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Machinist's Magnetic Bases Query

Machinist's Magnetic Bases Query

Machinist's Magnetic Bases Query

(OP)
I am at a loss for the answer to something i feel I should already know.  I am a machinist and regularly use switchable magnetic bases to solidly hold indicators in place.  I am certain that someone knows exactly what I am speaking of.  here are a few questions if you please:  
1.  What is the composition of the material which rotates within the assembly?
2.  How do the constituent parts of the magnet operate to create a magnetic field that can be turned on and off?
3. (ahem-this is the crux of why I am writing), Once disassembled why is magnetism in all parts totally lost?
4.  I know that the assembly can be re-magnetized.  Is this easily acomplished?  (With a mag-paricle inspection yoke maybe, or is there something that can be recomended to experiment with to do this on a small scale?) Where can I turn for a reference on this subject?  --Thanks

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