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Author Topic: Sap buildup on bandsaw blade  (Read 17094 times)

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Offline Papa Dave

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Sap buildup on bandsaw blade
« on: October 24, 2001, 09:07:45 am »
I have been discussing with Jeff Green the idea of what to use to keep bandsaw blades clean from buildup. Tom suggested I put this on the board for all to join in.  Since I am new to the forum,  I thought this may be boring and overly simple for most of you.

I had planned to use 3/4 diesel and 1/4 bar chain oil and with an auto windshield washer pump, spray the solution on the blade top and bottom. Of course, it would only spray when I pushed the button.

However, I am also hearing that water and some additives are a good solution too.

So, all you Doctors of Sawmilling, join in and give me the
best way to handle this. ::)





Offline Tom

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Re: Sap buildup on bandsaw blade
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2001, 09:38:24 am »
Hey dave,

Everybody has a different idea to keep the blade from gumming up.  I like just water because it doesn't hurt the wood.  It doesn't hurt the blade either, contrary to what some technicians say.  If you saw enough the blade won't get rusty. If you don't then a light coat of oil will prevent rust. I've never found the light dusting of rust that gets on a blade overnight to hurt anything and I store blades on my truck that get quite a bit of rust.  Granted they would be better without it but I have better things to do than polish blades everyday....like saw wood.  The first 10 seconds in a log will polish a blade real quick and the rust goes away. I've never found pitting to be a problem.  If you left the blade unattended for a couple of months it may be effected enough to cause concern.

I use water and sometimes a little dish soap in it...pinesol would do the same thing I guess.  I've heard of folks using pinesol.  I use Ivory mainly or whatever is handy.  I don't use soap unless I just have to because it cuts the grease and oil on the machine and I think it limits the life of the bearings. Especially the guide bearings on a roller guide.

I don't use oil because I wouldn't want diesel or other petroleum product on my wood if I were my customer. You don't know what somebody will do with that wood.  It may effect a finish down the road somewhere or heck, somebody may eat a steak off of it one day.  I just feel more comfortable providing a product to my customers that they wouldn't have to second guess what might be on it. I have understood that petroleum products will deteriorate the v-belts used for tires on some mills.  I ran into that problem on my WoodMizer years ago and  that was the first question the customer service rep ask me, "did you get oil on the belts?".  The belt had shrunk so tight onto the blade wheel that I had to cut it off with a chisel.

I have had to occassionally use a shot of wd-40 to clean a blade that got out of hand.

The best thing to prevent gumming is a sharp...I mean really sharp blade and enough set to keep the blade body from running against the wood in the kerf.  Too much set and you leave a lot of sawdust in the kerf which will cause you problems too.  Too little set will cause gumming and a miriad of other problems as well.  If the blade is sharp it runs cool and the sap doesn't tend to stick the sawdust onto the blade as bad.  One of the first things I suspect when I get gumming is a dull blade.

If the alignment of the saw is bad and the blade is diving or otherwise contacting the board or cant then you will get gumming.  It is imperative that the blade run true in the kerf.

Don't forget to saw though.  Some problems are intermittant and will stop your production if you spend too much time on them.    
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Sap buildup on bandsaw blade
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2001, 02:06:54 pm »
Papa Dave,

Never think anything is overly simple for this bunch. :D

Besides, thats the idea here, we learn, and so do the folks that come here in the future. Besides you will never get to 200 posts and get a grea :)t hat by "not" posting
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Offline Papa Dave

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Re: Sap buildup on bandsaw blade
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2001, 02:18:11 pm »
I sure do want my hat.  Winter is coming. 8)

Offline Papa Dave

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Re: Sap buildup on bandsaw blade
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2001, 07:59:27 am »
Tom, on your reply you make a good point as does Jeff Green about using water.  

So, tell me, do you let the water drip on the top of the blade (only) all the time and if so how much.  Is it gravity fed or do I need the pump?


