People who have a hand for crafts and woodwork almost always have a table saw in their workshops. Even though it is one of the most useful tools, a lot of workers do not regularly clean their table saw blade. It is an essential part of the machine that needs to be maintained as well.
Being able to care for your table saw blade will benefit you in the long run. It helps in lengthening its service life while preventing accidents and poor performance. Poor saw cutting performance can lead to an unsafe work environment which can put your life at risk. Having a clean and kept table saw blade can help you save money by avoiding injuries and the need for new blades. This article will guide you on how to clean a table saw blade.
Materials You Will Need to Clean a Table Saw Blade
- cleaning solution
- pan, basin or tray for soaking
- cleaning brush (brass or plastic bristles)
- cloth and paper towels for drying
- hair blower (optional)
Tips to Clean a Table Saw Blade
Your saw blade will look dirty over time. This dirt is actually an accumulation of pitch, sap, and resin deposits from cutting wood. This buildup will lead to rough blade edges resulting in dull blade cutting performance. Moreover, the cut edge of the wood will not look and feel good. Additional effort in sanding the edges might be needed as a remedy to this.
To remove this, you have to soak the whole saw blade in a solution as a first step in cleaning it. This will help soften the accumulation for easier brushing. You can choose from the following cleaning agents available on Amazon that are safe to be used for table saw blades:
- CMT Formula 2050 Blade and Bit Cleaner
- Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner
- Goo Gone All-Purpose Cleaner
- Formula 409 Cleaner
- Formula 420 Cleaner
Depending on how dirty your blade looks, you can dilute your chosen cleaner for a less concentrated mixture. The recommended dilution is 1:3-4 or 1-part cleaning solution mixed with 2 or 3 parts water. However, if your blade has thicker deposits, you might need to soak it in a more concentrated solution. Just lessen the amount of water to achieve this.
Mix the cleaning agent and water thoroughly before soaking your blade. Use a tray just deep enough to submerge the whole blade. Soak it for 5-10 minutes.
After soaking the blade, use a brush that has either a nylon or brass bristle. A brass brush is the recommended tool for scrubbing your saw blade. If you do not have access to a brass brush, a typical plastic toothbrush will do. Scrub the sides of your blade. Brush carefully in an outward motion away from the sharp edge to prevent any injuries. Ensure to scrub each piece of the blade’s carbide tips to make sure no residue is left.
Remember not to put a lot of pressure when brushing because this can damage the blade’s tips. If the dirt is not easily removed, soak the blade in a new cleaning solution mixture for another 10 minutes.
Before shining, dry your saw blade. It is important to completely dry your table saw blade after cleaning because left over moisture can lead to rust development. Because the blade has a lot of little corners, you might want to use a blow dryer to make sure it is completely dried up.
To prevent rust formation, lubricate your table saw blade using oil or a commercial metal lubricant. This will not only protect the metal but also give it a nice, clean shine. Just wipe or spray a thin amount on your blade and pat it off with a paper towel or soft cloth and your blade will look anew!
Additional Saw Blade Care Tips
1. Never use oven-cleaners on your saw blades. This can lead to the removal of the carbide tips and result to accidents during use.
2. As soon as you see residues building up on your saw blade, start cleaning it. This regular maintenance will help extend the life of your table saw blade.
3. Avoid putting your metal blade on top of another metal such as steel. This can dull your blade and damage it. Moreover, putting it on top of cement can damage it as well. If you want to set your blade down a surface, put in on wood or plastic instead.
4. During storage, avoid storing it in a way that the blades rub against each other. This can lead to metal chipping and result in a poor cutting performance.
Always keep your table saw blade clean. This may seem like a hassle but it will not only keep you and your workshop safe and injury-free, it will also help you save money by making your saw blades last longer.