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  1. #1

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    Magnetic building system

    As referred to in my other thread, Lazy mans large, portable building table I have made some decent progress in making my magnetic building system.

    The blue top on the building table is a piece of 22 gauge steel, primered and painted with Rustoleum spray enamel. (Safety Blue)
    The metal top was pretty straightforward, I rounded the corners, deburred the edges, and spraypainted. I coated the underside of the metal with marine grade upholstery vinyl to protect the table surface from scuffing. I used 3M 77 adhesive.

    I have finally finished making the wood for the fixtures, as seen in the second Photo. I have not assembled the magnets yet. This is an example of the types I made. As you can see, along with the standard 4 magnet fixtures, I branched out and made some two magnet fixtures to fit into tighter areas. These things are a pain to make, so I made a BUNCH since I had all the setups and jigs made and ready. I don't want to go back and have to make some extras later.

    The third photo shows the full amount of fixtures made. Not all will be assembled, as some are for spares.

    4 magnet fixtures--------------------------2 magnet fixtures

    1 1/2"------12-------------------------------1 1/2"-----24
    3 1/2"------12-------------------------------3"-----------6
    5 1/2"------24-------------------------------4"----------24
    7 1/2"------15-------------------------------5 1/2"-----16
    8 1/2"-------4--------------------------------6 1/2"------8
    9 1/2"------12--------------------------------7 1/2"------9
    12"----------4
    13"----------7



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  2. #2

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    RE: Magnetic building system

    Nice job on the table. You'll love the magnets!

    I built mine about a year and a half ago, full torsion box, but yours looks just a strong. Building is so much easier now. I also installed a metal strip to the bottom of a joist at theend of the table. I use it for a magnetic laser that I hang inverted. Shooting the laser down the centerline on a fuse is a great way to insure a straight layup.

    The last picture is a 40% Pitts model 12 I'mworking on. Overall table size is 3' x 8'

    Jeff
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    Not a Rep, or Sponsored.
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  3. #3

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    RE: Magnetic building system

    Jeff- I especially appreciate the compiments from you. I saw your table on Airfield models and it was the one that I wanted to emulate the most. I really like your table. If it was not for the portability issue, I would have made a close copy of yours. It seems the perfect asthetic combination of wood and metal, and super strong to boot!


    I am not all that good with a router, and I find it amazing that you were able to use a flush bit against the steel without nicking it. I had problems with just the wood!!


  4. #4

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    RE: Magnetic building system

    I also want to formally thank Cafeenman for all the information and inspiration about the magnetc system he created and put on his site.

  5. #5

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    RE: Magnetic building system

    Well thanks for the compliments. I looked at your other thread, and of course the first thing I see is the mitrered corners! I may have to redo mine now NOT!

    When you order your magnets order ALOT. I ordered 500 to start. If you do large planes I used between 200 to 250 of just the magnets for laying out the wings on the Pitts. The fixtures really eat them up as well. I also went to Home Depot and got some Aluminum Angle in 4' lengths. Then used self adhesive strip magnets on one side to hold it to the table. 2" angle for leading and trailing edges on the wings, keeps throse ribs perfectly lines up. Then I used 1" angle with strip magnets for locking the formers on the fuse in place. Woks like a million bucks!

    The rest of the time the table has ended up as the hang out place for Man Land. I can't tell you how many brews have been put away leaning on her. I did have to add a recycle bin though

    Take care and enjoy!!

    Jeff
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  6. #6
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    RE: Magnetic building system

    Fellas, after several years of flying RC Jets exclusively I have been developing molds and a couple of custom jets. Getting into vacuum bagging recently. I have seen various "magnetic" systems on the market, but have never took the time to understand how they are implemented in a build. It may be because they are only used in "stick" builds? My fuses are fiberglass, wings stabs are sheeted foam, I'm guessing this does not apply, but thought I should ask if there was a reason I should look into this technology.

    I did build a couple of very strong flat tables using hollow core doors with melamine sheets on top of them secured by 4 x 4's cross timber etc. On castors for shop mobility. Anyway, enjoying your information.

    Sean

  7. #7

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    RE: Magnetic building system

    Sean, magnets won't help you much, unless you get an electra jet and need to build the wings...

