CAUTION - using Boiled Linseed Oil or BLO - FIRE danger!

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Well-known member
TinBoats Supporter
Dec 12, 2014
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Eastern Mass

Be AWARE that when rags soaked w/ boiled linseed oil can start a fire due to spontaneous combustion. This ain't bull crap or an urban legend ...

I want to be sure that everyone knows this, as a good friend's garage and 1/3rd of his house burnt down in a fire started by BLO-soaked rags. Some of you probably know him, as he is a fishing guide in the MD area of the Ch-Bay and posts on their Tidal Forums.

FWIW another boater I know, who finishes fine furniture, leaves such rags lying way out on his back lawn to dry or air out and then he stores them for re-use in a closed/sealed steel container.

I see MANY here recommending it ... but no one cautioning about the potential FIRE issue ...
good point Dale !!!
and yes the spontanious combustion is a very real concern.
I guess I was only "assuming" that people using ANY kind
of volatile substance reads, understands and follows the instructions
and SAFETY precautions for the products they use.
Now that cold weather is forcing many hobbyists indoors to do their
projects, this issue should be a genuine concern and taken seriously.

excellent information !!
I have a metal garbage can with a lid I keep outside that I throw all of the towels and rags I use into.
We were taught this very lesson in shop class by Mr. Pagnetti in the early 70's, all rags went into a metal can with n auto close metal lid. Good looking out!
Years ago when taking pictures and getting them developed was the norm my wife and I had recently returned from an extended vacation. I had just returned from the 1 hour photo processing place as she was finishing up some laundry. Without knowing she placed a pile of clothes fresh from the dryer on the bag of photos that I had laid on the bed. As she stood there folding laundry the pile exploded into flames. We ended up losing the mobile home and all the contents. We got ourselves and both kids out safely but in just a matter of minutes it all went up in smoke. Turns out that the chemicals from the photo processing and the heat of the warm laundry was enough.
Wow.... Thanks for the warning. Glad you all got out OK. Guess you just never know, do you?

A hundred years ago, it seems, I used to enlarge, develop and print my own FILM. Never knew the chemicals were that volatile.

When BLO cures it generates an exothermic chemical reaction, meaning it generates heat.

So you don't want a pile of rags, or a spot where heat can build up.

But mostly I just wanted to use a 50-cent word pop taught me a couple decades ago.
To All,

Fwiw, remember the following bit of rhyme/drivel, when dealing with linseed oil as a finish: "Boiled forms a skin; raw oil soaks right in."

Not only is RAW Linseed Oil SAFER to use & won't spontaneously catch fire but it is a BETTER finish for wood from most every standpoint. = FACT.

yours, satx
Had a trash bag in my kitchen catch on fire internally for a while. Thankfully we noticed and got it outside quickly

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