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Magnet Motors

Category > Mylow

Plans for replicating the Mylow Magnet Motor, as part of the open source project.

See also:

  • - Concise plans for versions 1.1, 2.0 and 2.1
  • OS:MYLOW:Plans:Version 2.1 - page specific to "Version 2.1" pertaining to the videos posted by Mylow of his 6-bar-magnet motor version using off-the-shelf magnets on May 13.
  • OS:MYLOW:Plans:Version 2.0 - Page specific to "Version 2.0" pertaining to the videos posted by Mylow of his bar-magnet motor version on April 29-30.



  • Featured / Store: Magnet Motors > Mylow >
    Mylow Magnet Motor Plans -- Version 1.1 - Sterling presents a concise and clear set of instructions of how to build a working all-magnet motor as described by Mylow, who is the first person we know of who has replicated Howard Johnson’s Stonehenge model from three decades ago. (; April 4, 2009)



Assembly Side Views

Image:MYLOW-magnet-motor side 400.jpg
Stator magnet not shown.

Image:MYLOW-magnet-motor one-side 400.jpg

- - - -

Stator and Rotor Magnet Ratios

Mylow's stator length is just slightly longer than the width of two rotor magnets, plus the width of two spaces between rotor magnets. [1]

To the right are some simple equations for relative magnet sizing and spacing. All this was developed from Mylow's original Running Motor videos and his magnet measurements found on the internet. (Chase212327; Apr. 3, 2009)


Image:MYLOW-magnet-motor parts 300.jpg
Note the C-shaped rotor magnet sitting next to the ball bearing cylindrical tower.

- - - -


Image:MYLOW-magnet-motor rotor-screw-holes 200.jpg Image:MYLOW-magnet-motor rotor 300.jpg
Holed in rotor attached to the top of the ball bearing.

- - - -

Rotor Magnets

These are not the ones Mylow used, but are similar in shape.

Image:rotormagnetside.jpg Image:rotormagnetfront.jpg

- - - -

Stator Magnet and Aluminum/Wood Stand

The single stator magnet (also U-shaped) is glued to the bottom of an aluminum bar that is mounted on top of two wooden stands.

Image:MYLOW-magnet-motor stator-holder 300.jpg

Image:MYLOW-magnet-motor U-stator-magnet back-stand 250h.jpg Image:MYLOW-magnet-motor U-stator-magnet 300.jpg Image:MYLOW-magnet-motor stand-screws 250h.jpg
The stand is shown in the mirror. Screws are not steel. [2]

- - - -

High Precision Ball Bearing Assembly

The high precision ball bearing that was forged at his brother's workshop. Three non-magnetic screws are used to fasten the bearing to the rotor.

Image:MYLOW-magnet-motor Ball-Bearing 300.jpg Image:MYLOW-magnet-motor Ball-Bearing-together 250.jpg Image:MYLOW-magnet-motor Ball-Bearing-joined 80.jpg Image:MYLOW-magnet-motor Ball-Bearing-bottom 150h.jpg Image:MYLOW-magnet-motor Ball-Bearing-side 150h.jpg
The two parts of the ball bearing assembly. The ball bearing is press fit into the aluminum cylindrical stand. The shaft is short, and the shaft component is the part that sits on the bench top. [3]



Image:Mylow disc-drawing byDickerson 400.gif Image:Mylow bearing base drawings byDickerson 600.gif Image:Mylow bearings drawings byDickerson 600.gif

- - - -

The following is an analysis of Mylow’s version 1.1 set-up. Remember, though, that these are using magnets that are out of stock and no longer available (and now demagnetized), so it would not be good to consider this as a reliable template. Image:Mylow rotor layout 1p1 a 650.gif

Magnet Polarities

Image:Mylow-motor-magnet-orientations 300.jpg
Diagram by xee2 at; March 22, 2009.

- - - -

MARCH 22 NOTE: The diagram Mylow posted on March 18 turns out to be incorrect when it comes to the channel alnico magnets. The compass video he just uploaded shows that they are similar to the stator crescent magnets. He said the orientation of the rotor magnets around the perimeter of the rotor wheel is "North up". Before he realized the true polarity via the compass, he used a bar magnet to make sure all the magnets were of the same polarity when he installed them. After he had them on, he went around the wheel with the bar magnet in repulse mode to double check that they were all on in the same polarity.

