HDD magnets used to repair clothes dryer

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I just had to post this. While ago the original hard drive went out in my pc. I replaced it & all went well, and since I'd never looked inside one of these, I took it apart. The beautiful, nearly "industrial art sculpture" of the mirror platter assembly/aluminum motor, casting, all held with cool fasteners was impressive enough, but then I started playing with the magnets from the pickup assembly. My god, they're strong! Neodymium, I think. So strong that I actually gave myself a small blood blister when the 2 snapped together as I played with them. About this same time, the door catch broke on my faithful 20 year old clothes dryer. Not a chance of getting a replacement catch, so for the past 2 weeks I've been propping the unused base from my drill press against the door to hold it shut. Then it dawned on me: "I bet those magnets from the HDD are more than strong enough to hold this thing shut against the seal & force of the door switch". Works like a charm, in fact I only need ONE of them! Judging from the pull now required to open the door, it's actually tighter than it was with the original catch! Further justification for my "never throw ANYTHING out" policy ;-)
Dan
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wrote:
:I just had to post this. While ago the original hard drive went out in :my pc. I replaced it & all went well, and since I'd never looked inside :one of these, I took it apart. The beautiful, nearly "industrial art :sculpture" of the mirror platter assembly/aluminum motor, casting, all :held with cool fasteners was impressive enough, but then I started :playing with the magnets from the pickup assembly. My god, they're :strong! Neodymium, I think. So strong that I actually gave myself a :small blood blister when the 2 snapped together as I played with them. :About this same time, the door catch broke on my faithful 20 year old :clothes dryer. Not a chance of getting a replacement catch, so for the :past 2 weeks I've been propping the unused base from my drill press :against the door to hold it shut. Then it dawned on me: "I bet those :magnets from the HDD are more than strong enough to hold this thing shut :against the seal & force of the door switch". Works like a charm, in :fact I only need ONE of them! Judging from the pull now required to :open the door, it's actually tighter than it was with the original :catch! Further justification for my "never throw ANYTHING out" policy ;-) : :Dan
The only reason my stove's oven shuts reasonably tight is that I screwed a large ring magnet at the top between the stove and the hinged door. Did this probably around 10 years ago - works great.
I took apart my oldest HD around 6 months ago, a 220 MB Maxtor. Pretty things in there, but be careful with those shiny disks. I'm informed that some of them are made of glass, not the metal you might suppose and some people have been cut badly playing with them. In my case, I think they ARE metal, and they are not only very pretty, they make a very nice sound when they clang against each other. They'd make a very nice mobile, is my thinking, when I get around to it.
I have several other retired HDDs, and plan to similarly pillage them. The magnets are indeed powerful, and what I did was saw them in half with a hacksaw and glue them to wooden "handles" with 5 minute epoxy. They are hard to deal with if you don't do something like that. As such, they make fantastic refrigerator magnets. If you have a Sonicare toothbrush, BTW, don't just throw out the brushes (you are supposed to change them every 6 months). You will notice two tiny magnets on the end of those brushes, and they come right off if you pull on them with a pliers. They are extremely powerful, and glued to a small piece of wood, they make fantastic refrigerator magnets.
Dan (as well!)
BTW, I do not subscribe to the policy of never throwing anything away. If it's potentially (there's the value judgement) useful, keep it. If not, you really better get rid of it.
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Dan_Musicant wrote:

Wind Chimes...I'm collecting a several platters in different sizes: 5 1/4", 3 1/2", (whatever" size they use in laptops). I've been surprised to find that despite the age/capacity of the original (3 1/2") drive, the platters themselves appear almost physically identical...they even sound the same note when struck. I'm trying to decide: which piece of a drive would make an artistically aesthetic 'clapper' for the piece? So far I'm leaning toward the actual head assembly from one unit. Once I pull the others apart, I might find something more attractive. Of course, I could use one of the smaller platters, as well. Also, I need to choose an appropriate piece to suspend the chimes from...shell from one of the 5 1/4" full-height units?

Yeah, but how to decide if something will ever be 'useful'...(regretting those H.H. Scott tube receivers I discarded in the 70's).
jak
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On Mon, 02 May 2005 20:39:31 -0400, Dan

That's a good tip. I never thought of the magnets when I took apart the drives. Now that I want them I don't have dead drives anymore.
Do look up http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lrk-torquemax/ on making your own brushless motors. That's what I want super magnets for.
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wrote:

I always pull the magnets from dead hard drives, those from ancient 5.25" SCSI server/AV drives are particularly potent, be careful!
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James Sweet wrote:

I've got several of those awaiting the screwdriver....<g>
jak
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If you think those are impressive, you should see the magnets on early '90s 5-1/4" full height high performance disk drives! :) (Or even earlier 8" drives.) Sometime before that, they didn't have neodymium rare earth magnets, so not as impressive.
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put finger to keyboard and composed:

The voice coil magnet in the Control Data drives of the early 80s was about 15 x 15 x 15 cm. It was a back breaker. I still have one somewhere.
- Franc Zabkar
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Franc Zabkar wrote The voice coil magnet in the Control Data drives of the early 80s was about 15 x 15 x 15 cm. It was a back breaker. I still have one somewhere.
============= Those magnets were 6" x 6" x 6" ? Impressive.
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["Followup-To:" header set to sci.electronics.repair.] On Tue, 03 May 2005 18:04:05 GMT, Gideon wrote:

