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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Chillers and Stir Plates > DIY stirplate magnet orientation
View Poll Results: Which orientation will prevent the stirbar from being thrown best?
Inline 7 87.50%
Radial 1 12.50%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-03-2012, 04:30 PM   #1
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Default DIY stirplate magnet orientation

I'm planning on testing a couple of different magnet orientations using a SS washer with small, round rare earth magnets from EBay mounted on it. Not sure which way would work the best, what do you think will work best?


First one is an Inline orientation, with two magnets of each polarity on each side of the washer. Having two magnets will hopefully increase the amount of pull they have on the stirbar, preventing it being thrown. Having the magnets inline should hopefully allow it to self-center the bar.



The other is radially oriented magnets. I wonder if having each end arranged this way will help "trap" the stirbar between them. Also I wonder if the stirbar will self center, or simply grab onto whatever field is closest...

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Old 02-03-2012, 04:54 PM   #2
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My guess would be inline, but since you're running the experiment we'll know soon enough. Good Luck, we're all counting on you.

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Old 02-03-2012, 05:01 PM   #3
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inline would allow for better use of stir bars of different lengths...
Also, if you go radial and the bar grabs to the magnets on the same side of the axis of rotation, you will be rotating your bar off center of the rotation axis of the motor. That is bound to throw the bar...

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Old 02-03-2012, 05:59 PM   #4
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That seems to be my line of reasoning too.

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Old 02-09-2012, 01:50 PM   #5
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I got the radial orientation done last night. However, the Inline orientation will be done tonight. I accidentally glued one of the magnets in upside down, against my best attempt at making sure it was correct. So I had to remove it and re-glue it.

I'll see if I can find time to throw a test together tonight and see what happens. Gut instinct is that the radial arrangement will not self-align, and probably won't hold the stirbar any better than the inline.

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Old 02-09-2012, 02:00 PM   #6
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What about a stacked orientation. In this arrangement you would have a single magnet's footprint on either side of the axis, and on either side you would have two magnets stacked, one on the other. When I tried this, my magnetic field seemed to be stronger. This is essentially the same thing as your inline orientation, but with the benefit of a stronger field.
Oh, and if you were to use a nonferrous metal or a plastic disk instead of your ss washer you might boost your field with that as well.

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Old 02-09-2012, 02:11 PM   #7
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I am currently using a stacked arrangement on my stirplate and it's ok, but I'm not sure it's noticeably better than it was with a single magnet.

The SS washer barely attracts the rare earth magnet. I mean, if you touched it to the magnet, you can pick up the magnet, but not by much. It rather seems to act like a shield for the fan motor.

Part of the experiment was to see how well a precisely machined arrangement would help. It seems a great part of the problem with thrown bars is not having a perfectly centered spin. I hope to cure this by placing the magnets with the help of a CNC mill to a tolerance of .001 of an inch from center. And the hole in the center of the washer will help align it to the center of the fan.

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Old 01-25-2013, 03:33 PM   #8
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It's a bit old, but I'm curious.. Which magnet setup worked best?

I've been having a lot of trouble with my stir bars being thrown lately so I have been researching methods to update my stir plate to function better.

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Old 01-27-2013, 02:11 PM   #9
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I can't remember if I actually got to try the inline arragement. I had a hard time putting these together, btw. Those magnets are a PITA to work with! I used a CNC at work to cut the recesses and had to fight to get the glue, magnet, and clamp in place all at once. Plus, the JB Weld Quick has a lot of ferrous metal of some sort and it wanted to ooze out and around the magnets.

IIRC RL got in the way and never got to fire up the second unit. Still need to finish painting the first one. Maybe if I get time today I'll clean my desk and try to find the parts I need for the second unit.

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Old 02-26-2014, 03:57 PM   #10
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Any update on this? I'm going to be putting together a stir plate tonight.

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