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Help! I Keep Magnetizing Tools!

rwm

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#1
Somehow I am managing to magnetize some of my tools. I have no idea how. First I magnetized my digital calipers which was really annoying since I would get chips stuck between the blades and not get a consistent zero. So I finally bought a new one! Now I have magnetized my chuck key. Really annoying when turning steel. I do not have any magnets on my lathe except for the tach which is enclosed in the housing and the key has never been near that.
1. Why is this happening? My wife says it is my magnetic personality; I know that's wrong.
2. Is there a good way to demagnetize these?
3. Do you own a commercial demagnetizer that you like? If so what brand.
4. Any other recommendations?

32026427446_23086c8d0a_h.jpg

I'm seriously considering making a Titanium key....

Robert
 

mikey

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#2
I have this issue when I cut tool steel with a cobalt cutter on the lathe. Somehow or another, this sets up some sort of magnetic field and everything starts to stick. Any tool that touches that work piece will also become magnetic - really irritating. So much so that I bought an old bulk tape demagnetizer on ebay to deal with the problem. Works really well. I also demagnetize the work piece once I get it out of the chuck.
 

T Bredehoft

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#5
I purchased ( less than $5.00) a sewing notions demag, for needles, etc. I've used it to demag needle nosed pliers and other similar tools. I haven't tried it on something as large as a hammer, but everything I've tried has been demagnetized.
 

rwm

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#6
Thanks guys. I ordered a Demagnetizer from Shars like the one above. I will let you know how it works. I still might make a Ti lathe key....
Robert
 

chips&more

Active User
Active Member
#7
I have the little cube thing demagnetizer and the metal brick looking thing demagnetizer. But they do not remove all the magnetism. Small metal filings will still stick to whatever I’m trying to demag. I like the demagnetizer I have pictured below. It will COMPLETELY demag. It is used in the watch repair trade. Does not have a very big working area and the parts to demag CAN NOT MOVE during the demag. But boy does it do a good job!...Dave
demag.JPG
 

rwm

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#8
So why do these items get magnetized anyway? I really don't understand the chuck key.
Robert
 

4gsr

Global Moderator
Staff member
H-M Supporter-Premium
#9
I don't remember my physics very good but there is something about two steels continuously rubbing against each other, like a cutting tool, can create very small amounts of magnetism. I've also seen in steel centers where steel bars and such are handled, they use crane magnets to lift and handle the steel bars. And if the guy running the crane has the magnet turned to full power, it will magnetize bars, big and small. And it's no fun cutting on a magnetized bar of iron! Chip control is awful!
 

Wireaddict

Active User
Active Member
#10
It has been a while since I studied this in chemistry class but magnetism occurs when most of the outer electrons in iron get arranged so they're aligned the same way either by induction from nearby magnetic fields or, in this case, by mechanical action. I think that only iron & most of its alloys have the ability to retain this alignment. A handy way to demagnetize tools & parts is to use a bulk cassette tape demagnetizer. Simply turn the demagnetizer on, hold the base about 1/2 inch from a magnetized object & move it around with the demagger still on while moving it away. Turn the demagger off after it's about 4-6 inches away from any steel objects. Hope this helps.
 

rwm

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#11
Follow up:

I bought this demagnetizer from Shars for less than $50
869c_12.JPG

Worked like a charm. It completely demaged my calipers my chuck key and one of my screwdrivers in seconds. Highly recommend.

Robert
 

Kevin J

Active Member
Active Member
#12
Bulk tape demagnetizer might be an obscure term for members under 35 years old. I can't explain the concept of early sound recording very well but basically the sound got stuck on an iron impregnated roll of tape. How and why it stayed on thereare mysteries that have not been solved to this day, as far as I know. You needed a demagnitizer to get the sound off the tape I think. The tape came in various formats, large reels, 8 track cartridges, cassettes, maybe more I don't know about. Just imagine how small the tape recording device is in my Iphone . I'll bet the tape is smaller than a hair. How can it hold so much music? Would someone take their Iphone apart and verify this theory please?

Thanks, Kevin J.