Yep. Easily. I have the voice coil magnets off an old, "small" DEC 5MB disk drive from the mid-70's. They are 5x5x2" ( 13x13x6 cm approx.)
Serious magnets, those.
Jonesy
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Allodoxaphobia ( snipped-for-privacy@config.com) writes:

But don't forget the punchline, that the hard drives were massive back then.
Michael
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On 3 May 2005 23:39:22 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Michael Black) put finger to keyboard and composed:

The 300MB drives weighed ~600lb. Years ago a scrap dealer paid me ~$70 for the aluminium deck, and I'm now using the frame as a tool trolley.
- Franc Zabkar
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Dan wrote:

A couple of years ago I built a diamagnetic levitation demonstrator using of those high strength magnets and some bismuth I bought on eBay.
I just HAD to try it to see it work. Seeing is believing!
http://home.comcast.net/%7Ejwisnia18/jeff/diamag.html
Jeff
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On Mon, 02 May 2005 20:39:31 -0400, Dan
snip

Ahah, me too. My barn is full of good treasures. The magnets off ex-Microwave magnetrons are also pretty good, not that powerful, but they are large. Ideal for many things around the workshop, holding things while welding, holding the chuck key on the side of the drill-press, etc ,etc.
One of the best things to strip down are old photocopiers, motors, switches, LV and HV PSUs, LEDs, gears, lamps and lots of other stuff.
The stupid EU does not need their WEEE directive, I'm doing my best !!
Barry Lennox
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On Tue, 03 May 2005 19:10:46 +1200, Barry Lennox
:On Mon, 02 May 2005 20:39:31 -0400, Dan
: :>I just had to post this. While ago the original hard drive went out in : :snip : :>catch! Further justification for my "never throw ANYTHING out" policy ;-) :> : : :Ahah, me too. My barn is full of good treasures. The magnets off :ex-Microwave magnetrons are also pretty good, not that powerful, but :they are large. Ideal for many things around the workshop, holding :things while welding, holding the chuck key on the side of the :drill-press, etc ,etc.
I took the magnets out of two microwaves over the last few weeks. Ring magnets, reasonably strong. : :One of the best things to strip down are old photocopiers, motors, :switches, LV and HV PSUs, LEDs, gears, lamps and lots of other stuff.
What do you get out of those things? : :The stupid EU does not need their WEEE directive, I'm doing my best !!
Could you translate this? Thanks!
Dan
: :Barry Lennox :
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A near neighbour managed to drop his car keys down a drain in the street just as he was to drive to an airport. I tied an ex-5 1/4 magnet to a piece of string vertically and he went fishing. It came up with his keys on first attempt.
Diverse Devices, Southampton, England electronic hints and repair briefs , schematics/manuals list on http://home.graffiti.net/diverse
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A friend rolled a tin of (expensive) paint off his moored boat into about 15 feet of water, about 20 mins of fishing with a big magnet retrieved it, much to his relief.
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Barry Lennox ( snipped-for-privacy@neverbox.com) writes:

That's the sort of thing you'd see in Edmund Scientific ads and catalogs years ago. They were one of the obvious places to get really strong magnets before we had a wealth of items to take apart and salvage magnets from.
Michael
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On Wed, 04 May 2005 23:25:38 +1200, Barry Lennox
: :>
:> :>> I just had to post this. While ago the original hard drive went out in :>> my pc. I replaced it & all went well, and since I'd never looked inside :>> one of these, I took it apart. The beautiful, nearly "industrial art :>> sculpture" of the mirror platter assembly/aluminum motor, casting, all :>> held with cool fasteners was impressive enough, but then I started :>> playing with the magnets from the pickup assembly. My god, they're :>> strong! Neodymium, I think. So strong that I actually gave myself a :>> small blood blister when the 2 snapped together as I played with them. :>> About this same time, the door catch broke on my faithful 20 year old :>> clothes dryer. Not a chance of getting a replacement catch, so for the :>> past 2 weeks I've been propping the unused base from my drill press :>> against the door to hold it shut. Then it dawned on me: "I bet those :>> magnets from the HDD are more than strong enough to hold this thing shut :>> against the seal & force of the door switch". Works like a charm, in :>> fact I only need ONE of them! Judging from the pull now required to :>> open the door, it's actually tighter than it was with the original :>> catch! Further justification for my "never throw ANYTHING out" policy ;-) :>> :>> Dan :> :>A near neighbour managed to drop his car keys down a drain in the street :>just as he was to drive to an airport. I tied an ex-5 1/4 magnet to a piece :>of string vertically and he went fishing. It came up with his keys on first :>attempt. :> :>Diverse Devices, Southampton, England :>electronic hints and repair briefs , schematics/manuals list on : :A friend rolled a tin of (expensive) paint off his moored boat into :about 15 feet of water, about 20 mins of fishing with a big magnet :retrieved it, much to his relief.
Back when I was working on the docks one day something dropped into the bilge of the boat. I dropped a large magnet from a piece of thin nylon cord and found a great screwdriver that I have to this day. I have that horseshoe magnet as well, bought for a pretty penny at the hardware store.
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Another good source of powerful magnets is the field magnets from some motors. I believe that they are becoming common in automobile starters.
Gideon
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