Author Topic: Shop Fire  (Read 4323 times)

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Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3510
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Shop Fire
« on: December 10, 2019, 11:30 AM »
I was routing some drawer sides for the bottom piece to slide into when I smelled smoke.

I had routed about 10 sides by that time. I looked down into the collection box that attaches to my cyclone vac system and saw orange flames. I grabbed a water bottle and doused two small fires.

I had let the sawdust from the routing bill up into a couple of clumps that had escaped the vacuum collection. That is where the two fires had started.

Apparently, the router bit heated up the wood (Baltic birch) enough to create embers and the embers had ignited the sawdust.

I had a fire extinguisher close by, but got the small fires out without having to use it.

This afternoon, I'm buying two more extinguishers for my shop.

I'm also going to vacuum out the router collection box more often.
Birdhunter

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Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 1301
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2019, 11:43 AM »
Sounds like that was a close call!  Luckily you were there to notice the smoke and put it out before it got out of control.

Out of curiosity, do you have smoke detectors in your shop?
Inquiring Minds Want to Know

TS55, CT26, RO150, CXS, ETS 150/3, ETS EC 150/5, MFT/3, TS75, DF500, DTS400, OF1400, CT SYS

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 1608
  • formerly @the_black_tie_diyer - 22/02/21 inactive.
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2019, 11:56 AM »
Glad you and the shop are OK! Thanks for the reminder to stay aware and cautious!

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1987
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2019, 12:03 PM »
Yikes!  Not sure I understand how the embers formed in the first place...I've seen that (yet), but I've been meaning to replace the 5 lb extinguishers with something a little less messy (and very costly).  I know there are a few varieties of extinguishers out there that don't spread that powder everywhere, they just choke the flames.  I want to put one of those in my garage (for when I'm working on the car) and one down in the basement shop.  Hopefully they are never needed, but if they are called upon, it will minimize the collateral damage.
-Raj

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 1111
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2019, 12:46 PM »
Glad you and your workshop are ok.
Shows just how easy and quickly, that these things can happen. [blink]

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3510
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2019, 02:31 PM »
No smoke detectors in the shop. Good idea.
Birdhunter

Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 748
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2019, 04:17 PM »
No smoke detectors in the shop. Good idea.

Glad you caught it! Good thing the fire wasn't in your cyclone.

Good reminder - I have a fire extinguisher in my garage/shop but it's hidden on a bench. Should get new ones and actually mount them for everyone to see.

On smoke detectors. I may put mine up again but I had the remote type detector in the shop that alarms in the house. I had issues especially when spray finishing that set off the alarm.

Mike

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 674
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2019, 04:42 PM »
@RKA - You are probably talking about Halon. It is an inert gas that pushes away the oxygen and chokes out the fire. As far as I know they are most commonly used in kitchens where fires happen on or near stoves which are relatively small areas. Not sure they would be good for shop environments. I have two ABC extinguishers in my shop. When I worked we had a company that inspected and refilled our fire equipment regularly. They recommended these for my shop.

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1490
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2019, 04:56 PM »
@Birdhunter glad you caught it. I was grinding on some steel outside thisa fall when the weather was nice and smelled that someone was burning leaves. Discovered that it was me.  [eek] Oops. fortunately I caught it quickly.

If you are putting in a smoke detector might also want to install a carbon monoxide detector as well, if you have any possible CO source like a furnace or gas heater you use. Also if vehicles park inside or near your shop.

Ron

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4173
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2019, 06:12 PM »
Many years ago I attended the Shelter Institute when it was in Bath, Maine.  Pat Hennin, the founder of SI lectured the class on the need for fire extinguishers everywhere.  His father told him to put them in places where people would bump into them regularly, not in cabinets or closets.  His point was that if people bang into them enough times, they will remember where they are if they ever need them.  I like that idea, and have knocked mine off their mounts on several occasions.  (Fortunately, none have dumped their contents in my house unbidden...)   [scared]
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1987
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2019, 08:02 PM »
Willy, that’s pretty funny!  I have a cheap plastic mount on the one near my kitchen. It’s just flimsy enough that a happy golden retriever tail will knock it right off the mount (about half a dozen times) until one day his dumb owner just takes it off and leaves it standing on the floor.  Not much chance we will ever forget where it is.   [smile]
-Raj

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8727
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2019, 08:21 PM »
I know there are a few varieties of extinguishers out there that don't spread that powder everywhere, they just choke the flames.  I want to put one of those in my garage (for when I'm working on the car) and one down in the basement shop.  Hopefully they are never needed, but if they are called upon, it will minimize the collateral damage.