    Magnets are just a better replacement for pins. They allow you to hold ribs, spars, LE, TE etc in place on the plans. Ussually I can layout an entire wing panel with out glue, make any adjustments as needed, then go to town with the CA. The average wing panel takes about 30 minutes to set up properly, and 3 minutes to glue. Life is SO much simpler with magnets. As an added bonus you don't get a sore thumb

    On another note, boy I wish you lived closer. I'd love to get in your shop and hang out for awhile......

    Take care.

    Jeff
    Not a Rep, or Sponsored.
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  8. #8
    seanreit's Avatar
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    RE: Magnetic building system

    Ever catch your self in or near Austin Tx, I always have an open invitation to anyone in this hobby to stay at my place. We have about 1,500 SF of upstairs that is virtually never used, King Size bed spare bedroom. All the food you can eat, and more toys than time to play with. A few have taken advantage of the invitation. Hope someday you can see it. I have spent the last five years consistently and continuously upgrading my shop to be state of the art, functional, and above all, 36" TV, Air Conditioned and more recently dust control measures down to .3 microns.

    It is something to see for sure. And thanks for the information. I have never built a built up wing. Always said I could do anything with fiberglass, balsa sheeting and foam, but can't glue two sticks of wood together straight to save my life!

    All the best,

  9. #9

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    RE: Magnetic building system

    One quick question, where are you guys ordering the magnets from?? I can't seem to find a supplier of anything other than fridge magnets no matter what I type into Google.
    Scott aka Catalinaflyer
    Waco Brotherhood #214

  10. #10

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    RE: Magnetic building system

    I purchase part number CA41LWH from www.magnetsource.com/airfieldmodels/ .

    Jeff
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  11. #11

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    RE: Magnetic building system

    OUCH, but thanks all the same. You said to start off with 500 of them and by my calculations that's over $200 just in magnets or $55 for 100. I might re-visit this again in the future but right now I just don't do enough building to justify that kind of expense.
    Scott aka Catalinaflyer
    Waco Brotherhood #214

  12. #12
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    RE: Magnetic building system

    Catflyer,
    I got up and running with a purchase of 300 magnets. So far I haven't built anything so large that I couldn't handle with that number. You can see my magnetic building system in action in a LT-40 build thread that I did for the Beginner's Forum; Pay It Forward build thread!! LT-40 build.

    Plus if you get creative you can find all kinds of sources for magnets.
    [ul][*] Computer shops. Ask them to save dead hard drives for you. There are usually 2 VERY STRONG magnets inside of a hard drive. These are great for use on a building board[*] Doctor's offices. This one may sound a bit strange, but you would be suprised how many of the free junk that the Pharmacutical companies give them that they will throw away. Many of those items have magnets on them. Ask the office manager is he/she will save those for you
    [/ul]

    Hope this helps

    Ken
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  13. #13

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    RE: Magnetic building system

    The situation I'm in right now is that I have a 27% Cessna 421 on the table that WILL fly before Memorial weekend and time is of the essence. Once I get this one "un-pinned" and in the air I might look into the magnetic building table. I looked at a Hobbico Magic Mag building board but at only 48" in length about the only thing it will work for on my current build is the tail feathers and engine nacels otherwise it's of no use to me on this one and I can't take two weeks off the build to build the table. For now it's going to be my trusty pins and doors on this one but thanks all the same for the info.
    Scott aka Catalinaflyer
    Waco Brotherhood #214

  14. #14

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    RE: Magnetic building system

    Hi, nice shop. But tell me.where did you get the Pitts kit from? I would like to build that size Pitts as well.
    Thanks for any help you may provide.
    Let\'\'s be open minded.... But not so open that your brain falls out
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  15. #15

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    RE: Magnetic building system

    Bob Trueworthy designed it. He's sells the plans and short kits for it at http://www.bigairplanes.com/

    Jeff
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  16. #16

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    RE: Magnetic building system

    Very nice looking table. I remember seeing you post the link for the palns, but can't find it now. Can you please repost. I started building with magnets last year. I only picked up 100.I would highly suggest more.But if your not in a hurry, you can make do, with some planes in the 40 size area.

  17. #17
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    RE: Magnetic building system

    Heres a company I buy from that makes magnets that will hurt ya if you ain't careful. All sizes an shapes.....

    http://www.engconcepts.net/List_Of_Square_Magnets.asp


    Ronnie
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  18. #18

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    RE: Magnetic building system

    Here is an update on the table.

