I actually dd a short litte test on the table away from the metal plate. If you take one of the halfs and rotate it 360 degrees, both magnets repel each other all the way around the circumference. If you flip one of the magnets, they attract all the way around the circumference. I am pretty confident now that PIM205GTI is correct in that the N/S bole are thru the thickness of the magnet running metal plate to metal plate. My GUT feel is that these would still work if you put them back in.