Re: Webster mags in box
The housing should have no residual magnetism, but I have seen a couple that had a very faint magnetic signature. If your cores do have some residual, either place the magnets in North to North configuration, with the core, or have the core degaused. Degausing is done by placing the core on a 'growler' - an electromagnet that uses AC current. The AC current magnetic field will erase residual magnetism in the core. Then you can mount the magnets on the core without effect on their strength. If the core has residual, then North to North is needed to prevent magnetic cancellation. In either case, the magnets should be charged nested, on the mag, if at all possible. A good mag guy should be able to do this for you. As for the nested magnets you have, who knows what was done in the past. You might have to de-nest just to make sure they are in the proper relation, all like poles on the same side. If you look carefully at the mag cores, and the insides of the magnets. you might see a pattern that will show you which way the magnets were originally mounted. A shiny spot, a rusty spot, a mark where the end plate or set screw contacted the magnets, all may help with orientation. If all else fails, charge the magnets in place.
I would do the following for your mags first: Assemble the armatures and end plates, as well as the spring and magnet caps, with the spring mounts. The end plate on the outside (spring side) must be installed first. The armature then must be installed, along with its spring mount, on the same side as the magnet anchor spring holders. The long spring mount, if the mag has them, must be on the right side, facing the mag body on the spring side. When assembling the mag, the long arm on the armature must also be on the same side. Now, looking at the open end of the mag (igniter side), The armature must be installed with the large section of the arnature on the low side of the left hand pole shoe on the mag core about 7:30 O'clock), and the right side on the upper side of the right hand pole shoe (about 1:30 O'Clock position, with the spring holders on the same plane (lay a straight edge across all spring holders). NOTE - the armature ends are identical, and it can be installed reversed! Make sure the poles on the armature align as posted before continuing. If the mags have long arms for the spring mounts, both must be on the same side of the mag, once the armature relationship is established. The long spring mounts are for use of a starting handle for ignition. If there are no long spring mount posts, paint the ends of the spring mounts, on one side of the mag, so the armature is in proper relation once the mag has the springs mounted. If you have the long spring mounts, they should be at the right side of the mag, facing the spring mount side of the mag. The second end can then be installed. Make sure the endplate bearings are in good shape. The shafts on the armatures should have no movement, up and down, or side to side, in the endplates, and the poles must not contact the core shoes. Any play, wear on the shafts, internal contact, must be addressed. New endplates are available from H&M enterprises. or have a good mag repair guy do the work for you. Inspect the spring mounts. They must be level, square and not be worn, so as to cock the spring bearings. Loosen the mag mount caps and install the magnet(s) with the North pole on the left, facing the mag body, opposit the spring mounts (igniter side). Tiighten the magnet mounts, If all is well, when you spin the armature, while dragging the power wire across a good ground, you should see a flash. Another test is to spin the armature, then ground the power wire. You should feel a marked change in magnetic resistance to turning. If all is well, install springs and spring bearings, the mag cocking arm, charge the magnets, and you are good to go. The brass band around the magnets can be installed later. If nothing else find yourself a copy of Doc Shusters 'The Webster System' book, and there is much more detail and illustrations on the mag and igniters.