My ignorance - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 19 Old 02-20-2014, 04:10 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
JohnnyG73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 205
View JohnnyG73's Photo Album My Photos
My ignorance

I wanted to post this under the general section and maybe should have to reach more individuals but here goes. I have seen on this forum from time to time brave souls that have risked appearing stupid in order to make others aware of dangers via there own mistakes and personal experiences. Here is mine...

I use BOILED LINSEED OIL on many of my projects. I admit that when it comes to chemicals I read the "directions" only and tend to skip over the "safety warnings". I would guess that many here already know where this is heading.

I tend to wait till I have multiple projects that need finishing so I can do them all at once. I use paper towels to apply the oil. This is done in a dedicated spare bedroom and the paper towels are discarded in a kitchen size garbage. I have done this for quite some time now. A week ago I had just finished about 10 projects, watched some TV, and went to bed. My fiancée works 2nd shift and came home. No problems yet...

She watched TV for several hours. It has now been at least 5 hours since I used the oil to finish my projects. As she was getting ready for bed she smelled something burning. I was woken up by her yelling that the garbage was smoking and smoldering. I got up immediately and took control of the situation. An actual fire had not yet started but was VERY close. In no time the smoke filled the house and made it difficult for us to breathe.

Before this happened I had believed that flammable chemicals needed a source of ignition to ignite...WRONG!!! A spark or heat source is NOT required.

This occurrence has really opened my eyes. I have since read every single label on every liquid container in our home. I had been storing the containers correctly and my only mistake was not reading the precautions and properly discarding the used paper towels.

This is very important for anyone that has any chemical in their home. As I look back, I was lucky many times. I was again very lucky this last time. We could have lost everything and died to boot. I feel so stupid about what happened but if it helps one person this post was worth it.

  • Read the entire label, not just the directions
  • Follow the precautions!
  • Take safety measures...fire alarms and fire extinguishers
  • Always remember that tools and machines are not the only dangers in a shop or home
JohnnyG73 is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to JohnnyG73 For This Useful Post:
BigJim (01-01-2015), Carvel Loafer (03-14-2014), jharris2 (03-19-2014), w1pers (03-23-2014)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 19 Old 02-20-2014, 06:58 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 11,675
View GeorgeC's Photo Album My Photos
Whether or not you read labels ALWAYS assume that any chemical can be dangerous. Spontaneous combustion of rags, paper towels, etc is a problem. Any that I use are always opened up after use and removed from the shop. Rags are hung on the chain link fence outside my garage door to air. Paper towels are placed in a metal container outside.

When my father had his garage he had a metal disposal container built into his workbench.

George
GeorgeC is offline  
post #3 of 19 Old 02-20-2014, 07:23 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 470
View SeniorSitizen's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks for the reminder for those that also may be ignorant to the hazards of drying oils.

I burn mine which I believe removes all doubt.
SeniorSitizen is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 19 Old 02-20-2014, 07:33 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: northern illinois
Posts: 844
View mikeswoods's Photo Album My Photos
Spontaneous combustion ----I had a customer do the exact same thing---the smoldering garbage bag burst into open flame when she tried to move the can----


no permanent damage,the fire department used fans to clear the smoke.
mikeswoods is offline  
post #5 of 19 Old 02-20-2014, 03:07 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 31
View woodturner9's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by SandburRanch View Post
Thanks for the reminder for those that also may be ignorant to the hazards of drying oils.
It's specifically oils to which metallic driers are added, like "Boiled Linseed Oil" and Tung oil.

BLO was traditionally made by boiling raw linseed oil, hence the name. True BLO does not spontaneously combust, but the boiling process is time consuming and it does tend to ignite if cooked at too high a temperature. As a result, commercial manufacturing processes switched to adding metallic driers, causing the spontaneous combustion issue.

There was a guy selling actual BLO a while back at the woodworking shows, don't know if he is still around or if one can even buy real BLO anymore.
woodturner9 is offline  
post #6 of 19 Old 02-20-2014, 03:52 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 11,675
View GeorgeC's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodturner9 View Post
It's specifically oils to which metallic driers are added, like "Boiled Linseed Oil" and Tung oil.

BLO was traditionally made by boiling raw linseed oil, hence the name. True BLO does not spontaneously combust, but the boiling process is time consuming and it does tend to ignite if cooked at too high a temperature. As a result, commercial manufacturing processes switched to adding metallic driers, causing the spontaneous combustion issue.

There was a guy selling actual BLO a while back at the woodworking shows, don't know if he is still around or if one can even buy real BLO anymore.
"]It's specifically oils to which metallic driers are added, like "Boiled Linseed Oil" and Tung oil."

