Author Topic: Flammable Liquid Locker  (Read 1353 times)

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Offline m8

  • Posts: 46
Flammable Liquid Locker
« on: June 04, 2020, 04:47 PM »
I've been putting this project off for a unreasonable amount of time but finally got around to making a proper storage cabinet for my flammable liquids.  I originally like probably some of you started looking to purchase one but couldn't get over the prices.  I then started looking into all available options and found a Manufacture that produces a line of flammable liquid lockers out of 1" exterior grade plywood that in my nonprofessional opinion provide some benefits over the standard metal flammable liquid locker.  Below are NFPA requirements for wooden flammable liquid cabinets:

Wooden cabinets constructed in the following manner shall be acceptable;

a. The bottom, sides, and top shall be constructed of exterior grade plywood that is at least 1 inch (25mm) thick and of a type that will not break down or delaminate under fire conditions.

b. All joints shall be rabbeted and shall be fastened in two directions with wood screws.

c. Where more than one door is used, there shall be a rabbeted overlap of not less than 1 inch 25mm)

d. Doors shall be equipped with a means of latching, and hinges shall be constructed and mounted in such a manner as to not lose their holding capacity when subjected to fire exposure.

e. A raised sill or pan capable of containing a 2 inch (50mm) depth of liquid shall be provided at the bottom of the cabinet to retain spilled liquid within the cabinet.

By being made out of plywood it made it much easier for me to make one myself.  I ended up finding two different but similar plans online at Popular Woodworking1 &
Popular Woodworking2.  I ultimately purchased the set of Finish Cabinet plans from Popular Woodworking but I've only built the flammable liquid locker and hung it as a upper cabinet in my storage area.

While 1" exterior grade plywood may be readily available in your area after calling a couple of local lumber yards I was only able to find 1 1/8" tongue and groove exterior grade plywood.  I bought a couple sheets of it and paid roughly $80 with tax per sheet.  One cabinet can be made with one sheet of ply.  If I wasn't able to find the 1 1/8" ply I probably would have use 2 sheets of 1/2" ply.

The plans I purchased included a cut list but not a cut layout.  With a quick sketch I was able to create a cut layout that worked around cutting off the tongue and groove which was a total width reduction of 2".  I didn't have to make any changes to the cut list due to the plywood being a 1/8" thicker other than the rail and stiles were modified after the face frame was constructed.

As usual I stuck to the plans for the first go around except I made the interior shelf a little deeper so that it could hold (2) 1 gallon cans deep.  The door boxes are handy and fit your typical short and tall aerosol cans perfectly.  All joints were either 1 1/8" dados or rabbets.  I secured all joints with epoxy and stainless Spax deck screws from both sides. 

I couldn't find 1/4" hardboard so I glued two layers of 1/8" hardboard together.  In my opinion I believe that the rail and stiles are the weak point of the cabinet and it would be better to use 1" ply or other substitute but thats my opinion.  I'm considering adding a door seal that expands in high temperatures.

The hinges I used are the heavy duty spring type compared to the plans screen door hinges.  After using the more expensive hinges I've decided when I make another one I'm going to use cheaper hinges because the heavy duty ones are overkill.

I sanded the outside to 80 grit on the RO setting and the inside to 60 grit on the eccentric rotary mode of the Rotex.  I followed that by top coating the exterior with two coats of Benjamin Moore INSL-X Fire Retardant Paint FR-110.  My local paint supply was able to order me a gallon of it.  The maximum amount of tint they are allowed to add to the paint is 2 oz and since the base is white I was limited to various pastel colors which wasn't the bright yellow I was looking for.  Its pastel yellow but I'm not concerned because its shop furniture.

I wasn't able to find a stated "fire rating" for 1 1/8" ply but in of the Popular Woodworking plans they stated its 10 minutes.  The linked TDS for the Fire Retardant paint states "Note: 30 minute burn class A rating. ASTM E-84 with
spread rate: 2 coats at 150-165 square feet/gallon (9.5-
10.4 mils WFT and 4.4-4.8 mils DFT each)."  Whatever the actual fire rating is I'm just glad to see that I have some form of fire protection for my flammable liquids.

I bought the sign from Mysafetysign.com

Hopefully my post will help someone else looking for a solution to storing their flammable liquids.

Below are a few pictures of the cabinet:
« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 10:31 PM by m8 »

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Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1712
Re: Flammable Liquid Locker
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2020, 05:17 PM »
Edit a post to add another image, rinse&repeat.

