How to clean packing grease off spiral cutterhead/table?

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Forum topic by Elizabeth posted 10-08-2010 06:53 PM 7261 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Elizabeth's profile


814 posts in 2567 days

10-08-2010 06:53 PM

I just got a Grizzly jointer with a spiral cutterhead, and the cutter has a LOT of that thick packing grease on it. It’s hard to get off because every rag or paper towel I use gets caught on the cutter blades. How should I get it off? I assume I need to get all of it off before I run any wood across the machine…

On a related note, how can I get dried grease off of my Grizzly bandsaw table? The jointer surfaces are clean because the grease was still wet when it arrived, but the bandsaw was packed differently and the grease dried out before I could get it off, so there’s a slightly sticky film. I tried goo gone and denatured alcohol and they didn’t do much.

13 replies so far

View newbiewoodworker's profile


668 posts in 2251 days

#1 posted 10-08-2010 08:45 PM

For my planer, I just really worried about the table. The cutter head, I wiped down, carefully…, but wasnt as concerned. I then ran a couple passes on a crap board.. I then opened it back up(unplugged mind you…) and cleaned the sawdust off of the cutter… that removed most of the grease. The saw dust shows you really where to focus, and helps you grab it…

I would try Nail polish remover.. if its only a table… but the forum chemist should approve.. I am not sure if that stuff will damage the table… I know its flamable.. so dont cut metal on the saw..

All else fails.. just wax over it…

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View VinnieP's profile


141 posts in 2745 days

#2 posted 10-08-2010 08:57 PM

Turn it on! :-) I thought i had my cutters all cleaned off until the first time I used it. Flipped the switch and the stuff went flying. Must have got the rest of it because it never did it again :-)

View TheWoodNerd's profile


288 posts in 2615 days

#3 posted 10-08-2010 09:21 PM

WD-40 :

As for the cutterhead, I’d soak it in wd40, scrub a bit with a toothbrush, then cover it somehow and turn it on. After a few seconds at 4000 rpm, it should be pretty much cleaned off.

-- The Wood Nerd --

View newbiewoodworker's profile


668 posts in 2251 days

#4 posted 10-08-2010 09:28 PM

PS: Dont cover it with your hand… lol…

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View Natedawg4081's profile


39 posts in 2230 days

#5 posted 10-08-2010 10:13 PM

I used lacquer thinner to clean both my bandsaw and jointer fron the packing grease. I then followed by waxing with Johnson paste wax. And rewax every 6 months or so depending on use.

-- Nathan Corson

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3072 days

#6 posted 10-08-2010 10:32 PM

kerosene, or wd40 and a wire brush

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 2484 days

#7 posted 10-08-2010 10:48 PM

I used miner spirits to clean my bandsaw when I got it the first day. If I did it again I would use Kerosene and then mineral spirits.

View Elizabeth's profile


814 posts in 2567 days

#8 posted 10-08-2010 10:51 PM

Thanks all! Great ideas. I think I’ll start with the toothbrush and then turn it on and let things fly, and see what’s left.

I need to get some paste wax for these surfaces, too. Any “I wish I’d done it this way” tips for waxing tables?

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 2694 days

#9 posted 10-08-2010 11:36 PM

I find that the orange cleaner works great. I use that pretty much to remove any grease buildup…and especially to clean the shipping protectant (cosmoline – very much like vasoline) from new equipment. What is real nice is that the fumes don’t send you into the ozone like Kerosene or spirits….Remember though to put some paste wax on the iron table tops after cleaning….to keep them from rusting..You do that just like waxing a car….in circular motion…on and off….and for any new machine….run some waste wood through it first so the any remaining protectant gets on it rather then your project wood.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Elizabeth's profile


814 posts in 2567 days

#10 posted 10-10-2010 05:03 AM

Thanks for the help guys. I picked up some WD-40, 409, and SC Johnson paste wax today and my surfaces are looking great now. The WD-40 got the dried cosmoline off in no time.

I still have to finish cleaning the cutterhead – turning it on didn’t throw anything off! I’m planning on tackling it with an old toothbrush.

View paratrooper34's profile


867 posts in 2376 days

#11 posted 10-10-2010 01:10 PM

Carburetor Cleaner. That stuff works on all kinds of petroleum products and its ability to quickly evaporate makes clean ups easy. Give it a shot.

-- Mike

View WoodSparky's profile


200 posts in 2526 days

#12 posted 10-10-2010 03:02 PM

Jonny come lately here. Why is it that I stumble across these post just after I had spent hours trying to get something done? Maybe is it that I am just another man afraid to ask for directions or help? Anyhow, last month I took delivery of my new Grizzly 15” spiral head planner. Boy those guys can pack some grease. I had spent hours with a can of engine degreaser, a brush and rags to get this bad boy clean. After running some scrap peices through, Me thinks we got it all.


-- So Many tools, So little time

View Bluepine38's profile


3337 posts in 2509 days

#13 posted 10-10-2010 06:33 PM

Non chlorinated brake cleaner works good for cleaning most items, but the WD-40 is a good cleaner, but not too good as a lubricant and the orange hand cleaner is pretty good also.

-- As ever, Gus-the 77 yr young apprentice carpenter

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