Raj, you're thinking about Halon. They are used in automobiles, boats and aircraft because they don't leave any residue. Unfortunately, Halon hasn't been produced since the 90's because of green house warming. A situation similar to Freon 11 & Freon 12. Thus the price of Halon just keeps going up. It's about $100 per pound so a 2# extinguisher would run about $175-$200.

The stuff is still legal to use and purchase because it works so well but it can no longer be manufactured. There's a big market for old Halon gas and it then gets recycled. A little goes a long way, it's pretty effective in fighting fires.

A 2# Halon extinguisher in the kitchen and a 2# Halon in the shop would be a good insurance policy. A lot easier than cleaning up the powder residue.

Also, a Halon extinguisher should be checked/charged every 8 years just like dry chemical extinguishers. There may or may not be a local service available to handle Halon.

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1987
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2019, 09:13 PM »
@Cheese @Alanbach
You’re right, it must have been halon I was thinking of.  I remember the price was eye popping, but so is the thought of cleaning up all that powder.  It looks like halotron has replaced halon.  You have to be careful to get one rated for class A, B and C fires, many are only rated for the last two.  I don’t think any are suitable for kitchen use (not rated for grease).  At the end of the day, I can get 3 5lb extinguishers for the price of one Festool.  That’s not too bad, right?   [smile]
-Raj

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8727
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2019, 09:20 PM »
@Cheese @Alanbach
You’re right, it must have been halon I was thinking of.  I remember the price was eye popping, but so is the thought of cleaning up all that powder.  It looks like halotron has replaced halon.  You have to be careful to get one rated for class A, B and C fires, many are only rated for the last two.  I don’t think any are suitable for kitchen use (not rated for grease).  At the end of the day, I can get 3 5lb extinguishers for the price of one Festool.  That’s not too bad, right?   [smile]

Raj I agree. I have an extinguisher in the kitchen and an extinguisher in the shop, both are dry powder. I've never needed them but this thread brings up an interesting alternative view. I recharge the Halon in the garage and purchase 2 more for the kitchen and shop and the damage control is done if I need to use them. I've cleaned up dry powder before and it is not fun.

Raj, you bring up an interesting point about the suitability for grease fires with Halon. Although, Halon is for cars, boats & aircraft...all of which contain oil. I'll check it out.  [smile]
« Last Edit: December 10, 2019, 09:23 PM by Cheese »

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1987
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2019, 10:06 PM »
It looks like the class K are mostly suggested for commercial kitchens and are known as a wet extinguisher where it coats to grease or cooking oils to prevent reignition.  Otherwise for home use the class B is considered sufficient for the kitchen oils?  And class B would also be adequate for oils and what not in the garage. 

I’ve only used ABC extinguishers in the past and that was enough to get a CO from the local FD when buying a house.  I only knew about K today.
-Raj

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 2189
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2019, 02:52 AM »
Good that you were there to catch it. Glad no serious damage.

Location, location, location.

I put my extinguishers just inside the entrance door to shop, right next to shop power disconnect switch and made sure wife and others know where they are.

Smoke/CO detector is tied into SmartThings and I'll get a notification on my phone.

Wyze camera also to see remotely what's going on plus the Wyze cameras can listen for the sound of a smoke alarm and alert you.I

And a metal UL approved flammable storage cabinet for the bad stuff.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Steve1

  • Posts: 96
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2019, 08:07 AM »
Thank you for posting.   

