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Old 09-23-2009, 11:02 PM   #1
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Shopvac Fire

Some idiot set a shopvac on fire this evening. There was a bit on the router that still had a few turns left. I... I mean this guy was just cutting some speaker rings out of 3/4" plywood and vacuumed up the area as he worked. He was redesigning some Jeep doorpanels for my competition component speakers, since I didn't like the ones I just built out of fiberglass. He was almost through when he went to suck up the router dust. He was thinking to himself "Gee, this hose gets really static-y. Perhaps it should be grounded better to avoid fires." He cut the piece he ended with - the bit was just too dull and gave some chip-out near the end of the cut. "Well, that's it - time to get a new bit." He went to clean up the dust and quit for the day, and that's when it happened...the smoke bellowed out of the vacuum like a riceburner with a blown engine.

I turned the power off and took the vac outside the shop. There was smoke so thick I couldn't see. The filter was smoldering and the motor was fueling the fire. So in addition to new, sharp cutting bits, "somebody" has to buy a new filter too. The shopvac lived and the filter got drowned in a bucket of water.

What did we learn?

Don't use dull tools.

Make sure your dust piles aren't harboring any live embers.

Always keep your shop clean and vacuum up burning embers so that you don't leave and have the shop and/or house burn down.

Don't let this dummy work too hard at home after he's had a long day at work!


"Aw! Why does everything that only happens to stupid people happens to me?" - Homer J. Simpson
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:43 AM   #2
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My neighbor has a wood burning fire place that they rarely use. They lit a fire on friday night and on sunday afternoon the husband uses the shop vac to clean the ash. Vac gets put in garage, they wake up to firemen pounding on the door early monday morning as half the garage burned up. Luckily another neighbor was taking his dog out for a late night walk, saw the flames, called 911. Fire Dept was on the scene before the smoke alarms ever went off.

Nobody hurt ( thank god), now most everybody in my neighborhood (including me) now has smoke detectors in our garages


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