Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dumb Luck

There are times that I realize, on occasion, I just lucked out. I post this here instead of my blog, because I know that my father rarely checks this. And I am fairly certain I would get a well deserved lecture involving fume hoods, dust collectors, proper chemical handling, ventilation and keeping in mind what and where all possible ignition sources are.

In my defense, I had actually planned this out. Sort of.

I had laid down plastic in large quantities to contain the dust and fall-out. I wore the proper safety equipment including protective clothing, goggles, gloves and face mask. I made sure that the area was cleared for several feet on either side of the project and that the cat was safely put out of the area. So really, since I couldn't go do anything today, it was perfect for sanding down and staining the coffee table in the lab.

Children, please note:
Sanding any wood surfaces should not be done in an enclosed space. Sawdust and sanding dust can be incredibly flammable.
Chemicals should always be used in a well ventilated room, because fumes can build up and can be volatile.
All heat, flames and potential ignition sources should be kept at a great distance to prevent accidental fireballs.

So, being snowed in, in a mostly underground room with one small window that was blocked by 2 feet of snow, was a poor location choice. Running the electric dryer in the same room at the time, was really bad timing. Trying to shrink a wool hat in the dryer thus producing enough static electricity to power the X-mas tree in the next room probably should have waited to another day. The fact that I had a wood stove in the next room was, well...

I had already rigged the stove this morning using tin foil and other non-flammable materials due to the poor installation of the contractor. The fumes that the stove has been giving off all day because the contractor used spray paint to "refresh" the old stove, might have affected my thinking. But I did have the fans on to keep circulation going through the room. I was however, worried enough about the stove this morning that I brought down the fire extinguisher. Which I now think is a good thing. Because I have added sawdust, acetone and varnish fumes to the vapors already emanating from the stove. And I can't open a window. Not, "don't want to," can't.

And the potential danger suddenly makes its self aware through the fog in my head. CRAP!!
I manage to heave all chemical laden towels, jars brushes, etc.. out an upstairs door. And letting in about 4 gallons of snow. After vacuuming for a very long time, I managed to get most of the dust up. Wet towels are cleaning an wiping up the rest. The dryer is off. The stove is not, because really, I have no idea yet how to do that. But I feel safe enough now that I am reasonably certain that my house will not light up the snowy night in one huge fireball.

Therefore, I get 10 points. For shear, dumb luck!

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