Can anyone tell me if grinding down a bar magnet slightly to fit in a somewhat confined space, would have a negative effect (other than the obvious magnetic force reduction due to the reduction in size) on the magnet itself ?
Depends on what magnetic material its made of and how hot it gets during grinding.
Soft iron magnets loose magnetic strength rather easily.
Neodymium magnets loose magnetic strength at elevated temperature, samarium cobalt and most lower grade ceramic magnets will tolerate elevated temperatures much better.
use a cup of water by the grinder. hold magnet with your fingers and grind. when its to hot to hold, drop it in the water and start again. your fingures are a good guide to the heat. and dont forget you need adult supervision LOL john
If you're grinding a neo bar magnet don't get it too hot and it's a good idea to seal the ground surface afterwards as these magnets will, over time, corrode in normal atmosphere and lose strength - General Motors discovered this to their cost. A coat of epoxy or varnish will be sufficient.
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