(6:26 minutes)

  • howard johnson magnetic motor - compass readings very interesting (YouTube by MYLOW121363; March 22, 2009)

- - - -


Image:Mylow stator mag field 300.jpg
On March 22, 2009, Paul Lowrance wrote:
Here's a comparison of the one I did in FEMM. It seems to be in agreement. See attached images. This FEMM file was created yesterday before I saw mylow's video, and there was no tweaking to get it to look like mylow's.

Horseshoe Magnet Polarities

Image:Horseshoe-magnet-compass-readings 300.jpg
Thanks xee2 over at

(Archive) Manget Polarity [incorrect]

Image:Mylow-magnet-polarity-sketch 450.jpg

(2:13 minutes)

  • howard johnson magnetic motor - magnets and their field lines (YouTube / by MYLOW12136; March 18, 2009)

Possible Method for Keeping Iron Magnet from Demagnetizing

(It turns out that the stator magnets are alnico, not iron)

"Regular Iron magnets are generally older versions of Alnico, so even less coercivity, therefore less field required to re-magnetise. The field from the Alnico rotors seem sufficient in pushing the stator down its curve, and it not recovering. . . . It would be a useful and perhaps cost saving excercise for Mylow to put a couple of weak Neo discs or hard Ferrite on the limbs of his stator, one N, the other S, . . . open the airgap between stator / rotor to not de-magnetise his rotor Alnicos and see what happens." [4]


Magnets (Overview)

Care should be taken when handling alnico material since it is brittle and can chip or break if dropped on a hard surface. Also, because it has a low resistance to demagnetization, it will lose power if it is stored improperly (poles repelling each other). For best results, store magnetized alnico so that pieces are attracting each other, or with a steel keeper.

  • Featured: Magnet Motors > Mylow > Plans >
    Magnets Used by Mylow - A video posted by Mylow on April 15 not only describes the various magnets he's used in his various motor iterations, but also gives a good overview of the recent history of the unfolding of this new technology, including a description of his new bar magnet configuration that he said also works. (PESWiki; April 21, 2009)

3/25/09 Correction: The 1/16" dimension that was listed for stator magnet dimension B below is a typo. It should be 11/16". Image:MylowMagnetMotor-rotor-stator-dimensions jp40.jpg

- - - -

Image:Mylow magnet dimensions bf3.gif
Note, the ACH79's from have not been in stock, but they might bring them back on line due to the interest that has been shown.

- - - -

(5:22 minutes)

  • Mylow's video showing the magnets next to a ruler to show their dimensions. (YouTube; March 21, 2009)

Sources (possibly for both rotor/stator)

Note on Polarity: What is "N"

Quoting from Wikipedia:North_Magnetic_Pole

In physics, all magnets have two poles that are distinguished by the direction of the magnetic flux. In principle these poles could be labeled in any way; for example, as "+" and "-", or "A" and "B". However, based on the early use of magnets in compasses they were named the "north pole" (or more explicitly "north-seeking pole"), "N", and the "south pole" (or "south-seeking pole"), "S", with the north pole being the pole that pointed north (i.e. the one attracted to the Earth's North Magnetic Pole). Because opposite poles attract, the Earth's North Magnetic Pole is therefore, by this definition, physically a magnetic field south pole. Conversely, the Earth's South Magnetic Pole is physically a magnetic field north pole.

Hence, if the "N"-pointing end of a compass points to a magnetic pole, then you know that pole is "S". And if the "S"-pointing end of a compass points to a magnetic pole, then you know that pole is "N".

Rotor Magnets

  • The ones Mylow used are out of stock, no longer manufactured.
  • Mylow said that you do not want to seek uniformly magnetized magnets for the rotor magnet. Remember, non-symmetry is a key here.
  • 2 cm long x 1 cm x 1 cm, slightly tapered in the inside of the channel.
  • His magnets are oriented N up, S down. (The motor would probably run in the opposite direction if that were reversed. But the easier way to reverse direction is to flip the single stator magnet.)
  • His rotor has eight sets of 3&3 magnets, and one set of 3&4, for a total of 55 magnets. You should get extras to account for possible breakage, duds, etc.
  • The polarity of the channel magnets, if setting in the orientation of a C is N on the top and S on the bottom.
    • (Bear in mind that Mylow did not know the proper orientation of his rotor magnets when he first started shooting his videos, and he gave out what he thought it was. [5] He later corrected that with a video showing a compass next to his magnets. [6]
  • Mylow said he got his alnico U-shaped rotor magnets from the Science and Surplus store in Chicago. [7].
    • He recently went there to see if they had more, but they said it is out of production, no longer being manufactured.
    • Regarding his statement in one of the videos: "These magnets are very common. You can buy them anywhere." He said this before he realized he couldn't get them any more. He had the impression they were ubiquitous when he saw them just sitting on the shelf, not realizing he had been part of a synchronicity.
  • These alnico magnets are very weak.
  • CUTTING CHANNEL MAGNETS INTO SMALLER SEGMENTS: If the magnet is cut using a ceramic tile saw you will create 2 magnets from the original single magnet. You shouldn’t loose much field strength as long as you don’t get the magnet too hot. Although alnico can get rather hot with losing it’s Br level. I cut magnets with a ceramic tile saw using water to keep things cool and it works fairly well. Just take it SLOW!!! (Mike Schuckel) [8]

