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My Shop’s Magnetic Personality

a couple of years ago

Magnetic tool holderWhenever someone sees my magnetic tool holders I invariably get the comment, “Aren’t you worried those will magnetize your tools?”

Answer: nope.

In fact I have yet to see this happen and I have been storing all kinds of things from chisels to screwdrivers on these mag strips for at least 5 years. I have one for my drill bits, I have one for screwdrivers. I have another for a few random chisels, and I have several magnets inlaid into things around the shop like my treadle lathe and tool box. (Have you ever dropped one of those tiny Allen keys used for removing EWT carbide tips? Yikes)

I even store my hand planes in my tool cabinet using rare earth magnets. I am a big fan of the mysterious force in other words.

mag strip tool holderHowever, I have heard from some that if an edge tool becomes magnetized then the swarf (metal filings from sharpening) will stick to the edge when you grind/sharpen/hone it. So far I have not seen this. Perhaps any magnetization I get is so weak that the water on my stones is enough to sweep it away. Just to be safe I bought one of those magnetizer/demagnetizer doohickeys on an impulse but I have yet to find a reason to use it. I guess what I’m trying to say in my usual verbose way is I just don’t see any issue with magnets in the shop.

So I guess I’ll just keep using these as really useful ways to store tools out of the way while still being really accessible. In fact, I’m going to push forward on my plan to build a carving chisel cabinet that uses mag blocks extensively to hold the tools behind a fancy glass panel door.

By the way, the two blocks shown in this post have recently been relocated as part of my shop remodel and I do love that my 3/4″ plywood walls let me screw anything in place anywhere I want.

Your Turn

Do you use magnetic tool holders? Had any adverse effects? Share your experiences below with magnets in the woodworking shop and any plans for cool Mr Wizard style magnet tricks.

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