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How does a magnetic base work?

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Two types of on/off switch, button and lever switch. Magnetic bases can be one of two varieties: those with lever switches and those with push buttons

Although the ON/OFF for the magnet may vary, the way the system works is still the same.

Magnetic base has four parts: 1 part aluminium, 2 parts iron and 1 part magnet The magnetic base is made up of four parts: one part non-ferrous metal spacer (metal that does not contain iron), two parts iron and a third part which is the magnet.
Magnets have north and south poles In the bored-out centre of the base is a permanent magnet which it has a North and South pole.
Magnet, bored out centre, aluminium, iron The non-ferrous metal spacer, aluminium in this example, sits between two iron sections and has a hole bored through the centre of all three.
Magnet faces away from the iron it is unmagnetised, poles face the iron it becomes magnetised The magnet, when it is rotated or pressed, acts as the ON/OFF switch for the magnetic base.

It is the movement of the magnet which magnetises the iron, effectively switching the base on and off.

Aluminium spacer, magnetic pole facing the spacer. When the poles of the magnet are lined up with the aluminium spacer, the magnet is OFF.
Magnet poles facing iron plates, base magnetised. When the magnet is rotated so the poles line up with the ferrous plates, the magnet is ON.

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