Rotor Magnet Sources (None confirmed yet?)

NOTE: None of these have yet been verified to work. They are presented as possible sources.

  • - Group member writes: "This website looks like they offer magnets that are stronger and might be a useful shape. There is also a mention of custom specifications."
  • - a possible magnet manufacturer. If you go to this link and on the left hand side they have a 'customised magnet' option - they are willing to produce magnets to your spec - even small runs, min order Eur200 (about USD$280). Probably worth an email & drawing to see if they can replicate Mylow's magnets, then anyone who wants to try to replicate can do so with the same magnets, maybe meet in a webinar.
  • - inquiry sent March 24, 2009 "Our main business is making Magnets which each of the items above use. We have been making magnets since 1972 and manufacture all materials in all grades: Alnico, Ceramic, Flexible, Neodymium-Iron-Boron, Samarium -Cobalt, as well as just about any assembly you can think of."

Not A Source:

  • - "Unfortunately, we do not make alnico or ferrite magnets. Also, we are unable to produce the geometries described in your email in a rare-earth material."

Stator Magnets

NOTE: None of these have yet been verified to work. They are presented as possible sources.

  • The first stator magnet Mylow was using was an alnico (originally thought to be iron magnet, according to the guy who was re-magnetizing his magnets for him). [9]
  • The more recent stator magnet that Sterling got for Mylow, which Mylow said is working as of Apr. 1, is an alnico magnet, part number HS811N from (Mention the promotion code "PES" to get a 5% discount)
  • Also known as 07270 from
  • The stator magnets (he uses only one in his motor) are not rectangular but arced. It looks like they are 1-1/32 inch long, 55/64 inches wide, ~5/8 from the base to the top of the arc, and ~1/2 inch to the bottom of the arc from the base (oriented like an up-side-down U). [10]
  • The polarity of the stator magnets are the same as for the rotor magnets (though when placed in the assembly, the stator magnet polarity is horizontal while the rotor magnet polarity is vertical).
Stator Magnet Confirmed Source
Stator Magnet Alt. Sources
  • - Part No. 07270 - 13 lbs. pull, MSRP $10.99 - alnico horseshoe magnets are versatile and powerful! Compact clamshell packaging has a small footprint in your display. Choose from three pull strengths. Each includes mounting hole and steel keeper to retain magnetic strength.

Permeability Plate

Image:Permeability plate ConeticsAA 300.jpg

Aluminum Rotor Disc

  • The aluminum rotor disc was milled to nearly precise circle by Mylow's brother.
  • Made from Aircraft Aluminum, Rockwell Grade 5 (Ref. March 23 interview; 7:54 minutes)
  • Aircraft Aluminum Rockwell Grade 5
  • PMMTester writes: "After repeated measurements I am betting the aluminum disk is 3/16" in thickness and is ALCLAD 2024 (see FAQ). After looking at multiple shots of the finish of the disk edge it appears to be a milled finish on a rotary table and not the turned finish one would expect from a lathe.
  • The rotor disc is about 17-11/16 inches in diameter and has a thickness of ~3/16 inches. [11]
  • Aluminum water heater drip pans..... They are thin but 24 inches in diameter and good quality metal. You'll need to stiffen them with something. Lowes - Menards - etc. About 12 bucks.
  • Ben writes: S and S Machine in CA. 916-731-0201 or Email 5/16 By 16.73 inches AL disc @ $15.32 Each, about 8 dollars shipping. Robust! They have a LOT of them from some process I think or the end results of some milling project. Best/quickest cheapest I know. 4 small holes in it, about 1/8 90 degrees around. I bought two, that's I'm going to use. Very fast ship.

