I bought one of these awesome thermaltake fans from Amazon (free shipping with prime) and was able to convert it into a stir plate with just a single trip to the hardware store.
For all those who are curious, I couldn't get my hands on a hard drive, but Lowes had a pack of magnets for $2.50 that work just fine. I've doubled them up on each side, but it would also work to just use one on each side.
I glued the washer to the back of the fan, but as of now, I am just letting the magnets sit freely on the washer. They're strong enough to hold themselves in place. (I was too afraid to glue them because if they were out of place it would be hell to remove and re-attach them.)
I just took the back grill off completely instead of bothering to cut the wire.
Here's a video of my awesome 'shamelessly cheap' stir plate in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LN0Xi...ature=youtu.be
As you can see, I don't have a frame or box so for the time I'm using two books. This fan moves really fast, It's way more than I need for a 1L flask.
This took less than 3 hours including ordering, trips to the hardware store, etc. Thanks for the great idea.