Offline m8

  • Posts: 46
Re: Flammable Liquid Locker
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2020, 05:51 PM »
Edit a post to add another image, rinse&repeat.

I appreciate the help but this is the error I receive every time I try to attach any other photo other than the two already posted:

An Error Has Occurred!
Your attachment couldn't be saved. This might happen because it took too long to upload or the file is bigger than the server will allow.

Please consult your server administrator for more information.


The photos have a file size of 2.5mb which is below the "maximum individual size of 10000KB"

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 7387
Re: Flammable Liquid Locker
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2020, 05:56 PM »
Reduce the size of the photos in half...2000 x 1500 is about the limit and that is right on the edge.

Online Alex

  • Posts: 6556
Re: Flammable Liquid Locker
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2020, 06:19 PM »
I have to scratch my head. You make a cabinet for flammable liquids but then construct it out of wood, a flammable material. Should be made out of metal. Wood defeats the purpose of the whole cabinet.

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 2093
Re: Flammable Liquid Locker
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2020, 06:33 PM »
If you think laboratory or industrial grade flammable liquid cabinet is expensive, get a regular metal cabinet. Still better than wood.

Offline capww8

  • Posts: 34
Re: Flammable Liquid Locker
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2020, 09:53 PM »
If the combustion event doesn’t blow the doors off, it’ll just smolder in there - good luck getting that plywood to combust from the inside without a steady supply of O2.

Cool project.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 799
Re: Flammable Liquid Locker
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2020, 10:30 PM »
Only buy inflammable liquids... problem solved  [tongue]

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1652
Re: Flammable Liquid Locker
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2020, 07:20 AM »
If you think laboratory or industrial grade flammable liquid cabinet is expensive, get a regular metal cabinet. Still better than wood.

When I was in the market for one I got lucky and found one at an estate sale of a woodworker who had passed away and they were selling off his shop equipment. I was just driving by and saw the sale and got there too late for any tools but I picked up a Justrite metal flammable cabinet for $25 which is a steal. It's old but fully functional with self-closing door. It's roughly 40"h x 24" x 24" and one shelf inside. I can get all my spray cans, quart cans of laminate adhesive, etc in there.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Online Alex

  • Posts: 6556
Re: Flammable Liquid Locker
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2020, 11:38 AM »
If the combustion event doesn’t blow the doors off, it’ll just smolder in there - good luck getting that plywood to combust from the inside without a steady supply of O2.

It has to work both ways. Keep the fire that's inside inside, and keep a fire that's outside outside. 

Fires rarely start inside the inflammable liquid locker, because there is no source for ignition.

Fires tend to start where things happen, tools spark, electricity sparks or heat is generated. When a fire starts in your workplace and then reaches your flammable liquids is when the real fun starts. To prevent that, is what a flammable liquids locker is for.
 

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 799
Re: Flammable Liquid Locker
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2020, 12:39 PM »
If the combustion event doesn’t blow the doors off, it’ll just smolder in there - good luck getting that plywood to combust from the inside without a steady supply of O2.

It has to work both ways. Keep the fire that's inside inside, and keep a fire that's outside outside. 

Fires rarely start inside the inflammable liquid locker, because there is no source for ignition.

Fires tend to start where things happen, tools spark, electricity sparks or heat is generated. When a fire starts in your workplace and then reaches your flammable liquids is when the real fun starts. To prevent that, is what a flammable liquids locker is for.

The key is heat, for wood to burn it has to get to ignition temp.  Solid smooth wood is hard to get to these temps, verses saw dust which can be heated quickly as it has a lot of surface and little mass.   You can point a flame at a block of wood, it it's smooth, solid and has a lot of mass it may never ignite. Just point a propane torch at framing lumber, it's going to take a while to start a fire, if you ever do get a fire going or a sustained one. Try getting a camp fire going using nothing but 2 ft lengths of 2x4s and no starter material, just trying to ignite the 2x4s,  good luck.  Wood is used as a fire block all over in construction.

If you have an external fire big enough come in contact with your liquids cabinet, it catching fire really won't matter at that point.

The link given above has pretty good info on wood for such usage.  None of this explained why metal cabinets cost so much more, in the end, a wood one and a metal one shouldn't be much different cost wise when looking at materials.

