FUN with FRIDGE MAGNETS
Woodcraft Magazine|October - November 2021
Have a micro-blast turning precious scrap into useful hangers-on
Paul Anthony

It’s the rare woodworking endeavor that’s low-cost, no-risk, and that offers the reward of honing your skills while producing nice-looking, useful items. Making refrigerator magnets checks all those boxes. It doesn’t involve any special commercial equipment—just regular turning tools, a 4-jaw chuck, and a lathe-mounted drill chuck. As for materials, this is the perfect opportunity to use those scraps of precious wood that you can’t bring yourself to throw away. There’s no real risk involved because even if you ruin a piece, it’s just a tiny bit of wood. This dispensability gives you the freedom to practice cutting coves, beads, fair curves, and other basic shapes. All in all, it’s great fun that yields li’l surprises you can stick on friends’ fridges when they’re not looking.

The system I’ve developed here focuses on creativity and efficiency using commonly available 3/4 stock and 3/8-diameter rare-earth magnets. The finished pieces are small enough that they don’t obscure photos, yet strong enough to hold postcards and multiple pieces of paper. The key to quick production is a simple shop-made screw chuck and double-faced tape, which together securely hold a small blank for shaping, sanding, and finishing a piece, typically in 20 minutes or so. So if you’re looking for some productive fun and perhaps a safe way to teach a youngster at the lathe, take a turn for the refrigerator!

Order of Work

• Make screw chuck

• Prepare blanks

• Shape, sand, & finish

Make the screw chuck

Mount a 4-5-long maple (or other dense hardwood) blank in a 4-jaw chuck and turn a cylinder with a tenon as shown. I work at about 1800 rpm when turning the chuck and magnet blank, using a roughing gouge and parting tool. Reverse the blank in the chuck, and part it off to 3 long (including the previously turned tenon). Then true the end, and turn another tenon. Bore the pilot hole, reverse the blank, and drill the counterbore in the other end. Remove the piece and drive in a #8 × 21/2 woodworking screw. You now have a wooden screw chuck with a tip that projects about 3/4, which is perfect for the job.

Turn a cylinder with a tenon. Turn most of a 4-5-long blank to a 2-dia. cylinder, then shape a 17⁄8-dia. × 3⁄8-long tenon on the end. When the blank is reversed for the next step, the tenon shoulders will register against the chuck’s jaws to ensure that the piece runs true.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

RELATED STORIES

Ancient Wisdom On Nature And The Climate Crisis

DR. ASLAM PARVAIZ is a teacher with a passion. Coming from the Islamic tradition, he integrates the wisdom of the Quran with a scientific attitude toward Nature, the environment, and our responsibility as human beings. In November 2020, DR. PARVAIZ was interviewed by ELIZABETH DENLEY and KAMBIZ RAVAN from the Heartfulness Institute.

6 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
October 2021

NEW COVID CRISIS: U.S. RUNNING OUT OF BOOZE!

JUST when you thought the COVID pandemic couldn’t get any worse, America’s liquor stores are facing a booze shortage because distilleries don’t have enough bottles and cans!

1 min read
Globe
October 11, 2021

DOES YOUR LAPTOP FEEL SLUGGISH? - TRY THESE 9 THINGS BEFORE YOU GIVE UP

DON’T DITCH THAT AGING LAPTOP UNTIL YOU TRY THESE SPEED-BOOSTING TRICKS FIRST.

7 mins read
PCWorld
October 2021

Unpatched Office attack reminds us: Don't click on risky docs

An attacker will have to convince you to click on the document as well as turn off Protected View.

2 mins read
PCWorld
October 2021

HAS A CYBERSTALKER TAKEN OVER YOUR LIFE? HERE'S HOW TO GET IT BACK

Picture this: You enter your house and find a stranger (or an enemy) sitting at your kitchen table chowing down on your leftover potato salad and reading your mail. You order him out, but before long, he’s back.

10+ mins read
PC Magazine
October 2021

FINDING FLOW

A 350-MILE OFFSHORE ISN’T EVERYONE’S IDEA OF RELAXATION, BUT SWEDEN’S GOTLAND RUNT PROVED THE PERFECT TONIC FOR NIKKI HENDERSON

10 mins read
Yachting World
October 2021

DON McLEAN KID LOSES $3M SLICE OF PIE!

Disinherited after trashing angry father

1 min read
Globe
October 04, 2021

HEADGAMES

How to replace the cylinder head gasket in a Willys Go Devil flathead engine

5 mins read
Four Wheeler
November 2021

Blending Spaces

John Tarahteeff’s paintings take you somewhere new, yet familiar. You don’t entirely know where it is, but it feels like you’ve been there before.

2 mins read
American Art Collector
September 2021

I tried to love the Touch Bar but now I'm ready for it to go away

Apple needs to bring Center Stage to the Mac ASAP.

4 mins read
Macworld
October 2021