When atoms in a magnet line up in a positive/negative fsahion, it becomes polarized and attracts other negative/positive atoms found in other magnets or metals. The larger the number of atoms aligned, the stronger the magnet. Magnets are useful in construction. Tools such as screwdrivers or drills are magnetized to hold screws or bits better. Washers can be magnetized at home with limited materials.
Place a washer in a vise or hold it with pliers. To magnetize multiple washers, use a vise. If using a vise, place the washers flat so that they resemble donuts when looked at from above.
Rub a magnet in one direction over the washer or washers. Make sure to make contact with the washer or washers. The more times you stroke the washer or washers with the magnet, the stronger and longer the magnetic field will last.
Place the washer or washers where needed for construction.The longer the delay, the less magnetism power the washer or washers will have.
Creating an electromagnet out of a washer
Wind a washer with copper wire. Leave about 6 inches hanging off the washer and continue to thread the wire around it. Wind the wire around the outside, through the hole and back toward the start of the wind. Do this until the washer is covered with wiring. At the end of wrapping, leave 6 inches hanging off the washer (it should match the 6 inches left at the beginning).
Strip the ends of the wires if insulated.
Place an end to the negative terminal of a 9-volt battery. Tape it into place with electrical tape. Place the other loose end onto the battery's positive terminal. Once both wires are in place, the circuit should be complete, and the washer will be magnetized until you break the circuit by disconnecting one of the wires.
- screw with washer image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from Fotolia.com