Register now to get rid of these ads!

Technical Storing your rags

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ekimneirbo, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 304

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    Tired of rags laying around your shop? I bought a couple cheap bicycle baskets off Ebay and hooked em on the sheetmetal brake, but you can mount anywhere. They are easy to hang on something.
    Anyway, fill em up with clean rags and as you get semi-dirty ones, start making one basket dedicated to them. Then when you have something really dirty, you use them again......then in the garbage. It really helps keep the shop clean, and you always know where the clean ones are. DSCN1360.JPG DSCN1363.JPG
     
    Truck64 and 31Dodger like this.
  2. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,823

    BJR
    Member

    Just remember that any rags with linseed oil on them will spontaneously combust, so those should go outside or in an air tight container.
     
    nochop, LOU WELLS and Johnny Gee like this.
  3. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,544

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Make that any rag with anything that will readily burn on it. Spread out in one of those baskets might reduce the chances of spontaneous combustion but is it worth taking the chance. I don't use a lot of rags but the ones I use get tossed out on an old sawhorse to air out.

    I've seen (and had) too many shop rags catch fire when a welding or grinding spark lands on them. Fringed cuffs of well worn jeans burn pretty well too.
     
  4. I just use an old cardboard box with a duct taped opening at the bottom and a rag over the top to keep flying debris out. 3AC7F9FA-FD74-4C5E-A9A8-562C3DDE6D06.jpeg
     
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. Makes me think. I could use two underwear drawers. :eek:
     
  6. Tri-power37
    Joined: Feb 10, 2019
    Posts: 298

    Tri-power37
    Member

    As already stated do not store used rags with different chemicals on them together in any type of container or even a heap on the floor. Had a neighbor who was painting the exterior of his house and left a bundle of used rags on his porch at the end of the day when he cleaned up. Burnt half his porch off!
     
  7. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 768

    6sally6
    Member

    Ever tell y'all the story why we had to have a fire watch when EVER we welded(Naval shipyard)?
    One reason was to watch for anything that might flame up....the second reason was to 'put-the-welder-out' :eek:if our cloths caught far! ANYTHING frayed would find a spark...ANYTHING!
    6sally6
     
  8. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 304

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    I have heard all the stories about spontaneous combust. Everyone can believe what they wish, but I have never had a rag do that and don't know anyone else who has had it happen.
    Most people have a pile or several rags laying around all the time. Don't know any reason they are more likely to combust if they all lay in different places or in one place. Obviously you don't want them laying next to something that produces heat or Sparks, but I have been storing rags in these baskets for quite a while and have never grabbed one that was even warm, much less ready to self combust. Remember all the old time gas stations and garages we hung around.......they always just threw oily rags in a pile. I did have a guy give me a dump truck load of straw from Churchill Downs. I had an old single axle dump truck. They filled it with straw that was full of horse turds (and hypodermic needles). I figured it would be great for the new grass I was going to sew. Parked it in the garage so it didn't get rained on. Came home from work and it was really getting hot. Pulled it outside and dumped it.......
    Anyway, rags have to be somewhere, so I would rather have them in one spot than laying all over my shop looking like crap. Not saying it's impossible, but I don't lose any sleep worrying about it. ;)
     
    Montana1 and firstinsteele like this.
  9. Almost 30 years ago I was a millwright apprentice tasked with fire watch. I put out several small fires, but when the journeyman came down off the ladder he laughed his ass off then told me I was on fire! Sure as shit my raggedy ass bibs were on fire!
     
  10. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 304

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    Yes, I think any of us who weld have probably smelled something burning while welding with the helmet down........and then quickly realized it was us. It gets your attention really fast.:)
    They only used the fire watch when they were cutting and welding structures like the hull or something on the ship usually. I don't think they used them in the actual welding shops though.
     
  11. Two baskets worth ? Just a box of ?

    Wonder if I should post pictures, of my whole wall of recycled 7' gym lockers ? Four of which, are filled with rags, small towels, big towels, t-shirts, chamois, and buffing pads.

    Seeing this post, makes me think, I have a cloth hoarding problem. :eek: Or maybe ya'll don't have enough cloth. :D
     
  12. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,823

    BJR
    Member

    For spontaneous combustion from everyone I have talked to or read about, linseed oil was always involved. The guy who refinished my wood floors told me about how he put 3 rags soaked with linseed oil in a plastic trash can. Put the can in the back of his enclosed trailer and started for home. He stopped and grabbed a burger, then back on the freeway. He was flagged down with smoke coming from his trailer. Burned the trash can and the inside of one door on the trailer. Total time of about 3 hours from when the rags were put in the trash can.
     