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1652
Re: Flammable Liquid Locker
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2020, 02:02 PM »
Take a look on Craigs List or similar sites in your area. I just searched my area (greater Philly) and found 8 different used cabinets for sale in various sizes and priced anywhere from $175 to $500 depending on size and condition.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Online Alex

  • Posts: 6556
Re: Flammable Liquid Locker
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2020, 02:31 PM »
Try getting a camp fire going using nothing but 2 ft lengths of 2x4s and no starter material, just trying to ignite the 2x4s,  good luck.  Wood is used as a fire block all over in construction.

And I've never heard of people keeping a fire going by throwing more steel on it.


Offline Svar

  • Posts: 2093
Re: Flammable Liquid Locker
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2020, 03:32 PM »
... Wood is used as a fire block all over in construction...
... None of this explained why metal cabinets cost so much more, in the end, a wood one and a metal one shouldn't be much different cost wise when looking at materials.
Proper metal flammable liquid cabinets need to be grounded.
They have double wall body and doors (just like fire resistant safes), spill containment pan, vents with fire arrestors.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2020, 03:42 PM by Svar »

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 799
Re: Flammable Liquid Locker
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2020, 03:44 PM »
Try getting a camp fire going using nothing but 2 ft lengths of 2x4s and no starter material, just trying to ignite the 2x4s,  good luck.  Wood is used as a fire block all over in construction.

And I've never heard of people keeping a fire going by throwing more steel on it.

Fire not hot enough.   Wood burns when it gets to around 250C,  Steel needs to get to around 1500C to burn (burn, not melt, burn).  But once you get a fire that hot, tossing more steel in will keep it burning. 

Thinking you can't resist fire with wood because wood burns is like saying you can't build a boat out of steel because steel sinks.

Maybe things are different in the EU, but fire breaks in construction being wood is normal.  Fire doors being solid wood is normal. Fire covering of insulation being wood is normal.  (you can use other materials too).




Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 799
Re: Flammable Liquid Locker
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2020, 03:52 PM »
... Wood is used as a fire block all over in construction...
... None of this explained why metal cabinets cost so much more, in the end, a wood one and a metal one shouldn't be much different cost wise when looking at materials.
Proper metal flammable liquid cabinets need to be grounded.
They have double wall body and doors (just like fire resistant safes), spill containment pan, vents with fire arrestors.

Sure, where I was going is that once you have a design and are tooled up thus cost shouldn't be that much different.  Your machinery cuts out the steel, maybe a person at a break bending it and putting it together.  Similar processes for the wood. But thin steel verses thick plywood becomes a draw on cost, probably even cheaper for the steel.   Can't explain a price difference on certification, as the both would need to be certified.

I'm not trying to sell wood, or be against steel.  Just commenting that both work, and just because it is wood doesn't make it a bad material.  The price of these cabinets is something that is a bit amazing, if they didn't cost so much, I think lost of folks would have them, but in the end, very few folks do.  But they often have basements/garages packed full of stuff that should be in a cabinet.  If a wood one cost less and makes it more of an option for folks, that is a good thing and we shouldn't be scaring people away from them because "...but it's wood".

Online Alex

  • Posts: 6556
Re: Flammable Liquid Locker
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2020, 05:15 PM »
Fire not hot enough.   Wood burns when it gets to around 250C,  Steel needs to get to around 1500C to burn (burn, not melt, burn).  But once you get a fire that hot, tossing more steel in will keep it burning. 

Steel burning? Yeah, let's make a campfire out of steel. Now you're really reaching, just to find any sort of rationale to justify wood as a fire buffer. Lost case.

Maybe things are different in the EU, but fire breaks in construction being wood is normal.  Fire doors being solid wood is normal. Fire covering of insulation being wood is normal.  (you can use other materials too).

You guys use a lot of wood to build your houses because it is cheap and widely avaialble in the States, so you tell yourself it is perfectly fine and safe. Then a hurrican strikes and we see a trail of 10 flattened villages on the news. While all we have to do is replace a few roof tiles. You have a fire, the house burns down to the ground. We have a fire, and one room is black while the rest of the house is saved.

Want to be fire proof? Do it right. Steel, done. Not wood where you have to meet condition A, condition B, condition C, etc, etc.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 799
Re: Flammable Liquid Locker
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2020, 05:43 PM »
Fire not hot enough.   Wood burns when it gets to around 250C,  Steel needs to get to around 1500C to burn (burn, not melt, burn).  But once you get a fire that hot, tossing more steel in will keep it burning. 

