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Thread: Cleaning router bits

  1. #1

    Cleaning router bits

    What is the best way to clean built up wood tar or resin from router bits. I just came across some that are pretty caked up and have been that way for some time. Thanks much, Jim.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    some people soak em in simple green. I find that Easy Off foaming bar b Que cleaner works great. you just spray it on and watch the foam take it all away.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Eden Prairie, MN
    Good question, I'll have to try that!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    We now divide our time between southwest Florida and southwest Vermont.
    I use CMT Formula 2050 Blade and Bit Cleaner; works well.

    The optimist says the glass is half full.
    The pessimist says it's half empty.
    I say the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada
    James give this stuff a try. I use it on my TS blades and it works wonders.,41080,51225

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    some of the chems out there can cause damage to the welds or the carbide be careful.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Escondido, CA
    One more issue.

    If the router bit has an integral bearing, remove it. The solvents in the cleaner can leach out the lubricant in the bearing. Sealed bearings are not immune to this.

    I use the CMT cleaner. I've had the one pint bottle for over ten years; it isn't even half empty and I use it for saw blades as well. Good stuff.

    I simply spritz some on, wait a minute or two, then use a fingernail brush (or any stiff bristled brush, but these are inexpensive) to brush off the debris, dry it with compressed air and move on.

    FWIW. HTH. From the (retired) Router Lady

    (got a new title now.)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Last edited by John Bartley; 12-02-2010 at 01:28 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    I do what John does but I use "L.A. Awesome" from the 99cent store.

    In front of my router table is a small rack that holds my lift crank, collet wrenches, depth gauge and a nylon brush. When I raise the motor to remove a bit after use, I use the brush before I loosen the collet to remove the bit. This doesn't work well if I have left the bit to set overnight or anything but, right after use, pretty much everything brushes right off.

    I have reduced my wet cleaning of bits by a factor of 10 by spending 3 seconds with the brush right after use. I also put a drop of oil on the bearing before I set the bit onto a bit of paper towel stuffed into the compartment I keep them in. I haven't trashed a bearing in a couple of years.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  10. #10
    Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (no, not baking soda.... different chemical) usually found in Laundry aisle of Grocery stores (Or maybe in SWMBO's Laundry room already)

    Mix up a warm stiff solution and soak a few minutes and then Tooth brush clean (either an old brush or her brush will do) Wipe dry and hit with a little WD40 wipe dry.

    You will find the edge seems sharper as that goo builds up on the cutting edge as well as the leading "Gullet"

    A while back there was a discussion about Simple Green (I used to use it till someone posted a disclaimer from Simple Gree company warning not to use it for carbide blades.

    Oven Cleaner is too Caustic and has been traced to carbide bond failure, besides, it is too expensive, it stinks and really burns when you get it on small cuts.

    Cost wise the Oven cleaner is the most expensive, Simple Green is next and Washing Soda is Cheap. My washing lady also uses it to presoak and super clean my nasty drawers. (ever sense she found my stash in her cabinet)

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