I have a perforated galvanized steel sheet animation stage and my puppet works well with screw tie downs but I want to use magnets because I'm planning on covering the steel with canvas so that I can paint it so that it resembles flooring inside an apartment and I don't want to have to keep drilling into the canvas and repairing it and I thought it would be quicker using magnets. These are the magnets I ordered and that arrived today: https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Powerful-Grade-N42-1x1-Inch-Rare-Earth-N...

I tried the magnets out and they seemed way too powerful. I then wrapped some gaffers tape around them and that helped take some of the strength away. However, they still seemed hard to work with because I was struggling with the magnets forces. Using the magnets seemed awkward compared to the screw tie downs. Is there a way to prepare the magnets so that they are more directional and just attract the feet of the puppet and the steel sheet. What are the standard practices when using magnets as tie downs? Is there a particular magnet and strength of the magnet I should be looking for? I'm thinking about ordering a couple of these because they seem like they may work better with the aluminum housing surrounding the magnet but they are a bit expensive: https://www.animationsupplies.net/professional-magnetic-tie-down-sy...

Or these: https://www.animationsupplies.net/standard-magnetic-tie-down-system... 

 

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When I visited Cosgrove Hall studios (in Manchester, UK), they used cylinder magnets about C or D battery size, with a threaded hole up the middle. Magnet strength drops off with distance, so what they did was put a screw up the middle.  To remove the magnet from under the puppet, they would turn the screw from below so it pushed up against the bottom of the set floor, and that pushed the magnet away.  Then it could be removed more easily, without shaking the set and flexing the steel mesh so much.   I think you do need the magnet to be very strong, to hold the weight of the puppet when it is off balance, like when walking.   I have no idea what the iron magnet would be like to drill and tap a thread into, or whether they did that or bought them with the hole already there.

But I don't use magnets, I prefer screw tie downs, so that is all second hand info.  Don't know why, but the animation supplies links are not responding at the moment so I can't check them out.

'Very powerful' would be an understatement if you are using a 1"x1" neodymium magnet. Depending on the weight of your final puppet you could start with 6x3mm and go up from there if it doesn't hold well enough. I think you can get 100 of them (the 6x3mm) for about 12 dollars. Even if they aren't big enough for what you need, and you have to get the next larger size, I think you will find many uses for them so they won't go to waste.

Be careful though if you have them around small children because they can be dangerous if they are swallowed. 

Thanks. I'll look into those suggestions.

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