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A bit of a scare with a careless student at one of the university labs has gotten me looking for a flammables cabinet for my colossal collection of caustics and combustible consumables. At the moment, they’re in a tall bottom drawer of my roll cabinet. It’s fine for easy access, but poor protection from heat.

I was pretty surprised at how inexpensive small cabinets can be. The larger ones run north of a grand, but a 12-gallon unit retails for $270 from (and manufactured by) Global Industrial. Twelve gallons is certainly enough for home use, but even if $270 is less than expected, it’s still a nice chunk of change. There’s no doubt that they’re a sensible idea, but is the extra degree of safety worth the entry cost?

If you think so, Global Industrial and Amazon sell an identical cabinet at the same price. Shipping costs will probably be murder given the weight and bulk of these things, but they might keep your house up.

12-Gallon Flammables Cabinet Via Amazon [What’s This?]
12-Gallon Flammables Cabinet [Global Industrial]

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12 Responses to (Not) Burning Down the House

  1. Toolhearty says:

    I just priced a smaller, 4 gal. one for work. Freight was $120.

  2. Gough says:

    I bought mine from the local Fastenal and didn’t have to pay freight.

  3. William Rone says:

    I don’t know if your comment on storing caustics and flammables together was just a comment or something that you intended on doing, but you really need a separate cabinet for both Flammables and Caustics. Actually it would be better to look at the MSDS’s of all products that you are storing, to make sure that you do not store incompatible materials in the same cabinet.

  4. Chris says:

    Wait, you’re gonna give us a lede like that and then not elaborate at *all* on what this “bit of a scare” was? C’mon, we want the whole story.


  5. Toolhearty says:

    FWIW, I thought about making an outdoor storage box for the flammables in the garage (gasoline, kerosene, small acetylene tanks, etc.). It could be made to look like a doghouse with a roof that was hinged on one side for easy access (and a heavy chain with steel collar laying on the ground out front).

  6. Gary says:

    I bought a double door model several years ago. My wife gets a discount from Grainger and no freight charges. I’ve got waay too many different solvents and finishes that could cause a problem.

  7. Tim B. says:

    I actually wanted to get one of these, but couldn’t convince the wife… what I ended up doing is taking an old (dead) heavy-duty freezer, stripping out all the electronics and plastic interior wall lining, and putting in simple sheet-metal shelving riveted to the metal frame and wall skins. Makes for a simple, yet similar-in-concept flammable chemical storage….

  8. ShopMonger says:

    I still don’t have one. Infact most of my chemicals are onyl a few feet away form my heater…. Yet i never have an issue. But most of my chemical are not Flashable and when i get a good deal on one of these i will be getting one…..I had one in my old shop and miss having it…


  9. KMR says:

    A high quality lateral file cabinet (like Hon Proline) is _almost_ as good as a purpose built flamables cabinet. With so many businesses closing their doors lately you can find HUGE 2x4x6′ cabinets for around $50. They’re lockable, the drawers can take tremendous weight, because of the construction you do have a pretty large airgap all the away around the interior walls…

  10. Alan says:

    For those folks who live near or are associated with a University or College, visit the salvage department of the educational facility. Most places have a “retail” store where the university can sell off old products.

    Chemical Storage cabinets are prime products which are sold at ginourmous discounts.

  11. Dave P says:

    You can convert almost any old metal cabinet to a fire box with a good coating of intumescent paint. When exposed to elevated heat, the paint “puffs up” into a thick, insulating, non-combustable layer. Contego makes some that can take 1500 deg+ heat for hours without letting the temp on the other side go over 400 deg. As a side note, it’s also really good for making a 48″ job box into a gun safe.

  12. Joe Sainz says:

    @Dave P: it’s also really good for making a 48″ job box into a gun safe.”
    I want pictures in the flickrpool or it didn’t happen, oh, and maybe email in an article? 😉

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