Cleaning router bits

James Brown

Member
Messages
8
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.
 

Carol Reed

In Memoriam
Messages
5,535
Location
Coolidge, AZ
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.) :):):)
 

glenn bradley

Member
Messages
9,592
Location
No, not all of SoCal is Hollywood.
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.
 

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Bill Simpson

Member
Messages
1,758
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)
 
Messages
1,503
Location
Austin, Texas
As noted, Simple Green should not be used on router or saw bits, since it attacks the brazing. The FAA doesn't allow it to be used on airplanes, since a spill could get into the airframe. But Simple Green Extreme (which is less corrosive) apparently isn't a problem. I finally found a large jug of the Simple Green Extreme concentrate at Sams Club.
 

jim crockett

Member
Messages
120
Location
Jay, Maine
I purchased Rockler's Saw Blade/Router Bit Cleaning Kit. It includes covered containers for cleaning saw blades and router bits, a quart of cleaner concentrate (makes a gallon) and a brass bristle brush. I mixed up enough cleaner to cover the blade and to mostly fill the 6 oz. bit container and it can be used over and over. I would expect with normal use that the cleaner concentrate provided will last at least a couple of years. Good stuff - soak the blade/bit for about 15 minutes, clean the crud off with either a toothbrush or the brass brush, dry, then coat with a product such as Boshield. Makes the bit or blade work like new!

Jim

 

John Miletta

Member
Messages
4
Location
North Texas
I`ll second the easy off oven cleaner, spray it on ond take a cut. I use it all the time and never once lost a carbide tip .There is no way it can attack enough surface area of the thin layer of silver solder in between the carbide tip and the cutter blank it`s welded to.
 
Messages
1,503
Location
Austin, Texas
...There is no way it can attack enough surface area of the thin layer of silver solder in between the carbide tip and the cutter blank it`s welded to.
That isn't what the manufacturers say

...I use it all the time and never once lost a carbide tip ....
A carbide tip is larger than a buckshot pellet and smaller than a bullet. Since the tip speed of a 1 1/2 inch diameter bit is about 112 mph, that is only about 30-40% of the speed of a bullet, so it probably won't kill you. And you only have a few percent chance of being hit, since you aren't surrounding the bit in all directions.

Overall I rate your chances pretty good in your game of Russian Roulette. I'm glad that you have been safe so far.
 

Garry Foster

Member
Messages
2,023
Location
Southeast Pa
Isn't easy off oven cleaner basically Lye?

Not saying thats bad but I thought that is what it is or a least was last time I checked into it..

Garry
 

Carol Reed

In Memoriam
Messages
5,535
Location
Coolidge, AZ
I've seen photos of what oven cleaner does to carbide over time. Microscopic holes until you have lace holding the thing together. In addition to the fact that oven cleaner is toxic and requires respiratory protection and gloves, why use it? And it is not particularly cheap either.

Cleaner made for the job is user friendly and environmentally friendly. And very effective. I spray on a coat, wait two minutes, brush stuff loose with a fingernail brush, rinse, dry, and its done. I have had a pint bottle for over ten years and there is still 3/4's of it left. Pretty economical, I'd say. A win all the way around.
 
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