Permanent Magnets




I've covered how to make a temporary magnet, but what if you want a magnet that won't lose its properties. After I found that article on what my temporary magnetization technique was called (stroking), I was interested in trying to make the permanent magnet ( - Under: Magnetization of materials).

So I tried it using the napalm as my fuel source ( ) and it actually worked. Unfortunately it really was quite weak, so I tried to increase the magnetic field and it worked much better.

I'll show how how to do it both ways.

Materials needed:
1. Fuel (I used Napalm of course)
2. Two metal electrical boxes (Don't ask me what each one is called, just look at the pictures)
3. Hammer
4. Can to keep the fuel in (I used a tealight candle)
5. Lighter
6. Compass (My knife had this built into the handle, make one yourself if you don't have one: )
7. Strong, flat rock (or an anvil if you got one)
8. Large Magnet (This is needed for the stronger magnet, I used my 6x8 speaker magnet)
9. Pliers or tongs

Look at my paint drawing to get a general idea of the setup needed. Isn't it cute?

Warning: Boxes and steel will get hot. Use care when playing with fire.

Step 1: Setup the Furnace and Let It Cook

To get the best results, first stroke the steel along a magnet before heating.

1. Place the fuel source in the center of the larger metal box and light it. Let this burn for about 30 seconds and then quickly put the top of the furnace on top of it.

2. Postion the steel across the top of your mini furnace and let it heat for a while. (Video below)

Step 2: Making the Weaker Magnet...

Now to make the weak magnet (it's unable to lift anything, but you can see that the magnetic field is there by using the compass. See the attached video).

1. Take the piece of steel off of the flame and, using the compass, point one end north and the other south.

2. Now hammer away while keeping the steel in that position. Hammer until the metal is cool.

Now you should have a weak permanent magnet.

Step 3: Make the Slightly Stronger Permanent Magnet

1. Do everthing in step one.

2. Setup the compass while the steel is heating. After you learn which way is north, place the large magnet there.

3. Take the steel off of the furnace and place it to the south of the large magnet. Now hammer away until the steel is cool.

Now you should have a stronger permanent magnet. Test it out (See the video below).

It's still not all that strong, but it can lift a small nail up now.

If you had a stronger magnetic field to work with, you would end up with a stronger magnet. Imagine if you had leevonk's magnet ( ), then you could start making strong magnets and even sell them instead of having to buy them.



    • Arduino Contest 2019

      Arduino Contest 2019
    • Trash to Treasure

      Trash to Treasure
    • Tape Contest

      Tape Contest

    13 Discussions


    9 years ago on Step 3

    Actually... this isn't a bad instructable.

    If you want to make a stronger permanent magnet you should induce an electrical field around the fork while it cools.

    Part of what causes a magnet is the electron vectors in the iron atoms. The more vectors that are aligned in the solid metal structure, the stronger the magnet will be.

    Heating the fork allows the iron atoms to come into alignment. if you 'stroke' it while it cools, more electron vectors will be aligned correctly. This works especially well if you have some way of rapidly cooling the fork.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Step 3

    From what I understand from blacksmiths, the iron becomes magnetic by heating it to looses the atoms while the entire thing is under a magnetic field, then after the atoms are sufficiently lined up, and you are satisfied with it's strength, you quench it, thus freezing the metal in this lined up state. I imagine a wide coil of copper wire and a lawn mower battery could be set up, the fork heated, and with tongs, slipped into the coil and thus the magnetic field for a moment, quench, repeat.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Is it important to hammer it while it cools down, what if I don't? Will it still become a permanent magnet?


    9 years ago on Step 3

    i use another way to do it, involves microwaves and hdds, i wi post an instructable about it in sumer


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Nice.I tried using loads of super strong rare earth magnets to charge up my scissors and now it is a strong rare household magnet.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    by saying that you are using napalm i assume that you are using the styrofoam/gasoline mixture? if not, please tell me what it is and how to make it

    1 reply

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Great one..

    could make a magnet just by using the earth's magnetic field
    i bet lots of people never knew that (myself included)

    from the wiki article, thinking of attaching a neodymium to a motor, and let it stroke a ferrous metal overnight..wonders if will it work..

    1 reply

    Reply 12 years ago

    I know. Not the most amazing thing though :( But I never knew that you could make a magnet just by using the earth's magnetic field, as weak as it turned out. So I tried it and it worked. My stronger permanent magnet (I turned my weak one into the strong one) is still able to pick up the nail.