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Thread: Disposing of materials used to apply Rubio Monocoat?

  1. #1

    Disposing of materials used to apply Rubio Monocoat?

    So I thought I'd give in to the hype and try Rubio monocoat. I like it and plan to use it more in the future. I'm wondering how much of a concern the fire starting possibilities are with the leftover application materials. I'm familiar with working with oils. I've put a lot of tung oil on things, but with that the only thing leftover is the rags. With rubio there is the mixing bowl, the scotchbrite pads, the gloves and syringes if you use them. Do you have to put the mixing bowl, gloves and syringes in water? Will the rubio combust in the syringe, gloves or on the mixing bowl in the trash? Seems like such a mess to have to deal with. The rags are easy enough to lay flat, but the rest is kind of a lot to put in water, then in the trash.

  2. #2
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    I think the fire danger with oily rags has to do with the huge surface area presented by all the fibers in the rag, allowing lots of exothermic polymerization to go in in a small area, and hence heat to the combustion point. A thin film on a hard or relatively non-absorbant surface (like the tabletop you just finished, plastic scrapers, mixing containers, gloves, etc) doesn't have nearly that potential. So I wouldn't cram 100 oil soaked rubber gloves into a tight space, but I wouldn't worry about the mixing container, scrapers, or a glove or two going up in smoke and would put them straight into the trash. Scotchbrite pads are an intermediate case, I'd treat them more like rags. With both rags and pads I put them outside, spread out until the finish mostly hardens and the polymerization is mostly complete and then collect them into the trash.

  3. #3
    Thanks a lot Roger for your time and information. I have a habit of being a bit too cautious about things I don’t know about. Especially ones that could wreak such havoc.

  4. #4
    Roger is experienced and normally I wouldn’t challenge, but I personally wouldn’t throw even gloves or mixing cups in an enclosed trash. I have had a warehouse fire start from a drying oil.

    Don’t take a chance. Just hang the rags and gloves to dry, and let mixing cups dry in an open space.

    Now, this pertains only to oils that generate heat as they dry. I tried to figure out if Rubio is such a product, but I could not determine from reading. When I dried my rag , it dried about as hard as BLinseed, but that may be just because it has a wax component. I am not taking a chance whenever I use it.

  5. #5
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    Prashun is probably right-- I didn't think about is as I've never had enclosed trash containers in my shop. Everything sits out in open containers with circulating air and plenty of opportunity to dry as I generate trash pretty slowly.

    As I recall from reading the SDS for Rubio, linseed oil is a major component. They call out "combustable absorbent material" for special handling. Here's what it says:

    IMPORTANT: Fire Risk, this product contains linseed oil! Cloths, rags or any other combustible, absorbent material used to applicate the product or to clean up a spill, may spontaneously combust. These materials should be abundantly rinsed with water prior to their disposal in a fire-resistant container.

  6. #6
    Syringe and mixing bowl?

  7. #7
    Thanks Prashun and Roger. I feel better about it all now. I probably wouldn’t just chuck things in the trash right away, but let them dry a bit first. Rags in water, hanging or laid flat. One of my main concerns is the little globs left in the mixing bowl. I was thinking they might heat up.

  8. #8
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    I haven't noticed the paper towels I've used to wipe off RM getting even slightly warm. I lay them out flat to dry/cure, then throw them in the trash. I do notice that if I have a few ml left over in the mixing cup that it will get slightly warm as it cures. Never gave me any concern though. I just leave it out until it's cured and then throw it in the trash. Never even thought about gloves.

    John

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Roltgen View Post
    Syringe and mixing bowl?
    Why the frown face? That’s what people recommend so you don’t spill it on the top of the can while pouring it. They say the lids will get stuck. Syringes are easy to measure. I guess spoons would work just fine.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    I haven't noticed the paper towels I've used to wipe off RM getting even slightly warm. I lay them out flat to dry/cure, then throw them in the trash. I do notice that if I have a few ml left over in the mixing cup that it will get slightly warm as it cures. Never gave me any concern though. I just leave it out until it's cured and then throw it in the trash. Never even thought about gloves.

