In the 6th century B.C., Thales of Miletus, a Greek wise man, reasoned that a magnet’s power of attraction was the result of science, not magic.
After that, it was only a matter of time (okay, a few millennia) before magnets turned up in TVs, turbines, computer hard drives, and on the fronts of fridges everywhere. Their stick-to-itiveness—in the form of iron horseshoes, shiny rare-earth bars, or vinyl-coated magnetic sheets—is also helpful for a host of household projects.
Magnets Can Be Used To:
- Locate metal studs in a wall.
- Seal off air-conditioning vents to improve home heating by placing vinyl-coated sheets over the steel register faces.
- Hang Polaroids of projects-in-process on the lip of a metal shelf above the workbench.
- Collect nails from a porch repair job that have fallen in the grass.
- Prevent corrosion inside your water heater; a magnet placed on the freshwater intake pipe catches damaging metallic calcium particles before they can get inside.
- Pin blueprints onto the side or hood of the truck.
- Create a bulletin board without the use of tacks, tape, or hooks on walls coated with “magnetized” paint containing metals.
- Protect a tractor’s engine: Ceramic magnets placed in the oil pan will attract steel bits that get into the oil from grinding pistons.
- Fasten steel framing squares to the outside of toolboxes for quick access by gluing magnets to the box sides.
- Clean up metal shavings that have fallen from the bench grinder onto the workshop floor.