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Old 01-12-2011, 03:28 AM   #46
mike-s
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Shit, i don't think i'll EVER use carby cleaner as a makeshift start assistant ever again. I'll use the proper stuff if i need to use it at all.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:03 AM   #47
DR Donk
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This thread is a major eye opener! I am of the mentality that if you can buy it at the local store it's relatively safe.............no more thinking that way. I printed out a copy of the article and gave it to the guys in the shop, they can be careless around cleaning solvents and everything else they work with.
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Old 01-14-2011, 02:33 PM   #48
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Years ago, I ran a vapor degreaser. It's a tank with steam coils at the bottom that are covered with trichlorethylene, which vaporizes from the heat. There's a cold water jacket around the top that condenses the vapors and keeps them in the tank. You lower greasy oily parts into the tank and the vapors condense on the metal and run off, taking the grease and oil with them. There's also a spray wand to help it along.

I'd lower an engine block into it and get it as clean and hot as I could, then lower it into a vat of dip cleaner and watch it bubble and boil for a half hour. Then it went into another vat, this time mineral spirits, and finally back in the vapor tank for awhile. After that, it was sparkling clean.

Before modern motor oils existed, there was a lot of trouble with sticky hydraulic lifters. My cure was to dump a couple of quarts of carbon tet in the crankcase and let the car run outside for an hour or so, then bring it in and change the oil and filter. Worked great.
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:23 PM   #49
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I started working at a Ford dealership in about 1966 or so. They had what was called a 'Hot Tank' for cleaning engine blocks an such. It was a tank full of hot water and caustic soda (lye) Worked really well , kinda bit your nose when parts were removed and not nearly as dangerous as some other chemicals deemed less hazardous than lye. The same chemicals that have since been banned by the EPA .
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Old 02-27-2011, 02:43 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephano View Post

On a side note...One time when I was young, I opened a can of Jasco paint remover and took a smell. BAD MISTAKE. After almost knocking me out, I was not feeling right for the rest of the day and it scared me. I since learned in science classes to wave your hand over whatever your smelling to be safer but being a kid, I knew no better.
My ex used to be a goldsmith. Goldsmiths use extremely strong ammonia solutions for something (to put this in perspective, regular household "ammonia" is 3% ammonia, 97% water). Some guy did as you describe, and was knocked cold on the spot. He toppled over, of course spilling the ammonia all over the place. It was all the could do to drag him out and evacuate.
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Old 02-27-2011, 02:47 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by svejkovat View Post
I don't really understand why helmets are not commonly made with an option to seal against the face with a fitting to accept compressed air. Such a simple solution to so many dangers associated with heavy metal fumes. Under mild pressure, the seal would not need to be at all perfect. The helmet could flip up and down as usual.
How many people would get a truly safe supply of compressed air to breathe (think in terms of a facility that refills SCUBA tanks), and how many would just use the same air they use to drive their nail gun? That air contains microscopic droplets of oil and all kinds of other crap. They'd be substituting one danger for another.
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Old 02-27-2011, 02:57 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pike Bishop View Post
I remember my Dad bringing home big bottles of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) from the plant. Back in the old days, people would use that stuff to clean grease off their hands! Not recommended that you use it while smoking, though ... in the presence of combustion, it produces phosgene!
When I was a kid we had a carbon tet fire extinguisher. I shit you not. The carbon tet was long gone; it had been refilled with water, and we used it as a squirt gun.

It looked just like this (lifted from the Wikipedia Carbon Tet page):
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Topher
1989 Transalp. Sort of.
I don't have a bucket list, I have a post-bucket list. So far it includes
1) Coroner's report is to read "Death by misadventure."
2) Dixieland jazz band at my funeral.
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:46 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgeliot View Post
When I was a kid we had a carbon tet fire extinguisher. I shit you not. The carbon tet was long gone; it had been refilled with water, and we used it as a squirt gun.

It looked just like this (lifted from the Wikipedia Carbon Tet page):
Pyrene fire extinguisher.
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:46 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by ttpete View Post
Pyrene fire extinguisher.
Yeah. Pyrene brand but it doesn't contain the chemical pyrene. Go figure.
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:45 AM   #55
ttpete
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgeliot View Post
Yeah. Pyrene brand but it doesn't contain the chemical pyrene. Go figure.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_tetrachloride
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:03 PM   #56
def
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Originally Posted by Anorak View Post
Fluorine is the most reactive element on the periodic table.
I believe H+ is the most reactive.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:44 PM   #57
dolomoto
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I got a snootful of MEK a few years ago and thought I was going to die. I realized that and brake cleaner had no place in my home.

My Dad was a Welder/Wireman at the GE plant in Salem, VA. He retired after 33 years (100% disability and a litany of health issues)...he's told stories of dumping barrels of PCB-containing waste into the creek behind the plant. It was legal, they had a permit!

I'm cautious/paranoid around chemicals nowadays.

Occasionally, we'll get a noob at work and play a nice joke on him. We'll break a bunch of Cyalume sticks, spread the contents on the ground below the radar antenna and tell him the SF6 tank overheated (again!). It can be nasty if it really happened...always good for a laugh as the noob runs for his life.
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Old 03-01-2011, 01:15 AM   #58
tgeliot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttpete View Post
Bringing us full circle, back to the page from whence this photo came.
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I don't have a bucket list, I have a post-bucket list. So far it includes
1) Coroner's report is to read "Death by misadventure."
2) Dixieland jazz band at my funeral.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:42 PM   #59
mike-s
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We have Halon fire extinguishers in every corridor of our unit block, which is a bit of a worry considering they stopped making them here in 1997 (Reference chart). I am 95% certain that NONE of the safety tests (further down on the linked page) have ever been done.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:46 PM   #60
9Dave
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I stumbled across the "how to kill yourself with brake cleaner" article on a different site.

Definitely scary stuff, not just in welding. I met a plumber that did somewhat the same thing with a torch.

Let's everyone stay careful out there.
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