Charcoal blocks are scary expensive. How do I make my own? Is there
a way to compress a block while I'm making it, so it lasts
You don't have to use one. But if you do, wrap it with binding wire.
That's supposed to make them last longer.
Check if magnesia blocks are cheaper. Both last a long time, so don't
freak about it.
Okay, a soldering pad goes underneath it, yes. If you are setting up
your place at home you could see if there is a pottery/kiln place
near you and get some fire bricks. Oh wait, haven't folks said you
can get those someplace else? Like a fireplace supply store?
Anyway, that's one way.
If you're concerned about safety, and no doubt you are, double up,
double up. Triple up.
A pizza stone is basically like a kiln shelf. Though not cheap, but
if you have one you want to convert, or find one at a garage sale,
you could use that. Lots of people use ceramic tile too. You should
be able to get a 12 x12 tile for 99 cents. You could line your table
with stainless steel.
All this is overkill, as I'm sure someone will post, but whatever
you want to do. You're protecting your home, so nothing is
So, overkill method: buy a sheet of stainless steel, put that on your
table, on top of that, the pizza stone or ceramic tile. On top of
that your soldering pad, then, your charcoal or magnesia block.
And yes, folks, I know, I know, it's not necessary, but if that's
what she wants, that's what she wants.
What do I use? My bench has a built in steel insert, on top of which
I have a soldering pad, and a magnesia block. If I were doing
something really big, I wouldn't do it there, I take it outside or
to one of my art centers.
Best of luck, have fun, be safe!
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay