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Forum topic by russv posted 12-12-2009 06:08 AM 1319 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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russv

262 posts in 2634 days


12-12-2009 06:08 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question woodburning

Seems like this time of year, it is more likely to hear about fires in the workshop. I personally have never met anyone first hand who experienced a fire. of those with first hand experience, what caused their fire? I guess I’m curious about what is the some of the most common fire starters. maybe knowing will help me (and others) to avoid the same traps.

so, who out there is part of the elite group of fire starters?

russv

-- yknotwood.com: where to go because you don't want no stinking plastic!


22 replies so far

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GFYS

711 posts in 2935 days


#1 posted 12-12-2009 06:35 AM

The only fire I’ve had wasn’t in the shop but in the back of my truck. I had some rags with thinner and poly and didn’t want to leave them in the shop so I put them in a garbage bag with some other trash. I drove home for lunch and while I was eating I looked out the window and there were flames about 2-3 feet high in the bed of the truck.

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russv

262 posts in 2634 days


#2 posted 12-12-2009 06:58 AM

that qualifies. we have a winner!

aren’t you glad you didn’t put off the clean up till AFTER lunch? lol

russv

-- yknotwood.com: where to go because you don't want no stinking plastic!

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GFYS

711 posts in 2935 days


#3 posted 12-12-2009 07:45 AM

I now keep a burn barrel outside the shop and put all combustable refuse there.

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BlankMan

1488 posts in 2817 days


#4 posted 12-12-2009 07:46 AM

I heard of that happening, spontaneous combustion to rags soaked with finishes. Happened to a guy I knew, he had them in a bucket in the attached garage, they caught it while it was still contained in the bucket.

But you got me thinking to today russv, after that thread on heaters. That friend of mind that just put that heater in his garage. Sawdust in the air while that thing is running. It’s hanging from the ceiling and has power vent combustion so it’s going to suck the stuff right in. I would think it would take a high concentration of dust but I don’t know. I think I might mention that to him and suggest he get an air cleaner.

My boiler is the same way, power vent with no intake air in my basement shop. I’ve not had a problem but it sits low on the floor not high up and I have two air cleaners that I run.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

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TopamaxSurvivor

17671 posts in 3140 days


#5 posted 12-12-2009 08:32 AM

When I was a volunteer fireman, they told us if it grows, it blows! Wood Dust and fibers are definitely covered in the National Electrical Code as a hazardous atmosphere.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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DonFaulk0517

131 posts in 2951 days


#6 posted 12-13-2009 12:16 AM

I am in the process of getting heat into my woodshop and I was concerned about the dust and potential vapors from finishes causing a fire. I have chosen a separated-combustion heater (75,000 BTU) to prevent any potential fires. The flame is in a separate chamber that receives and exhausts to the outside, never exposed to the inside air. I am spending the extra money for this feature to prevent problems.

-- DonFaulk0517@gmail.com

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Jeison

951 posts in 2572 days


#7 posted 12-13-2009 12:21 AM

I have the sudden and uncontrollable urge to mount a fire extinguisher every 3 feet in my garage shop :)

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

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jockmike2

10635 posts in 3711 days


#8 posted 12-13-2009 01:12 AM

A couple summers ago I was cleaning the shop and throwing the stuff in the box heater, wood stove. I poured about a third of a cup of denatured alcohol in a can to start the fire. Well, being a genius, think roadrunner, coyote, here. I tossed a lighted rag in the heater then tossed in the alcohol. Little did I realize that my can was on fire, for other geniuses, alcohol burns clear, you can’t see it burn. Of course when I did realize it I threw the can and there was a little left in the can and it sprayed on the wall behind the stove and I ran and got the fire extinguisher but I didn’t know how to use it. I tore everything off the top of the extinguisher until there was nothing left. So I ran out the open garage door and grabbed a hose and put it out that way. So, make sure you have fire extinguishers in shop, 2 isn’t too many. Don’t forget to read the instructions. Lesson learned. What a genius! Oh, I almost forgot, don’t start fires with denatured alcohol, not smart…..

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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patron

13537 posts in 2805 days


#9 posted 12-13-2009 01:21 AM

had the rag thing happen ,
but this got my attention in the shop !

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/9772

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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closetguy

744 posts in 3356 days


#10 posted 12-13-2009 02:29 AM

I had a piece of #0000 steel wool sitting on my work table from another project. I set up my 14” metal cutoff saw to cut some steel rod. This thing showers sparks out when cutting metal. I had just made a cut and noticed a flame out of the corner of my eye. The sparks apparently set the steel wool on fire. I didn’t know that steel wool burns, but it does, and it doesn’t take much of a spark to set it off. It was dry and did not have any oil or chemicals on it.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design changes....www.dgmwoodworks.com

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BlankMan

1488 posts in 2817 days


#11 posted 12-13-2009 02:44 AM

Mike, I would have loved to see the video of that. :)

I saw Survivorman use steel wool one time to start a fire, before that, I didn’t know it burned either.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

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Jeison

951 posts in 2572 days


#12 posted 12-13-2009 03:25 AM

My dad (used to be a technician for Union Carbide/UOP, was responsible for all kinds of experiments and stuff) drilled many things into my head when I was younger, one of them being that ANYTHING burns when it gets hot enough. Since the individual strands on steel wool are so fine, it doesn’t take as much heat as you might think to get em to that point. The current from a 9V battery is enough (put a steel wool pad somewhere safe like a clean concrete floor and touch a 9V to it)

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

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russv

262 posts in 2634 days


#13 posted 12-13-2009 04:54 AM

if you take a pile of sawdust (fine dust) and try to burn it, it just smolders for days. when my kids were teenagers, they would have bonfires in the back yard and have friends over. they would always get a five gallon bucket of sawdust and while sitting around the fire they would grab a fistful and throw it at the fire. the fireball was unbelievable. you would think you threw gas on the fire. the kids would do that off and on all evening until the bucket was empty. what a bunch of pyro’s. it was controled and harmless though.

russv

-- yknotwood.com: where to go because you don't want no stinking plastic!

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BlankMan

1488 posts in 2817 days


#14 posted 12-13-2009 06:03 AM

Funny you should mention that. Yes it can smolder but it burns well too if the conditions are right. This past week I’ve been putting a shovel full or two in my wood stove every tiime I throw some wood it. I place the wood on the remaining embers so the the top is flat and put the sawdust on top. Once the door is closed and sealed the embers get the wood burning in a minute or two and the sawdust starts to burn too. By the time the wood is gone so is the sawdust, no smoldering pile. But that’s due to the stove. It’s controlled combustion by the amount of air that is let in and burns really efficently (EPA certified I believe) so the fine sawdust doesn’t cause a runaway fire. Been working very well. I could never do that with my old stove, I’d land up with a smoldering pile of sawdust, but this one burns more evenly.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

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HallTree

5663 posts in 3232 days


#15 posted 12-13-2009 06:03 PM

About 12 years ago we had a roofer put a new roof on our over 100 year old 2 1/2 story victorian home. We were gone for about a month during the time he was working and got back just about the time he finished. I could not have asked for a better job. the only problem was it had snowed the night before and the next morning he was using a blow torch to dry out a small flat roof and set the house on fire. As we stood outside in the cold watching the firemen trying to put out the fire, which was a total loss (home, garage, shop), he keep saying “don’t worry I have insurance”. You guessed it, no insurance. The big part of the problem was us. Before he started we asked if he was bonded and insurured. He stated that he was but did not have the papers with him at that time. We said “that’s OK we trust you”. Famous last words.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

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