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Home machine shop fire safety

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  • #31
    Originally posted by mickeyf View Post

    Also, be very careful about exposing any buttons (such as "safety") you may have. Doozer will push those buttons, and you will find yourself ranting on Internet forums. This is a well known hazard.
    lol I know - poor guy hope he comes back --- Sphere were not always like this just on Mondays and Wednesdays,,,, were really a nice bunch --- really... :-(


    • #32
      I just see the world a little differently than you Boomer.
      I am Ok with that. Hope you are. If not, that's Ok too.



      • #33
        It's fine, just don't make that im freaking out about stuff - my precautions take nothing at all to engage, and sometimes I end up with so many combo's on a shop rag I have no idea from start to finish what's really all on them, so instead of having to get a chemistry degree and become a meticulous label reader I choose just to take a simple precaution here and there...

        sky's not falling over here - and know it's staying up at your place too....


        • #34
          Looks like the worry is more about home shop machinists being combustible more so than the tools and tooling......


          • #35
            1. Common sense
            2. Fire extinguisher
            3. A vent fan, even a small one for smoky cutting oils.
            4. Fire proof rag can, wash then and empty trash regularly.
            5. Shop vac to keep the place tidy. Don't vacuum up hot or glowing materials.
            6. Don't let hot sparks go under benches or disappear into 'dark corners'.
            S E Michigan


            • #36
              Sphere1, on the outside chance you decide to work with titanium the fine swarf can ignite. Heavier cuts are no problem but very fine cuts are. You just need to keep the shavings from accumulating at the cut. It burns at an extremely high temp and is not easy to extinguish so prevention is the solution.


              • #37

                Is everybody happy again ???



                • #38
                  Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                  Is everybody happy again ???

                  How am I supposed to pee on the fire now ????

                  (PS remember that time I cleaned the engine block with a siphon gun full of unleaded and an angle grinder? Haven't burned anything down yet.)
                  25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA


                  • #39
                    Thanks to everyone for the advice! I have a wood shop (not near where I plan to start the machine shop), so I'm familiar with oil/solvent safety. When I work my way up to machining beryllium/plutonium/magnesium alloy, I'll probably have more questions.


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by BCRider View Post
                      You mentioned watches. That's a pretty intense small machining pursuit to get into. I can see clocks for sure. But watches? You're a braver fella than I. I hope you stick around and post here as it would be fun to see your shop area take shape and watch and small clock size jigs and tooling take form.

                      I imagine that the Sherline is the "Big Stuff" and that you're on the prowl for a full watchmaker's lathe? And of course the other stuff that goes with it?
                      More of an overall goal – my plan is to figure out techniques and build some skill on a small machine like the Sherline before going down to a really small machine.


                      • #41
                        mickyf- where did you get that picture of me? I started sticking things in sockets when I was about two.

                        Speaking of sockets, you should try to make sure that chips can't fly into them. I have a socket directly behind my drill press, and I've had a few incidents where just this happened. The socket has the black vaporized metal marks on it to prove it. I've also had where the plug is not fully inserted and a metal string falls between the socket and the plug, resulting in the same thing. I like the metal covers in the shop because they aren't breakable like the plastic ones, but they are more of a shock hazard if there are metal chips around.

                        When I made the stand that my lathe is now mounted on, I raised the lathe so that it's easy to get under it to clean the tray. A clean tray means less surface area to hold oils and fluids that could contaminate the atmosphere in the home shop. If you're going to be using cutting oils and coolants, just don't let a swarfy mess of it build up to any extent before cleaning up.

                        I have a procedure I use with rags- a clean one comes out when I'm doing the final wipes on the ways. As they get dirtier, they get relegated to tasks such as cleaning swarf out of taps and wiping swarf away from drilled holes. As they get oily, they get thrown into the next trash to hit the curb. There is never a bucket of oily rags. Usually the only rags to be seen are clean ones, and slightly used ones. If a clean one gets oily, say if I've drilled a lot of holes and used cutting fluid, then that rag leaves the shop. One main reason for this is that I don't want to contaminate materials that might soak up the oil, or be affected by the oils- like lexan for instance, and other plastics that don't take well to having various fluids on them- plus woods. Because I work with many materials in the shop, this is more important to me than the danger of an oily rag suddenly going on fire.

                        Speaking of fire- I once had my lathe mounted where the drill press is now. One day I was machining some magnesium and didn't think much of it. The pile of swarf on the floor ended up with some magnesium in it. One day I'm machining something and chips are coming off hot. I happen to look down into the pile of swarf- which now has a little glowing spot in the middle of it. In my mind I put 1 and 3 together and I realize that this is a pile of magnesium, iron, and aluminum chips, complete with some wood dust and plastic shavings with a bit of cutting fluid thrown in just for good measure. There had been a popping sound which make me look in the first place- that could have been a chip going into the socket and getting the red hot treatment before falling into the kindling, I don't really know. Nothing came of it, but if that magnesium had ignited if could well have been a fire that would have been hard to put out.

                        An incident at one place I lived- and where the only machine I had was the Unimat lathe- the danger was from my upstairs neighbor. The Unimat having a brushed motor was creating interference with his tv. After he came crashing through my door one day, I learned that my lathe was disrupting his hockey game. We very quickly came to an agreement that I couldn't use the lathe on Saturday night from 5 until 7, or until the game was over. This is just to illustrate that you might have to aware of how your use of power in the shop might affect others in the household.
                        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Lee Cordochorea View Post
                          Don't machine niobium or titanium in your residence. The chips can ignite under the right (wrong) circumstances. Most other materials offer minimal risk of fire.

                          (Didn't Rudy Kouhoupt have a Unimat set up in a closet or something?)
                          I haven't had any experience with niobium lighting up in my limited machining experience. Too gummy, makes a rather thick chip.

                          Ti on the other hand, I've had that light up 3x. Never was a big deal, always burnt itself out rather quickly.

                          I doubt a rubber band lathe will light anything up.
                          21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration
                          1943 Sidney 16x54 Lathe Restoration


                          • #43
                            I've had hardened stuff get red hot, but it just goes into the chip pan and goes out.
                            I do all the welding etc out back in the lean-to.
                            25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA


                            • #44
                              Forget the Sherline. You need one of these.


                              • #45
                                watch the shop vac. i had one explode. never found out why. now i keep a bit of water in the vacs, makes a mess but is safer.