So I decided to take the next step and construct my own magnetic stir plate. I didn't want to spend any money on it except for the stir bar. I made it completely from parts laying around the house. If you're not a computer geek you may have to buy some of this stuff.
80mm computer fan (scavenged from an old computer)
2 x rare earth magnets (scavenged from a Western Digital 30gb hard drive)
7.5v AC to DC phone charger (from an old phone I had at one point)
4 x #12 1.25" wood screws (had extra's laying about from a home improvement project)
8"x10" sheet of clear Acrylic (I mod my own computer cases so I have extra laying about)
Backing from an old picture frame (explained below)
I started off with a 120mm fan I had laying around but I found out 120mm fans just don't have the rpm's needed to create a vortex so I went out to the garage and pulled an 80m fan off an old P4 system I keep around for parts.Magnets
I pulled apart a hard drive from an old computer. The rare earth magnets are located in the base of the arm, as seen in the picture.Insulating the fan hub
I found out that if I just glued the magnets strait to the fan hub the magnets would create enough resistance to cause the fan to slow down and sometimes not start on its own. To remedy this I tried a double layer of some spare clear acrylic sheets I have laying about but evidently clear acrylic doesn't insulate against magnetic forces very well. I wanted to use wood but don't have any spare wood laying about the house so I used the backing of an old picture frame and cut it into circles the same size as the fan hub. I used two layers of it to be safe.Mounting the magnets
I actually only used one rare earth magnet that I broke in half. I made sure to make sure each piece was facing the right way first before super gluing them to the fan hub insulators. I found that just a little space between them works best.Power
For some odd reason I've kept every cell phone charger I've ever owned. I think I may be an electronics horder. I pulled the box of chargers out of the garage and sorted through them. I knew from reading web guides, and this forum, that 12v is way to much but 6v isn't quite enough. I found one that was 7.5v and went with it. Probably blind luck, but it works perfectly.
Part 2 incoming: