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In the past most commercial magnetic folders have been manufactured by milling the magnet body from a solid block of steel, usually 100 x 50mm.
However a much easier way to manufacture it, especially for a one-off, is to fabricate it from steel sections.

The method outlined here has only recently been tried and was found to work well.

Only 2 plain sections of steel are required:
basic sections
Section 1
: 50 x 16mm, or 2" x 5/8"
Section 2: 19.05mm  or 3/4" square.

It is strongly recommended to obtain cold rolled steel, also known as "Bright Mild Steel" (BMS).

BMS has a nice smooth finish, and is free of mill scale.
Also BMS is straighter and more accurately sized than hot rolled steel.

BMS does cost about 50% more but is well worth it for constructing this type of machine.
Alternatively hot rolled steel can be used but it will require some finish milling after assembly.

BMS is usually supplied in 3.5metre lengths and just one length will supply enough material for the whole magnet body and even the bending beam as well.  It should cost less than A$100 for the small machine described here.
You will also need to obtain a 3.5m length of 19.05mm BMS square.  This will make the 2 pole spacers and also the Bending Beam Extension piece. (There will be about 1.5m left over).

To cut the steel to length a cold saw is recommended, although your steel supplier may pre-cut it for you.

For this design all pieces of steel for the magnet body are cut to the same length - 620mm.
(But the Bending Beam, the Beam Extension and the Clampbar are 670mm long).

First cut 4 pole pieces and then drill and tap the various holes required . (Refer to drawings).
You will also need to mill 2 rebates in the front pole to accommodate the "Hemi-Hinge".
The 2 middle poles will need the corners chamfering to make sure that the coil insulation will not get damaged during assembly of the magnet coil.

Also cut 2 pole spacers to 620mm long and drill the clearance holes for the assembly screws.

All these pieces can now be assembled and bolted together using 4 off M8 x 90mm  socket head cap screws as shown:
raw magnet body

Before final tightening of the screws, place the magnet body upsidedown on a flat surface.
When the screws are tightened this should guarantee a nice flush upper surface for the magnet body.

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This page last updated: 25 June 2020