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Using magnetic stirrer for stirring stain

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Forum topic by GeorgeNSantos posted 08-02-2019 05:50 PM 506 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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GeorgeNSantos

6 posts in 1441 days


08-02-2019 05:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: stain stirring mixing

I’ve just recently scored a few dozen cans of stain at unbelievable price from Sherman Williams after they got rid of their old brand and switched to Miniwax. Got me thinking that alot of the cans will be sitting around for a while and the tint will be settling to the bottom. I wanted to figure out a way of mixing the cans up before use in an economic fashion (since buying a rockler mixing mate for each quart isn’t feasible).
I thought about using one of those magnetic mixers they use in labs similar to the attached image. It uses a little magnetic bar that spins around when placed on the magnetic spinner. In theory, i could buy a few dozen bars cheap, put one in each can and voila, i can mix the stain on the cheap. My only worry is the viscosity of the tint at the bottom of the can.

They run about 25-30 bucks.

Has anyone used or tried using one of these with stain?

-- "Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes"


11 replies so far

View Jack Lewis's profile

Jack Lewis

481 posts in 1558 days


#1 posted 08-02-2019 06:49 PM

Turn the cans upside down, repeat several times about 2 months apart, continue doing that until you need one of the cans open. The pigment will start to settle away from the bottom and make it easier to mix when you finally do use it. OR! take it back to SW and have them put them on the shaker mixer.

-- "PLUMBER'S BUTT! Get over it, everybody has one"

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

905 posts in 3273 days


#2 posted 08-02-2019 06:54 PM

My stain comes in a steel can. I don’t think a magnetic stirrer will work. Is yours in plastic containers?

View SMP's profile

SMP

1336 posts in 385 days


#3 posted 08-02-2019 07:12 PM

Most of the time I need to use a screwdriver to mix the sludge at the bottom into a somewhat fluid substance. I don’t see a little metal rod doing much other than dancing on the top of the hill of goop. I made one of those before though out of an old external computer hard drive and electric motor and magnet for a friend who brews his own beer. And as ibewjon mentions, the magnet would grab the whole can and either spin it around or throw it off the top.

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GeorgeNSantos

6 posts in 1441 days


#4 posted 08-02-2019 07:24 PM



My stain comes in a steel can. I don t think a magnetic stirrer will work. Is yours in plastic containers?

- ibewjon

I thought of that too. no they’re steel (checked with a magnet). I was hoping the bottom of the cans were thin enough to where they wouldn’t interfere with the magnetic field, but it’s def a concern.

-- "Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes"

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GeorgeNSantos

6 posts in 1441 days


#5 posted 08-02-2019 07:26 PM



Most of the time I need to use a screwdriver to mix the sludge at the bottom into a somewhat fluid substance…

- SMP

Funny you said that because that’s exactly what i pictured, the bar just dancing on top of the goop and/or the can flying off the thing.

I ordered one, worst case scenario, i’ll trade it with my neighbor brewer who doesn’t have one right now, for some beer. I’ll post my findings when it comes in. (26 bucks on Amazon)

-- "Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes"

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MrUnix

7468 posts in 2679 days


#6 posted 08-02-2019 07:38 PM

The sludge will settle regardless of what you do. Moving/flipping them every now and then like Jack suggests will prevent it from packing, but you will still need to stir before use. I just use my drill and an old coat hanger, which makes quick work of mixing:

The one in the drill is for quarts, and the other one shown is used with gallon cans. I’ve also managed to rig an old rock tumbler to mix paint and stains, but that was really more work than it was worth.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View torus's profile

torus

323 posts in 893 days


#7 posted 08-02-2019 08:36 PM



... I was hoping the bottom of the cans were thin enough to where they wouldn t interfere with the magnetic field, but it s def a concern.

- GeorgeNSantos

I would be very surprised if it will work in steel cans.
Wiki: “Magnetic stir bars work well in glass vessels commonly used for chemical reactions, as glass does not appreciably affect a magnetic field. The limited size of the bar means that magnetic stirrers can only be used for relatively small experiments, of 4 liters or less. Stir bars also have difficulty in dealing with viscous liquids or thick suspensions.

-- "It's getting better..." - put this on my RIP stone!

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GeorgeNSantos

6 posts in 1441 days


#8 posted 08-02-2019 08:42 PM



The one in the drill is for quarts, and the other one shown is used with gallon cans. I ve also managed to rig an old rock tumbler to mix paint and stains, but that was really more work than it was worth.

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

I like that approach, i was using those paint paddles you attach to a drill, but the fins were a pain to clean up. Thank you, I”m going to try the coat hanger trick if this doesn’t work, they look much easier to clean up. You’re right, sometimes the simplest solution is best though.

-- "Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes"

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GeorgeNSantos

6 posts in 1441 days


#9 posted 08-06-2019 12:21 PM

As expected, the metal can interfered with the magnetic field of the stirrer. Will find something else to do with it.

-- "Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes"

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12890 posts in 2860 days


#10 posted 08-06-2019 06:07 PM



OR! take it back to SW and have them put them on the shaker mixer.
- Jack Lewis

Best answer. I did this with paint from a remodel and it works like a charm.
Next best is get a stirring stick for your drill.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

2413 posts in 3424 days


#11 posted 08-06-2019 08:47 PM

I have that very stirrer, for use in projects using what the one in the photo appears to be mixing (copper sulfate and distilled water). I use mine to mix Parloid B72 and acetone. It works well, BUT uneven goop or crystals and so on at the bottom make its efficiency debatable, at best.

If you were to pour the mix into a glass or plastic cup and do a bit at a time, it would work. However, it’d be questionable whether or not it would work at all, once the mix got near the consistency of latex paint.

Mid speed seems to work best. Slow is, for obvious reasons, a waste of time. High can vibrate the container off the thirty dollar toy, and may toss the pill to the side and keep it there.

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