How to clean packing grease off spiral cutterhead/table?

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Forum topic by Elizabeth posted 10-08-2010 06:53 PM 8914 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Elizabeth's profile


817 posts in 3344 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.

16 replies so far

View newbiewoodworker's profile


668 posts in 3028 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


140 posts in 3522 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


291 posts in 3392 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 3028 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


40 posts in 3007 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


8547 posts in 3849 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 3261 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


817 posts in 3344 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 3471 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


817 posts in 3344 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


915 posts in 3152 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 3302 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


3379 posts in 3286 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 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View ramatsu's profile


12 posts in 376 days

#14 posted 01-19-2018 06:27 AM

... WD-40 is a good cleaner, but not too good as a lubricant…

It’s worth noting that the words “lubricates,” “lubricant” etc. do not appear anywhere on the WD-40 label. Learned in comical fashion that it’s not a lubricant, when the old turntable at the record store I worked at in college was slow to spin up. 2 managers, the owner, and at least one employee huddled with our faces inches front the platter as a manager squirted some WD-40 onto the spindle, only to watch it immediately and unceremoniously come to a dead halt, never to spin again. That’s when someone read the label and noticed the complete lack of lubrication claims. (We probably could have gotten it going with some lubricant after that but the manager just took some cash from the drawer and sent someone down the street for a new turntable. In the late 70’s, that was a thing you could do.)

Seems like a good choice for machine factory grease though, off to finish unpacking my new drill press!

-- - Allen

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


7046 posts in 2400 days

#15 posted 01-19-2018 07:15 AM

... WD-40 is a good cleaner, but not too good as a lubricant…
It’s worth noting that the words “lubricates,” “lubricant” etc. do not appear anywhere on the WD-40 label.
- ramatsu

Every can I have certainly says it’s a lubricant… reading the can in front of me, it clearly says:

LUBRICATES – moving parts such as hinges, wheels, rollers, chains, gears.
PROTECTS – against rust and corrosion, items like tools, firearms, sporting equipment
PENETRATES – to free stuck, corroded parts, like nuts, bolts, valves, locks.
DISPLACES MOISTURE – to restore wet or flooded equipment such as engines, spark plugs, power tools

It’s not the best lube in the world, but probably the most used as such :)

What was the old saying – all you need is duct tape and WD-40. If it moves, and shouldn’t – use the duct tape. If it doesn’t move and should, use WD-40.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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