Bandsaw blade maintenance is important for productive output as well as operator safety.
A dirty bandsaw blade will dull fast, thus shortening its original lifespan.
There are several easy and effective ways for keeping blades clean while guarding against things like build-up and rust.
Cleaning bandsaw blades will extend blade life, keep it sharp, and help to avoid stripped teeth and crooked cuts. These are apt to occur with debris build-up in the gullets.
It is especially prevalent in smaller shops using smaller, vertical bandsaws that may not be equipped with a chip brush or a cool/lubricate implement built in.
Residue is in the pitch, where wood sap or resin build up.
Resin can be sticky and will cause problems in blade performance. It causes friction, slowing and heating up the blade. Simply soak the bandsaw blade in soapy water. Make sure to wipe it clean with a dry cloth.
A hair dryer works well to dry the blade after soaking and towel-drying. Use of a non-toxic liquid is another way to remove resin and clean the blade.
Rusty blades offer poor performance.
To avoid blade rust, clean the machine and blade after every operation. Wipe them both down with a clean, dry cloth at the end of each work day. Again, using a liquid solution is faster and more convenient, but either way will help to assure longevity and a clean cut.
Spraying lubricant will help protect the blades from rust, but if the blade is already rusty, be careful about the way in which the rust is removed. If it is light, it will not take much to clean, but if it is crusted and appears deep, use a non-toxic rust removal solution.
Brushing or scrubbing a rusty bandsaw blade is NOT encouraged.
There are cleaning products and materials available to keep bandsaw blades clean such as Simple Green, oven cleaner spray, various citrus cleaners, and mineral spirits. Each cleaner has its own instructions to follow.
It is not advisable to use a metal scraper or corrosive solvent as these may cause blade damage.
Always make sure to unplug the bandsaw and then carefully remove the blade before cleaning.
The best advice is to adapt to a regular cleaning schedule of the bandsaw machine and blade.
Make it a habit to clean both machine and blade on a regular basis to help avoid residue build-up. Proper and daily blade cleaning will improve performance and increase blade lifespan.