Brain started bleeding from tearing up my Gizmo, so I took a break and started working on my hose port. I read up on some other builds and found the magnetic connector to be very desirable. My big issue was trying to figure how I would wash my uniform without it getting torn up in the washing machine. I could remove the plug from the costume each time and re-sew it but I found that after the patch, I am not a fan of sewing.
I got some N52 Neodymium magnets. They are 3/4" and 1/4".
I started by cutting the tip off the hose connector.
I then drilled out the connector. This was a little annoying because I have not had the safety training at our TechShop for using the drill press. I had to put the connector in a vice and drill it out with a power drill.
This left me with a nice 1/4" diameter hole in the connector. I countersunk it enough to fit 3 magnets in it. I filled the hole with epoxy and inserted the magnets. I then epoxied over the magnets so that they would be nice and stable.
While I let that dry, I put the little nub I cut off the connector in the vice and started drilling.
I started with small bits and worked my way up to a 1/4" hole, drilling deep enough to fit another 3 magnets in it. The rubber cracked a bit while I was drilling but it wasn't too bad.
I put epoxy in the hole and added my magnets. I also added epoxy to the outside of the nub and inserted it into the hose to cure. While waiting on the cure, I made a friend that was kind enough to put the large portion of the connector on the drill press and bore out a nice 3/4" hole on the backside for me. The hole was 1/4" deep so that I could easily fit 2 of the 3/4" magnets inside of it.
The rubber warped while on the press. I assume this was because of the vice and the heat generated from cutting. To fix this, I put the connector in a vice when I added the epoxy and magnets. I aligned the magnets so that they would attract to the little magnets on the other side of the connector.
I let the the connector set in the vice for an hour to make sure the epoxy set nice. When I pulled it out and tested the hose, I had a nice connection.
Sadly, I didn't anticipate the amount of torque the hose put on the connector. The magnets held well as long as the hose didn't move. As soon as the hose started flopping around, the connector came right out. This left me a bit bummed out. I will have to retry this build.
In the meantime, I grabbed more epoxy and permanently re-connected the nub to the connector. 6 magnets were sacrificed to this boo boo. The nice thing is, these magnets are inexpensive. If anything, the 6 magnets behind the 3/4" magnets will strengthen the overall field.
I grabbed a scrap piece of steel and checked to see how strong the main magnet was. I was surprised to find that it took quite a bit of force to pull the connector off the steel.
I placed the steel plate in the pocket of my jeans (thicker material than the jump suit) and was able to attach the connector just fine. It took a significant amount of force to pull the magnet from the plate and there was no funny looking pull on the fabric. It was even harder to pull the two apart when I added another pair of magnets to the back side of the plate.
I take my metal shop safety training on Saturday. Once training is complete, I am going to cut the plate into a circle about 1/4" smaller than the OD of the connector. That metal circle will be sewed into my suit so that I will have a magnetic tube connector. This will allow me to wash the suit without having to tear up the material with removing stitching all of the time. I will sew fake stitches on the connector so that it looks sewn to the suit.
I am happy that half of my plan turned out how I wanted. Next time, I will use bigger magnets.