- Provides a solid ground on tough to ground welding projects
- Does not work well on vertical surfaces
- Great tool to help you find a good ground for your welding project, but works best on horizontal ground surfaces.
A few weeks ago I ran to Harbor Freight to pick up a cheap super sidewalk sale generator for an upcoming camping trip when this four inch magnetic ground block caught my eye on the end cap of the welding supplies aisle. I’m not a great welder, but I do enjoy welding and Project Indecision has been giving me plenty of opportunity to practice.
One of the challenges of welding patch panels on a large project, like a rusty old project car, is finding a good ground. Even if you can find a good spot to grind the paint and rust down for a ground, it can be a challenge to get the ground clamp on securely and with a clean connection. That’s where this handy little magnetic ground block comes in.
The ground block is really a simple device. It consists of a strong magnet with a hole in the center. A spring loaded, conductive, threaded shaft runs through the hole. The magnet holds the ground block to your work piece and the spring forces the end of the shaft into contact with clean metal beneath creating a solid ground. You can adjust and lock the shaft with nuts on the top side of the magnet. Just attach your welder’s ground clamp to the shaft on the ground block and you’re ready to weld.
I tested the magnetic ground block on Project Indecision with my Lincoln 140 MIG welder. It maintained a good ground and worked well for me, greatly simplifying the task of finding a place on the car to ground the welder. At about four bucks, this might be the best cheap tool I’ve ever purchased.
EDIT: After using this ground block a bit more I’ve noted that it works great when stuck to a horizontal surface, but vertical surfaces can be a challenge. When hung vertically, the weight of the welder’s ground clamp pulls on the contact in the ground block and can prevent a good ground.