Offline Kevin

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Re: Sap buildup on bandsaw blade
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2001, 10:35:59 am »

Offline woodmills1

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Re: Sap buildup on bandsaw blade
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2001, 02:26:43 pm »
i use 50/50 bar oil and diesel.  it has worked fine for two years.  i only squirt it from an old oil can when there is build up or too much blade noise.  no stain on lumber, and so far the only time it seems like it is not as effective as water is on old pine that tends to gum easily.  no water saves the freezing hassels in winter and no lugging around two or three 5 gallon containers.
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster, still cuttin the logs dere IAM

Offline Jeff

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Re: Sap buildup on bandsaw blade
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2001, 02:58:38 pm »
Here is a link to one of our forum members site. He offers a blade lube system.  I built his website but I don't know anything about the luber accept that he makes and sells em.

http://www.forestryforum.com/mcs/luber.htm
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Offline Tom

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Re: Sap buildup on bandsaw blade
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2001, 05:10:02 pm »
Papa Dave,
I gravity feed from a 3 gal. container mounted on the mast of my LT40 through a little brass valve mounted on the outside of the tower next to my brake and it drips or sometimes floods onto the top of the blade just in front of the stationary blade guide.  This was a Woodmizer design, not one of my own.  They have since moved the delivery spout to the side of the movable guide with the logic being that the blade will be wet when it enters the cant so that the pitch won't stick. I have never had reason to change mine.

Cold weather sawyers may have trouble with freezing and I guess there are ways to  combat that, anti-freeze maybe.
I have heard a lot of discussion about the spray bottle of diesel and bar oil all of which I suppose works.  

I have stayed with water and a little soap if needed because it
works and water just seems to always be available when I would have to inventory a special lubricant.  I guess I may look into shelving items if I didn't move around so much.  It would be neat to have all these different suggested lubricants and track covers and motor covers and blade configurations and sharpening wheels and.......and........well you get the picture.

Its not that the other things work any better or any worse as much as it is my philosophy to Keep it simple Stupid.  I try to find what will work, don't try to fix what ain't broke and do my experimenting in a controlled environment and time frame separate from my "proven"  production environment.  Sometimes I run into some pretty interesting stuff when I am testing but I try to remember that is what I am doing.

I have tried petroleum products on the blade and found that I don't care for it.  I have tried different materials for a brake and found that I prefer the one woodmizer makes.  I know what I can use in a pinch though.  I tried covering the rails on the mill and found it un-productive because I don't sit up long enough for it to be of any use. I do go through a lot of automatic transmission oil on the rails and tower and chains.  Silicon works good on the towers too but it sure is expensive, something else I have to inventory and sometimes it gets on the wood which I fear may give my customers problems down the road.

I've learned to perform regular maintenance on all the electrical connections and that has saved me a lot of down time.  I don't use drying sprays etc as some automotive parts people have suggested to me because "it is just something else to inventory".

I do keep some spray White Lithium grease on hand and some chain lube for those times when I need to make something slick fast "in the heat of battle" :D  It still doesn't replace a grease gun and regular maintenance though.

What in the world got me off on this tirade?  I sit and pass the podium to someone else.  Jeez....I never used to talk this much....must like what I'm doing.
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Offline woodmills1

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Re: Sap buildup on bandsaw blade
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2001, 09:04:28 pm »
yes atf is needed to keep the mizer smooth.  sometimes i stop at lunch and do it again.  then clean the wipers and     wd-40 the chains.  but she always keeps workin.
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster, still cuttin the logs dere IAM

Offline Jeff_Green

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Re: Sap buildup on bandsaw blade
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2001, 07:00:54 am »
 :)After cutting an extensive amount of wood on my bandmill (300bf or so),  I feel it is time to share some of the vast store of knowledge I have aquired,  First - it really doesn't help to put 2 more quarts of oil in your 20hp Honda engine than it calls for - lots of smoke and 2 fouled plugs were the result,  Next, remember to tighten your band blade tension - my first cuts looked like a roller coaster ride,  finally, make sure the water (or water mix) used to cool/lubricate the blade gets distributed across the entire width of the blade or the dry part will get gummed up and the wet part will be clean and your saw cut will look like it came thru a circle mill ..... Boy is this an education!! (Great fun though!!) :D :D :D

Offline Papa Dave

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Re: Sap buildup on bandsaw blade
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2001, 07:46:15 am »
This is all so complicated, I think I will keep my day job.  I still want my hat, though.

Ok, I think I will take the pump back and use water. ;D

Offline Tom

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Re: Sap buildup on bandsaw blade
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2001, 05:02:43 pm »
Hang onto the pump if you don't have much in it, papa dave.  It may come in handy to deliver water sometime.  The way to stop the flow of water on a Woodmizer is to pass the plastic tubing through a "U" shaped piece of metal so that when you raise the clutch handle it pinches the tubing.  It may be that you could use your pump to deliver water under pressure when you really needed to flood the blade. Or better yet, put the nozzle on the top of the mill and on a hot day you could spray a mist of cool water over your head and be comfortable. :D

