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Author Topic: how do you clean your thin kirf sawmill blades?  (Read 8585 times)

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Offline Tom the Sawyer

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Re: how do you clean your thin kirf sawmill blades?
« Reply #40 on: June 10, 2018, 12:14:11 AM »
YH, are you diluting it, and how much?
07 Timberking B-20, Custom-made log arch, 20' trailer w/ log loading arch, F350 SD flatbed dump.  Princeton piggy-back forklift.  Bobcat S250, Stihl 025C 16" and a Husqvarna 372XP 24/30" bars, Grizzly 20" planer, Nyle L200M DH kiln.
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Offline Darrel

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Re: how do you clean your thin kirf sawmill blades?
« Reply #41 on: June 10, 2018, 01:02:58 AM »
Water works well to keep my blades clean in both western juniper and ponderosas pine. 
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: how do you clean your thin kirf sawmill blades?
« Reply #42 on: June 10, 2018, 08:42:15 AM »
I don't have an exact recipe, I wing it.  If I have a nearly empty water tank, I put maybe a half dozen glugs, maybe more or less until I see the water turn heavy milky.  Then I turn on the lube flow and watch with the band not moving and when the mix is right, it will wet adhere and crawl down the band.  Then I make a few cuts and see if the band stays clean.  If not, I'll add some more. If the band stays clean, then I'll run the tank down throughout the day, and when it's about half full, I'll just refill it up with plain water, and get back to sawing.  If the band starts to pitch up, I'll pour in some more oil.  Hickory I add pretty heavy, cherry and others the mix will work well even if weak.  I only go through maybe 10 gallons of Spindle cleaner max a year, because when mix is working I can turn the Lubemizer way down, and almost saw dry because the oil film keeps any pitch from sticking.  So the heavier the mix, the less flow needed on the band and the no more scraping wet sawdust, it generally just falls off the boards and the bands are dry, slick and clean.  I mix it pretty heavy for sticky pine and milled up a few thousand boardfeet a couple weeks ago, and had almost no pitch on the bands.

For example, I sawed some hickory a few weeks ago, mixed a pretty heavy milky mix, and the band stayed clean as a whistle.  I refilled the jug with plain water, and the mix was still strong, so I did a days worth of cedar, refilled with plain water again, then sawed a days red maple, and still didn't have any buildup.  So some wood needs more, some need less.

It's the only stuff I use with these days.  Its also keeps me from having to clean my bands before I sharpen them, and will keep them from rusting.  I first learned of this many years ago from a Woodmizer Competition Shootout Sawyer who had a 5 gallon jug of the John Deere spindle cleaner stashed in the back of his service truck for use in the competitions.  

I use the John Deere Spindle Cleaner and also the local Farmers COOP brand, I don't know about the stuff on amazon, but it should be the same stuff.

Here's the way I look at it.  If you have sticky rosin, grease, or paint on your hands, and rinse them with a water hose, the plain water will clean your hands, and get some, but not all off, as water is a very effective but weak solvent.  If you turn the water up higher, your hands still won't get clean, the only solution is to add some detergent or the proper solvent or both.  Then you can turn the water down and your hands will get clean anyway.  Same with blade lube, it only takes the proper solvent or detergent in the lube tank to keep the bands clean, and the solution isn't always turn the water up, its add more solvent.  If you want to run a simple experiment, take a pitchy band in your hands and rub various solvents on it and see which works.  A little diesel on you fingers will work well, some soaps will work well, PinSol ("Pine Solvent") work well at high enough concentrations, I've even used Deep Purple and Green Cleaner from Auto Zone.  Murphys Oil Soap works when mixed with soap, such as Dawn and Cascade, lots of soaps and solvents will work and odds are there are several good candidates in your kitchen or garage.  My point is that you can easily tell if what you have works, and what concentration is good, without ever running the mill.  Simple and useful chemistry.
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Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: how do you clean your thin kirf sawmill blades?
« Reply #43 on: June 10, 2018, 11:31:44 AM »
Your right YH. Everyone has to find what works for them. 
If I have to I use a little water. I find the older the log the more it will pitch in pine.

Offline Tom the Sawyer

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Re: how do you clean your thin kirf sawmill blades?
« Reply #44 on: June 10, 2018, 07:59:28 PM »
After reading recommendations from others on the forum, I decided to try cotton-picker spindle cleaner.  First, I had to find it, cotton is not grown in Kansas.  Local coop and JD dealer had never heard of it.  I gave him the JD part number and he said it would be $100 + shipping (5 gallons).  Was on a short trip to central Arkansas, checked at least a dozen places, no one had it.  Finally went on-line and found it (Mississippi), $45 for 5 gallons + $48 shipping.  

Started out using it at 1:10 ration (cleaner to water).  There were a few logs where I still got buildup so now trying 1:8 (1 cup per gallon).  Probably will go to 1:6 on the next batch.  I seldom mill timber logs, most of mine are residential removals, storm-damaged or diseased, so I probably run in to pitchy logs more often. When the drip won't keep up with the pitch, I squirt a little bit of Fluid Film on a wire brush and the blade cleans up quickly.
07 Timberking B-20, Custom-made log arch, 20' trailer w/ log loading arch, F350 SD flatbed dump.  Princeton piggy-back forklift.  Bobcat S250, Stihl 025C 16" and a Husqvarna 372XP 24/30" bars, Grizzly 20" planer, Nyle L200M DH kiln.
If you call and my wife says "He's sawin logs", I ain't snorin'.

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: how do you clean your thin kirf sawmill blades?
« Reply #45 on: June 10, 2018, 08:56:22 PM »
Wow, the shipping is expensive.  I pay $45 for a 5 gallon bucket, but its common here in cotton country so no shipping.
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