Steel burning? Yeah, let's make a campfire out of steel. Now you're really reaching, just to find any sort of rationale to justify wood as a fire buffer. Lost case.

Maybe things are different in the EU, but fire breaks in construction being wood is normal.  Fire doors being solid wood is normal. Fire covering of insulation being wood is normal.  (you can use other materials too).

You guys use a lot of wood to build your houses because it is cheap and widely avaialble in the States, so you tell yourself it is perfectly fine and safe. Then a hurrican strikes and we see a trail of 10 flattened villages on the news. While all we have to do is replace a few roof tiles. You have a fire, the house burns down to the ground. We have a fire, and one room is black while the rest of the house is saved.

Want to be fire proof? Do it right. Steel, done. Not wood where you have to meet condition A, condition B, condition C, etc, etc.

Who is talking about hurricanes and such here, that is a completely different subject.  This about wood and fire.   Houses burn and do get rebuilt, including ones with wood frames.  When they catch fire, the wood frame is the least of the concerns.  It's the materials in the house, carpets, insulation, siding and other materials that are concern for fuel the fire far more than the wood frame or wood floors.

You heat steel, it has it's own issues, any fire that starts doing real damage, the steel building has to be scrapped too. The steel elements (beams) have to get coated in fireproofing paint/coating and other materials to have a rating time long enough for people to get out of the structure. The frame may be there, but the material properties are lost. Wood doesn't change just from getting heated.  You can even have chard on the outside of the beam, and the inside is still fine.  You can look at a wood beam in a fire and have a good idea if it's about to fail, you can't do that with a steel beam, it will just start to sag/buckle without notice.     This again is not to say steel is bad, but it's not end all solution, it has it's issues too.

While I'm not a fan of the idea, wooden skyscrapers are now a thing .  Norway is not in the US.    Do a search on wooden skyscrapers and you will get all sorts of information, and obviously fire is a big topic of it all.

Again, wood doesn't burn just because it's made of wood.  It's chemistry, you have to get it up to ignition temperature to burn, smooth solid wood does not get to those temps easily.  It just a material and used properly for a purpose it works, just like you can use other materials.  Metals do burn (fireworks as popular example), and fires of them are not uncommon, firefighters have to deal with automotive components made of aluminum burning, it's hard to put out.







Online Alex

  • Posts: 6556
Re: Flammable Liquid Locker
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2020, 05:57 PM »
But since when are the dynamics of a burning building the same as a small burning chest made out of plywood? You are so going off tangent here.

"Wooden beams can burn on the outside but be fine within" -  so how does that work for 3/4 plywood?

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 2093
Re: Flammable Liquid Locker
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2020, 06:25 PM »
... Wood is used as a fire block all over in construction...
... None of this explained why metal cabinets cost so much more, in the end, a wood one and a metal one shouldn't be much different cost wise when looking at materials.
Proper metal flammable liquid cabinets need to be grounded.
They have double wall body and doors (just like fire resistant safes), spill containment pan, vents with fire arrestors.
Sure, where I was going is that once you have a design and are tooled up thus cost shouldn't be that much different.  Your machinery cuts out the steel, maybe a person at a break bending it and putting it together.  Similar processes for the wood. But thin steel verses thick plywood becomes a draw on cost, probably even cheaper for the steel.   Can't explain a price difference on certification, as the both would need to be certified.
You clearly know more about steel cabinet manufacturing than the companies which actually build them. You should get rich doing consulting there.  [wink]
Interestingly, I've never seen a commercially available wooden flammable storage cabinet. That's a startup idea.  [wink]
« Last Edit: June 05, 2020, 06:29 PM by Svar »

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 799
Re: Flammable Liquid Locker
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2020, 07:05 PM »

You clearly know more about steel cabinet manufacturing than the companies which actually build them. You should get rich doing consulting there.  [wink]
Interestingly, I've never seen a commercially available wooden flammable storage cabinet. That's a startup idea.  [wink]

They all ready exist, and were linked too, just do a search for them, multiple manufactures make them.

OSHA, NFPA, UL aren't going to certify them if they don't work.

Offline m8

  • Posts: 46
Re: Flammable Liquid Locker
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2020, 10:32 PM »
Thanks everyone for your opinions.  I finally got around to shrinking the pics and getting them uploaded to the original post, apologies for the delay.