I wonder if the you could use the pressure of the pump to pump Auto trans fluid onto the rails and chain intermittantly.  No Joke, this may be something to look into.  the best way to keep the rails from  getting gum and sawdust buildup is to keep them wet with ATF.  I put ATF on the cotton wiper on my Woodmizer but need to clean it and re-oil it every couple of hours.or so. Hmmmmmm.
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Offline Bibbyman

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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2001, 07:45:55 pm »
It’s an old story often told.  What kind of liquid do you put on the blade and what is it for? :P

For some reason,   I get buy just fine 95% of the time just running dry.  Even when I get sap buildup,  I use very little water mixed with Pinesol.  Even then I hesitate to use it when I’m actually sawing.  What I do is - when I’m getting ready to make the next cut,  I’ll turn on the water and spin up the blade and set there and watch the sap wash away. Then I’ll turn the water off and wait until the blade looks nearly dry.  The whole process only takes a few seconds.  Then I’ll start sawing.  Generally,  I’ll get several cuts before a repeat is required.  Sometimes only the sap layer causes problems.  I figure the sawdust is sticking because it’s wet so why add more water to the problem?   :-[

Mary uses quite a lot of water/soap mix when sawing.  For some reason she thinks she’s suppose to.  I’ll take over sawing the same log and use none and get just as good a result.

On the other end of the though process,  I talked to one Wood-Mizer owner who thought the water bottle was a joke and took his off.  He adapted the water line to a garden hose and ran it full blast all the time!   Said it as messy and the offbearers were always wet and complaining but it kept the sap down and the dust didn’t fly around.  Probably looked like thin grits* pouring out of the chute.  :o

(If y-all live north of the Mason/Dixon Line,  Tom can tell you what a Grit is.)   ;)



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Offline Tom

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Re: Sap buildup on bandsaw blade
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2001, 09:17:28 pm »
Ah yes, Grits.  That wonderful staple of the south.  Course ground hominy boiled in water for a half hour or better, to the consistancy of pancake batter or plaster, seasoned with salt, pepper and served with copius amounts of butter or red-eye gravy and "soft fried" eggs, over-easy or sunny side up, such that you're torn betwixt mixing them with the grits or "sopping' with your toast.  It's a terrible thing to get your bacon or sausage patties in the grits, but everyone intentionally/accidentally seems to get little pieces in there and that is the first bite the fork takes off of the plate.

Then a swallow of steaming hot coffee to wash it down in preparation for some more.

Ah grits !  Perhaps that is what makes sawing with water as a blade lubricant so attractive.

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Offline Jeff

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Re: Sap buildup on bandsaw blade
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2001, 05:12:03 am »
I'll stick to fried potatoes. I can't imagine sitting down for preakfast and thinking "mmm mmmmM  sawmill by products, can't wait!"
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Offline Eggsander

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Re: Sap buildup on bandsaw blade
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2001, 06:15:43 am »
Maybe Charlie could translate for some us Northerners what the attraction is.
(its pronounced greeeeeeeeeeeits, isn't it)    :D
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Offline Bibbyman

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Re: Sap buildup on bandsaw blade
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2001, 07:26:12 am »
Where I work at my “day job”,  we have a sister facility in Athens, GA.  Some of our people get the opportunity to travel down there from time to time.  They all come back from their first trip telling of the beautiful campus of UG,  the double barrel canon setting on the courthouse lawn,  girls in the bars out on Atlanta HY, and of Grits.  All have some kind of negative encounter story with Grits. :-X

Being born and raise here in the middle of Missouri,  I can be as south as the next guy. ;)  So when I’ve gone down there,  I can slip comfortably into the indigenous population.  

I’ve come to believe the waitress have developed a test for suspected Yankees spies.  

When you order breakfast,  they’ll ask,  “Do you want grits with that?”.  And if you ask, “What a grit?”,  they’ll know you’re a Yankee.  If you say politely, “No”, they’ll know you’re a Yankee that has been south before.  But if your say, “Hell, YES! Comes with grits, don’t it?”,  they’ll figure you just from Alabama or maybe Tennessee.  Then you better eat’m and like’m because they’ll be a watchin’.  Also be prepared for the follow-up questions: “Do you want jelly or catsup to go on them grits?”   ::)
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Sap buildup on bandsaw blade
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2001, 08:29:37 am »
Bannock is good with boiled maple sap so keep that maple sap off your band and on your bannock!

Offline Tom

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Re: Sap buildup on bandsaw blade
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2001, 08:58:17 am »
In dire confusion I ran to my browser to learn what a bannock was before I showed my ignorance on NM (national monitors).  It sounds like a biscuit to me mmmmmmmm like'm best with cane syrup.
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