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Magnetic Gluing Jig

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Broken miniature cart wheel being held on a gluing plate with magnets.

Magnetic gluing jig being used to hold parts in place on a laser cut wheel while the glue dries.

Photo ©2008 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

The Bottom Line

A magnetic gluing jig is a boon to anyone who glues miniatures. Although it works best holding pieces against one of the straight sides, odd shaped miniatures which would otherwise need to be pinned in place to glue, like the wheel above, can be held securely to each other by adjusting the magnet positions.

The magnets in the most common jigs each have a removable metal face to allow them to to be stuck flush to the base. The metal covering which is glued to the magnet extends past the magnet on the two longest sides, making it easier to remove the magnet from the metal plate.


  • Ajustable to any size that will fit in the 10 1/4 inch square bed.
  • Comes with 8 magnets which have one fixed and one movable side plate.
  • Has 3/4 inch straight, right angle faces on the sides to hold pieces against.


  • Base sides or fences may have sharp edges
  • Some smaller magnets would be useful for gluing things like windows
  • Magnets only meet metal on two shortest edges.


  • Steel plate with right angled edges to act as a gluing fence. Easy to use and store.
  • Most sets are packaged with eight strong magnets with one fixed metal side plate and one removable side plate per magnet.
  • Extra magnets available
  • Can be easily used on curved parts.
  • Size of base plate (usually 10 1/4 inches) limits the size of model you can assemble.

Guide Review - Magnetic Gluing Jig

A magnetic gluing jig is a fast way to hold small parts against each other while glue sets. The most common of these jigs on the market have a main area 10 1/4 inches square with right angled sides that are 3/4 of an inch high. The sides act as a right angle fence to glue up squared items including scale doors and windows. The 3/4 inch high fence allows you to use small spring clamps directly against the edge if you need a strong clamping action while your glue dries.

The design of the magnets on most gluing jigs is a bit annoying as they only anchor square to the base on the shortest ends. The metal coating on the longer sides extends past the magnet, making the magnets slightly wobbly if put under pressure in this position. These metal facings do make it easier to remove the magnets from the base to position them.

If you intend to build items like windows with muntins, or odd sized miniatures you may prefer to make your own magnetic jig using strong bar magnets, with smaller magnets that suit the type of work you need to position.

If you don't need side walls to clamp against, you may be able to make your own magnetic jig from a piece of sheet steel (A steel baking sheet?) and strong, square magnets. A set of eight extra magnets for a standard gluing jig is available from Micromark Tools for under $12.00. Scientific supply houses may have bar magnets in different sizes.

Price Range between $20 to $30. Available from several hobby tool, railroad and dolls house suppliers. If price is an issue, get a flat steel plate and some magnets. The base with the side walls is the expensive bit of these sets.

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