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had a scary little fire while welding

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by emzdogz, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. emzdogz

    emzdogz Aunty Em

    Yesterday afternoon I welded a large (for 3/8 screw) coped bung to my frame backbone, to use as the rear mount for my gas tank. Welding went very well. Nice looking welds all around except for the very front portion - which I will redo tonight.

    Anyway, I was careful to cover the lower portion of the bike with a leather welding apron hung over the frame, from the area I was welding on towards the back.
    So I'm putting everything away, unplugging, closing gas bottle, etc and I turn around and am seeing smoke, along with this general "glow" coming from under the leather. I pull it off and low and behold one of my foam Uni filters is just calmly burning away, with a gentle flame.
    I guess a spark, or a flying bit of molten wire must have bounced off something else and kind of ricocheted under there and caught the foam on fire.
    But it was such a mellow little fire - what if I hadn't noticed it?

    These carbs haven't had gas in them for several years now - but what if? ya know? I'm just imagining there being gas in the bowls, (and if the bike had been running recently) fumes in that area.

    I've had a shop rag catch fire before, when I was not careful. But what gets me is I WAS careful this time, and it happened anyway.

    Note to self: be MORE careful - and after EACH bead, check to see nothing is burning.

    The filters are no big deal - I was going to get new ones anyway, as these are too long and AQUA in color. lol, not the color of my dreams.

    Still very disconcerting. Just wanted to tell about this for the purpose of reminding everyone - especially fairly inexperienced welders (like me) to be careful and take nothing for granted.

    Anyway, I'm pretty geeked about my new "bung" and look forward to moving forward! Cooler weather ROCKS for getting this done - only thing is soon it will be very dark very early out in my workplace, so then THAT will be the limiting factor.

    ok, enuf from me - have a good one!
  2. Travis

    Travis Staff Member XS650.com Supporter

    That just goes to show the importance of have a decent sized fire extinguisher close by when doing any work on your bike. I've had a few instances like that. Now I have a 10lb ABC extinguisher in the garage and one under the sink in the kitchen. I'm glad your incident turned out okay.
  3. jamesgs4

    jamesgs4 fuck this, let's ride!

    Dont wear old frayed jeans either while welding unless you like to dance.
  4. Earz

    Earz XS650 Addict

    Done that before. :doh:

    I started cutting/grinding useless tabs off my frame today. I took precautions as well, I removed the tank, pods (which were recently soaked with fuel due to leaking petcock), and carbs all the way off the bike. Didn't want to take any chances. Stuffed some plastic bags in the intakes, a little duct tape and grinding began.

    Good reminder on being safe in our home shops - the place that we often get a little too comfortable.

    Posted via Mobile
  5. 9c1cap

    9c1cap XS650 Addict

    Red Kap work pants are flammable!! All this crap about safety glasses and steel toes at work and they give us flammable uniforms!!
  6. Yamaha_chop

    Yamaha_chop Fabricator Extraordinare

    I lit my hand on fire while welding the rear tubes on my frame.

    I got about halfway through the weld, and i'm thinking, "Dang it's hot!" but it was a really visible weld so I had to keep on going. I finished out the weld and my glove was ablaze :)

    Get's your attention that's for sure. Nothing like striking an arc using yourself as the ground though! :)
  7. Tomterrific

    Tomterrific XS650 Junkie

    It's alwys nice to have a spotter looking out for fire so i can weld away. My buddy had this dog that would attack fire. That ugly little mongrel was so smart and useful around the shop. Said buddy got some big fireworks and the little runt went after the fuse. Big fun until the dog went deaf. The dog had this habit of walking into a corner and barking as loud as he could to hear himself, for hours. Useful turned into annoying.

    Tom Graham
  8. I have a large and small fire extinguisher in my garage. I have had reasons to run for them but never used them yet. When welding I find a simple ketchup/mustard squeeze bottle filled with water comes in handy. Cools off hot stuff and can be used to put out any small flames near the job. The trick is to be fast so they stay small.
  9. emzdogz

    emzdogz Aunty Em

    good idea on the squirt bottles. I realize now that if I had put a damp rag over the filters and then the apron, this wouldn't have happened. (I think) Funny thing, when I first started this project and used the welder a couple times, I did buy a fire extinguisher, and kept it out there. But then it seemed not necessary so I brought it inside. I guess I'm glad though, not to have sprayed fire extinguisher stuff all over.
    Anyway...even tho I wish no misfortune on others, it does make me feel better to hear about others' "thermal events".
  10. Teebs

    Teebs King of the Ass-Hats

    I knew I forgot to label something...


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