Its a good reminder for need for a fire extinguisher in a shop.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3510
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2019, 11:58 AM »
I just put up 2 more fire extinguishers in my shop and ordered 3 smart smoke/CO2 detectors. They are supposed to call my iPhone in addition to sounding an alarm.

I also closely monitored my router's dust collection box while finishing up the drawer sides.
Birdhunter

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5265
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2019, 01:13 PM »
@Birdhunter   What does this “router dust collection box” look like?


Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3510
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2019, 01:28 PM »
It is an 18” cube box that hangs under the top surface of a Kreg router table. It has a 4” duct at the bottom that feeds a big cyclone. The box has doors at the front to allow access to the router and empty any wayward dust.
Birdhunter

Offline Dusty.Tools

  • Retailer
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    • Dusty.Tools
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2019, 01:38 PM »
Thank you for the post, I’m ordering an extinguisher right now!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
@dusty.tools

Offline Sourwould

  • Posts: 120
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2019, 03:47 PM »
I wonder if you could have some kind of spark arrestor in the collector, like they have in chainsaw mufflers.

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1987
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2019, 05:32 PM »
You could and it would be much easier if Festool didn't discontinue them.   [tongue]
-Raj

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3510
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2019, 07:56 PM »
I do not have any Festool components in my router table setup. I’m not sure what the comment regarding Festool discontinuing a product has to do with my fire incident.
Birdhunter

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5265
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2019, 08:19 PM »
A spark arrestor would almost immediately become clogged with wood. It’s only meant to slow tiny metal shards (grinding dust really) enough that the spark dies out before it passes through the layers of steel mesh.

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1987
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #25 on: December 11, 2019, 08:25 PM »
I do not have any Festool components in my router table setup. I’m not sure what the comment regarding Festool discontinuing a product has to do with my fire incident.

Nothing.  Sorry. 
-Raj

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5265
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2019, 08:41 PM »
It is an 18” cube box that hangs under the top surface of a Kreg router table. It has a 4” duct at the bottom that feeds a big cyclone. The box has doors at the front to allow access to the router and empty any wayward dust.

I’m not a fan of that kind of router dust collection. Apparently the box also accumulates the heat of the router and has enough horizontal surfaces for dust to hang that fire can result. If the router was better ventilated and all chips and dust immediately drawn well away I don’t think even smoldering could occur. At least it hasn’t happened to me.

I like the kind of collection pictured in the link below. The motor is almost completely isolated from debris and it is slowed allowed to breath clean fresh air. Also the hot exhaust from the motor is diverted away from the dust production/collection.

https://www.milescraft.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/DR11601_S1-webo.jpg
« Last Edit: December 12, 2019, 11:37 AM by Michael Kellough »

Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 748
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2019, 09:34 AM »
It is an 18” cube box that hangs under the top surface of a Kreg router table. It has a 4” duct at the bottom that feeds a big cyclone. The box has doors at the front to allow access to the router and empty any wayward dust.

I’m not a fan of that kind of router dust collection. Apparently the box also accumulates the heat of the router and has enough horizontal surfaces for dust to hang that fire can result. If the router was better ventilated and all chips and dust immediately drawn well away I don’t think even smoldering could occur. At least it hasn’t happened to me.

I like the kind of collection pictured in the link below. The motor is almost completely isolated from debris and it is slowed to breath clean fresh air. Also the hot exhaust from the motor is diverted away from the dust production/collection.

https://www.milescraft.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/DR11601_S1-webo.jpg

Years ago I tried this "Router Dust" but it was offered by Keen. I have a WP lift and even though the silicone shroud flexes you can not c/o router bits from above the table without a collet extension. Maybe others have had better luck.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8727
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2019, 10:22 AM »
I like the kind of collection pictured in the link below. The motor is almost completely isolated from debris and it is slowed to breath clean fresh air. Also the hot exhaust from the motor is diverted away from the dust production/collection.

That's the same method that the CMS uses.




Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5265
Re: Shop Fire
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2019, 11:40 AM »
@ Mike Goetzke.   “you can not c/o router bits from above”

What is c/o?