I always try to keep my 5 gal trash can emptied daily or at least when there a accumulation of paper towels, wipe rags, steel shavings, etc.. I even keep cloth shop rags in a area kind of spread up, not in a pile which could create a spontaneous combustion. I don't keep a lot of combustional containers laying around. I try to keep them stored in a metal cabinet even though it's not fireproof.
surprising he didn't know that. Any finish with driers can heat up and spontaneously combust.
My finishing area has a small steel trash can w/locking cover for finishing rags. I still spread them out when throwing them out, so they don't heat up, I don't ball them up.
My metal shop has a metal trash can for hot metal and oily rags (no cover).
My central woodworking vac and my dust collector both have metal cans for the same reason.
I don't mess around with this, since I have so many chemicals in my basement. Each room in the shop and garage have fire extinguishers.
I had a small fire in my waste basket. It contained oily steel and aluminum from cleaning after using my lathe. I had the basket where sparks from the cutt off wheel go in it and started a fire. I was cutting off a 10mm piece of titanium. I saw the smoke and got it out while still small.
The waste basket is not in a different place and empty! Don
I had a old small chainsaw I had picked up a my buddies scrap yard . For some reason I decided to make a coolant pump for my old power hack saw. So I commenced to mill off anything that I didn't need. When done cleared the mill off and had half of a 5 gallon bucket of chips.
A few days later I needed to weld something and the bucket was setting close to my welding. I hadn't realized that the chainsaw was magnesium . Talk about a hot fire fast. Luckily it was a metal bucket and I scooped it up with a large shovel and out the door into the snow it went.
Lesson learned ,know what you're machining on and treat the waste appropriately
Thanks scruffy ron
Surprising about linseed oil! I wonder how many oil soaked rags he had accumulated in the trash can. It looks like he was using blue paper shop towels.
I have a welding/grinding area in one corner of my shop adjacent to an overhead door. When I set this up years ago I installed cement backer board on the 2x4 framing in the welding corner, as a wall covering. I figured cement doesn't burn very well, so it might be good fire suppression material to withstand sparks from acetylene tour resulting from my cutting, grinding operations and the occasional welding job. There is NO flamable material within the 15' spark radius of the grinding corner. Also use a surplus mine ventilation fan to exhaust fumes and live sparks out the open shop door. Any rags used with solvent get hung out to dry, either outside, or over the edge of the a trash can, before disposal.
Basic precautionary stuff. But never hurts to talk about it to help prevent something from going wrong in the future.
Spontaneous combustion is an issue with boiled linseed oil,
Used to use the wood lathe a lot and like many turners applied french polish (boiled linseed oil and shellac) with steel wool. Always took the used steel wool out of the house. Steel wool and a 9-volt battery is a great fire starter when camping
I have a couple of the dry chemical extinguishers in the kitchen and garage. I once saw the fire department re-certify extinguishers in a school. Turned the bottle upside down and hit it a few times with a dead blow hammer. Flipped it upright and hit the valve area with a spray--wd40? I was told that the dry chemical will cake and become a solid mass if you don't loosen it up every year or so. Gotta be careful not to dent disposable extinguishers.
Yeah, you DO want to take your dry chemical fire extinguisher and turn it upside down and bump it a time or two and do this once a month is what I've been told in one of the fire fighting classes I've been thru. I think the last time I did this was a couple of years ago. Not good!
I have some direct experience. Recently, one of the blacksmiths had to put out a small fire and found out that most of his 5 extinguishers did not work. This was alarming to me, and I did a web search. It seems that there are a bunch of fake extinguishers floating around. I used to work for a safety conscious company and there were a lot of extinguishers around. I ended up with a bunch of old ones around the house, about 7 of them, some of them more than 10 years old. So, I decided to have a party with the neighborhood kids. I got out a bunch of large sheet metal trays and a gallon of camp fuel. The kids all went to town testing the extinguishers. (I heard later on that one of them showed calm and confidence with an extinguisher in a subsequent real incident.) None of the extinguishers had been shaken in years. No dead blow hammers. Every one functioned perfectly and put out the expected sized fire. I intended to repeat the experiment with some cheap Costco new extinguishers, but my lawn died and I am going to have to find an empty lot. A web search said that the contents of the dry chemical is non-toxic to plants. You can't believe everything you see on the web.
I have a 10 lb one at the front of the garage and a 5 lb one at the back of the garage. And a water hose around the corner. I have fought small fires with a water hose in the past. They were all outside in dead grass from welding! I do remember a neighbor about three houses down from us when I was around 10 years old fighting a garage fire started from a gas can stored near a water heater. Took the fire department about twenty minutes to get there. He had it out by the time they arrived. Luckily, it didn't burn thru the sheet rock and get into the structure and the garage. To this day, I do not store gas cans or butane tanks in the garage or near the house for that same reason. Ken