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Cylinder Magnets: Offsetting items, or Pinning/Handling

Last updated 2018-07-11 - Send Feedback
Related: Mercedes Sprinter, Reflectix

Photographer and cyclist and Mac expert and software engineer Lloyd Chambers is available for consulting on general Sprinter considerations at his usual consulting rates via phone, or in person in the Palo Alto, CA area. Save yourself hours and mistakes by discussing issues up-front. More about Lloyd....

Cylinder magnets are generally less useful than sphere or block magnets within a Sprinter van because their shape doesn’t match up to much of anything. There are some good uses however:

  • Mounting a thermometer or other instrument a few inches away from the van wall, as shown.
  • Use as a “thumbtack” to hold fabric or similar up and out of the way, e.g., to raise a curtain and pin it up higher to let light or air come through. Choose magnets 1" to 1.5" inches long for this purpose, preferably rubber coated if they are to be frequently moved.
  • Very strong cylinder magnets can be used for holding power. Generally speaking a magnet of 3/4" or 1" in diameter is best for this sort of use, and at least one inch long for grip/handling.
  • Thin/flat magnets to be permanently mounted to which steel or another magnet will attach, such as an embedded magnet in a removable window hanging, or similar.

I considered cylinder magnets for attaching ceiling covering, but rectangular block magnets are much better because of a longer and more distributed holding area.

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In use

Below, a 3 X 1/2 inch cylinder magnet offsets the thermometer. This prevents the heat of the steel chassis from influencing the temperature reading, particularly if that side of the van is in the sun. See also Keep it Cool by Blocking the Sun’s Heat.

2.5 X 1/2 inch cylinder magnet holding thermometer away from the steel van wall
f1.8 @ 1/60 sec, ISO 32; 2018-07-11 12:29:54
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

[low-res image for bot]

Below, an N52-grade cylinder magnet is used. Its holding power is strong, but nowhere near as strong as a sphere magnet because it cannot make as close a contact through the air bubbles in the Reflectix. I got this magnet on Amazon and while it is claimed to be N52-grade, its holding power seems to be much less than true N52 grade magnets from KJMagnetics.com. Beware of exaggerated claims for magnets on Amazon. Still it is a very strong magnet; I bought one to see how good it is—very good but not as strong as claimed.

Grade N52 cylinder magnet pinning Reflectix material in place on Sprinter van exterior
f1.8 @ 1/2700 sec, ISO 20; 2018-07-11 10:16:45
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

[low-res image for bot]
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