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What do you do with Boiled Linseed Oil rags safely?; i.e. Watco, straight BLO, etc.

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Forum topic by steve6678 posted 11-13-2012 01:31 AM 5006 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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steve6678

438 posts in 812 days


11-13-2012 01:31 AM

I have probably danced with the Devil too many times with these rags of death.
I put them in a Metal Covered can with half water, but what to do after…I just bag em’ and Trash em’, but I don’t like this method, and when i do a good size project the shop towels add up, and up

-- Steve - Dust sucks!


17 replies so far

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steve6678

438 posts in 812 days


#1 posted 11-13-2012 01:35 AM

from a Linseed website

...”You know, like in the Sci-Fi movies when people suddenly burst into flames. Linseed oil dries through oxidation, and the process releases heat. The faster the oxidation, the more the greater the heat. A pile of rags or paper towels soaked with linseed oil can actually start burning without warning, leading to the manufacturer’s warning that all oil-soaked rags should be stored under water in a covered, metal container, or washed before storage or disposal.”

Washed…before storage or disposal…
I am not washing 8 million shop towels.
So, what’s the best way to deal with these rags of potential burning power.

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

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Tedster

2290 posts in 963 days


#2 posted 11-13-2012 01:43 AM

I lay them flat or hang them, outdoors, to dry. Same with solvent soaked rags. I also never store them anywhere that would allow a fire to spread. I’m not concerned about the rags catching fire but, rather, about the rags catching other stuff on fire. Once they’re dry I just throw them away. But still, I do not clump them all together. I’ve never had a rag fire occur and I believe it’s because I never clump them in a bundle.

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

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lumberjoe

2847 posts in 1000 days


#3 posted 11-13-2012 01:44 AM

I usually just help them along. When I am done for the night, they go in the outdoor fireplace with the sawdust. I use the blue shop towels. I went through every old t-shirt in the house and got sick of buying rags. They work well.

For the record, I didn’t see it, but I got one to combust. I left a bunch balled up in the outdoor fireplace overnight. The next day it was black dust. I was a pretty warm night, but not super warm.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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steve6678

438 posts in 812 days


#4 posted 11-13-2012 01:47 AM

I use Blue Shop Towels also, Hundreds of them, but I have been dousing them in a metal can with water, covering it until trash day and bagging them and sending it out with the weekly trash. I have no idea what happens to them afterwards.
I can’t see hanging up hundreds of towels…
I don’t have an area where I can burn.

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

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Wdwerker

333 posts in 985 days


#5 posted 11-13-2012 02:06 AM

I hang them outside on a metal railing untill dry,usually overnight, then into the dumpster. Flat and spread out prevents concentration of the heat.
Used oil from a deep fryer ( cold) poured over cat litter in a closed plastic trash can caused spontaneous combustion at my in laws house. Be careful!

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

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Kreegan

1452 posts in 898 days


#6 posted 11-13-2012 02:08 AM

Set them on fire in the driveway. Controlled burn baby!

Rich;)

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steve6678

438 posts in 812 days


#7 posted 11-13-2012 02:09 AM

Wow.
I never had a tight space basement shop like I have now, and I get the rags out EVERYnight,

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

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steve6678

438 posts in 812 days


#8 posted 11-13-2012 02:10 AM

Ha, I hear ya but I have houses 20 feet on either side.

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

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JimDaddyO

288 posts in 1830 days


#9 posted 11-13-2012 01:33 PM

I drape mine flat over a concrete block and let them dry.

-- I still have all my fingers

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ChuckV

2485 posts in 2279 days


#10 posted 11-13-2012 01:50 PM

I lay mine out on the walls of our outdoor firepit. When they are dry, I toss them into the pit. The next time we have a fire in the pit they provide quite the starter!

I’m tempted to bunch them up in a corner of the inside of the pit as an experiment.

-- “While the world with closed eyes sleeps, The sky knows and weeps - steel rain. ” ― Nathan Bell

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Stephenw

273 posts in 1137 days


#11 posted 11-13-2012 01:51 PM

Stretch a line outside. Hang them on the line with clothespins until they are dry.

Throw them in the trash after the can is placed curb side.

-- http://www.garagebulletin.com/

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lumberjoe

2847 posts in 1000 days


#12 posted 11-13-2012 01:52 PM

Chuck, if you read above, I did that a few times. They burned once. I didn’t see it but I came out to ashes instead of rags the next day

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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ChuckV

2485 posts in 2279 days


#13 posted 11-13-2012 02:12 PM

Joe,

I wonder if I could convince my family to help provide 24-hr surveillance?

-- “While the world with closed eyes sleeps, The sky knows and weeps - steel rain. ” ― Nathan Bell

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lumberjoe

2847 posts in 1000 days


#14 posted 11-13-2012 02:20 PM

You could get a surveillance camera set-up pretty cheap online. There are a couple of youtube videos that show the rags smolder and catch fire as well.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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Bsmith

318 posts in 1422 days


#15 posted 11-13-2012 06:16 PM

Great info. Be sure everyone in the house is educated about the dangers too. I have a friend who after refinishing some furniture laid out his rags for the night. His wife came along behind him cleaning up his mess, she picked up all the rags and tossed them in the corner of the back porch. They got out unhurt but the house was a total loss.

-- Bryan

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