Clean Your Saw Blades!

Smoking burnt wood often comes from a gunky saw blade.  As wood get cut, it leaves resin that sticks to the metal from the high heat generated in the sawing process.

Fortunately it’s easy to get rid of. A 10 inch table saw blades fits perfectly in the bottom of a 5 gallon plastic bucket. Pour in some Simple Green and let it sit overnight.  It may not take that long, but that’s just what I do.  When I change a blade I’ll look at it.  If the teeth are covered with brown pitch, I put it in the bucket and cover it with Simple Green.


Take it out and wipe it off. Done.


Simple Green is safe to dump outside or in the storm sewer. I pour it into another container and reuse it, because I’m cheap. Then I dump it.  It turns from Simple Green to Complex Brown, but it will still work for another blade.


Note that you can reduce that buildup on your blades by having your table saw aligned and by pushing stock through a little faster.  Both of these reduce the generated heat so it doesn’t liquify the resin.


I was noticing a black discoloration on the bottom of the blades where they rest against the plastic bucket.  At first I didn’t pay too much attention – just a stain – but later I found this:


This looked three dimensional, not just a stain, and feeling it with my fingers I could feel a definite relief.  Now, to be fair, I had left this blade in the juice for over two days.  I had learned that it only took an hour or so to loosen the resin and had been doing that, but this time I was busy and sidetracked.

So I called the friendly people at Ridge Carbide Tools, maker of several of my blades, and talked to a very friendly man.  He advised me to simply spray the blades and scrub with a nylon or brass brush, then wipe with WD-40 for rust prevention.  Sounds like a good idea, but I’ll probably still try my short-duration 5 gallon bucket soak and watch for problems.  No more overnight.  And don’t forget to first dilute your Simple Green!

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