Kabboom !!! Glassers be cautious.

I’ve been shaping for 2 months now, and doing well. This forum has helped me quite a bit, so thanks everyone. the reason I’m writing this post is to warn those who are glassing their own boards. I had a pretty close call this sunday after thanksgiving. I was cleaning up from the last glass job, I found some resin left over in the 1 gallon metal container, and I wanted to salvage it. So I opened the cap, and next thing I know, the container detonated from both top and bottom and sent off a decent size fireball. I was dazed for a couple of seconds then tried to put the fire out. There was patches of resin on fire on the garage floor and on my pants. After putting that out within minutes, which was pretty scary experience, the firefighters showed up. To make a long story short, the Marshall’s verdict was the container was full of fumes, and slightly pressurized, and when I opened it, I had a static charge on me, and simultaneously introduced oxygen. I’m pretty lucky that the damage to me and my property was minimal, but man that was a pretty traumatic experience. I’ve always been careful around these chemical since I started using them, but the last thing I expected was an explosion when unscrewing the cap off.

The fire marshall took the container to use it as a demo, he teaches fire safety, and said that this is the first time he has seen MEK go off like this. PS: for those in san diego, last sunday was quite cool 60 something. So don’t think the container was in a hot, sunny area. In the future, I will use resin, cap it, and never re-open.


Wow, Gnarly! Glad you’re ok…I’m a little confused though…Was the resin you were trying to “salvage” already catalyzed? You say the Fire Marshall was suprised that “MEK” went off like that…


Wow, Gnarly! Glad you’re ok…I’m a little confused though…Was the resin you were trying to “salvage” already catalyzed? You say the Fire Marshall was suprised that “MEK” went off like that…

Sorry I wrote this quickly and it was out of context. The fire marshall mentioned that he has seen a fire when too much catalyst was added in conjunction with cobalt, or something like this. In this case, the laminating resin was not catalyzed.

He said it’s bad luck, I had the right mixture of pressurized fumes, oxygen and that damn static spark etc…to ignite.

I really really don’t want to re-open any empty containers now, but if you must the fire fighter did a little test. they squeeze lightly the sealed empty resin container. If it buckles, you’re probably ok. If it doesn’t, that a bad sign. I observed this, they didn’t actually tell me this rule.

Has anyone seen or heard of anything like this??? I still can’t believe it happened, and I’m starting to wonder if it’s a sign to have my boards glassed by a local shop : )


If this is true I’m pretty lucky. I frequently place the can between my knees and go at the lid with pliers. Blow my nuts and my face off. What would the wife do then? Mike

Dad taught us when I was 5…NEVER open a can of anything, be it food, paint, gas, if when you squeeze it, it doesn’t give!

Being pressurized, the best that can happen is you get soaking wet.

Some bads…explosion, food poisoning, stinky stench…

MEK with glass or plastic containers is ok.

MEK with metal contianers equals Kabboom!!! I have been told it is a chemical reaction with the metal that produces an exposive gas.

That is advice I got from an old and wise glasser(40+ years of experience).


Would that old/wise glasser be Danny Bronner (Brawner)?

One more piece of info, which you alluded to, regarding cobalt. The curing of most polyester resins is initiated by the reaction of MEKP (the “catalyst”) with a compound in the resin called cobalt naphthenate (referred to as the “promoter”). It is the reaction of these two compounds that creates the heat and resulting cure. Potent stuff. Thanks for the warning about metal containers. I’ll be using plastic from now on.