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Discussion Starter #1
I am a newbie at welding. I took a semester course at our community college and recently purchased my first machine. I need lots of practice so I have picked up a bunch of scrap to use. In class we used fire bricks on top of our tables to hold materials. For practicing I was thinking the same but want to see what suggestions you might have. Also where would one purchase firebricks. I suspect a building supply company, but thought I would ask. Thanks. Greg
 

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Fire bricks have no real advantage, honestly this is the first time I've heard of them being used as a welding surface. A good steel workbench or welding table would be my choice. Almost anything will work, but the thicker the top and stronger the legs the better.
 

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I agree with 56FordGuy. Steel tables are the way to go. You can tack weld the item you are welding to the steel table if need be. You can just ground the table and you're good to go. I would also think bricks would break up fairly easy. What type of welder did you get?
 

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Like 56FordGuy says, it is not common to use fire bricks for welding. That being said, I took a course many many years ago and you didn't mention if it was oxy-acetylene welding or electric. With torch welding, they might have used the bricks to keep the work off the table so that the heat wouldn't soak away into the table and stay in the work piece. With electric welding, they might have used the fire bricks to keep the newbies from messing up the table top and having to regrind it all the time.

Experiment lots and have fun. Send photos along so we can see how you're doing.:munch:
 

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I took a community college welding course last spring and they used firebrick as well. Maybe it's just a current "school thing"?

Anyway, a metal table is def the way to go but I did pick up a dozen firebricks from Lowes. Using them does cut down heat transfer.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks guys. Just to clarify, the bricks sat on the steel surface. I believe the intent was to keep us from welding too many parts to the table top. Still happened however. I did purchase the HF welding table for $49 after sale and after coupon.

We did start with oxy-acetylene on the bricks. We used them for stick and mig, but not as much. I want to get them as I get up to speed so I don't have to grind the table.

Gizmo, I purchased (Santa did) the Lincoln MP210. I was looking for a do it all machine which was user friendly. I am ready to go as I just had the power run for a 220 outlet with 40amp breaker. Thanks Greg.
 

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Fire bricks have no real advantage, honestly this is the first time I've heard of them being used as a welding surface. A good steel workbench or welding table would be my choice. Almost anything will work, but the thicker the top and stronger the legs the better.
If you can move your welding table around without the use of a tractor, it's too light duty.:laugh:
 

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Fire bricks are great for oxy-acetylene welding,, actually recommended.

Steel is better for arc welding,,, bricks do not conduct electricity,
so you are constantly fighting with a ground clamp with bricks.

I always worried about welding to the table, then I watched a professional one day.
He welded the parts to the table on purpose,,, using the table as a fixture.

After welding was complete, he ground the assembly loose from the table,
then used the angle grinder to clean up the table.

It was perfect,,, eventually, I purchased the table from him,,,



Actually, I bought three of them,,, there is nothing wrong with any of them due to the welding.

In my opinion,,, 1/4" is the perfect thickness,, the size depends on;
1) how big your shop is
2) how often you are willing to clean up!! :laugh:

This is EXACTLY how my welding table looks right now,,,



Any volunteers willing to come over and help with re-assembly?? :dunno:

:flag_of_truce:
 

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Unless you are purposely welding your item to the table you shouldn't have to worry about grinding the table to clean it up that much. Most welding tables I see all buggered up is when they use it to set the weld wire speed after messing with the voltage. I don't really see any need for the fire brick. With a metal table you can use the ground on the table instead of the part so it can make welding up parts easier-and this doesn't mean you need to take a grinder to it either. An unpainted top surface helps. I have seen weighted arm things that work to help hold a part from rolling around (copper is good). Also seen battery cables used for a ground on some items to wrap around something first. weldingtipsandtricks.com is your friend to continue learning.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Great advice. I really appreciate you guys responding. Greg
 

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This is a timely thread. I have been looking at a Hobart Handler 140 MIG Welder.
 

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use for fire brick

If it has already been mentioned I may have missed it but one thing fire brick is handy for is as a rest when torch cutting. It helps to keep you from burning up your gloves and improves a steady cut. Good cutting technique takes practice too.
 

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I weld stuff to my table all the time during fabrication. But I make sure it's clean and FLAT when I get through. I use the flat surface as a setup jig to keep things straight so they don't warp and "pull."
Of course, all I have is stick welders. Wire welders may not warp stuff as bad but I don't know that.
100_6874.JPG
 

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Well to answer to your question about firebrick necessity, it's an option of your afraid to weld to your table top. That has been a trend in weld schools off and on over the years. It makes it easier to clean up the table once the semester is over with.

Table top thickness, I recommend the thickest plate you can get/afford. A 1/4" will work but if you get. I weld to it all the time when having to layout stuff prior to welding and tack it to the table top before actually welding it entirely together. When complete cutter loose and grind the top smooth. I look at it as its a "welding" table so let's weld to it.

As far as top thickness goes, I would get as thick as possible so you don't have to ever worry about it bending or warping. My top is made out of 3/4" steel decking plate with 3/8"x 6" x 6" legs. I can beat the heck out of it and no worries along with the vise mounted on it, it won't move when I have to give some "persuasion" when and if needed.

Here is a pic of mine, it's cluttered now cleaning the garage.
 

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