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[Source] Hard Charcoal

Was: Marble stone as a Soldering Block? if you work in silver you will probably want some charcoal
(buy the hard type as it lasts much longer) 

I asked Stuller, my main supplier, if they had the hard type and
they’d never even heard of it. I’d sure like some! Where can I get


Allcraft, Rio used to …

Hratch Babikian

Rio Grande sells a hard charcoal block as well as the soft ones. I
don’t know if I’m right but I’m presuming that hard charcoal is made
from hard wood rather than soft wood? I’m also considering buying
some charcoal as it’s meant to reduce the possibility of firescale
isn’t it?


I got some from Otto Frei. I think they’re called European blocks.
If you have questions ask for Walter. Sales people are very


I order hard pressed charcoal blocks from Gesswein. They have two
sizes and the blockes last forever!

Lauren Stineman

if they had the hard type and they'd never even heard of it. I'd
sure like some! Where can I get it? 

Here ya go, Doc:

Mine is about 2 years old - it’s crusty but still the same size, and
definately in one piece…

I understood ‘hard’ charcoal blocks to be a composite (crushed
charcoal that’s been compressed into a really hard brick) and 'soft’
charcoal to be ‘natural’ charcoal, still in the original form. Right
or wrong, I find both have their uses - I prefer the soft, or natural
charcoal, as it’s easy to make little indentations or poke steel pins
in to hold a piece steady, the hard kind, you can burr out very
precise little indentations for say granulation.

The soft, natural charcoal is quite brittle and can easily break in
two, so it’s important to prepare and protect it - wrap a double
twist of binding wire all round, tighten gently with a twist or two,
and ideally, make your block a little copper tray in which it can sit
all the time. (I’ve seen a good description of this here somewhere a
while ago.)

However, since I acquired my precious BenchMate, I’ve hardly used
either type of charcoal!!

Jane Walker