainless steel is steel with 10.5% chromium added.
Some steel has carbon added to make it stiffer and others have nickel added.
Nickel makes to steel non-magnetic but isn't added to all stainless.

Great ible. I plan to duplicate it.

steved56003 years ago
My only comment is that having a clear tin for spice will cause most if not all to spoil quicker. Sunlight and air are the enemy of spices. I was always told the following.
Airtight dark container and keep the whole spice if possible as the ground will age quicker.
The rest of the idea is great. I came to this solution myself. JB weld works best but like all epoxies it's messy good idea on the paper work surface. I use a small paper Dixie Cup to mix in when use epoxy.
katiebegood3 years ago
I did this, and from experience, here are some of my thoughts.

1) if you have trouble opening things (like pill bottles and jar tops), make sure you get screw top canisters. You can find them here:

http://www.specialtybottle.com/screwtoptincontainersmi.aspx

2) Unless you want to replace your spices every six months, don't get the clear top canisters. Get a solid top. They aren't as pretty (unless you make a pretty label for the top) but your spices will keep fresh much longer not being exposed to light.

3) Instead of the small round magnets, go to a local craft store and get some magnetic tape (do a Google search for "magnetic tape" and you'll find lots of suppliers on-line). You just cut off a square, peel off the backing and stick the gummy side to the back to the canister. No muss, no fuss.


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