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Jul 11 2014

Rocking the Magnets, Baby, Yeah!

You know, I’m never going to be bored again. Well, there may be occasional moments, but not that many. I have a list ten trillion miles long, and I’m going to need a few extra lifetimes to get everything done.

I’m also going to need to find new and better ways to get superglue off my fingers. But the results have been totally worth it. At least in my opinion. Alas, the kitchen fluorescent isn’t the most flattering light, but here are the first rock magnets:

Image shows a small cluster of rock magnets on my fridge.

Yay rock magnets!

I always knew there was a reason why I collected buckets of rocks when out with Lockwood. Now I can do pretty things with them! And soon, you’ll be able to pick some up in the soon-to-be-named-and-shortly-thereafter-launched store. All hand-collected and hand-made. Whee!

The ones above are serpentinite, surrounding a wee bit o’ garnierite. I’ve spent the day selecting samples, trying a bit of varnish on a few of the ones that look best wet, and gluing them to magnets. It’s been pretty fun.

Image is a larger version of the previous, showing the rock magnets beside other magnets of various waterfalls and space scenes. There's also a magnet I got from the FBI.

Rock magnets outcrop.

Then I cleaned out the car, which wasn’t as fun, especially since it was a hot and sunny day. But we’re going to Oregon on Saturday, and we need room in the trunk. After sweating to death hauling books and packs of soda up the stairs, I decided that I would do what I’ve always wished American workplaces were wise enough to do, and had a siesta through the hottest part of the afternoon. Then, more magnets:

Image shows a cluster of rock magnets on a paper plate.

More rock magnets!

These are larger bits of serpentinite and a couple of pieces of garnet mica schist. I’m hoping they’ll turn out well, but being bigger pieces, they were also more stubborn about the whole being glued thing. I’ll be going back to my favorite glue, one that near-instantly glues pretty much anything to everything, yet doesn’t seem to take up long-term residence on my fingers.

Now it’s off to clean the house, and then B and I will be doing the necessary acquiring of essentials before we head out, so the blog will probably be quiet for a few days. I’ll post some preliminary photographs from the road as time and hotel wi-fi permit.

For now, I shall have to leave you with Mount Rainier at Sunset from my former office window:

The summit of Mount Rainier as seen from our third-floor window. I do have to say, the views from that particular part of the building never sucked.

The summit of Mount Rainier as seen from our third-floor window. I do have to say, the views from that particular part of the building never sucked.

See ye soon, my darlings!

9 comments

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  1. 1
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Rocks: Gotta love ‘em.

    Have fun!

  2. 2
    katybe

    Nice. Oh, and for removal of superglue from fingers, the tip I picked up AFTER supergluing two fingers together and to a old shoe, and having to force everything apart with an unbent papercliip (i.e. I haven’t tried this myself, because I’ve avoided superglue since) was that nail polish remover will go through it easily and painlesslessly, and I thought it was a handy tip to remember…

  3. 3
    sbuczkowski

    I’ll second the suggestion for nail polish remover (or just straight acetone) for the superglue residue. Also remember that superglue generally has little peel strength so, if you end gluing fingers together (or fingers to magnets/rocks/cats/etc) , just peel them apart.

    As you get physical stock together you might consider a booth at the GSA and AGU annual conferences.

  4. 4
    Trebuchet

    I think hot water can help with superglue. At least it seemed to when I glued my fingers together. It’s a very strange sensation not being able to separate them.

    Also second the acetone. I always keep it around.

    How about magnetizing some iron-containing rocks? Can that be done? I know it can with hematite.

  5. 5
    Marcus Ranum

    new and better ways to get superglue off my fingers

    Acetone. You can get it at hardware stores in the paint/solvent section, or in the makeup aisle under fingernail remover.

  6. 6
    DonDueed

    Fingernail remover? Ouch! Wasn’t that outlawed by the Geneva Convention?

  7. 7
    comfychair

    Super glue is quick, but not very durable. Really meant only for temporary repairs. Look into a permanent 2-part epoxy, like JB Weld or JB Kwik (“5 minute” version). Should be available in small tubes even at grocery stores/drug stores. JB Weld gives you up to an hour working time before it goes off, which means you can mix up bigger batches and not have to rush. If you need it cured in a hurry, put it in the oven at very low temp (well, low for an oven). At ~150* it’ll fully cure in around 30 minutes (at room temp it can take many hours).

  8. 8
    Trebuchet

    Just thinking a bit more about it, I’d suggest silicon sealant/adhesive rather than superglue. Fills in gaps and remains flexible.

  9. 9
    psanity

    Trebuchet beat me to it — I definitely recommend silicon seal. It’s really good for irregular surfaces, you can work with it a bit if you want (like smooth it out), it sticks to anything, and dries enough to handle in an hour or so. It does need to cure to be durable. I built stage props for years (still occasionally do) and I use it for freakin’ everything. Also, you can get it in clear, black, white, and almond, which can be very useful. It’s flexible and very strong — really the only way to put a wall hanger on a heavy piece of glazed ceramic.

    Another thing I use is E6000 or Duco Cement for little stuff like jewelry, and I have a bunch of different plastic cements that bond particular plastics. I never use super glue for anything.

    JB weld is good, but Waterweld (made to epoxy wet plumbing) is fabulous. You can fill surfaces with it, like chipped furniture or ceramics, sand it and paint to match. A sculptor friend tipped me off to that — I’d only ever used it for actual plumbing.

    And your rock magnets are lovely.

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