Incorrect. There are many, many different chemicals that may contribute to spontaneous combustion. Google "spontaneous combustion" for an extensive education.

George
GeorgeC is offline  
post #7 of 19 Old 02-21-2014, 02:46 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 31
View woodturner9's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
There are many, many different chemicals that may contribute to spontaneous combustion.
Yes, there are other chemicals that cause spontaneous combustion in other products and substances. My comment referred specifically to oil-based finishes, the topic of this thread, and it's primarily the metallic driers that are added to oil finishes that can cause spontaneous combustion.

The reason the driers can cause spontaneous combustion is that they cause the oils to oxidize at a fast rate. Without the driers, the oils oxidize at a very slow rate. That's why engine oil doesn't spontaneously combust, for example - it doesn't oxidize fast enough. Add metallic driers to it, though, and it will spontaneously combust.

If you are interested in learning a bit more about this, a couple of references:

A solution to spontaneous combustion in linseed oil formulations, Abrams, Polymer Degradation and Stability, Volume 54, Issues 2-3

Oxidation reactions and spontaneous ignition of linseed oil, Juita et al, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, Volume 33, Issue 2

These and other references should be available at the engineering library of any tier 1 research university.
woodturner9 is offline  
post #8 of 19 Old 03-13-2014, 08:58 PM
I wood if I could.
 
Chaincarver Steve's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Lakeland, Florida
Posts: 3,976
View Chaincarver Steve's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks for sending me this link, JohnnyG73. Wow, you had a very close call. I'm sure glad your special lady smelled the smoke. I'd hate to think what may have happened otherwise. And thanks for posting this here. Hopefully this will help protect others from potential danger.

______________________________________________


My photo albums last updated 2-14-14 @ 12:33 PM EST
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/membe...-22587/albums/
My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/blockyimage
Chaincarver Steve is offline  
post #9 of 19 Old 03-14-2014, 08:28 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 470
View SeniorSitizen's Photo Album My Photos
Combustion in the barn was a common problem just after the hay baler was invented, and still is to some extent. In haste to stay ahead of the weather hay was often baled too wet ( above 13 % MC ) and then a few days later the hay loft went POOF in a cloud of smoke. That wasn't so much a problem when the haymow was stacked with loose hay.
SeniorSitizen is offline  
post #10 of 19 Old 03-19-2014, 04:24 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
JohnnyG73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 205
View JohnnyG73's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by SandburRanch View Post
Combustion in the barn was a common problem just after the hay baler was invented, and still is to some extent. In haste to stay ahead of the weather hay was often baled too wet ( above 13 % MC ) and then a few days later the hay loft went POOF in a cloud of smoke. That wasn't so much a problem when the haymow was stacked with loose hay.
Right you are. I grew up working on farms and bailing hay. Cutting the hay and allowing it to dry before bailing was always a concern. All of that prevention didn't prevent my teenage self and my teenage friends from sneaking off to the barn and hay loft to smoke. All I can do is look back and be thankful of the miracle that no fire started!
JohnnyG73 is offline  
post #11 of 19 Old 03-19-2014, 08:31 AM
Senior Member
 
Gilgaron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 911
View Gilgaron's Photo Album My Photos
After my neighbor's house was quickly gutted by fire (not workshop related) it made me think more about my practices and I got one of these cans from amazon for my finish and stain soaked cloths: http://www.amazon.com/Justrite-Galvanized-Safety-Gallons-Capacity/dp/B001DSKBXE/ref=pd_sim_sbs_indust_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0ZCD0ZVVFJSHMPJYZ4S0
I empty it on trash day so items go straight from it to the curb. My plane shavings and sawdust go in a steel trashcan with tight fitting lid.
Gilgaron is offline  
post #12 of 19 Old 03-20-2014, 11:42 PM
Senior Member
 
JohnK007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Downers Grove, Illinois
Posts: 1,524
View JohnK007's Photo Album My Photos
Just tossed some rags with Danish oil on them in the shop trash yesterday. Guess I better head out to the garage and fish them out. Thanks for the reminder.
JohnK007 is offline  
post #13 of 19 Old 03-23-2014, 08:56 PM
Senior Member
 
johnnie52's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Tampa, FL - USA
Posts: 3,391
View johnnie52's Photo Album My Photos
Another thing that will do the spontaneous combustion trick is freshly picked corn. They often load corn directly after its been picked and crated while still out in the fields.

