How do you embed rare earth magnets in wood?

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Forum topic by TomFran posted 08-18-2007 07:17 PM 33731 views 2 times favorited 51 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2964 posts in 4969 days

08-18-2007 07:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: rare earth magnets super glue ca epoxy

I’m in the process of making a project that will utilize rare earth magnets to hold a light in place on a machine.

I was wondering what type of glue to use to embed my magnets into the wood. Hopefully it’s something that Walmart, Lowes, or Home Depot carries, so I don’t have to order it.

I just know that there’s probably many of you out there who have the answer for me, so thanks in advance for your reply.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

51 replies so far

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 5301 days

#1 posted 08-18-2007 07:49 PM

You’re in luck… Epoxy I’d say. I think I’ve read that in numerous places.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Karson's profile


35269 posts in 5375 days

#2 posted 08-18-2007 07:51 PM

Tom Fine Woodworking Sept/Oct 2007 says to use super glue to stick them in. I thought I read is a magazine while on my trip to use a thin wood cover over the magnet (like a dowel) to hold it in place. Test your magnets through wood before doing it to insure that they have the strength.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 5011 days

#3 posted 08-18-2007 08:01 PM

I’ve used 15 minute epoxy. I gave the magnet a scuff with 80grit, though I don’t know that was entirely necessary. I used a forstner bit to bore a recess. In a lap desk I made for my daughter, I made a little pencil box that pulled out of the desk and attached to the top of the desk with rare earth magnets. I bored a hole in the hidden side on both the desk and the box, and used opposite pole orientation to attach the box. Using two magnets increased the strength going through the wood to make up for a little bit thicker wood needed to keep the forstner bit from poking through. It ended up pretty neat as you can’t tell where the magnets are, but the box sticks to the table when we were driving. The entire project has since gotten run over in the driveway, but it worked pretty cool.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

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Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4937 days

#4 posted 08-18-2007 08:20 PM

Tom, I use a shop made edge guide on my jointer plane that I made with three magnets. Like Tom I used a forstner and glued them in with 2P-10 or how ever you say it( super glue). No problems in the last year. That’s a lot of Toms on one page.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4073 posts in 5038 days

#5 posted 08-18-2007 08:28 PM

I’ve used both Cyanoacrylate (Hot Stuff medium) and Epoxy. Just make sure you orient the magnets to the proper
polarity. I let them hook up and mark the bottoms with a marking pen so I know when they are dropped into the forstner hole they will draw one another. No one wants the mysterious hovering lid/cabinet door!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View scott shangraw's profile

scott shangraw

514 posts in 5043 days

#6 posted 08-18-2007 08:58 PM

I have done exactly as Karson posted on a cabinet to hold doors closed worked great no problems

-- Scott NM,

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4937 days

#7 posted 08-18-2007 09:45 PM

I’m using the cups and flats from Rockler to hold the doors on our kitchen. I’ve had acouple taht didn’t work quit like I wanted.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6873 posts in 4954 days

#8 posted 08-18-2007 10:55 PM


since everybody else has given the proper answer, I’m going to inject a little humor.

Use a magnet!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View TomFran's profile


2964 posts in 4969 days

#9 posted 08-19-2007 12:11 AM

Thanks to everyone who weighed in on my question. Here are some pics of what I was up to.

I needed a light on my bandsaw, and I didn’t want to drill holes in the frame of the saw, so I made this so that I could have my light.

Here’s a picture of the “magnet mounting block.”

Here it is mounted on my bandsaw with a piece of angle iron to support the lamp.

Here is what it does.

This is sweet!

Thanks to all of you for your technical support!!!

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 5061 days

#10 posted 08-19-2007 02:30 AM

Very cool…I’m gonna go get some magnets.

-- Bob

View TomFran's profile


2964 posts in 4969 days

#11 posted 08-19-2007 02:42 AM

Yeah, Bob, these things are amazingly strong. There are a gazillion applications for their use.

But, watch out. They are so strong, they can hurt you. There are even warnings on the package they come in. While I was trying to glue these into place, they got loose several times and man, they are hard to pull apart.

I remember reading about them in a woodworking magazine a while back, and then I found some in a local tool store here. I bought a couple packs of them with the idea that, one day I’ll find a use for them. Well, that day came today – now I’ve got that light I always wanted on my saw.

The light I used was a “reclaimed” desk lamp. I “reclaimed” it from the storage, where it wasn’t being used. I thought, I can use this.

I know I could have bought one for about $30 and some change, but this was way more fun!

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4963 days

#12 posted 08-19-2007 07:54 AM

Be sure to use a “heavy duty” light bulb or you will be replaceing them all the time.
Regular bulbs don’t do too well with vibration.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View TomFran's profile


2964 posts in 4969 days

#13 posted 08-19-2007 12:44 PM


Thanks for the tip. I never even thought of that.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 5052 days

#14 posted 08-19-2007 01:35 PM

Douglas . . . Im thinking a “mysterious hovering lid/cabinet door” would be a hoot to give someone.

A box with a never shut lid. You would need another box to lay on the lid to keep it shut. Hmmmmmm

-- BLOG -

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 5136 days

#15 posted 08-19-2007 04:49 PM

I agree, it would be fun to see that hovering lid. I don’t think Don would like that on one of his boxes though.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

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