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Unread 01-21-2011, 01:56 PM   #1
Triggs Deadkill
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Tiles for a welding/metal working/painting booth for garage wood shop

My main tile related question = which tile material, grout, and substrate would be suitable for safely containing metal grinding sparks and welding splatter?

I'm designing a sort of benchtop containment booth for my hobby building garage workspace. I will use it to occasionally weld and grind metal in a garage full of combustible stuff (wood/saw dust ect..) It will have a ventilation system for health and comfort.
I'm also designing it to be used as a painting booth (using a fabric insert to keep paint off surfaces)

I've searched the web, but have found nothing like this. Professional metal work spaces would not be used for woodworking, so weld splatter containment is not a priority in welding bench design. there are industrial isolator glove boxes, but their overkill and really expensive.

Dimensions and Environment:
4 ft. wide x 3 ft. tall x 2-3 ft. deep - will sit on existing workbench in
unheated garage workshop, I live in southern Ontario, Canada - seasonal temperatures range from about +30 C to -30 C. (plus of course the welding splatter)


My original design was a Plywood box with an external pine frame lined with some sort of tile. The front will have a glass viewing window and some sort of glove - sleeves installed.

I'm also considering using some kind of spark/heat resistant fabric for the walls and ceiling with a sturdy tiled floor

Does anyone know of a similar commercially available or homemade setup? that would be most useful!
Any suggestions about materials or design would be appreciated, I'd be happy to give more details if anyone is interested Thanks!
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Unread 01-21-2011, 02:26 PM   #2
bbcamp
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My first thought is sheet metal. Actually, I stopped thinking after that.
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Unread 01-21-2011, 02:42 PM   #3
Triggs Deadkill
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Sheet metal is an obvious material that I may have overlooked.
The only problem with sheet metal is that (I think) welding splatter will stick to it, but thinking about it now thats not really so bad. then I wouldn't worry about covering it in paint either.
I originally figured it would cost to much, but the cost of the alternatives is quickly starting to add up to.

Thanks bbcamp for your input!
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Unread 01-21-2011, 02:54 PM   #4
wapa
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I know some people use quarry tile for baking on at like up to 450 to 500 degrees. So there is a chance that it could hold up to welding.

Here is what wiki say about the baking part.

"In the kitchen, quarry tile serves as a great low cost baking stone. Since it is fired at high temperatures while in production, there is no worry about the stone being susceptible to moderate temperatures that the standard house oven is capable of. "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarry_tile
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Unread 01-21-2011, 03:13 PM   #5
eurob
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Triggs ,

Since you want something resistant to higher temperatures I would go with granite.
I don't know how this can be helpful for you , but depending of your methods of welding , some prefer a metal table - holds better the magnetic gagets, bench grinders etc. - and some prefer SS . The choice is yours.
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Unread 01-21-2011, 03:18 PM   #6
Triggs Deadkill
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I'm not so sure that very high temperatures would even be generated since welding sparks cool off so fast . I'm just getting into welding so I actually don't know all that much about it.

I might be making this out to be more complicated then it really is?

To put it more simply:
I'm looking for an affordable way to use a wire-fed flux core welder in my garage without burning it down.
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Unread 01-21-2011, 03:23 PM   #7
tileguynky
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Dad's garage floor is quarry tile. Between my Jeep, my brother's Catalina and dad's various street rod projects over the years the tile has held up fine from welder sparks. The welding slag does cool very fast (unless it lands in your shoe).YMMV
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Unread 01-21-2011, 03:27 PM   #8
jas_il
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I think a fully enclosed box may be overkill, although you definitely want to keep sawdust far away from sparks.

How about cement board (CBU) for covering walls / panels? I wouldn't think tile or any other covering over CBU would be necessary. I suspect anything non-combustable would be fine.
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Unread 01-21-2011, 03:32 PM   #9
eurob
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From the practicability point of view , anything in tiles or stones is not recommended.
Metal tops are the best .
I am not talking about very high temperature , but the sparks - some need few seconds to cool off -, fresh welded parts left over it , attaching the ground to the table , etc.

Talk to a metal (welding) shop about suggestions and custom bench.
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Unread 01-21-2011, 03:50 PM   #10
Triggs Deadkill
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I'm also concerned about harmful welding fume, flux core wire sounds to be particularly nasty.

I think making the walls and ceiling out of bare cement board would be effective, and it'd be really cheap
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Unread 01-21-2011, 04:54 PM   #11
tileguynky
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Eurob brought up a good point for a metal top. You attach the ground to the table and just lay the pieces to be welded onto the table. Very handy when you have a few small pieces clamped together to weld. We used to have a 3x5 metal table to weld on for this very reason.
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Unread 01-21-2011, 06:50 PM   #12
Triggs Deadkill
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I've done some more web searching and it's clear that welders prefer metal (usually steel) table tops.
Industrial welding seems to use powerful and expensive fume extractors over their metal tables for ventilation, and some worktables are enclosed on 3 sides and some add a protective welding curtain behind the operator

I think a smaller removeable metal board would be enough for my needs especially since I think my mind is set on using tiles for this...

I often learn about a new (to me) material or construction technique and design a project based on it. I just love learning, building, and using new (to me) things.
Early in this project I thought of using cement board - I helped a friend install a woodstove in a RV converted school bus and made a heat shield out of cement board - this led me to tiled fire place hearths and from there on to Johnbridge.com, after looking around the forums a bit I was determined to try a tile project!

example of a welding workbench:
- http://www.google.com/products/catal...d=0CHEQ8wIwAw#

example of a fume extractor:
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...4&blockType=G4

I think that by mostly enclosing the work space it would greatly reduce the airflow necessary to push fumes out of the shop.
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Unread 01-22-2011, 09:01 AM   #13
bbcamp
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Make the bottom of heavier gage steel so you can grind away anything that sticks to it. As a welder, you will have an angle grinder with an abrasive wheel handy all the time.

Assemble your hood with flanges so it can be disassembled for movement. Otherwise, build a dedicated stand for it. You do want mass for stability.
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