LumberJocks

Polyester is Evil

  • Advertise with us

« back to Safety in the Woodworking Shop forum

Forum topic by xwingace posted 12-25-2016 04:27 AM 845 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View xwingace's profile

xwingace

228 posts in 2425 days


12-25-2016 04:27 AM

I was turning some wood in my garage shop and had a little propane heater going. I stood in front of it for a bit, then went back to the lathe and started to get REALLY warm…
I turned around to see a ball of flame right over my butt, my polyester/cotton blend shirt had lit up from brushing the heater. My first instinct was to slap at it, then I remembered to stop, drop and roll. Ended up with a scorched ass, and a piece of melted fabric wrapped around my finger raised the blister in the photo. I feel pretty lucky actually, another second or two reacting and it could have been a lot worse!
So yeah… Cotton shirts only from now on!

-- I'm not as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was.


15 replies so far

View ralbuck's profile

ralbuck

3717 posts in 2103 days


#1 posted 12-25-2016 05:52 AM

OUCH! OUCH!

Please be careful.

As a former certified fireman (ND Firefighter 1) and boiler operator (MN chief B licensed); I am aware of being very careful especially of OPEN flame heaters. An electric probably would have left you unburned, but with a funny ;patch on your shirt! Even the sawdust can do a good POP on you with an open FLAME HEATER.

I have seen just plain sawdust(we used it as a sweeping compound) shoot flames from a coal boiler when thrown in.

With any HEATER it is a good idea to take the heater OUT of the shop when you leave! Sawdust can be smoldering and go UNNOTICED and then cause a fire with NO ONE seeing it until too LATE!

I always check the bottom of my disk sander before leaving the shop if I have used it on any metal of any kind.

-- SAWDUST is THERAPY without a couch! just rjR

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

2894 posts in 1825 days


#2 posted 12-25-2016 12:52 PM

I worked in a steel mill and a common winter safety meeting item was NO synthetic fabrics. You only had to show the effects of a melted or burned shirt to get the point across.

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

989 posts in 2812 days


#3 posted 12-25-2016 12:55 PM

Ouch! Glad it didn’t turn into something worse!

View KYSean's profile

KYSean

119 posts in 3433 days


#4 posted 12-25-2016 02:45 PM

Glad you’re ok. To may dangers with an open flame heater. explosion being one of them. Saw dust ignites very quickly with a loud bang and walls of buildings going in different directions.

-- http://editedwrite.com

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

1980 posts in 426 days


#5 posted 12-25-2016 05:33 PM

I worked for Hughes Aircraft Co. back in the ‘80s and ‘90s (now Raytheon). In the TOW missile motor firing test facility, they would take samples of the missile off the production line and test fire the motor (which is like a rocket). Of course the room had multiple safety interlocks, and, of course, the tester had disabled all of them for convenience. He was in the room when the motor fired and his polyester shirt wound up melted to his charred chest. Painful, I’m sure. Not that cotton would have helped.

I’m glad you’re OK. Scary stuff.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View paratrooper34's profile

paratrooper34

915 posts in 2788 days


#6 posted 12-25-2016 06:46 PM


I worked for Hughes Aircraft Co. back in the 80s and 90s (now Raytheon). In the TOW missile motor firing test facility, they would take samples of the missile off the production line and test fire the motor (which is like a rocket).
- RichTaylor

Back in the day (my first enlistment period), I was an 11H in the Army, TOW missile crewman. I got to fire one once too. I hit a moving tank target at 3,000 meters. Pretty awesome weapon.

-- Mike

View Woodmaster1's profile

Woodmaster1

854 posts in 2424 days


#7 posted 12-26-2016 12:24 AM

I would find an alternate heat source. I have a big maxx gas heater hanging from the ceiling. No chance of backing into it.

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

2562 posts in 1862 days


#8 posted 12-28-2016 12:07 AM

If you need warmth, wool is good too. But if someone knows better (about whether it can sustain a flame), please comment.

I have found that the sparks from grinding steel will melt little holes in poly. And chips really stick badly in poly fleece.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1769 posts in 2153 days


#9 posted 12-28-2016 12:11 AM

If I’m not mistaken, the Marines have banned the use of UnderArmor for this reason. Burn injuries that should have been minor could become life-threatening when the polyester melted and adhered to a soldier’s skin.

I’m a fan of cotton. Heavy-weight, tight weave cotton. Other than nylon-reinforced ripstop fabrics, I don’t care for synthetics.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View mrbob's profile

mrbob

182 posts in 406 days


#10 posted 12-28-2016 12:15 AM

Polly is plastic, when I worked at the coal power plant 2 co workers had a flash burn from an exploding coal mill, one had on a cotton shirt just some burns, the other a Poly blend, it melted on his skin, way worse recovery.

View Mitchy's profile

Mitchy

5 posts in 353 days


#11 posted 12-28-2016 12:19 AM

Wool is very flame resistant if you dont mind the texture.

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

2562 posts in 1862 days


#12 posted 12-28-2016 12:24 AM

Double post. Phooey.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

3355 posts in 3021 days


#13 posted 12-28-2016 12:45 AM

That’s the reason why blacksmiths only wear cotton clothing (often with a heavy “texas”/welders starch applied). Even leather can steam and burn at 2000 deg F. Cotton at least burns slowly and in a visible smoky fashion.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View WillliamMSP's profile

WillliamMSP

1084 posts in 1441 days


#14 posted 12-28-2016 01:00 AM


Wool is very flame resistant if you dont mind the texture.

- Mitchy

Merino wool, particularly in base/next-to-skin layers, is very soft, not itchy, breathes/wicks very well, keeps you warm when it’s cold, keeps you cool when it’s warm. Oh, and you could wear the same shirt for days in a row without it smelling because it’s very bacteria resistant. Other than the price, which can be high, merino shirts are the bees knees.


That s the reason why blacksmiths only wear cotton clothing (often with a heavy “texas”/welders starch applied). Even leather can steam and burn at 2000 deg F. Cotton at least burns slowly and in a visible smoky fashion.

- bobasaurus

I did a handful of metal sculpture classes in college and the shop instructors wouldn’t let you wear synthetics (or cuff your pant legs).

-- Practice makes less sucky. (Bill, Minneapolis, MN)

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

2562 posts in 1862 days


#15 posted 12-28-2016 01:17 AM

I wear merino wool undies with my dry suit (Puget Sound waters are bitterly cold) even in the summer. I can vouch for its ability to remain odor free after wearing for several days.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com