How to clean the resin build-up on saw blades

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Blog entry by KBC posted 12-27-2008 04:45 AM 5267 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I received a great Christmas gift,A saw blade sharpener.

The tool is simple enough,with 2 sharpening wheels,one diamond bonded steel(for face grinding only) and one emery type beveled wheel(for both face and edge grinding) both have their limits and needs.

The reason this is so necessary for the shop is simple,we have 30 blades,most needing sharpened.

The question I have is how to clean the resin off the edges,what to use?I cut new southern yellow pine and old barn siding for projects and the resin builds up quickly,this wood is full of the stuff.Eventually the blade just burns(edges) and smokes,requiring change..well needless to say,it’s high time we found a solution to this problem.

Any ideas?

-- Ken, Northern Illinois,[email protected]

8 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4455 days

#1 posted 12-27-2008 05:06 AM

Here is one review that has been posted here of Simple Green that will work. I use either a spray-on oven cleaner, which cleans blades in just a few minutes or the Boeshield products available at Rockler. Of the two the Easy Off is cheaper.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Karson's profile


35212 posts in 5033 days

#2 posted 12-27-2008 05:08 AM

I went to the grocery store and picked up a cleaner that seemed to say that it would clean everything. I sprayed it on and used a little brass brissled brush and wiped it off about 10 minutes for a blade.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View KBC's profile


34 posts in 4094 days

#3 posted 12-27-2008 05:20 AM

I will try the oven cleaner makes sense that it would clean the resin off,being it’s baked on,,to some extent.

I have burnished off 2 blades so far(just the sides) but the area in between the tips are full of resin also.

After I posted this question I looked around and found the other listings(guess others have had this problem too,,,duh)

I’ll repost with the results soon.

Thanks for the heads up.

-- Ken, Northern Illinois,[email protected]

View moshel's profile


865 posts in 4317 days

#4 posted 12-27-2008 08:43 AM

oven cleaners contain caustic soda which attack the binding between the carbide and the steel. i would think twice before using it. i would also be a bit reluctant to use simple green in the future although it worked well for me in the past, because of (there is a shorter version of this on the simple green site as well). I just found this out not too long ago, so I am looking for a new way of cleaning. I read somewhere that simple green has a dedicated blade cleaner, but i would guess it will get here within a decade or two :-)

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

View Andraxia's profile


133 posts in 4142 days

#5 posted 12-27-2008 10:38 AM

I know it might be because I am a woman but the dish washer works great – just make sure your wife either approves or is our of the house while it is running.

Just drop a standard dishwasher tablet in and set it on normal wash.

The tablets are mildly caustic but of such a low % strength compared to oven cleaner (something like 3% of oven cleaner strength) that I would not worry about the bond between metals and the hot water washes it down even more.

I picked up a cheap bench top washer at a garage (lawn) sale. It is in the workshop awaiting the plumbing to be connected but I trialed it inside and it works fantastic.

-- The wood slayer - Yes dear I did plan to make more kindling out of that wood I have been drying for the last year - honest!

View kefob1's profile


9 posts in 4080 days

#6 posted 12-27-2008 02:44 PM

Get a pizza tray that the blades will sit on and sprinkle baking soda over it and then add hot water.The pitch will just fall off.Very simple and very effective way of making blades as new.

View EEngineer's profile


1120 posts in 4246 days

#7 posted 12-27-2008 05:22 PM

Dishwashers are great for a number of things! I am currently restoring an 8” table saw for my brother. The arbor casting and trunnions had about 50 years of sawdust and pitch buildup. I just ran it through a normal dish cycle with no detergent and the castings look brand new. bearings were sealed so I don’t anticipate any problems with them.

I also work with a lot of electronics. Old electronics boards and especially remotes that had a coke spilled on them get the same treatment.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View KBC's profile


34 posts in 4094 days

#8 posted 12-31-2008 04:52 PM

I have completed the entire plethora of blades,(35 in all after pitching 1 which I found had NO TEETH left) :(

Even though I have rethought the pitching of the blade as it could be a reference tool to show friends and neighbors who might want their blades worked on.( something like:”NO, I can’t repair or sharpen a blade like this!”) I am still debating this idea.

The steel blades I felt comfortable using the oven cleaner on( I first used the bench grinder with a wire brush attachment to remove all build up from the inner and outer edges,then cleaner to remove the debris from the body and between the tips)They were the easiest to work on.

The carbide tipped blades were easy enough to use on the bench grinder as well(I found it smart as I found many damaged tips when they were cleaned properly) then a little oven cleaner(on a steel brush) to clean further inside the wire brushed areas where the build up was still evident.

This sharpener,I will rate as I use it for sharpening others blades,If it has problems I will post the results.If not,I will give a favorable rating and tell all about it’s diversity and attributes(including the maker)

-- Ken, Northern Illinois,[email protected]

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