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Author Topic: Be Careful When Grinding.  (Read 3165 times)
Dallas
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« on: November 05, 2007, 12:53:31 PM »

I know most everyone here already knows this, but I wanted to emphasize the point.

I was grinding out some of the rivets in a MC9 the other day and there happened to be some of the old nasty black fibreglas insulation laying around. I got the stuff ground off that I wanted and went on to another task until I noticed that the insulation was smouldering. The sparks from the grinder had caught in it and ignited the dirt/grease/crud/filth that was embedded in it.

If I had been grinding up above, where the ceiling of the A/C compartment was open, that could have destroyed the whole bus if I hadn't noticed.

Just for S&G's I let the piece of insulation smoulder for about an hour before I poured water on it. This leads me to believe that a smouldering chunk that isn't noticed could hide for hours or days before it finds a spot to burst into flames.

Dallas
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kysteve
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2007, 02:27:51 PM »

Dallas I second the grinding safety notice.  I have been grinding and smelled that funny smell of clothing burning and low and behold I stop grinding and start looking around and usually find the source of the smell, somewhere on my body.  I have several holes in all my work clothes to prove it.  And once the holes are there the weld splatter will constantly remind me to be carefull as clothing is easily ignited.  So, yes, please, everyone, beware of this potintially deadly job. 

FWIW.......Steve......
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Hi yo silver
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2007, 03:15:20 PM »

On the same subject; don't forget, the safe way to dispose or store oily rags is to put them in a covered metal container.  If they smolder, they won't get enough oxygen to start a fire.  If they could ignite, they couldn't set anything else on fire.  Rags with linseed oil are the most notorious for spontaneous combustion.
Dennis
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Blue Ridge Mountains of VA   Hi Yo Silver! MC9
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2007, 03:26:32 PM »

Sorry to ask, but I do not know.  What does S&G mean?  Smiley Smiley Smiley
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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2007, 03:28:37 PM »

Sorry to ask, but I do not know.  What does S&G mean?  Smiley Smiley Smiley

$hits and giggles
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2007, 03:43:06 PM »

A side note learnt the hard way. The sparks/filings from a grinder will scratch/score glass even from quite far away.  Maybe everybody knows this, but the guy I work with have to be reminded all the time.
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2007, 04:51:20 PM »

I too was going to post about glass being pitted.  It always happens to the most expensive piece of glass Grin.

One that is easy to forget are the mirrors.  They really catch it when you are grinding on the side of the bus.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2007, 06:02:43 PM »

And thanks for the tip on storing oily rags.  I did not know this and being that I am getting my shop up and running right now that will come in handy!
Thanks again!
Jack
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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2007, 06:09:16 PM »

Just curious, why do you grind rivets,(I assume you mean Al rivets?) instead of drill them?

I would think that drilling would eliminate the spark and heat problems.
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PD4107-152
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Dallas
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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2007, 07:08:23 PM »

Just curious, why do you grind rivets,(I assume you mean Al rivets?) instead of drill them?

I would think that drilling would eliminate the spark and heat problems.

Because the drill wouldn't fit down in the rail of the piece I was working on and the rivets were both Stainless and Aluminum.
At some time in the past the floor of the A/C bay had been replaced and they used both kinds of rivets


Dallas
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Tom Y
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« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2007, 07:34:36 PM »

Dallas, I always walk back to the garage awhile after doing any welding or grinding. Just to be safe. If I lost my garage and bus I would not do another. Safety First.  Tom Y
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Tom Yaegle
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« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2007, 08:17:37 PM »

BTDT...

Set my neighbor's yard on fire when reframing the sides of my bus. That was fun!

Yesterday, I was cutting some steel to brace up the bunk bed frame, and smelled something. I was outside on the driveway, and it took me a couple minutes to find that one of the flowers in my flower bed next to the garage had smouldering blossoms on it. It cought some of the sparks off the cutoff saw. Not really a hazard, but it reminded me that I should be a bit more careful working where I was. The flowers have now been composted.

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« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2007, 09:07:01 PM »

Danish Oil Finish is said to be the most dangerous item for spontaneous combustion. I believe there is even a warning on the bottle.
Richard

And thanks for the tip on storing oily rags.  I did not know this and being that I am getting my shop up and running right now that will come in handy!
Thanks again!
Jack
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« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2007, 05:05:21 AM »

Are some people paranoid about fire? A couple of days ago I posted a warning about using a grinder on air bag bolts and it brought up the following two replies. I didn't question them since I thought that I must be the only one that feared a bus fire.

