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Thread: Zirkel vs regular magnetic

  1. #1
    Super Member Tiggersmom's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Zirkel vs regular magnetic

    Since I've ordered my Zirkel a thought came to me [always after the fact it seems]......Since I have multiple regular magnetic pin cushions, if I put one of those super heavy duty magnetics in the center where it sits on top of the pretty plastic would it work the same as a Zirkel????All of the pin heads facing Out instead of everywhich way??? I have several oval ones and one round one.

    Just thinkin'
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  2. #2
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Don't know but I guess you could try it and see.

  3. #3
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    I had no clue what a Zirkel was, and for others who may be wondering the same ....
    https://purpledaisiesquilting.com/pr...ic-pin-cushion

    So the big question ... how does it know to put the head of the pin on the outside edge rather than inwards?

    I just have a broken cow magnet inside a tin box and toss my pins into it.
    No problems picking out pins as I need them.
    If I toss them right, the heads stay sticking up in the air for easy picking.
    Otherwise they just kind of lay there and I can still easily pick them out.
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  4. #4
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    I'm pretty sure it won't work; there's nothing special about the point of a pin that would make it more attracted to the extra magnet than the middle of the pin.

    I've given this a lot of thought (I love my Zirkel, but it's not as pretty as my old magnetic pin dish). I figure the Zirkel uses magnets that I haven't been able to find for sale on the internet... bar magnets, but with the poles along the sides instead of at the ends. I'm trying to work up the nerve to break open my Zirkel to see if this is true.

    Of course, if you have a nice strong magnet, it would be fun to try! Magnets are great toys

  5. #5
    Super Member ILoveToQuilt's Avatar
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    Will ask my DD who majored in physics how/why the Zirkel works and if it can be "replicated".
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiggersmom View Post
    Sif I put one of those super heavy duty magnets in the center where it sits on top of the pretty plastic would it work the same as a Zirkel????
    To get star-burst alignment of your pins, you need to have the magnet positioned so that its poles are at the very top and bottom of the magnet. I strongly suspect that the raised area in the very center of the Zirkel is also important, as it prevents the pin from sliding over enough to have the pin crossing over the pole, or having a messy cluster in the center. You would definitely want to have the magnet sitting under the plastic, not on top of it. If you've got a magnet handy, you can experiment with it, just putting some thin cardboard or heavy paper over it to form a flat surface for the pins. I don't see any way the Zirkel can distinguish between the two ends of the pin, but if you have the tips closer to the center of the Zirkel than the heads when you let go of the pins, it makes sense that they would form that tips-in alignment.

  7. #7
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Does it come with its own pins, or can you use any pins? My first thought was the pins that come with it are magnetized only at the tips.

  8. #8
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    Okay, now I know what a Zirkel is. What the heck is a broken cow magnet?
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  9. #9
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cashs_mom View Post
    Okay, now I know what a Zirkel is. What the heck is a broken cow magnet?
    ha! the farmer in me shows, and I didn't think about most of the rest of you ........

    Metals (nails, fencewires, screws, etc.) sometimes get into what a cow eats.
    Magnets are put into a cow's stomach to collect these and prevent "hardware disease".
    Otherwise, infection could happen ... and that could be hard to reverse.
    It stays in the cow for life.

    One magnet is about the size of my middle finger.
    They can be cylindrical or rectangular or like a small I-beam.
    On a farm, they are often found in their secondary use, on the frig!

    Broken Cow Magnet ... yup just like other things, these cow magnets can break.
    And that is what I have for my pin cushion!

    Otherwise, my unbrokens are on my frig, ready for when I need them!!
    They also work great when I want to audition quilt fabrics on my steel door!
    Last edited by QuiltE; 01-18-2018 at 11:34 AM.
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  10. #10
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    I use a Zirkle. The pins can get reversed so the point is out and the head in. No it doesn’t come with pins, you use whatever pins you like. When I bought mine at a LQS, another customer told me it would ruin my computerized machine. 18 months later my machine is fine and my DH assures me a pin dish cannot mess up my machine. I love mine, it was worth the $20 to me.

  11. #11
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    I have three of them.

    1. pins go to the outside, but whether that is head out of sharp point out is how you put them on it. I regularly pull the point out ones - I hook my fingernail into the head at the center and "pull" it to the edge, now it's head out and point in.

    2. I've used them with all sorts of pins, the short thing ones to the thick long ones. if they are magnetic, it works

    3. If you are't careful and drag fabric over it, you can shift the pins so they are now on the side with Pointy end up! And that is real fun when you reach over to grab something and 15 pins are point up with the head against the table top so they are not going to give!

    4. Do not stick them with other magnets - cause they take quite a bit of strength to get back apart.

    5. I do like them way better than the ones that just hold the pins and don't force them to spread out, but i use both because I have both.

    6. They are strong enough that if you have something else close by (like a seam ripper) you may find it's attached itself to the magnet.
    Last edited by Macybaby; 01-18-2018 at 12:12 PM.
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  12. #12
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    i have a Zirkel and I gave away my GrabIt recently, I use the Zirkel all the time, so much easier to pick up pins! However it's very overpriced for being a magnet pincushion imo, like much of the stuff marketed to quilters lol

  13. #13
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    LOL. Live and learn!

    [QUOTE=QuiltE;7985430]ha! the farmer in me shows, and I didn't think about most of the rest of you ........

    Metals (nails, fencewires, screws, etc.) sometimes get into what a cow eats.
    Magnets are put into a cow's stomach to collect these and prevent "hardware disease".
    Otherwise, infection could happen ... and that could be hard to reverse.
    It stays in the cow for life.

    One magnet is about the size of my middle finger.
    They can be cylindrical or rectangular or like a small I-beam.
    On a farm, they are often found in their secondary use, on the frig! ----

  14. #14
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    My grands play with the Zirkel and make 3D art with the pins. I have several. I use one for the hanging scrap bag with the pincushion that is on top of the table. I put the Zirkel in the pincushion part instead of batting. The Zirkel is heavy and keeps the bag in place and perfect to grab and hold pins, small scissors, clips, and seam ripper. They are so much better then the metal bowls for pins. The pins do not get tangled.
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  15. #15
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    I have 2 Zirkels and love them. I like how heavy they are because I don't seem to knock them over like I do my other magnetic pin holders. And they are fun to play with!

  16. #16
    Super Member meanmom's Avatar
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    I have a Zirkel magnetic pin cushion. I also bought new pins. It doesn't require special pins. I love it. I just toss my pins at the Zirkel when I take them out and they all land on it and have their heads out. I really do toss them, I guess the magnet is strong enough that I rarely miss. I bought new pins and it is like my rotary cutter, you don't realize how dull they are until you get new ones. The only thing I don't like about it is that it is a strong magnet and sometimes all of scissors and seam ripper are stuck to it also.

  17. #17
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    I have one too. No more grabbing a pin and getting poked by the one I couldn't see. They can be very entertaining if you drop a pin just right....

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