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magnetic toolbox close up Make: Projects   Magnetic toolbox

My Dad got a shiny new red tractor the week before Father’s Day, which created a great opportunity for an easy, inexpensive, handmade gift: I bought a classic little red toolbox, to match the tractor, and fitted it with eight 3/4″ ring supermagnets on the bottom to make it stick to the fender. There’s a rubber washer between each magnet and the bottom of the toolbox, to cushion the magnets, each of which is secured using a 3/4″ automotive panel fastener–basically a barbed plastic push fastener.

auto panel fasteners Make: Projects   Magnetic toolbox

Inserted through the hole in the magnet, through the rubber washer, and through a 1/4″ hole drilled in the bottom of the toolbox, the panel fastener secures everything in place. The head of the fastener also makes a nice black plastic “foot” on the bottom of each magnet, which protects the finish on the tractor from marring against the magnet, without being so thick as to block magnetic attraction.

magnetic toolbox distance Make: Projects   Magnetic toolbox


Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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