If you often use your bandsaw in many of your projects, it will not be long when pitch and sawdust would accumulate in your bandsaw tires. This accumulation of pitch and sawdust may affect the performance of your bandsaw blade. Hence, if you want the saw blade to ride exactly on the tire center, it will be best to occasionally give the tires a good clean-up.
The excessive buildup of pitch and sawdust might lead to persistent tracking problems. Thus, if you want optimum performance for your bandsaw, it will help if you periodically clean the tires.
How Frequent Should You Clean those Bandsaw Tires?
How frequently you clean your bandsaw tires would depend on how often and how long you use the bandsaw. Moreover, it depends on what types of materials you often cut with your bandsaw. If you cut unseasoned wood or green wood more often, you can expect more buildup of pitch and sawdust on its tires. Hence, it will help to clean it more often. With regular cleaning, you can extend the life of your tires and saw blade. Think of this cleaning process as the needed routine maintenance of your bandsaw.
Once you remove the hood of your bandsaw, you will discover buildups of pitch and sawdust on the tires. Moreover, you will notice that the tire on the lower wheel has more dust and pitch than the tire on the upper wheel. Yet, the amount of this buildup depends on your frequency of using the bandsaw and the material you often cut. So, if you seldom use your bandsaw, you don’t need to clean the tires more often.
Steps on Cleaning Bandsaw Wheels and Tires Without Cleaner
If you are working with softwood, you can expect a buildup of resins and pitch. Hardwood doesn’t leave resin. So, if you work, for example, with pine wood, you can expect the saw blade to gather more resin. But if you would often work with hardwood like cherry or maple, you can follow the following simple steps:
- Gather the cleaning materials. Before you clean the bandsaw tires, you can prepare the following materials: sandpaper (120-grit), an old toothbrush, and a cotton cloth.
- Unplug the saw from the electrical outlet.
- Then, remove the saw blade to avoid the risk of injuring yourself.
- Afterward, tilt the table to show the tires.
- Start cleaning the lower bandsaw tire because this one is dirtier than the upper wheel tire.
- Begin to scrap the saw wheel using sandpaper. You can likewise use steel wool for this purpose.
- Rub the tires around. Turn the wheel as you rub the tires. In this way, you can do away with the stubborn pitch and sawdust.
- Afterward, you can use the toothbrush to rub the wheel with a steady motion until you do away with visible debris.
- Finally, wipe your bandsaw wheels with a clean cotton cloth.
Cleaning Bandsaw Wheels Using Cleaner or Soap
If you work with a softwood like pine more often, you will need soap or cleaner to clean the tires and wheels. Below are the simple steps you can follow in cleaning your bandsaw tires and wheels using soap:
- As usual, you should first gather your cleaning materials.
- Then, remove the saw blade and tilt your bandsaw tabletop to see the wheels.
- Start cleaning the lower tire and wheels because they accumulate more dirt.
- You can use a bandsaw wheel cleaner.
- Use the toothbrush to daub the wheel with cleaner. Let the cleaner stays for about fifteen minutes to imbue the debris and gunk.
- You can then rub the wheel using the brush and wipe the resin out.
- This cleaner is a water-based cleaner. So, you need to dry the tires and wheels. You can also dry the saw under the light of the sun.
What is the Best Way to Clean Bandsaw Tires?
As mentioned above, as the sawdust and pitch build up in your bandsaw tires and wheels, you would experience tracking problems with your bandsaw blade. Hence, it will help if you clean the tires and wheels occasionally. Always start by removing the cord of the bandsaw from the electrical outlet. Then, you can remove the saw blade.
Afterward, tilt the table to show the wheels and the buildup of pitch and sawdust. Make use of the 120-grit sandpaper or steel wool (synthetic). Give the wheel a light rub while you turn the wheel by hand.
Some reasons or factors might lead to the failure of your bandsaw to cut precisely. One of these reasons is the buildup of sawdust and pitch on the tires and wheels of the bandsaw. Without you cleaning this buildup, you can never get the optimal performance from your bandsaw. So, you need to engage in regular cleaning of your bandsaw wheels and tires to get optimum performance from your bandsaw.
Cleaning bandsaw tires isn’t that backbreaking. Yet, it can be tricky, so you need to be properly guided on how to do it. You can follow the abovementioned tips when cleaning. Lastly, you can do the cleaning without a cleaner or cleaning with cleaner or soap.
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker, carpenter and author who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.