    The 22 gauge steel held the magnets pretty well, but I found out it was not real stable. It developed a wave in it that I could not get out. Bummer after all the work prepping and painting it.

    Anyway, I went back to the metal supplier and had them shear a piece of 16 gauge 400 series magnetic stainless steel. Cost was $115.00 for the entire 4 X 8 sheet and shearing. The stuff is MUCH cheaper than other grades of stainless (since it does not contain nickle). The others run around $300 for a 4 X 8 sheet. I took it home and deburred the edges with a smooth file, and left the corners 90 degrees.

    It is working out real well. Narry a wave to be found. The magnets hold well enough. I used a trigger scale on a magnet and tried it on the stainless and the mild steel, and got a couple of grams more hold on the stainless.

    I have found the steel weighs close to 40 lbs, but that is still within the area of me being able to lift without strain. I just use work gloves to protect the hands.

    The only problem is keeping brushed stainless clean looking. I feel like I have a Delorean to clean. I will be using plan saver plastic on it. Here's some pics.
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  19. #19
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    RE: Magnetic building system

    All Electronics sells a cabinet latch magnet at:
    http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a...-MAGNET/1.html

    that are 3 for a buck. They appear to be the same as the ones that Jeff mentioned (and Paul Johnson recommended in his Airfield models article) at www.magnetsource.com/airfieldmodels/

    Also Ijust ran into welding magnets at Harbor Freight. They have a big one (4" or so) for about $4 or 5 but they also have some smaller ones in a 4 pack for about the same $5 range price. They are shaped like an arrow head so you can set them at several angles.

    Magnetic building boards are great for my needs.


    ORIGINAL: catflyer

    One quick question, where are you guys ordering the magnets from?? I can't seem to find a supplier of anything other than fridge magnets no matter what I type into Google.

  20. #20
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    RE: Magnetic building system



    I also have been building with magnet's for a few year's now. As PitS1S stated an entire wing get's layed up to perfection before one drop of glue hit's it. I am more pleased with the added quality of build ability than the saved time. As well as the wing, a lot of fuse's are built in two halve's over the board. Never again will I use stick pin's or any other method for that matter.
    I also would like to say nice table's to you guy's. Mine is no where near as custom as your's.
    I have also converted a couple guy's from my club to magnet's, all I did was let them see it.

    Robert
    Cub Brotherhood #3\\ Ryan STA Brotherhood #4
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  21. #21

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    RE: Magnetic building system

    Wow! I'm pleased that someone wanted to read this thread after all this time.


    I'll Throw in this update.

    After 4 1/2 years of use for modeliing and various woodworking stuff, the table is still flat as the proverbial pancake. Heavy items such as spindle sanders, drill press, several large boxes of books, etc get left on it to sit for up to several weeks at times. It has never changed in stability. It also spends time leaned against the wall out of the way. No effect.

    This design works perfectly.

    I did find that going to the local fabric store and buying blue upholstry vinyl was a perfect cover for the stainless steel when I work on other projects or anytime I am not actively building with magnets.

  22. #22

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    RE: Magnetic building system

    This past winter I attached a sheet of steel to a very flat table using 3M contact spray adhesive. The sheet metal has a slight wave at each end. This is in the metal or the build up of glue. The table is still flat according to a straight edge. Is there a way to remove the sheet metal without damaging the wood underneath? The center portion of the surface is long enough to build a 36" wing half.

    The puzzle is that it was first attached with epoxy and had the same problem. The epoxy let go after some gentle encouragement. The spray 3M was put down very carefully to avoid any problems with making the final surface wavy so I think the problem is in the metal itself.

  23. #23

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    RE: Magnetic building system

    I have just started building with magnets after reading several threads. I started cheap with a 2x4 sheet of 22guage from Lowes as well as 20 of the harbor freight welding magnets and the magnets from several old computer hard drives. I have not built any fixtures as if yet but attaching hard drive magnets to a cheap harbor freight machinists square has helped a lot. I built the first half of my top flight corsair using them and it went great. Still had to use pins for the sheeting but the frame up was great. wish I had used it when I built the wing.any usage tips would be appreciated.


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