  • Ateco revolving cake stand - "This Professional turntable is made with a heavy duty aluminum and has stainless steel ball bearings for a smooth rotation. Includes a 12in. diameter plate. This turntable will hold up to a 16 in. diameter cake with ease."
  • Amaco Decorating Wheel for Possible Mylow Rotor - While it might be readily available and functional (bearings good enough?), at $190 it is probably more than what a good/efficient machinist making these for several people could come up with, which would be closer to the exact specs called for.


  • "An alternative source of aluminum disks (immediate) is at your local restaurant supply … Pizza pans." (Chuck Henry)
    • "All the pizza pans were magnetic. There goes my plans of buying all my stuff locally. Well." (March 30, 2009) [12]

Stator Frame

  • The first stator-suspending bar is 20-1/4 inches long, 1-5/8 inches wide, and slight less than 3/16" thick.
  • The wooden supports on each end of the aluminum bar is fastened with aluminum screws.
  • Mylow said he had tried stainless steel screws, but they effected the movement of the rotor, making it jiggle.

  • Mylow’s later stator assembly (v. 1.1) was made of ½” x ½” aluminum channel extrusion.


  • The bearings have regular steel balls with chrome.

On April 10, 2009, Andy Graham wrote:

Bearings are ready-made everywhere. Tear apart hard drives, old record player turntables (thrift stores often have em), rollerblades & skateboards! Shaft (axle) and bearings already there. Pull out seals, degrease, and oil with light oil (WD-40,or 3-in-1), Even cheap, crappy skateboard had bearings smooth and durable enough for this project. No need to have machine shop for any of this...that's the beauty of it.

Use the entire skateboard wheel and use something called 'Shoe Goo', or Sportsman's Goop (from any hardware or drug store, to attach to the bottom of the plate. With wheel centered on upside-down plate, put a bead of goo around where wheel and plate meet. This stuff works great because it's self-leveling..smooths out nice by itself. Holds really strong, but it if you need to remove the wheel, you can cut and peel the bead off.

Mount the axle vertical on a board with a hole thru. You may want to add a nut before dropping the wheel/plate assy onto it so the nut bears the weight of it all, but does not allow axle to poke all the way thru and grind against the plate bottom. Make sure axle goes thru both bearings too...or it will be wobbly.

- - - -

On April 11, 2009, Ralph Lortie wrote:

I have been working on gravity and magnetic research for over fifty years, so here are some pointers.

Wheel barrow bearings, 3/8" ID 1-1/8" OD with flange, cost $2.49 each at ACE hardware, Home depot, Lowes or any mom and pop hardware store.

Roller skate, Roller Blade and skate board bearings, most are 5/16" ID with a 1/4" spacer bushing. I buy them at thrift stores for as low as $2.50 a pair giving me 16 bearings per pair.

Do not consider these bearings to small or fragile to do the job, after all they hold up to extreme weight and impact when holding up a full grown person jumping on them.

Another source is NAPPA auto supply, they carry a pressed steel three piece flange bearing that can be easily attached with carriage bolts, I use these up to 1" ID for horizontal axis applications.

I do not use bearings bearings in my vertical shaft test disk, it is magnetically suspended by a combination of speaker magnets both in an attract and repel mode. Four good speaker magnets salvaged from Radio Shack will hold up a 20" diameter aluminum disk with rotor magnets without any problem.

My unit is over 16 years old and the suspension magnets show no depletion of strength.


According to Mylow, an important principle here is that the magnets should touch the aluminum if possible. Hence the use of hot glue is probably not a good idea as it creates too much of an insulating factor between the magnets and the aluminum.

  • Crazy Glue for gluing the magnets to the aluminum.
  • Super Glue for gluing the rubber feet to the bearing base and the stator assembly feet.
  • Suggestion from Chuck Henry: "A good glue for magnets is Plumber’s Goop. It takes a few hours to air dry but some heat from a light bulb will help … but not too hot though. It removes easily with forceps … grab a part and roll it around the pincers. Put the Goop on the outer surface where it can be peeled off. Use a holder magnet to hold your magnet in place while the Goop sets then remove the holder magnet."


The screws are not steel, non-magnetic. [13]

  • The aluminum alloy is most likely 300 series, the most common hardware store alloy

Assembly Instructions

See also


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