    John
    I wear gloves for two reasons. The first one is that Rubio, as safe as they say it is does contain non aromatic hydrocarbons, which can cause harm to you, not sure. Another is it mentions on the sds to not put any down the drain, which would happen even if a small amount, when washing your hands.
    Last edited by Jason Evans; 05-17-2022 at 11:14 AM.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Evans View Post
    One of my main concerns is the little globs left in the mixing bowl. I was thinking they might heat up.
    I can tell you that in my warehouse we had a situation with a 5 gallon bucket had a smidge of oil left at the bottom. Another 5 gallon bucket was loosely stacked on top. This was sometime in the afternoon. We all left to go home. At 9:30pm I got an alert that the fire alarm had been activated. I came to work to find a parking lot full of fire trucks. The buckets had melted and generated enough smoke to activate the sprinklers. I believe but cannot confirm that actual flames were induced.

    These reactions are not entirely intuitive. They require more oxygen than you'd think, but also need to be enclosed enough to prevent heat from dissipating. It's not intuitive (for chemists, let alone the intrepid woodworker) what scenario poses a combustion risk.

    My practice is to leave rags on a stable drying rack, over concrete and not near anything else combustible. I leave my cups (including epoxy) open on the bench until fully hard. I don't throw these into the inside trash or even in the outside trash if it's going to sit. I take it from the drying area to the outside trash on pick up day after as hard as I can get them. You can add water, but my unsubstantiated theory is that this just covers the oil and once it evaporates, the reaction may continue. I prefer to just dry it as much as possible in an open space.

    YMMV, but just don't throw these things into any kind of trash until they are dry and hard.

    The other option (in the case of pure boiled linseed oil or an oil that you KNOW does not ever fully cure) is to store it in a glass or metal jar, with a lid that will seal. In this case, you don't throw it in the trash at all but deliver it to your municpality on their monthly(ish) hazmat drop off date.

  12. #12
    Thanks for the detailed story Prashun. I was wondering how it happened. Pretty scary really. Seems you can’t be too cautious really.

  13. #13
    Why the frown face?
    No frown intended.
    Thought it looked like a confused guy with 3 question marks above his head, which was me, trying to figure out how to use a syringe for applying oil.
    LOL!

    Thought I was missing out on a new exotic way to finish! << (smiley face).

    Carry on.

    Jeff

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Roltgen View Post
    No frown intended.
    Thought it looked like a confused guy with 3 question marks above his head, which was me, trying to figure out how to use a syringe for applying oil.
    LOL!

    Thought I was missing out on a new exotic way to finish! << (smiley face).

    Carry on.

    Jeff

    Seems you've never used RM, Jeff, or you'd know why some of us use syringes. RM costs around $55 for a 350 ml can with catalyst. While expensive, those two little cans will cover approx. 400 sf, but only if you can measure out the oil and catalyst by the ml.

    Unfortunately, the lids on the cans of RM don't reseal all that well once opened, and it doesn't take much oxygen for the oil component to gel. I clean the lids and cans really well and use Bloxygen when I reseal them, but have still had problems.

    John

  15. #15
    Just throwing out another suggestion here:

    Whenever possible I like laying oily rags out flat overnight on the ground or concrete in the yard with a rock or two to hold them down. But if that is not possible for whatever reason, I have wadded them up, stuffed them into a ziploc bag, squeezing ALL the air out as the bag is sealed. Since combustion requires oxygen, squeezing out the air creates a non-combustible chamber that will prevent an exothermic reaction from even starting. As an experiment I tried this numerous times AND laid the ziploc bag out on the concrete overnight. Not once was there any sign of heat or combustion having taking place. You could use this for the gloves, rags, and scotchbrite pads. Wipe out the mixing bowl with some mineral spirits and one of the rags you're disposing of and you should be good.

    If you're really concerned, the gold standard would be investing in a non-flammable step-on type receptacle that you can keep in the shop for all your disposal needs. But even with a receptacle, I like the idea of trying to prevent oxidization and combustion in the first place.

    For anyone interested, I located an article where the woodworker author conducted an experiment to test the ziploc bag disposal method: https://woodnewsonline.com/DTEW/1207...odworker2.html

    This is an important safety topic, never a wasted discussion.

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