  13. thintin
    Joined: Mar 24, 2006
    Posts: 66

    thintin
    Member
    from NEW YORK

    galvanized trash can with the appropriate lid from the hardware store has always worked for me. Properly disposing of real old and nasty rags(chemical soaked or just mucked up with all the crap that is wiped up around the shop) on a regular basis, helps. The trash can is good cause'it gives you a little margin for error in terms of short term storage, plus sparks will bounce off it if you're cutting or grinding in that area.......Of course all bets are off if yer using the can as a rest for whatever you are cutting or grinding......not like that would ever happen...
     
    Hot Rods Ta Hell likes this.
  14. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,585

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    It happened to the feller that hosts this website.

    Now that's a fact.

    You can even watch the closed circuit security video recording of it.

    The problem is, we hear about the danger "oily rags" pose. Motor oil, and grease, this isn't a problem.

    Linseed oil. Long used in wood finishes, gun stocks, guitars, etc. Now that's different. It ain't a myth. In fact I'm more than a little surprised the shit ain't been banned. Mind you I don't think it should, but under the "one guy shits his pants, we all gotta wear diapers" rules we live under, it wouldn't surprise me.
     
    ronzmtrwrx and X-cpe like this.
  15. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 3,221

    wicarnut
    Member

    I hope you read these replies, you're going to burn your garage down, it's just a matter of time. Red Forman comes to mind or Forrest Gump.
     
  16. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 3,571

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    I keep my rags in a filing cabinet drawer. Self contained. Yes I have a hazardous waste can for contaminated rags. Cause I do have a gallon of boiled linseed oil too. Better get yours to, before they ban it.
     
    Montana1 likes this.
  17. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 691

    X-cpe

    So will shirts if you forget ATF had dripped on it and then you grab a whiz wheel.
     
  18. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 3,353

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    I beg to differ with this conclusion.

    When I got my last Semi truck, an old towel with grease and oil stains on it was laid out in the side storage compartment as a sorta floor mat. I figured it was a good idea, I keep a gallon or two of oil, a tube or two of grease, and various nylon straps in that storage box for when I need them out on the road, it would keep from getting spilled oil or grease on the plastic box lining.

    I'd had this truck going on a couple of years, no problems with the towel. Then one day coming down the road, I started to smell something. At first, it was a metallic smell, like you sometimes get when grinding or cutting metal. I was in the vicinity of a cast iron pipe mill, so I didn't really think much about it. A few minutes later, it started getting foggy. Then I realized it was a bright, sunny day, where was the fog coming from? It was INSIDE the truck, not outside, then I saw a wisp of smoke go by my head and out the partially open window....THE TRUCK IS ON FIRE!!!!

    I whipped it off to the shoulder, luckily I was on the Interstate, and bailed out. Caught my breath, then opened the doors, grabbed my extinguisher and started looking for the fire. Saw smoke coming up from behind the bed, so I figured it was in that side compartment, opened the outside door, smoke billows out. Hit it with the extinguisher and wait for the smoke to die down.

    After a few minutes, with gloves on, I started pulling stuff out. Found the metallic smell, it was the stiffener spring on a spare plastic air line that had melted the line. Kept pulling stuff out, melted nylon straps, rest of the air line, then I saw the small flames, grabbed at it, drug out that old towell. It had gotten pushed back in a corner with stuff laying on it and with the vibration and friction had erupted into flames. The flames had been just enough to melt anything plastic or nylon, but not enough to do more than melt the box liner a small amount, any longer and the liner would have probably caught and the truck would have went up in flames.

    I'm not saying the rags in a basket like that might catch fire, I think the vibration of the truck had a lot to do with my fire, but you never know. Clean rags you'll probably be OK, but like others have said, I wouldn't take any chances with even lightly soiled ones, especially if it is grease and oil on them of any kind.
     
  19. stuart in mn
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 1,677

    stuart in mn
    Member

    This thread got way off track from the original post, which showed a couple baskets full of clean rags. Yes, rags soaked with linseed oil or other similar chemicals can spontaneously combust. Rags soaked with automotive grease or oil will not spontaneously combust, but they are more flammable.
     
  20. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 304

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    Not trying to pi** anyone off, as we all have our own view points, so each us us gets to decide what is best for our own needs. Here is the way I prefer to look at it.
    The rags have to be somewhere after they are used. Laying in a pile in the corner or on a workbench.....or we just toss them in the garbage can. Now when you throw them in a garbage can, you have essentially placed them in an oven or incubator. The can sits in the sun with a lid on it. If there ever was a perfect scenario for cumbustion, that would be the time. The stuff sits in there for days on end with fumes trapped inside and the sun beating down on it. I imagine just about every HAMBer. has thrown away rags with gasoline on them. Can't get much more combustible than that.This isn't done just by HAMBer's, but millions of people and businesses. Do dumpsters ever catch fire ? Yes, they do......but think how many dumpsters are in the world, and how many of them get dirty rags and combustible materials thrown into them on a daily basis. Its not impossible for a fire to start, but given the millions of people using rags and tossing them into sealed containers of some kind to bake in the sun......self combustion is pretty rare. . I think the odds of self combustion happening are about the same as lightening striking me. So far.....so good on that.:D

    Anyway, if someone feels that they need to take certain measures to insure safety I applaud them for their efforts. If on the other hand anyone feels as I do that tossing rags in a basket is no more dangerous than having them laying around the shop.......they are welcome to take advantage of my suggestion to help keep their shop organized.;)
     
  21. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,585

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Get to decide what? Let's be clear everybody is entitled to their opinion though not their own set of facts. I've never seen motor oil soaked rags self-ignite either. Linseed oil, on the other hand, that stuff is no joke.