I've hauled many loads of corn to markets around the country and whenever I did my first stop after loading in the field was to an ice house where gallons of water and crushed ice was blown into the trailer to cover the load and keep water from the melting ice dripping on the corn. Depending on how far I was going before delivery, I'd sometimes have to stop and repeat the water and ice routine several times as I traveled across the country. Corn loaded in the fields in NY and sold to buyers in Chicago needed to be re-iced three times before unloading and once a day after arrival if delivery was delayed. When I'd open the rig to unload at my final destination, there was always steam coming from the corn.

I once witnessed a rig burn completely down to the tires when it was left parked out in the sun and not re-iced.

If Woodworking is so much fun why isn't it called WoodFUNNING?

I've made a few videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/johnnie52
johnnie52 is offline  
post #14 of 19 Old 03-23-2014, 09:09 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 11,675
View GeorgeC's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnie52 View Post
Another thing that will do the spontaneous combustion trick is freshly picked corn. They often load corn directly after its been picked and crated while still out in the fields.

I've hauled many loads of corn to markets around the country and whenever I did my first stop after loading in the field was to an ice house where gallons of water and crushed ice was blown into the trailer to cover the load and keep water from the melting ice dripping on the corn. Depending on how far I was going before delivery, I'd sometimes have to stop and repeat the water and ice routine several times as I traveled across the country. Corn loaded in the fields in NY and sold to buyers in Chicago needed to be re-iced three times before unloading and once a day after arrival if delivery was delayed. When I'd open the rig to unload at my final destination, there was always steam coming from the corn.

I once witnessed a rig burn completely down to the tires when it was left parked out in the sun and not re-iced.
That is a new one to me. I learn something new every dayl (er, almost every day.)

George
GeorgeC is offline  
post #15 of 19 Old 03-23-2014, 09:20 PM
Turning Wood Into Art
 
DaveTTC's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Jerilderie, New South Wales, Australia
Posts: 4,043
View DaveTTC's Photo Album My Photos
I believe the advice is to let wrags / paper towel hang out to dry in a ventilated space. Guilty as charged - I have never really done it though been told.

Something else I was told with steel wool. It can combust when using to sand on the lathe. Keep a glass jar and lid handy. Through the steel wool in the jar and put the lid on. Oxygen deprived it will go out if on fire or not ignite to start with.

Not claiming at all to be an expert but sharing what I have been told. Taking it a step further I guess the paper towel in your instance would not have ignited if disposed of in a sealed glass jar. Dont know what would happen a day, month, year later if the jar was opened or broken?

Dave The Turning Cowboy

DaveTTC

The Turning Cowboy
Turning Wood into Art
DaveTTC is offline  
post #16 of 19 Old 03-23-2014, 09:49 PM
Senior Member
 
GoIrish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Houston
Posts: 462
View GoIrish's Photo Album My Photos
The oxidation of curing oil (like BLO) releases heat. If the heat is released into a small confined space (wadded up ball) then the temperature can increase to a point that fire can break out. If you spread the rags out the heat will dissipate and the temperature can't increase to the point of danger. While this can be done on the top of your trash bin a fence or other outdoor location will prevent the fumes from building up in your shop which could lead to other problems if the concentration were to get too high.
GoIrish is offline  
post #17 of 19 Old 03-31-2014, 11:24 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,992
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
Anything that contains linseed oil can spontaniously ignite. I had some rags soaked with minwax stain catch fire and burn one time. They were in a pile on the ground outside my shop in the direct sun though.
Steve Neul is offline  
post #18 of 19 Old 01-01-2015, 10:19 AM
Wayne
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Alabama
Posts: 454
View BaldEagle2012's Photo Album My Photos
If I use rags or shop towels to do any staining, wipe on poly, or any volitile solvent, they go directly into the wood stove, where I lite them and let them burn. I don't keep those rags/towels till a later time, they get burned right away.

When I was in woodshop at school, our instructor always mentioned that any rags used for any volitile liquids had to be placed in the special disposal container that Gilgaron mentioned in his post to this thread. I have always remembered that.

Last edited by BaldEagle2012; 01-01-2015 at 10:26 AM. Reason: additional input
BaldEagle2012 is offline  
post #19 of 19 Old 02-28-2015, 09:07 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: WNC
Posts: 224
View UnisawGuy's Photo Album My Photos
My old shop was not air conditioned, so i did most of my finishing in the house. When it is not convenient to burn the paper towels, I freeze them until it is.
UnisawGuy is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Plane Ignorance Dado Mortise Hand Tools 20 01-04-2013 08:01 AM
my basic ignorance lawrence Hand Tools 4 01-05-2012 01:11 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome