Question re. soapstone in welding

I have a welding question: what are soapstone and soapstone holders used for in welding? Is soapstone used for gas or electric welding, or both?

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As far as I know, its just used instead of chalk... for marking the metal so you can see a stop mark etc.

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Used to layout and mark lines , referenc epoints etc to weld on or cut on.....and its used with both. It has th ability to withstand heat without being burned off readily and still allow you to see what your needing to cutout or weld up........I guess it is not used all that much for electric arc with a lot of folks, but at my age and with my eyesight, I find if I run a line of soapstone over say a butt joint I can see and follow it more easily than just the plain butted up pieces. On Wed, 20 Jul 2005 12:44:38 -0600, "Ian W. Douglas"

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It's a crayon that works at high-temperature, for all practical purposes. I don't know of any other uses.
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So can you just weld over it? IOW, will its presense directly in or on a joint contaminate the weld?
Peter
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On 20 Jul 2005 14:17:37 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

No. It's a silicate, it'll just float to the top with the rest of the flux slag. Even with wire-feed, you've already got more slag around than you'll get from a bit of welder's chalk.
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

Identifications
* Formula: 3MgO-4SiO2-H2O
Elements: Magnesium, Oxygen, Silicon
* CCOHS Record Number: 558 * RTECS Number: VV8780000 * Synonyms: o Massive talc o Soapstone o Soapstone (containing less than 1 percent quartz) o Soapstone silicate o Steatite
Some of the searches use Soapstone as a container that melted metal is poured... If or when it is consumed, Water is driven off, Oxygen is burned and one has Silicon and Magnesium that might melt into the bead. Likely it is just floated off with the flux and various metals being blown from the joint.
Martin
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Dave Hinz wrote:

I use it to load file teeth while working on soft metal, helps get the pins out. That's the only other use I know..
John
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Carve it with a needle lashed to a pencil and you can make yourself a sealing wax seal.
Grated on a rasp, it's an anti-stick powder for repairing punctures in bike tyres.
Essential for marking lengths or profiles on an anvil face when blacksmithing.
Write on a blackboard with it.
Write on a wet blackboard with it.
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Dave, In the old days, with cars that had the little triangular vent wing in the doors, soapstone was also used to "lube" the rubber channel before pressing in a new piece of glass..... It works.... no more vent wings tho' so the idea can be used elsewhere. Ken.
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Ken Sterling wrote:

OK, to leave the metalworking realm of soapstone, I know it's been used to make sinks, bathtubs and heating stoves..
John
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wrote:

404,000 hits on soapstone, 71,000 on steatite on Google. Used for a fascinating array of things.
Steve
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JohnM wrote:

Soapstone has been used in a variety of applications, not the least of which is for sinks, bathtubs and stoves. I built a kitchen island a while back and wanted a soapstone top. I could not find a source of raw soapstone and the quote I got for a finished top was around $1200.00. There used to be some sites where you could go and carve out your own soapstone blocks but they seem to be all used up now.
More to the point of the original posting: I use soapstone markers to mark cut lines when using oxy-acetylene cutting torch. Even with the dark lenses you can still see the line as you are cutting it away. sdh.
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Steve Hopper wrote:

Due to many soapstones having a large content of asbestos, it has fallen a bit out of favor with carvers. Used to be that they would cut dry but now you need to cut wet and that puts off a lot of carvers for some reason. Of course it's also that artists can get as much money piling up junk for an hour and calling it art as they can for spending weeks on a carving.
Koz
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Steve Hopper wrote:

I used my stick pen today myself. I needed to grind some scale off both sides of a 1/4" slab of steel. I couldn't connect a good ground without grinding. I marked one side, managed to hold the slab up and mark the other. Then with a grinder, I ground off both sides - where the marks showed me to. I could have used a paint pen, but that is a bit messy for a quick job.
Martin
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Ken Sterling wrote:

Soapstone is also bulk talc. Useful in absorbing moisture.
Martin
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"lionslair at consolidated dot net"> wrote

And it is also used in making long lasting sinks. Go figger.
Steve
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Grind it up to make baby powder, Talcum powder. Bugs
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Soapstone is used to layout lines because it does not burn away under a cutting torch like chalk does. Sharpened properly one can layout lines and locations to a 64th. The only problems is if the steel is wet the soapstone doesn't mark properly. I am regularly putting lines on channels, angles and wide flange beams to locate torch cuts as well as locating holes to be punched or drilled. A fabricator would be lost without it. Randy

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Randy Zimmerman wrote:

A Plasma torch cutter (by hand that is) would also be lost. The eye-hand movement is improved with lines. Try cutting a 12" line by hand with and without a line. The eye tries for perfection.
Martin
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