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Zirkel vs regular magnetic

Zirkel vs regular magnetic

Old 01-17-2018, 07:53 PM
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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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Old 01-17-2018, 08:25 PM
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Don't know but I guess you could try it and see.
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Old 01-17-2018, 08:48 PM
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I had no clue what a Zirkel was, and for others who may be wondering the same ....

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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Old 01-17-2018, 09:08 PM
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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
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Old 01-18-2018, 03:42 AM
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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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Old 01-18-2018, 04:22 AM
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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.
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:16 AM
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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.
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:22 AM
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Okay, now I know what a Zirkel is. What the heck is a broken cow magnet?
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:30 AM
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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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Old 01-18-2018, 12:07 PM
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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.
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