Did you know that you can use magnets to remove dents from malleable materials, including brass instruments and household items, specifically damaged antiques? It’s a simple process that requires only a bit of time, a steel ball, and a magnet. 

How to Remove a Dent in Malleable Material

First, gather your materials. In this case, your list is short — 1) the item that needs undented, 2) an appropriately sized steel kball, and 3) a magnet. The specific size and shape of the magnet will vary depending on the dented item, but for a larger opening or bell on a brass instrument like a tuba or a saxophone, the inside of an antique item like an ice bucket, or even something like a brass bell, consider using a 1” x 1” neodymium cylinder magnet with 97.90 pounds of pull force. 

Part of choosing a magnet for this particular job requires you to consider the thickness of the material you’re attempting to remove the dent from. The farther away the magnet is from the steel ball, the weaker the attraction between them. Thicker material will also take more time to reform into the desired shape. 

While magnet-to-magnet attraction is stronger than magnet-to steel, with items like instruments and antiques, you need to think about scratching. A steel ball will move and roll with the magnet, whereas something like a sphere magnet will not. Instead, it will stay lined up with the magnet on the opposite side of the surface. While you could attempt to mitigate scratching by placing a piece of felt or soft material between the magnet and the surface, that added distance will only lessen the pull force. 

Once you have all of your materials, line up the steel ball and magnet on either side of the surface; for extra caution, put a paper towel in between to prevent scratching. Employ attraction and slide the magnet around while pulling slightly. With persistence, it should correct your dent. Again, the thickness of the material may make a difference, so, for instance, this process may be more well-suited to the thinner areas of an instrument (the bell) than thicker places like the pipe just past the mouthpiece. 

Apex Magnets Can Be Used Anywhere!

Let us know on our Facebook page if you try this hack — be sure to share a picture while you’re at it! For other fun magnet hacks, tips, and tricks, check out our magnets for crafts section of the blog or sign up for our newsletter for some ideas (and coupons) sent to your inbox each month.