    Sure. I mean, just look at Congress.
     
    uncle buck likes this.
  22. kursplat
    Joined: Apr 22, 2013
    Posts: 276

    kursplat
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    you need to see the video Ryan posted of his shop, somehow, miraculously not burning down in the middle of the night
     
    timwhit and Truck64 like this.
  23. KJSR
    Joined: Mar 7, 2008
    Posts: 2,151

    KJSR
    Member
    from Utah
    1. Utah HAMBers

  24. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 4,719

    Ebbsspeed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Soak a half dozen rags in linseed oil and pile them in a corner. Step away for three hours or so. Then call the fire department.

    Rags soaked with oil-based paints and stains, teak and linseed oils, varnishes and polyurethane, and paint thinners can all spontaneously combust. Spontaneous combustion of oily rags occurs when the rag or cloth is slowly heated to its ignition point through oxidation. A substance will begin to release heat as it oxidizes. Rags soaked with these oils and stored in a pile are are considered a fire hazard because they provide a large surface area for rapid oxidation of the oils. The oxidation is an exothermic reaction, which accelerates as the temperature of the rags increases. At some point you have a runaway condition where the heated pile oxidizes rapidly to the flash point. It can happen fast. See the two videos below:



     
    stanlow69 likes this.
  25. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 304

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    Someone's been reading Wikipedia .......

    This is a car guy site, not a woodworkers site. I don't have any boiled lindseed oil anywhere, and I have no idea why I would ever need any to work on a car. Now I'm reasonably sure someone can tell me a use for it on a car, but there will be other products available for that use that are designed specifically for that use......and I probably have many of them on hand. There are even newer products available today that replace boiled lindseed oil and do a better job .You guys fixate on one thing and think that it affects everything people use. As I said before, those rags have to go somewhere, even the ones with boiled lindseed oil.....
    If someone on this site actually uses boiled lindseed oil, then post a sign reminding yourself not to put the ones with boiled lindseed oil back in the basket......then put another one on your garbage can, and hand them to the garbage collector and tell him. Meanwhile I can tell you all my greasy oily, gasoline, lacquer thinner, acetone, kerosene,brake fluid,and blood soaked rags will be just as unlikely to burst into flames as they have for the last half century in my shop.

    As for Wicarnut's name calling comments, I never have developed any respect for people who like to call people names from the safe distance of their keyboard. Don't mind being disagreed with and reading opposing opinions, but always felt that kind of stuff reflects poorly on the person who stoops to that level.
     
  26. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,994

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Old trick for fire proofing overalls, soak them in borax dissolved in water and let them dry. Might be worth a try if you set yourself on fire a lot.
     
  27. Tri-power37
    Joined: Feb 10, 2019
    Posts: 298

    Tri-power37
    Member

    3 things needed for a fire
    1 fuel
    2 source of heat
    3 oxygen
    Chemical/solvent soaked rags can potentially provide the first 2 of these 3! At work when things get busy there is greasy , oily , solvent soaked rags everywhere- who cares. Because we are all working and if something flares up we can just deal with it. But at 5:00 when we clean up to go home we pick up ALL the rags and dump ALL the garbage in the dumpster out back which is well away from any building.
    Has a rag ever burst into flame - no -has the dumpster outside ever burnt down- no. But the potential exists so just use common sense and decent house keeping is all you need
    It’s like when we weld on cars at work - welding ends at 3:30 pm only an idiot would weld up to 5:00 and leave the building with the car still smoking.
     
    dirty old man likes this.
  28. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 3,571

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    Just last week while working on a 40 Mercury 4-dr convertible, I asked the customer about coating the header bow in Boiled Linseed oil because it had cracked due to old age. He said he had already put a finish on it so it would not be needed. If one person reads this and learns something, is that not a bad thing.
     
    ekimneirbo likes this.
  29. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,007

    nochop
    Member
    from norcal

    Never use a u haul blanket as a cushion while welding under a car......
     
    ekimneirbo and bobss396 like this.
  30. I buy boxes of disposable rags for the most part, I do recycle old kitchen dish towels that people save for me. If they get real funky, I toss them. Generally dirty ones, I save up in a box and take them down to the laundromat... everyone likes the black suds they make...
     
    nochop and kidcampbell71 like this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.