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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Chillers and Stir Plates > DIY Stir Plate Question
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:36 PM   #1
mmurray
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Default DIY Stir Plate Question

My local Radio Shack only has Ceramic Magnets. Everywhere I read everyone is using rare earth. Do they have to be rare earth Magnets?

Thanks

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Old 05-11-2010, 08:41 PM   #2
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I had some old hard drives from a computer. I pulled two of them out of there.

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Old 05-11-2010, 09:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMachen View Post
I had some old hard drives from a computer. I pulled two of them out of there.
+1

The magnets for the actuator head on hard drives are plenty strong enough. And bad hard drives are dime a dozen.
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:16 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input, but it didn't answer my question...

Suppose for a minute that I did not have an old hard drive... access to an old hard drive... or anyone who has any old hard drives.

Now... would a ceramic magnet work or do they have to be rare earth?

Thanks again.

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Old 05-12-2010, 12:07 AM   #5
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Ceramic magnets will work just fine so long as they are of sufficient strength. I use super strong rare earth magnets purchased on line, but you can get by with any fairly strong permanent magnet. Aligning, spacing and balancing the magnets properly is critical for these DIY stir plates. The puny stir bars are the easiest to work with. The larger bars (2"+ sizes) are much trickier to use, but they do a better job of stirring IMO.

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Old 05-12-2010, 01:17 AM   #6
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Ok, thank you... Now I suppose I just need to find out what the strength of the magnets are at Radio Shack

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Old 05-12-2010, 02:04 AM   #7
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Go to a computer repair shop and ask them for a bad drive they will have some..
open it up and there you go tow nice and free thin rare earth magnets,,
just try not to break them taking them out,, get a couple of drives

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Old 05-12-2010, 03:37 AM   #8
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I guess we did do a pretty ****ty job of 'answering' other than Catt22 (props)

I highly suggest going online and buying a nice strong magnet for the same price as the ceramic magnets at RS. The stronger the magnet (in my experience) the less precisely they must be centered for the stirbar to not fly off at speed. But keep in mind if its TOO strong, you could mess up the fan (maybe?) or make it hard for it to spin due to friction and possibly weight. Just my 2c

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Old 05-12-2010, 04:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoNothing View Post
I guess we did do a pretty ****ty job of 'answering' other than Catt22 (props)

I highly suggest going online and buying a nice strong magnet for the same price as the ceramic magnets at RS. The stronger the magnet (in my experience) the less precisely they must be centered for the stirbar to not fly off at speed. But keep in mind if its TOO strong, you could mess up the fan (maybe?) or make it hard for it to spin due to friction and possibly weight. Just my 2c
+1 The rare earth magnets are not at all expensive to purchase online. Get a couple of your brewing buddies together and do a piggy back order to offset the shipping costs. I tried the hard drive magnet route. It was a hassle and the curved magnets were difficult to mount and balance. IMO, not worth the trouble. OTOH, lots of people have had success using them.
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:23 AM   #10
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I tried the ceramic magnets prior to ripping open an old computer. They sucked, hence I ripped open an old computer. Hope that helps.

Another source is one of those "shake" flashlights. That is what I am using right now.

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