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Re: MCI Airbag replacement.....
Reply #9 on: November 02, 2007, 07:10:27 AM
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Quote from: Stan on November 02, 2007, 06:05:47 AM
Flames and sparks under a bus can create a very dangerous situation.

Breathing the air is dangerous but we've been doing it for years same as grinding and torching under a bus. I believe in safety but don't try to scare people away from doing what's necessary and making a job simpler and is of no more of a threat than farting in the same room with a wood burner. Use common sense when using any tool and there all safe.
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Re: MCI Airbag replacement.....
Reply #10 on: November 02, 2007, 07:56:51 AM
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 Those are 35 year old nuts and bolts, the guy going after them is double that. Its a few minutes with an angle grinder or 2 hours with a wrench and then may or may not get them all off. Damn the sparks full speed ahead!!!
 Bob are your beams plated? maybe its time for rolling lobes?
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Gary LaBombard
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« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2007, 05:38:26 AM »

You all know by now I too would probably have to put in my 2 cents here.  Dallas and all the below contributers are correct about the danger of using your grinder and the potential for making a very bad smoldering, costly fire.  As you all know I have had this situation on me for the past 5 years on my project as my bus is all converted inside by the previous owner.

I have done all my undercarriage repairs / reinforcements with only grinders and welders.  I have not used a cutting acetylene torch, that is a no-no to me in particular.  Use of a grinder is bad enough but I have learned to "TRY" to always put up a grinding shield over areas that may have building materials in them that may be combustible in areas where I am working.  Sparks from a grinder are very hot at all times.

I put light weight sheet metal over areas exposed to under flooring framing and use duck tape to hold it in place, sometimes I just duct tape heavy duty aluminum foil over (Doubled up in thickness) in these areas and let the sparks splash over this shield.  Using the aluminum foil is easier to use and safer also so you will not cut your head etc, on sharp edges of sheet metal.  This is not always possible but in areas you can is advisable.

I also have a 2 gallon garden pump up canister of water at all times which has about a 18 inch wand on it to get into tight areas such as Dallas experienced and I have also in the past.  If you see a smoldering area you can normally pump in enough water using your garden pump to extinguish most smoldering debris without going into a panic and looking for a fire extinguisher or water hose which may be too late with as fast as this stuff used for floor insulation ignites.

Don't forget also your personal safety!
(1) Safety glasses with side shields and full face shield if possible.

(2) Ear Plugs, Always, always!!

(3) Wear a Welding jacket either of leather or heavy grade material intended for welders to use because of the weight of leather.  The heavy duty welding cloth material will also burn over time but does much to protect your own clothing and arms from hot sparks.

(4) Welders sleeves if the jacket is too hot to use all day or on 100 degree days but something you need to protect your arms.  I did not do this for some time and now have metal pits in my arms from grinding / welding without gloves or sleeves on and now cannot wear short sleeved shirts comfortably.  The reason, my arm always looks real dirty in the front of the elbow areas of my arms, not real perty to look at.

(5)  Welders gloves, always, always!!  You will thank me on this one day.

Before starting out on any project intended for the day, use this theory-
How can I prevent myself from getting hurt today and also prevent my bus from going up in flames. I just know my insurance company will never ever meet in value what the bus is worth let alone all my conversion time.

NOTE! When I make any comments and safety suggestions such as above I do not mean to have it sound as if I have never done anything unsafe or incorrect during my conversion process.  Quite the contrary, it normally means I have done exactly as others and had near misses or close situations of losing my bus from a fire etc.  In other words, all my comments really say, ("Been There, Done That").  I am only hoping to admitting to this as often as I do that it will make you think of my situations each day before starting to work on your bus and prevent them from being bad experiences for you also.    

I have probably used 500-700 grinding wheels now, maybe more.  I probably could get a brand new set of torsilastics for my bus with the money spent on just grinding / cutting wheels I have used.  Well, maybe not that much but close.

This is a good thread on safety Dallas, I hope all the information provided by all on it will help keep you and your bus safe.

Gary  
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Gary
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