|Forum topic by cuttwice||posted 02-10-2012 06:33 PM||1501 views||0 times favorited||13 replies|
02-10-2012 06:33 PM
Hello all -
Time for my dumb noob question off the week!
I was having a discussion with a friend this morning, and it raised a question I would like the benefit of your opinions and expertise with. I am finishing an exterior project, using a commercial product from Cabot called Australian Wood Oil (which is a combination of linseed oil, tung oil, and alkyds, seasoned with some iron oxides for UV resistance, apparently, as well as some other mystery ingredients).
I had finished applying oil to one part of the piece, and had to wait to do so for the next part. My friend suggested taking the oil-soaked terry rag I applied it with and putting it into the can of oil (a gallon can with about a pint of oil left in it – enough to cover most, but not all of the rag). He said to just put the top back on the can and tap it closed. His reasoning was that I was going to use the rag and the oil again in a few hours, and didn’t want to waste either oil or rags.
My first reaction was that this was a bad idea, but when I told him that I had always been told not do leave oil and rags in proximity to one another, he said that combustion requires oxygen, and with the can closed tight, the rags couldn’t get any. That’s consistent with what little I know about fire, but it still sounds like a bad idea to me – years of various elders and most paint cans (including this one) warning me not to leave rags near paints, and to dispose of them “properly”, I guess.
I didn’t do it, but now I’m wondering… So, which is right? Is putting rags in a closed can of oil a dangerous practice, or is it safe? Is oxygen necessary to start a fire, or not, and if so, is there enough in a sealed can to get a fire started?
While we’re at it, how do you all dispose of rags when you’re done with them, and how long are you willing to wait between applications using the same rag? I’ve used this stuff before, and while this can says to leave the rags in a sealed container filled with water, that sounds like it will make a toxic stew I can never throw out at all, so I didn’t do it. Instead, I left the rags spread out outside (NOT in a pile), and threw them out after they were dry. That seemed OK to me, but was even that risky?
As usual, I (and my insurance agent) thank you in advance for your wisdom…