Thursday, August 21, 2014
What a pitch!
What a (pitchy) mess!
Wow, my blades are a wreck. We've sawn through miles of wood during the last few weeks, and you can feel the drag on the blade with every cut.
I pulled the blades from every saw, and decided to test a couple of cleaners. Someone gave me a can of the Sprayway cleaner, and I picked up a can of Easy-Off Oven Cleaner.
There is conflicting information about the best way to clean pitch off a saw blade - some say that using oven cleaner will attack the binder used on carbide blades, thus deteriorating the brazing on the carbide tips. The theory is that if the brazing fails, the carbide tips can separate from the blade.
But - other studies say that using oven cleaners are fine.
One thing is sure - both substances I tried dissolved the pitch almost immediately. It didn't take 30 seconds of soaking to dissolve everything.
A green scrubby removes everything caked around the tips. (I'm using gloves, by the way.)
So the question remains - is it safe to use oven cleaner to clean my blades?
The price of the official blade cleaning product is about $5.50 a can, and oven cleaner is just a little less than that, so price isn't a huge consideration.
Some people complain about the toxicity of oven cleaner, but after getting a snout full of the pitch cleaner - I think that's a moot point. Both really suck!
Considering that my blades only "soak" in the oven cleaner for 30 seconds, and are rinsed clean - they can't sustain much deterioration.
Bottom line? I'll just use what I have available.