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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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For more on this, you'll need to do research for specifics. I get an occasional e-newsletter from Highland Woodworking and a guy wrote this in there. . .
Avoid sparks around steel wool - especially the finer types - it is covered with a super light oil and can ignite easily.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 07:56 PM
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Yes, it also works well for starting campfires in emergencies!

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 03:14 AM
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I did not know that.............

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 05:50 AM
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Started a camp fire with a grinder once (by design). Would've looked better with steel wool as tinder.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 06:36 AM
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Otis - it has nothing to do with oil - the steel itself is highly susceptible to combustion when it is in a very fine form. Due to its fineness, individual strands will achieve red heat very easily, and with plenty of airspace between strands, combustion occurs.
I lost a whole roll of Liberon 0000 grade, when a spark from my grinder set it alight. They even warn you on the packing. Rob
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OPG3 View Post
For more on this, you'll need to do research for specifics. I get an occasional e-newsletter from Highland Woodworking and a guy wrote this in there. . .
Avoid sparks around steel wool - especially the finer types - it is covered with a super light oil and can ignite easily.
I was not aware about steel wool. But I have seen titanium lighting up. Drilling it with power feed drill in the air craft industry. I was the operator and all of a sudden we had flames everywhere.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! Rob, you may be correct - I just restated "oil" from the article, but had never had the problem. It seemed like one of those "Wow! I didn't know that" kinda things. When speaking of this to a neighbor friend he said he actually starts campfires using fine steel wool and a 9 volt battery. I haven't seen this, but it does seem plausible.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OPG3 View Post
Thanks everyone! Rob, you may be correct - I just restated "oil" from the article, but had never had the problem. It seemed like one of those "Wow! I didn't know that" kinda things. When speaking of this to a neighbor friend he said he actually starts campfires using fine steel wool and a 9 volt battery. I haven't seen this, but it does seem plausible.

Starting a Fire With Steel Wool and 9V Battery - Urban - Suburban Survival - YouTube


Steel wool and 9 volt battery fire - YouTube


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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James, Thanks for posting those YouTube links. It appears the stuff ignites easily and burns well, too. I had visualized the 9V battery taking a bit longer than that! The guy that had initially written the article that I read reported his actual inadvertant fire began as a result of grinder sparks landing in his container of steel wool. Sometimes sanding odd composites produce sparks, as well. I now know to keep my steel wool stored safely away from sparks or flames.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 01:14 PM
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One of the most impressive displays is using a lit cigarette stuffed in the end of an oxygen tube to light steel wool. Demonstrates the effect of introducing pure O2 to a small fire and the flammability of metal at the same time.

Aluminum shavings are pretty impressive too--but don't throw water on it once lit!!
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