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Cleaning tar/burnt !@#*( from cutting bits and blades?

Subject: Cleaning tar/burnt !@#*( from cutting bits and blades?
From: Mike Lee - Team Banana Racing <>
Date: Thu, 08 Feb 2001 11:50:03 -0800
Sorta related to all the talk on routers and table saws....

A number of my router bits and saw blades (mainly the fine cut plywood blades)
are getting a nasty coating of burnt black looking stuff on them.  I'm guessing
this is tar/sap/rosin from the wood, and is burning up due to the heat of
the cutting.  Possibly, it might be the glue from cutting plywood.  What's a
good way of cleaning it off?

The manual to my saw suggests turpentine.  I didn't have turpentine, but I had
laquer thinner; that didn't faze the stuff on the saw blade at all.  I then
tried some oven cleaner on a whim (hey, it's burnt on stuff, right?).  It did
take it off well, but also seemed to remove the "paint" on the blade.  When
reusing the blade, I've discovered the "paint" serves as a non-stick coating;
it cut well at first, but gummed up quickly on the spots where the "paint"
was removed.

I'm hesitant to use the oven cleaner on the router bits, as they're much more
$$ than the saw blade, and I'm afraid of stupidly ruining them.  Does anyone
know of a good solution for cleaning them up?  Hopefully, this would work for
the saw blades as well?  Sharpening tips would be appreciated also... =8^)


P.S.  I'm going to get a table saw and put a router table in it, as previously
suggested by a number of you.  I can't afford the $1k models that were mentioned
earlier, but around $400-$500 is doable.  I've found two interesting models; 
seem to be marketed by both Home Depot and Sears (with Sears versions relabelled
as Craftsman).  The first one:
is a bit smaller, but has a very nice miter guage; also it already has a built
in router mount.  The HD version is labelled by Ryobi; I've heard questionable
things about their rep?

The other one:
has a much nicer table, but the miter guage doesn't appear as stout, and it'd 
be some
work to mount a router to it.  On the plus side, the fence is very nice, the 
is *huge*, and the HD version is labelled by Ridgid, which I think has a good 

Any thoughts on these or comparable saws?

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