Magnets for removable cover

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Forum topic by deadherring posted 11-02-2018 02:13 PM 523 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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83 posts in 2250 days

11-02-2018 02:13 PM

Hi all,

I made a floating desk, 32” wide and 59” long. I am mounting it on heavy duty brackets. I want to build a small box that I will attach under the desk to hide all the wires and components. I will make the box out of plywood and want to make a removable ‘face’ of plywood covered in walnut that I can remove when there is a need to get access to the shelf.

I was thinking I could use magnets on the box and on the face for this purpose but was worried about them being strong enough and not holding the cover in place.

Any thoughts on whether that would work? If I had to guess I’d say the cover will be about 24” long x ~6-8” wide.

Any recommendations on magnet size (or links?) that would work in this application?

Many thanks,


10 replies so far

View bilyo's profile


960 posts in 1709 days

#1 posted 11-02-2018 02:23 PM

The rare earth magnets are pretty strong and with enough of them properly placed the door should stay in place. Having said that, I think my first consideration would be to attach the door with hinges and use the magnets to hold it closed. I think that under actual use you will find this to be more convenient rather than have the door come completely off. Just my $0.02 worth.

View ocean's profile


196 posts in 1440 days

#2 posted 11-02-2018 02:28 PM

You need neodymium magnets. They come it all kinds of sizes and are up to 10 times stronger than regular magnets. Should be no problem using them. Epoxy them to surface and and small metal plate for other piece (door, box) and your good to go.

-- Bob, FL Keys

View GR8HUNTER's profile


6819 posts in 1319 days

#3 posted 11-02-2018 02:35 PM

I would just make bottom piece a little wider so door would sit on it the 2 magnets should be perfect :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View lew's profile


12936 posts in 4362 days

#4 posted 11-02-2018 02:41 PM

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Bill_Steele's profile


633 posts in 2338 days

#5 posted 11-02-2018 02:42 PM

You could easily hold that size piece of wood on with magnets. Like the others have said you want rare-earth magnets—they are the strongest.

I’ve purchased magnets from this place >

You can epoxy the magnet into a hole or recess. You can also buy magnets that have a countersunk hole cast into them—so you can put a screw through the magnet to attach it. They also sell small cups that are can be mounted and are designed to hold a magnet

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2134 posts in 769 days

#6 posted 11-02-2018 04:13 PM

velcro is also an option



-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View ddockstader's profile


179 posts in 3868 days

#7 posted 11-02-2018 04:53 PM

I will reveal my secret magnet source – Harbor Freight. They sell a pair of magnetic hooks for usually $4.99 with a 20% discount coupon. The package says they have 65 lbs of pull. I believe it! They come back-to-back with a piece of foam in between. Be careful when you take them apart. If you get your thumb pinched between them you can get a pretty nasty blood blister. DAMHIKT. Simply drill out the hooks (1/4” drill) and attach with bolts or screws to whatever you want to hold. I’ve used them all over my shop. I have 3 of them holding a 2’ x 2’ pegboard under my cast iron table saw wing with ALL my table saw accessories hanging on it. They are strong, cheap, and reliable.

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Craftsman on the lake

3099 posts in 4044 days

#8 posted 11-02-2018 05:12 PM

I recently purchased some magnets from Amazon for totally unrelated purpose. I constantly laughed at myself as I worked to separate each one as I used them. I finally had to use a table knife to pry them apart. Lifting them or sliding them was fruitless. They are 2” long and 3/8” wide. They come with very good 3m double sided tapes pieces cut to the magnet size. Maybe they might be what your are considering. The cost was good too. 24 for $20.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View oldnovice's profile


7517 posts in 3974 days

#9 posted 11-02-2018 06:17 PM

If you have questions about magnets, lew posted the link to the right company, KJ Magnetics!
If they don’t have what you want/need, it doesn’t exist.

They helped me do a magnetic tracking system for a wind driven car.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View deadherring's profile


83 posts in 2250 days

#10 posted 11-02-2018 09:08 PM

Thanks all, sounds like rare earth magnets are the way to go.

@Gr8hunter: Good idea, but I’m thinking I want a clean look and I think doing it your way will add a seam where the face is sitting on another piece of wood. Hopefully that makes sense.


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