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How do you keep bandsaw blades and bearings clean

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Forum topic by xeddog posted 08-17-2016 07:54 PM 677 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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xeddog

117 posts in 2475 days


08-17-2016 07:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw

I mostly use my bandsaw for cutting dried lumber, but sometimes I use it to prepare turning blanks from green wood. It is this use that gets my goat. The saw is equipped with bearing guides, but a much cheaper imitation of Carters that use only a single bearing on each side.

I had to take down a small peach tree that had a trunk maybe 5” in diameter. I thought I’d cut a few pieces for handles and whatnot, but after cutting just a couple of pieces, the bandsaw’s blade and bearings were coated in gunk. Sap/resin/sawdust that was stuck tenaciously to the blade and bearing surfaces. So naturally, the saw was making a racket so loud that hell itself would be proud. This happens every time I use the saw to cut green wood, so I’m guessing it is a common problem.

The one thing I do that helps a little (very little) is to take an old crap chisel or some metal that has a crisp edge, and while the saw is running use it to scrape the blade behind the teeth. But that doesn’t clean the gunk off of the bearings or the teeth of the blade and it probably doesn’t do the blade any favors either, and even at that it doesn’t get it all off. So the only choice I have left is to remove the blade, dismantle the guides to get the bearings off, and give the blade a good cleaning with blade cleaner. Then take a scraper of some sort to get most of the gunk off of the bearings, and finish off by using some 320 grit sandpaper to make sure they are clean.

So the question is, If you have bearing guides on your saw, what do you do to reduce this accumulation? Would oiling the blade help, or waxing it, or ? Same for

Thanks,

Wayne


6 replies so far

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splintergroup

832 posts in 690 days


#1 posted 08-17-2016 08:17 PM

Hey Wayne, when this happens to me (for the same reasons), I usually do what you did.

I basically use a scraper on the blade, except I spin the top wheel by hand. Main thing is to avoid hitting any of the teeth, otherwise its no big deal and you wont be harming the blade.

For the bearings, I usually use a razor blade and spin the bearing by hand. The razors finer edge seems to do a better job at scraping the polished bearing surface (which really seems to stick well to wood gunk).

For prevention, there are a number of things you can put on the blade/bearings to reduce/eliminate sticking. Use non-silicone based lubes if you are cutting veneers or otherwise worried about getting some stuff on a surface that will be directly finished, otherwise even WD-40 will help greatly. (non-stick cooking oil spray also works well)

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Bill White

4459 posts in 3428 days


#2 posted 08-17-2016 09:02 PM

Have ya ever thought about tryin’ a quick spritz of Pam pan spray? I use it when cutting heart pine. Wanna talk about high resin and build up on blades?
In a production mode, some use a soap/water emulsion, but I find that too messy for my small work.
Just a thought.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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HorizontalMike

7160 posts in 2381 days


#3 posted 08-17-2016 10:28 PM

I replace them frequently. Less than $2/each. Look them up from the bearing number:
https://www.google.com/search?q=608RS+bearings

http://www.vxb.com/Set-of-8-608-2RS-8x22x7-Sealed-Miniature-Bearing-p/Kit14278.htm?gclid=CNL5wMO_yc4CFRApaQodJF8FwQ

PLUS: WD40 or PB-Blaster works well as lubricant.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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xeddog

117 posts in 2475 days


#4 posted 08-17-2016 11:43 PM



I basically use a scraper on the blade, except I spin the top wheel by hand.
.
For the bearings, I usually use a razor blade and spin the bearing by hand.
.
(non-stick cooking oil spray also works well)

- splintergroup


I started out by turning the wheel by hand backwards, but it took forever. Even when using something with a sharp scraping edge. That gunk is REALLY stuck on there. I realize that doing it with the saw running is not the greatest idea in the world, and probably not for the safety conscious either for that matter. But it is a lot quicker.

For the bearings, that is pretty much all you can do. I finish off with a quick hit with some 320 or higher grit sandpaper.

Cooking spray! That sounds like a winner and I will try that next time.


Have ya ever thought about tryin a quick spritz of Pam pan spray?

- Bill White


I just did about 3 seconds ago.


I replace them frequently.
- HorizontalMike

I bought a bunch of new bearings recently, but the bearings don’t go bad when they get gunky. It’s just that the bearings are so close to the blade that when some gunk comes along it gets smooshed HARD into the blade and sticks like I don’t know what to both the bearing surface and of course, the blade. Take the time to clean them up and they are fine until more wet wood comes along.

Thanks for all replies.

Wayne

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HorizontalMike

7160 posts in 2381 days


#5 posted 08-18-2016 12:37 PM



... I bought a bunch of new bearings recently, but the bearings don t go bad when they get gunky. It s just that the bearings are so close to the blade that when some gunk comes along it gets smooshed HARD into the blade and sticks like I don t know what to both the bearing surface and of course, the blade. Take the time to clean them up and they are fine until more wet wood comes along.
Thanks for all replies.
Wayne
- xeddog

Yep, and having spares to rotate in and out of service, makes for a good day every day, IMO! I often use PBBlaster (a solvent lubricant) to clean the bearings. Much better than WD40. Also lightly hitting them with compressed air helps.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

703 posts in 855 days


#6 posted 08-18-2016 01:01 PM

I guess I haven’t cut any green wood that has a sticky sap yet because I’ve not seen this problem. Has anyone tried coating the bearings and blade with paste wax or something like Boshield to help prevent the buildup? Just wondering if this would help or if it would have any negative affects.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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