Bandsaw Blade Cleaning
Collated from newsgroup postings.
Has anyone found a better way to remove the crud that builds up on both the blade teeth and the band wheels, when sawing some species of green woods?
The crud builds up and changes the blade alignment in relation to the guides etc and it is a painfully slow process to remove it. I thought maybe that someone has found a solution to this annoying problem.
A set of brushes to clean the wheels off (where the blade isn't on them) is fairly common. I don't think I've ever seen a set put on the blade, though it could be done.
Improved dust extraction, especially right under the table rather than (or in addition to) at the bottom of the bottom wheel, will help a lot, whether the device doing it is a "real dust extractor" or a shop vac.
No guarantees on this one (I have not tried it out), but I seem to recall hearing that oven cleaner (not the type you spray on then turn the oven onto full heat!) will remove this type of residue.
The spray-on, 'cold' type oven cleaner is widely used on circular saw blades and especially router bits so I can't see why it wouldn't work on bandsaw bands.
I simply put through a piece of agressive hardwood every now and then between the green stuff and this seems to knock most of the crud off.
I take a piece of towel soaked in mineral spirits, grip the blade and spin it backward to clean the blade on the saw. Works well. Also helps on the green stuff to oil the blade in a similar fashion prior to cutting.
The stuff usually builds on the inner side of the blade, because that side gets hotter (it's compressed as the blade goes around the wheel, while the outer side is stretched).
Lubing the blade helps keep it from building up. I use spray oven cleaner applied with a rag, rotating the blade backwards by hand. You may need to apply more for every cut, depending on the wood.
To clean off the crud without removing the blade, I hold the edge of a chisel against the side of the blade so that the corner of the chisel is just behind the teeth, and rotate forward by hand. Works pretty well.
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