Introduction: Hold Tight! - Magnetic School Door Holder Thing

About: Hey there! My name is Chris and I live in Massachusetts. I have been a teacher since 2006 and love the fact that I have the opportunity to bring real-world, hands-on skills to my students. I love learning new …

As a school teacher there are a ton of little things that one can do that make the school day move smoother. Although, the vast majority of them are hardly ever noticed by your students, they make your life just a bit easier as an educator with 130 kids going in out of your room day in and day out. One thing that drives many teachers bonkers in our school is the use of the emergency strips on the door jambs and the subsequent inability to keep your door shut during lessons (while kids are moving through the hall or activities are going on in other classes). I have used index cards taped into the jamb to help "jam" the door in place but it always results in the duct tape failing and as the wooden door and jamb move with changing temperatures and humidity in the school I need to add more and more or less and less cards to keep the door stuck in place.

As a super quick fix today I decided that using one of my massive rare earth neodymium magnets would be a quick and safe fix. All I needed was a metal contact point on the door so it would be attracted to the magnet. I had a 1" steel washer and some duct tape, and then the magnetic school door holder thing was born.

Step 1: Get the Magnet Ready!

I had a number of these magnets on hand, which are 1" neodymium cubes. They are extremely powerful with a pull force of about 150 pounds. Our door jambs are metal so it was no problem to put the magnet up into the corner of the door. With two sides of the magnet contacting the door frame it wasn't going anywhere, so need for tape, glue, or anything else.

Step 2: Tape and a Washer

Next you will need some decent duct tape and a metal washer. I used some 3M duct tape that has some serious stickiness to it and seems to hold well. I also used a 1" metal washer which was thin enough to allow the door to shut but robust enough to hold the door in place. Put the washer on the tape and then tape it to the corner of the door where it will contact the magnet in the jamb.

Step 3: Hold Tight!

Keeping the emergency strip in place you can easily pull the door shut and it stays shut with even a moderate push or pull, but it still allows you to easily open the door in case of emergency. You can see in the videos that the door stays shut and that when the emergency strip is removed the door still closes no problem.

The fix took maybe 2 minutes to set up and has made one more thing in the classroom a bit easier to manage... now if I could just get the kids to shut the door behind them :)