What is wrong with my bandsaw blade? How do I clean a bandsaw blade?

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Forum topic by 40Grit posted 05-13-2012 08:09 PM 2621 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View 40Grit's profile


10 posts in 2229 days

05-13-2012 08:09 PM

I recently made three band saw boxes with some smaller curves. I used a 1/8” blade to make most of the cuts. The wood was 3” cherry. By the time I was working on the third box, the cut was looking burned. What was going on? Was this from a dull blade? It looks like there is saw dust built up behind the blade teeth. Can I use a wire brush to clean this off?

>This is a brand new timber wolf blade and I spent the time to perform what I feel was a proper blade setup.

Any comments or suggestions would help.


10 replies so far

View mark4345's profile


71 posts in 2447 days

#1 posted 05-13-2012 08:25 PM

Having not done any bandsaw boxes myself…we will see what others say. But i would guess its a dull blade, using that many teeth to cut through 3 inch material, the gullets between the teeth were probably getting loaded up with sawdust before the tooth could exit the material. This can lead to the blade heating up which makes dust stick between the teeth and prematurely dulls the blade.

I would guess you would want maybe a 1/4 inch blade with fewer teeth?

View NewEnglandsWoodWorks's profile


117 posts in 2625 days

#2 posted 05-13-2012 08:36 PM

I would say there are too many TPI. You should probably have fewer TPI. The blade shouldn’t be dull after 3 boxes, but it is probably clogged with sawdust in the gullets. Pick up a brass bristle brush from the store and it will probably clean it up fine. If it doesn’t try some DMT blade and bit cleaner from Woodcraft or pitch and resin remover from Rockler.


-- Brett

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3609 days

#3 posted 05-13-2012 09:08 PM

Fix a permanent rough type not wire brush over one of the wheels so it cleans as it cuts most bandsaws come now with this feature .Was your wood wet or oily? and yes you can clean the blade try some oven cleaner it works well but there is a safe cleaner for this very purpose doesn’t burn or sting it even removes rough sticky resin I use it on all my saws spray on and leave it for an hour then it wipes off if you want to know more email me and I will post it here otherwise have fun. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3261 days

#4 posted 05-13-2012 09:26 PM

Cherry will cover the cutting surface of your blade with rosen, just like you get cutting pine. I coil my blades put them in a shallow pan, then spray the blade with easy-off oven cleaner, wait 30 minutes and rinse them in HOT water while scrubbing them with a hard bristle brush. Then I dry them and coat them with Hopes gun cleaning solvent. It dries and doesn’t leave an oily film on the blade. I clean up my router bits the same way when I’ve cut a lot of cherry.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3671 days

#5 posted 05-13-2012 10:12 PM

Soaking a blade in soapy water loosens that stuff and then
you can brush it off with a stiff bristle brush or brass brush.
Dry it after of course so the teeth don’t rust.

It sounds like you tooth count is fine for your application.
Can you get a skip tooth 1/8” blade for your saw?

View bondogaposis's profile


4758 posts in 2375 days

#6 posted 05-13-2012 10:18 PM

First, Cherry burns easy, period. Two, for 3” stock you need a blade w/ less teeth and bigger gullets probably. Are you really making such tight turns that you need a 1/8” blade? How many TPI is on your blade? Go with the widest blade that will make the turns you need and get a blade w/ 3 or 4 tpi. Also round over the back of the blade so it turns in the cut easier w/ less heat.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2874 days

#7 posted 05-13-2012 10:20 PM

The reason cherry chars so quickly is the high sugar content, I am told. That makes for sticky, gooey stuff hanging around that attractive blade.

I have cleaned blades by (disconnect power) laying a chisel or square screwdriver against the side of the blade and hand turning the upper wheel backward.

Your question gives me a chance to climb on my soapbox and list my 6 considerations before approaching a tool:

1. angle of cutter
2. speed of cutter
3. condition of the cutting surface
4. rate of feed
5. chip removal
6. characteristics of the material being cut

With the givens you’ve described, and the wisdom here so far, it sounds like 4 and 5 and 6 need to be borne in mind.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3092 days

#8 posted 05-13-2012 11:18 PM

If you were using a high tooth count blade, you may have trapped shavings in the tooth gullets which caused burning.

Remove your blade and clean it. My money says that it will cut just fine after the gunk gets cleaned off.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2659 days

#9 posted 05-13-2012 11:33 PM

Get a rubbermaid bucket or whatever you have. Fill it with a solution of superclean and water. Let it soak for 15-20 min then use a brass brush to brush the teeth. Works great for bandsaw and tablesaw blades.

View 40Grit's profile


10 posts in 2229 days

#10 posted 05-14-2012 12:36 AM

Wow….This was my first Forum post since joining Lumberjocks and all I can say is THANK YOU! I think I can take some knowledge away from all of the 10 replies. I will certainly clean the blade using several of the techniques listed and I will try to buy a blade with a lower number of teeth per inch! I probably could have used a slightly wider blade but I am a beginner and the tight curves seem easier with a thinner blade.

Thanks Again for all the great input! Its fun to learn.

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