The dangers of linseed oil

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The dangers of linseed oil


Post by desertrefugee »

As he is wont to do, my son made use of my shop, materials, consumables and electricity last weekend to do a complete refurbishment of his jet boat trailer. He displays a superior work ethic as this was a large project. Took the better part of two solid days. The job included stripping the old timbers off, completely blasting, primering and repainting the frame, cutting and treating new lumber (I'll get back to that), and recovering it with the appropriate material.

He used raw lumber, and apparently the recommendation is multiple coats of linseed oil prior to covering it. For some reason, he also read the pressure treated lumber is not preferred in this application.. as I thought and recommended it should be. As the work progressed, the Phoenix heat came on and I left him and his friend to their own designs.

I can't remember if it was later that day or the next morning that he asked me what the stench in my shop was. I replied that there was no stench before he started his work in there. We discovered there were multiple linseed oil soaked rags in my trash receptacle...which was just about full. That is where the stench came from. After extracting them from said barrel, it was discovered that they were extremely hot! About a minutes worth of research revealed that as linseed oil vaporizes, it creates some sort of chemical reaction that generates more and more heat as it dries. The internet is littered with horror stories of spontaneous combustion often resulting in disastrous fires from exactly what we were experiencing! He had no idea and neither did I. In fact, I didn't even know he was using linseed oil and wouldn't have thought anything about it if I had known.

So, unless I'm the last human on the planet to know about this, don't say you haven't been warned.
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Re: The dangers of linseed oil


Post by Whiskerfish »

LUCKY you caught it !!!!

We had fireproof cans with sealing lids for all our dirty rags in the military. Many types of chems are responsible for spontaneous combustion fires.
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Re: The dangers of linseed oil


Post by 5speed »

you are very lucky. I hang all my rags on nails along the edge of a shelf in the garage when they have oil or grease on them. If it's gas, diesel or any other highly flammable liquid they go outside laid out flat on the cement walkway for a day or 2.
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