Finishing Without Flare
Finishing Without Flare
est. 1978
Though you are surely well aware of the hazards associated
with finishing oils, itʼs worth a moment to review why drying
oils such as linseed and tung oil (and products like Watco that
Tools for Woodworking
are based on drying oils) must not be handled carelessly. After
youʼve applied and then wiped off excess oil, the finishʼs mineral
spirits vehicle evaporates rapidly and more or less harmlessly. As
the oil resins cure, however, they absorb oxygen, releasing heat as a waste product. On a workpiece,
that heat simply dissipates into the air, but if you wad up a used application rag so that it insulates itself,
sufficient heat can build up to cause the rag to burst into flames. Oily rags must carefully be hung or
spread out flat to dry, or they must be completely immersed in a water-filled bucket. Once theyʼre dry
there is no further spontaneous combustion hazard. Please take this warning note seriously. If you let
the press of work or an untimely phone call or visitor distract you from handling application rags as
recommended, you might well start a fire. Be careful!
Copyright © 2002 Highland Hardware, Atlanta, GA
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