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Expert's Corner — oily

TIP: Benzene and Benzine

benzne bob england flexner gasoline naphtha oil oily surface surfaces the finishing store us wood woodfinishing

Benzene and benzine are not the same thing. Though they are often confused or used interchangeably in books and magazines, they are very different. Benzene is carcinogenic and was removed from the consumer market 40 years ago. Before then it was often used as a paint and varnish remover. Benzine is another name for naphtha in the US, though the term is rarely used in this manner anymore. It’s also a common name for gasoline in England. Naphtha (benzine) is a faster evaporating, less oily (“drier”) form of mineral spirits. It’s not dangerous if used in moderation. Here’s an easy...

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Oily Rag Disposal

bob disposal flexner oily rag the finishing store woodworkers

Oily rags, used to apply oil or oil/varnish blend finishes, may be the most dangerous item you have in your shop because they can spontaneously combust and burn down your shop or house if left in a pile or thrown wet into a trashcan. The easiest way to deal with these rags if you work alone is to hang them over the edge of a trashcan or tabletop, or spread them out on the floor. Don’t pile them one on top of another. They must be exposed to air on both sides so they can dry out safely. If you...

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