cleaning a saw blade.

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Forum topic by ChrisCarr posted 07-06-2010 03:44 AM 1093 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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196 posts in 1941 days

07-06-2010 03:44 AM

I hope this is the correct section.

I have a ridgid combination blade and its has grunge all on one side of the blade (i think that is leaving “burn looking” marks on my wood, it also could be partly cause I am ripping hardwood with 50 teeth :P)

I tried scrubbing it alone but nothing and I don’t want to buy chemicals and solutions when I have a house full of related stuff.

What do you guys clean your blades with? I would prefer not to soak the blade, I just want an aid when I am scrubbing.

12 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


113738 posts in 2620 days

#1 posted 07-06-2010 03:56 AM

I use two types of cleaner was soda(not baking soda) or goof off. either one you use a small brass tooth brush size brush. But They clean up easily with either one.

-- Custom furniture

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


661 posts in 2316 days

#2 posted 07-06-2010 04:18 AM

Easy-Off Oven Cleaner. Spray both sides. Let it soak over night in an old pizza pan. A brass bristled brush if it’s really tough.

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View blackcherry's profile


3231 posts in 2866 days

#3 posted 07-06-2010 04:50 AM

Soak the blade in Lestoil for 5 minute and wipe clean…no fumes , no harsh chemicals just a brilliant clean blade.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16100 posts in 3261 days

#4 posted 07-06-2010 05:08 AM

Simple Green…. I let it soak a bit, then use a stiff toothbrush.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View ChrisCarr's profile


196 posts in 1941 days

#5 posted 07-06-2010 05:59 AM

I thought oven cleaning spray can damage carbide?

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 2111 days

#6 posted 07-06-2010 06:18 AM

Another Simple Green user here. I keep a couple of those throwaway pizza pans in the shop and periodically lay a blade in one and cover it with Simple Green for about 4-5 minutes. A quick scrub with a stiff nylon brush and I’m back in business.

If all your “grunge” is on one side of the blade, your fence may not be aligned right and is forcing the wood laterally into the blade.

And yeah, a 50 tooth blade is probably to “fine” for hardwood ripping. Try something in the twenty tooth range.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


16494 posts in 2719 days

#7 posted 07-06-2010 08:18 AM

Chris, I think you are right on the oven cleaner.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Greedo's profile


468 posts in 2003 days

#8 posted 07-06-2010 01:18 PM

i clean the wood goo off my blades and sanding pads with turpentine oil, it’s cheap and as a woodworker you should have it in your shop anyway.
just wet the blade or pads with it and let it soak in a few mins, the oil seems to disolve the goo and then it comes off easy with a rag or toothbrush.

View knotscott's profile


6325 posts in 2418 days

#9 posted 07-06-2010 01:44 PM

There are lots of easy, cheap, and effective methods for blade cleaning…no need to buy an expensive specialty blade cleaner, but they do work. Household degreaser sprays like 409, Simple Green, Fantastic, LA’s Totally Awesome, Greased Lighting, Goo Gone, Goof Off, etc., all work well. Spray them on, scrub with a brass brush, rinse and dry…done in 4 or 5 minutes. If it’s really dirty it might take a couple of tries. Don’t soak them unless you’re certain the solution has a neutral pH….Freud recommends kerosene if you need to soak your blades. Oven cleaner works too, but is a bit messy, plus there’s some controversy about the caustic not being good for the carbide…there’s too many other good choices to bother with it IMHO. I’ve heard of folks using washing soda and TSP successfully too, and have even heard of some folks using ultra high frequency sonication to clean their blades!

The pitch build up on carbide teeth makes the blade perform like the teeth are dull. It also creates heat, which breaks down the carbide, then actually creates a dull blade which needs to be sharpened or replaced. A clean blade performs better and longer…it’s a good idea to clean your blades regularly if you’ve got a good blade that you’d like to keep for a while. Same is true of router and shaper bits.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View TheWoodNerd's profile


288 posts in 2234 days

#10 posted 07-06-2010 02:13 PM

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2026 days

#11 posted 07-06-2010 04:04 PM

Chris, What you are describing happening to your saw blades sounds like you have an alignment problem which can lead to kick back and injury. Check to make sure your blade is in alignment with your miter slot and that the fence is in alignment with your blade. I had this happen to me and after checking and aligning everything I didn’t have that happening to my blades anymore. As for cleaning the blade if you need to have it sharpened use a wire wheel on your grinder to remove the build up, or scrape it off with a old chisel carefully. Depending how bad the build up is sometimes it will come off in flakes with scraping.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View mnguy's profile


183 posts in 2441 days

#12 posted 07-06-2010 04:16 PM

Agree with the alignment issue contributing to your burning problems – the first time I got my blade, miter slot and fence all properly aligned, it was a revelation!

I know many have great success with cleaning blades with the whole host of things listed above. I use Rockler’s blade cleaner concentrate, diluted with water. I keep it in a plastic dish with a cover and use it over and over again to soak and clean blades. Works well and is carbide and skin friendly.

I would NOT recommend oven cleaners. Many of them are pretty powerful caustics, and they will damage your skin as well as the metal and the carbide in your blades.

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