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Forum topic by Sawdustmaker115 posted 09-19-2014 03:59 AM 1311 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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306 posts in 1145 days

09-19-2014 03:59 AM

not to sure if this is the right place to post this but, oh well…. :-)

So I was on my way to the bedroom and I smelled the sent of linseed oil, at first I though nothing of it cause I had just coated a bunch of wood with the oil earlier today, But as soon as I walked passed the stairs I began to smell the odor stronger and it seemed to be as if I smelt the order was from the shop. So I stood their for a second thinking of what it could be( at the same time I felt like I really needed to head down to the shop) but I was feeling really lazy and I was like, ’’eh, it can’t be anything’‘
But then I said to myself,’‘well what if it really could be something serious’’ So I did finally run into the shop real quick, and as I got closer I thought to myself, ’’OH….SHIT!!!’’. Yep! I just had a another close encounter with a serious fire.
Well let it be said that boiled linseed oil definitely is able to start a fire if you leave the wet rags all bound up in a trash can! I had a visitor with me in the shop today to help me get some work done and I forgot to tell then to leave the oil soaked rags out to dry rather then just throw all of them in the trash. I always take caution to avoid this sort of thing from happening. I always pay attention to what’s going on but the one time I didn’t double check, it nearly bit me in the ass. So the final thing I want to say is that make sure you always double check things, even if it’s inconvenient. And by the way the brand of oil was klean strip.
To me I now will ALWAYS!! leave my rags out as normally do but, I will never take any more chances like this because if it happened this time is sure can happen again.
Here are some pictures…

-- Anthony--

14 replies so far

View johnstoneb's profile


2106 posts in 1597 days

#1 posted 09-19-2014 01:12 PM

It doesn’t matter what the brand is. All oil heats to some extent when drying and BLO is probably the hottest. You definitely want to store them in a covered metal container. Spread them out to dry someplace fire proof if possible.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8110 posts in 2852 days

#2 posted 09-19-2014 01:43 PM

You are very lucky. Glad you followed your nose.
Many years ago, when we first started finishing with BLO, we tossed the rags in a plastic trash can outside the shop, in the sun. Within 30 minutes the container began to melt. Scared us.
We now use a metal bucket of water to throw the used rags in. After work, they are laid out to dry. Some we salvage, most are garbage can destined.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 1055 days

#3 posted 09-19-2014 01:52 PM

Thanks for the reminder. I always feel that BLO is so safe that I regularly forget about that hazard.

I mainly use a brush to put on the BLO and only use the rags to wipe of the excess. Can a brush air drying in the shop still become a fire hazard?

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View Nubsnstubs's profile


813 posts in 1154 days

#4 posted 09-19-2014 03:16 PM

“I had a visitor with me in the shop today to help” ... Yep, that’ll work…. hehehe… I’m just kidding, but you were smart to check it out. Sounds like you could have lost your house.

I work outdoors, and just throw my rags on the ground near where I work, and on trash day, I put them in the trash can for pick up. My wife just can’t understand why there are some rags lying on the ground around where I work…..... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View CFrye's profile (online now)


8597 posts in 1264 days

#5 posted 09-19-2014 03:44 PM

Crisis averted! Thanks for the reminder.

-- God bless, Candy

View Sawdustmaker115's profile


306 posts in 1145 days

#6 posted 09-19-2014 04:18 PM

“I had a visitor with me in the shop today to help” ... Yep, that ll work…. hehehe… I m just kidding, but you were smart to check it out. Sounds like you could have lost your house. I work outdoors, and just throw my rags on the ground near where I work, and on trash day, I put them in the trash can for pick up. My wife just can t understand why there are some rags lying on the ground around where I work…..... Jerry (in Tucson)

- Nubsnstubs

haha, I can image what your wife must think

One thing that sucks is that the whole basement still smells like this really annoying scent of burnt BOL and I just can’t seem to get rid of the smell, I do however have an industrial exhaust fan hooked up to one of my windows and even with that on I still can’t get rid of this pestering smell, It’s like when you go to someone’s house and they smoke, no matter what you do the smell is always there. when I got in the shop last night the smoke was pretty bad and it just burnt my eyes the longer I was in there, it was just bad, lets put it that way…lol

-- Anthony--

View nicksmurf111's profile


361 posts in 874 days

#7 posted 09-19-2014 05:41 PM

Thanks for posting a picture. I had an argument with someone, probably on YouTube. I’ll have to see who it was, but I have an inclination. I’m not sure if you watched the news reporters soak some rags, stick them in a box, and leave the in the sun for a few hours. I believe that video is on YouTube. Well, this fellow said it was BS.

I usually throw my rags in the middle of the floor. If I’m using BLO, I collect them, take them outside and immediately burn them.

Anthony, if the smell lingers, I bet you can improve it by washing things (if applicable).

-- Nicholas

View AandCstyle's profile


2541 posts in 1681 days

#8 posted 09-19-2014 11:47 PM

Clint Searl would say that is just one more reason to never use BLO. :D

-- Art

View runswithscissors's profile


2127 posts in 1449 days

#9 posted 09-20-2014 07:03 AM

A friend of mine did quite a bit of damage to the cabinetry inside his sailing yacht by forgetting about oily rags. And he knew better, too.

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

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

21591 posts in 1762 days

#10 posted 09-20-2014 09:48 AM

Good reminder. Glad nothing really bad happened.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Quanter50's profile


271 posts in 1720 days

#11 posted 09-20-2014 11:21 AM

Back in the 70s I helped Dad with the walnut trim when he “finished” the basement. We rubbed the walnut with Watco Danish Oil, let it soak in for a bit, then wiped it off. Dad put the rags up on the bench in a small pile. We went up to eat dinner. After dinner I had to go back in the basement to get a scoop of dog food. Out of the corner of my eye I could see a wisp of white smoke coming out of that rag pile. I ran upstairs and got Dad. He came down and lifted the rags up with his fingers and…...poof! Flames! That picture stays in my head to this day.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1275 posts in 1359 days

#12 posted 09-20-2014 11:45 AM

It’s the real deal. I’ve had a close encounter too.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Redoak49's profile


1826 posts in 1412 days

#13 posted 09-20-2014 12:17 PM

Glad that you avoided a disaster….

I make a habit of taking all rags that I have used for finishing outside after using them. I put them up on something so they can air out and dry.

The other thing is how many people have either smoke alarms or heat alarms in their shop. My shop is on the opposite end of the house as my bedroom and would never smell anything until too late. I have a heat alarm in the shop and a smoke alarm just outside the shop and it is a monitored system. Yes, it costs so much a month but I sleep much better.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2732 days

#14 posted 09-20-2014 03:38 PM

You can never bee too safe and we always learn some valuable lessons. I like the way boiled linseed oil makes grain pop and when I use it I hang the rags over the top edge of my garbage can to dry. I don’t throw them away in the trash afterwards…I put them in my burn pile out back.

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