Weld spatter and damage to the table surface

Hello, not a metalworker directly but friend with one, and hangaround to the workshop.What I’m wondering here is how easy it is to damage the surface of the fixture table, like for example by weld spatter or similar situation. And how easy is it to repair it?

I have a table maintenance video on the fireball tool website that will answer all your questions.

People worry about weld spatter, but the more long lasting damage done to tables is actually pitting from arcing.

Arcs happen for a variety of reasons, but commonly it’s because the parts are not in good contact with the table, especially on aluminum parts.

The best way to prevent this type of damage is to directly ground to the workpiece and clamp it down to the table.

This is more of a problem with tables like Siegmund tables because their nitride layer is thick and the corners of their tables has the most distortion due to the style of construction so it’s easy to lay a workpiece down and actually have an airgap between workpiece and table.

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Do the cast tables have less likely of taking damage from spatter and pitting then steel tables?

@Volikos I believe the cast ion naturally repels the spatter better then coated steel tables. You can rub a stone over the cast iron surface to clean it without the worry of damaging the table. I wouldn’t use a stone on a coated table in fear of removing the coating from the surrounding areas of the burr or spatter. As far as pitting goes that’s hard to say, I guess it depends on the size of the spatter. Overall I’ve seen cast perform well with the fireball squares and the tables from spatter pitting. The table can always be resurfaced again if needed in the far future. Its much harder to repair a coated steel table once its been damaged. Coated tables also have problems with grounding through the nitride coating.

This sort of reminds me of how Electric coil stove tops have removable, thin pieces of aluminum under the burner or how some people line the bottom of their stoves with aluminum foil to protect the actual surface of the stove top or oven. Welding blankets seem to repel better than anti-spatter so perhaps just having strips of leather around?

I don’t have that problem.