When the Fridge Magnet Challenge was announced, I had submitted a nice little fridge magnet instructable a week earlier. Now I had to come up with something new and improved and on short notice.
Wracking my mind, I suddenly remembered the magnetic flower vase trick from over at Curbly. Why did I think of that? Perhaps it was the extra pot of coffee at 1am. Maybe the curry from earlier. For whatever reason, that's what I thought of and thus, taking that as a hint this instructable is where it all ended up.
Step 1: Assemble the Pile of Parts
Small files or sandpaper
serious glue - either strong super glue or two part epoxy
Clear silicone sealant
The magnet. I am using a 1/2" diameter, 1/8" thick neodymium magnet. They are had to find locally, and thus we do that thing called online shopping. There are a good number of online stores that sell these magnets, but I like Ebay because it gives you multiple prices and options to compare before buying. I did a little digging on Ebay and as of this posting date, these are a couple of the Ebay stores with better deals for the magnets. Wherever you go to get the magnets, be sure to get the type that want to stack top to bottom, not the type that wants to go edge to edge.
- Search Ebay for neodymium magnets disc
- Incredible Magnets Ebay store (fantastic price/each, higher qty order, not as much vendor feedback as you might like)
- Neodymium Magnetic Discs from Emovendo Ebay store (almost twice the price per magnet, but they are slightly more powerful - 6lb vs a normal 5lb, and there is much more vendor feedback)
A plastic cable clamp of the size of the tube. In this case, 3/8"
a small scrap of sandpaper
A bit of cork
white school glue
Step 2: Put Together the Flower Vase Tube
Once it was cut with the hacksaw, I took out the small needle files and made the ends nice and smooth.
I then took an old wine cork and sliced off about an 1/8" piece. I pressed the end of the tube down into that to make an impression in the cork and give me an idea of what to cut out.
I then cut out the chunk of cork and put it into the bottom of the tube. This part doesn't need to be that precise, just something to block up the end a bit for the silicone sealant . I pushed it into place and leveled it out inside the tube with a coffee stirrer. Whatever long skinny thing you want to use is fine.
Once the cork bit was inside the tube and up about 1/8" from the end, I sealed it up with silicone sealant and pushed the cork down into the silicone to make sure it was all mixed up together.
The cork bit is acting like rebar in concrete - something to give it a little stiffening. I then set the tube to the side to let the silicone dry.
Step 3: Put Together the Clamp and Magnet
Once that's done you put some of the serious glue on the edge you just created and glue down the clamp so it's a completed circle. Use a C-Clamp or anything like that to hold it in place and let the glue dry.
Once the glue on the clamp is dry, it's time to put on the magnet. A 1/2" diameter magnet fits the end of the cable clamp very nicely. Put some glue on the magnet and the cable clamp, then put it on a sacrificial something like aluminum foil so if the glue spills over on it you can tear it off and it's not a problem. Then put the whole thing down on a piece of metal so the magnet "pulls" down. Move the clamp around as the magnet sticks down so it's how you want it and then let the glue dry.
Once that was all dried, I decided to spray paint it yellow. You can just leave it bare if you want.
One tip - before spray painting plastic, you want to give it a hard scrub with soap and water to get rid of any oils or mold release agents used when it was made.
Finally, because the plastic is slick and the tube weight is off to the side, if you left it alone the tube vase would rotate on the magnet. This is not good. Take a small piece of sandpaper and glue it with white glue (or the glue of your choice, it doesn't have to be the super strong stuff) to the bottom of the plastic cable clamp. This acts as a friction surface so the vase doesn't rotate on the fridge.
Step 4: Final Assembly
Once it's dried from that, it's done! Put a small amount of water into the vase and find a flower you like. Change the flowers early and often to brighten up your kitchen.
If you have gotten this far, you may want to check out my website at whamodyne.com where I do a lot of ongoing tinkering and project logs that haven't made it to a formal instructable yet.