Magnetic Spice Rack




Introduction: Magnetic Spice Rack

I first saw this done here but apparently it was done even before that here. The only difference I made is that I super-glued the magnets to the inside of the canisters rather than hot glue them to the outside. I figured that way I would avoid having magnetic forces weaken the bond between the canister (which is not magnetic) and the magnet.

Step 1: Buy the Supplies

Step 1: Buy the supplies. You can get the watchmaker's tins from Lee Valley and the neodymium (ie: very very strong) magnets from the Teacher's Source. You will also need some super glue.

Step 2: Mount the Magnets

Step 2: Place a drop of super glue in the center of each tin. After you place each drop, carefully place one of the magnets on top. The glue dries VERY fast, but you might want to wait awhile before putting spices in there. Actually, this brings up a good point. I'm betting that it's ok in the long run to let the spices lay on top of the super glue. Does anyone have any comments on that?

That's it! They should look nice on your fridge!



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22 Discussions

I'm not sure how much I would trust super glue in a food container, even if it were technically safe I would be afraid of what it would do to the taste. Alton Brown uses velcro btw.

6 replies

Cyanoacrylate (super glue) is supposed to be water proof, but becomes brittle if exposed to very low temperatures (like a home freezer). My real concern is that the magnet eventually comes loose and ends up in my food. Swallowing one magnet is no big deal. Swallowing two...can tear up your insides pretty good.

unless you have a seriously faulty appliance there, the super-glue shouldn't be exposed to any temperature lower then the temperature in your kitchen.

possibly if you lived in/close to the Arctic circle it could be exposed to very low temperatures, but otherwise it should be fine.

I have used Cyanoacrylate (super glue) to mend moderately deep cuts on my body.  Its the same stuff used in surgical glue.  Even Bandaid used to market a cyanoacrylate glue product.  I have also used cyanoacrylate to glue soft coral to live rock.  The glue cures immediately when it hits the water and within a few days the coral attached itself to the rock to which it was glued. 

Saying "I ate it/injected it/glued myself and didn't get hurt" doesn't prove that it's safe, just that it didn't hurt you, or you didn't know it. I doubt that normal super glue is made to the same standards as medical cyanoacrylate products, and even if they were I doubt if those products are indicated for ingestion. Even if it is safe, I still wouldn't want to use the glue inside a food container because I don't like the taste of superglue, especially not in my spices.

You May want to check the MSDS on cyanoacrylate... LOL Ok but wikipedia says its proven safe as a suture free bonding material after surgery. I mean If doctors are using it, cant be too bad... Might want to give it a 24 hour cure time before adding spices. Just a suggestion...

The advantage of a stainless steel rack is its durability and the quality. It is rust free and easier to clean compared to the old wooden spice racks. great post!

If you are worried about the superglue holding the magnets down, use bulk magnetic sheeting applied to the surface you want to mount the containers too.

The metal containers will stick to the magnetic sheeting. The thicker the sheeting , stronger magnetic force.

Here is a site that sells magnetic sheeting  material

 Ohhh ok, I see now.... I posted how I had one it, but I didn't put the magnets on the inside.  I don't think the way I did it would make any difference, since the cabinet depth from door to shelf would still make it impossible to place the tins in that area but the magnet on the inside would look better.  I think I would find a good grade substitute for super glue though, I can bet there is one out there.  Also, the magnets I used were just the penny sized ones you find in craft departments, so they probably aren't as strong as what you used.  I might need to try to find some like that, and experiment on seeing if the magnet is strong enough to hold through the tin so that the glue step can be skipped.  I don't want to end up "pinching" some spices out of the tin and accidentally grabbing the magnet too, that wouldn't be very tasty or good on the teeth, although it might be a decent source of iron LOL! 

 I was looking for something to do with my old wall spice rack that I have saved since I did something very similar to this with my spices.  Taking a queue from Alton Brown with his velcro attached pantry spice rack, I decided to make a modification to my own spice cabinet while re-finishing my kitchen cabinets (which I still haven't finished in tea past 3 years, and I still haven't totally finished about putting things off!). 
I needed my spices accessible, and not where they would all come falling out of the cabinet when I tried to get one from the back.  So while the cabinet door was off, I simply used some liquid nail to secure a piece of sheet metal (the one I used was left over roof flashing material), trimmed it out with some 1 in. molding (makes it look nicer and keeps my fingers on my hand) .  
I didn't glue the tins to magnets though, I just let the magnets do their thing.  If I want to use them for something else later on, then I don't have to worry about pulling the magnets off the tins.  
The one thing I need to do, and really I need to get done and stop putting off, is place a strip between the tins where the shelf hits the door, so the tins don't get knocked down.  I knocked one down the other day, and dry cilantro went flying everywhere, even into a cake batter! eww! 
But to let you see I am adding a photo.  Love the idea, and thanks for sharing your version of it! 

Cabinet door spice rack.jpg

I did something similar using velcro and tins from Specialty Bottle. You can see more on flickr.

The magnets can be purchased from Lee Valley as well. I don't find having the magnets on the outside too bad, except I might use washer type magnets next time to get a better surface area contact to keep heavier stuff from wanting to move. Super glue worked just fine. I love that it is infinitely expandable no matter how many spices you need containers for. I have 21 on my fridge right now.

Great Instructable...Easy, Helpful and Inexpensive. Just the way I like'm... A+

Excellant we are going to make one of these as soon as the new kitchen is finished We may either wall mount it or inside a kitchen cupboard door

I'm thinking of making one of these but are the watchmaker tins safe for food storage? Also what size magnet did you use? Looking at the magnet site I think it is the 4 or 6mm but I'm not sure.

Yeah, magnetic spice racks are nothing new. But I like the watchmaker's tins because the translucent top is practically the entire surface of the tin. It's very aesthetically pleasing to me. Plus you get a bunch of magnets left over for other projects.

1 reply

Oh, and the total cost to produce 12 of them is about 20 bucks. Way cheaper than anything you'd buy in the store.