Mobile Sewing Thread Storage Rack #5: Installing the Tilt Stop Magnets


With the spool blocks and tilt stops shaped and sanded, it was time to start thinking about the magnets that would hold them in place. Back when I thought the stops were going to be 3/16” square, I ordered a 250-count pack of 1/8” diameter, 1/16” disc magnets from, [] my favorite online magnet vendor. I wasn’t sure how many I’d need. The website said they had a pull force of 0.5 lbs., but I didn’t know how strong that would feel. Worst case, I thought I’d need three magnets per block/stop, for a total of 216.

When the magnets arrived, I made a prototype for my wife to try. One magnet was too weak. Two were better, but still not strong enough. Three worked perfectly, not too weak, but not too strong. I was glad to use more because it would let me get away with slight misalignments.
With that settled, I was off to the drill press again. I drilled 108 stopped holes in the spool blocks.

Then I drilled 108 more in the tilt stops.

The holes in the blocks and stops lined up reasonably well.

Now it was time to glue the magnets. I wasn’t about to deal with epoxy for that many holes. I saw that totalElement sold some sort of thick super glue, but I hadn’t ordered it with the magnets. I didn’t want to wait for a shipment, so I found some “gel control” super glue at Walmart and decided to try that.

Before I started, I wrapped a piece of tape around one end of a long rod of magnets. If I always glued the side of the magnet at the opposite end face down, I wouldn’t accidentally invert the polarity of some of the magnets.

I glued the magnets one at a time. First, I added a drop of glue to the hole.

Next, I inserted a magnet into the hole and slid the rod of magnets to the side to separate it from the others. Sometimes two magnets would detach, and I’d have to use two pairs of needle nose pliers to separate them. That was harder to do than you might think, because the magnets are strong and tiny.

Finally, I used the tip of the pliers to push the magnet firmly into place.

One down--only 107 more to go.

I followed the same process for the tilt stops, but I moved the tape to the opposite end of the rod of magnets first. That ensured that the magnets in the stops would attract, not repel, the ones in the blocks.

Now I was ready to do some prefinishing, and then I could assemble the racks.






That walnut has plenty of holes for your project if you just spend the time to clean the wood out of them! 🤠

Good you tested for number of magnets needed first, that is always a roll of the dice when you consider alignment, etc. Of course you "nailed it " so hopefully the drilling is almost at an end?

Those are to hold the trays in storage position right? So the spools don't randomly tip out when the rack is moved?

Going to look sharp when filled, very colorful!
This is so detailed!  Makes my head hurt to think of  dealing with all these small parts.  Also, made me think that you REALLY love your wife to design and build this!  Nice!!

That’s true, Splint. Too bad I can’t get the lumberyard to let me pay for only the parts of wood that remain at the end. Yep, the mass drilling is done. And yes, the magnets are there to keep the spool blocks upright. The spool blocks aren’t likely to tilt out when the cart is rolling, because the two racks on each side are face to face when the racks are closed. But they could tilt out when she unfolds the racks or just bumps them when they’re open. 

Barb, I’m guilty as charged. The projects I do for my wife usually are a lot of work, but it’s a tiny fraction of all the work she does all the time. 

This project really makes me respect Kumiko woodworkers, who cut hundreds of tiny parts that fit together perfectly. Same for the wood model builders.
Seems like you two are a great team! 
Looking great!  I like the stack-of-magnets trick.
I'm enjoying the build. All your planning is paying off nicely.