WARNING: Linseed oil and rags - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-30-2012, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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WARNING: Linseed oil and rags

I posted this earlier today over at "Sawmill Creek" forum and feel so strongly about it that I felt it should be posted here as well.

I just left a friend's house who, just yesterday, left some linseed oil soaked rags in a bucket in his attached garage. They smoked up the garage and were just at the point of ignition when his wife noticed smoke in the garage. She called 911 and firefighters were able to find the problem before damage was done, mainly smoke. The biggest problem was that she is confined to a wheelchair and the only exit ramp is through the garage. Guess you know what we'll be doing pretty quick....building another ramp to the outside.

I guess I said all that to say....dispose of those oily rags properly!!!


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post #2 of 8 Old 05-30-2012, 05:09 PM
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That's good for everyone to know. With latex paint having become dominant many people are unfamiliar with linseed oil. It is contained in many different materials such as oil based stain and paints and is prone to spontaneous combustion. One time I threw a bunch of stain rags in a pile outside of my shop while I was working and before I could dispose of them they caught fire.
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-30-2012, 05:19 PM
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Not just BLO, but ANY oil soaked rag, under the right conditions, will spontaneously combust. We found it out several years ago when we disposed of some in a plastic trash can that was setting in the sun.
Those were Watco soaked...which didn't list BLO as an ingredient.
Best to throw them in a bucket of water.

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post #4 of 8 Old 05-30-2012, 05:19 PM
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Uhhhh what did I do with that soaked rag from my countertop?? Hoping I didn't leave it in the Airstream in the baking hot sun... guess I know where I'll be stopping on the way home tonight.

Ut Prosim
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-31-2012, 12:04 PM
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I have a large metal contanainer with a lid that I put my rags in.

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post #6 of 8 Old 05-31-2012, 06:47 PM
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I always hang them up to dry, spread out of course, and dispose of them after a couple days of drying.

Those who say it cannot be done should stay out of the way of the people doing it.
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-31-2012, 07:05 PM
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I had a pile of rags from oiling an Ipe deck go up in flames in my stone lot the other day.
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-01-2012, 04:28 PM
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WARNING:  Linseed oil and rags-image-2456257904.jpg

Wish the guy who owns this house read this. He left. Stain and. Finish siting out and came home to. A fire. Ever one ok and fire dept got there quick but still sucks
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