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Thread: Magnetic Building Board/Bench System...

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    Magnetic Building Board/Bench System...

    This is definitely a "Workshop Improvement" - but I figured it would be better to start a new thread for this, as I am hoping others have some experience or ideas for this.

    Years ago - I had come across some builders that were using a metal (steel) building board and magnetic fixtures to frame up airframes and wings.

    I've been using drywall and pins for decades - and they work, but the idea of using magnets seems like a really good way to build.

    So - I'll give it a shot.

    There are many examples of a Magnetic Building Board System online - with Airfield Models being the most popular and complete. But most of the examples I found are working with smaller airplanes. In my case, I really only build giant scale now - so I want something that will handle larger planes.

    I will use an existing building workbench with a wood top as the base for the Magnetic building board. The bench I have is large enough and dead flat, so it is very easy to lay a sheet steel on top to use with magnets.

    I picked up a piece of 18 gauge sheet steel at a local metal supplier.


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    For magnets - I use these:

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    These are a ceramic magnet with 2 steel plates. The whole assembly has a hole through the middle so it is perfect for attaching to fixtures. The magnets alone are pretty strong - with the steel plates attached, they are much stronger.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Grizak

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    Re: Magnetic Building Board/Bench System...

    The magnets work well on the board. They can easily be used to square up and position ribs and formers.

    But the magnets aren't the complete solution. You need fixtures that are larger or allow to position force in different ways to hold things together.


    I whipped up some fixtures in CAD

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I cut these out on the CNC Router

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    Magnets are added to each fixture - in this case (4 magnets are added to this fixture)

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    Each fixture has a perfectly square front

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    Grizak

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    Re: Magnetic Building Board/Bench System...

    Here is a pic of a set of fixtures - On the left you can see some of the fixtures that have and extension that can be used to apply downward force.

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    Here is a pic that shows some magnets and fixtures positioning a wing rib.

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    Here is a pic using the magnets and fixtures to glue a couple of wing ribs and spars to test the fit of the retracts for my Helldiver project.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Grizak

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    Senior Member itizme's Avatar
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    Re: Magnetic Building Board/Bench System...

    That's one hell of a nice addition to the shop

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    Senior Member Ramjet's Avatar
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    Re: Magnetic Building Board/Bench System...

    How much LOL.. when do you start taking orders .

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    Re: Magnetic Building Board/Bench System...

    LOL I was thinking the same! I would be very interested in a set though.

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    Re: Magnetic Building Board/Bench System...

    Hi Jeff,

    Check your PM's.

    Regards,

    Dennis
    Dennis DuBois
    MAAC 9412L IMAC 3821
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    Re: Magnetic Building Board/Bench System...

    I have a smaller version magentic building system I will be posting

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    Re: Magnetic Building Board/Bench System...

    After using the magnetic building board system for the last month or so - I've learned a few things:

    You need a lot of magnets! You probably need about 100 magnets for your standard fixtures, and at least another 30-40 loose magnets for general positioning of parts.

    You still need to use standard pins and clamps - as you can't always use a magnet to hold "wood on wood" pieces together.

    Since I can't use CA any longer (I have a chemical sensitivity) - being able to apply wood glue and jig everything up with magnets is a revolution for me.

    I'm never going back to pinning to a building board (i.e. drywall)!

    Wish I would have had this 10 years ago.


    I also redesigned some of the fixtures. I found that the original downward clamp extensions had a bit too much up/down play.

    Here is the redesign:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    More surface area for the downward clamp extension to mate with the main fixture, and a third thumb screw to keep things tight. Works much better.

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