I’m not the greatest at keeping my shop immaculate as my workday progresses but I do take the time to clean up at the end of the day so I get a fresh start the next day. One area that I’m pretty faithful in, however, is in keeping my tool blades clean. Even without having the blades sharpened (professionally or DIY) you can improve the quality of your cuts by keeping your sharp edges free of residue buildup.
If you read my previous blogs you know I don’t have the biggest shop so a lot of my equipment is either smaller or of the “benchtop” variety. That said, I still produce fine quality products using a variety of hardwoods by investing a little extra in my cutting blades and then keeping them clean and sharp.
I’ve been using a lot of Padauk wood lately and I love the look of it, however Padauk kind of reminds me of the friend you like to invite over and spend time with, yet after they’re gone you see signs of their presence left behind for days. The reddish residue that comes off Padauk loves to stick to the teeth of your blades, so I take the extra time for a detailed cleaning.
In the past I’ve used blade cleaners from some very reputable sources, and had success, however in some of my recent reading I picked up a tip on cleaning my blades by using a well known spray oven cleaner.
Since I’m always willing to try new things, especially when there is cost savings involved, I gave it a try.
To my surprise the oven cleaner worked far and above my previous cleaners. Now I’m no chemist, so it might be that the chemicals used are harsher than those in other cleaners, but I’m cleaning steel blades not my Sunday shoes.
Simply spray the oven cleaner on your blades, wait about 5 minutes and then wipe the gunk off with a shop rag; I’m telling you this stuff works like no other. I’ve used it on my table saw blade, router bits and forstner drill bits, all have come as clean as ever in no time; and at less than $5.00 a can, it’s a winner all around.