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How to clean a bandsaw

Tarting up my Nutool purchase

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John Coates14/07/2011 06:51:44
558 forum posts
28 photos
Bought a Nutool bandsaw some weeks ago to save my little heart from any strain cause by hack sawing away for hours
It was secondhand but fully working but in need of a good clean. I had to use my nail to clean off the nameplate. So there's a good saw underneath but I need to clean off years worth of accumulated sawing dust.
Ultimately I would like to give it a refurb and carry out some mods I read about in an old MEW I picked up so that will be a new lick of paint.
But until then a good clean will have to do. What can I use to clean off the metal dust ?
Clive Hartland14/07/2011 07:57:01
2756 forum posts
40 photos
Buy a litre of white spirit and a couple of small brushes and if you are going to strip it down place the parts in the white spirit to soak for a few minutes. This will soften all the detritus and it can be brushed off.
To get rid of the white spirit, dip the parts in a bucket of hot water with a little washing up liquid in it and then rinse in hot water.
You can then use a hot air gun to dry the wet parts, beware of getting too close with the hot air gun.
If there are large parts to clean then use one of these high pressure water jet machines that are available.
This is our standard measure that we use for cleaning up parts in our Instrument repair shop as some of the instruments come on covered in unmentionable muck.
Dave Tointon14/07/2011 09:49:08
49 forum posts
G'Day John,
I'd get a couple of litres of kerosene/paraffin and give it a good scrub with a stiff brush, hose it off, then leave her out in the sun for a few days. Thats the Australian way, if you're somewhere else, a local may offer better advice.
Dave Tointon
Steve Garnett14/07/2011 11:00:00
837 forum posts
27 photos
Posted by Clive Hartland on 14/07/2011 07:57:01:

If there are large parts to clean then use one of these high pressure water jet machines that are available.

I had a go at a bandsaw with one of these last year. It was absolutely filthy (and over 60 years old), so I removed the motor and electrical controls and decided to power-jet the entire thing. This is a machine on a stand, and I have to say the whole thing swayed quite alarmingly when I hit the top of it with the jet. So I stopped and laid it down, which made the whole thing rather more stable when hit with 150bar. On a smaller benchtop model I wouldn't expect quite the same reaction...

Gordon W14/07/2011 11:43:52
2011 forum posts
Take off all electrical bits. Get some cleaning fluid, sold in car spares type shops, Gunk or similar. Brush well in with old stiff brush, leave for a few minutes, pressure wash. If no washer just brush with plenty of water. Inspect and repeat if needed. This will clean like new.
John Coates14/07/2011 12:09:13
558 forum posts
28 photos
Ah well I have the white spirit, gunk and a pressure washer (100 or 120 bar) so the job is on. It is a floor standing horizontal/vertical jobbie not a bench top one.
I've tried searching for a manual as once I'd cleaned the label up it gave me the band size and the three speed ratings. The bloke I bought it off said these related to the material to be cut and that adjustment was done by a longitudinal screw along the axis of the machine but I've got no idea how to adjust it. I also need to know the lubrication points.
IIRC I think it says it is model type 159 (?)
John Coates14/07/2011 12:34:16
558 forum posts
28 photos
Here it is  


Edited By John Coates on 14/07/2011 12:37:51

Edited By John Coates on 14/07/2011 12:38:22

Clive Hartland14/07/2011 14:01:57
2756 forum posts
40 photos
Dave, here in the UK Kerosene and Paraffin are as expensive as veh. fuel if you can find it.!
There is a white oil that is sold in garden centers for greenhouse heaters but it is also expensive.
We settled on the white spirit because it is the cheapest and we can filter it for re-use.
Everything else of a volatile nature is too expensive for cleaning purposes.
The only thing about white spirit is it affects rubber based components and these we clean in detergent only.
The whit spirit dissolves hardened grease and even silicone grease so it is quite versatile.
Pat14/07/2011 15:18:23
94 forum posts
1 photos
Hi Folks
I use white spirit when I am not going to immediately continue to machine or work the parts in some way as white spirit contains oils that help prevent further corrosion. This is of importance to me for machinery during a strip down or cleaning prior to assembly. I have never had the need to remove the oily film other than in preparation for painting where I have always used the thinner/cleaner for the paint process being used.
Paraffin on the other hand is a fuel and is refined so that it contains little or no corrosion preventative free oil. If you store paraffin in a steel tin it soon rusts out the bottom even with the cap in place. The same remark applies to petrol as a cleaner but there is a real risk of explosion of the vapour in the confines of a workshop. I do not know how diesel performs as a cleaner as I hate the smell!
The likes of Jizz - Gunk and industrial detergents are good but require post treatment to keep rust away. There are numerous small parts washers at bargain prices if you have a lot of this sort of cleaning to do. They have the advantage of a pumped supply of fluid which is reused after filtering. I use mine as a lathe and mill coolant system and only fill with cleaning fluid when needed. Being a one man band I don't need to do both at the same time.
Regards - Pat
PS John - you might consider the parts washer approach if you need to supply coolant to the saw during cutting of heavy sections.  Draper - Screwfix and other do cheap (£40 ish) parts cleanrers comprising a small tank and pump. 

Edited By Pat on 14/07/2011 15:21:33

KWIL14/07/2011 16:43:07
3470 forum posts
66 photos
It is a standard Far Eastern 150mm x 100mm bandsaw as sold by Warco and others. The only lubrication point is the tensioning wheel inside the left hand end. Open saw safety cover to view. You can remove the lid of the gearbox, keep it as horizontal as possible, usually filled with thick oil. You can put a little light oil on the tilting "bearing" at the right hand end. Guide bearings are sealed. Not much else to do, do not over tension blade, just sufficient to stop the blade slipping, adjust the balancing spring to give a "reasonable" weight to the blade towards the job.
John Coates14/07/2011 20:47:34
558 forum posts
28 photos
Thanks for all the help guys
KWIL - thanks for the advice. I cut my first bit of steel with it tonight, a new blank for a tangential tool holder. Following your advice I managed to sort out the blade once it began to slip and got the tension just right. I opened up the cover and found the two cone pulleys for the three speeds. Drive belt looks a little worn so that goes on the replace list. And the blade looks well worn so it's off to Machine Mart for some matching Warco ones or else I'll go and read the thread about welding your own up from a roll of blade material.
It cut the tool blank in about 5 minutes and I reckon I would have been hacksawing for half an hour or more so I am looking forward to more joyous time making stuff rather than hacksawing steel!
Anyone got any guidance what materials should be cut at the three available speeds?
Dusty14/07/2011 21:01:58
488 forum posts
9 photos
If it is the 64 1/2"blade screwfix do it as well.
John Coates14/07/2011 22:07:15
558 forum posts
28 photos
Posted by Dusty on 14/07/2011 21:01:58:
If it is the 64 1/2"blade screwfix do it as well.

Would these be either

Starrett Bandsaw 64½ x ½ x .025, 14 Reg


Starrett Bandsaw 64½ x ½ x .025, 10 Reg

presumably this means 14 or 10 tooth blades? If so which should I buy or one of each?

Edited By John Coates on 14/07/2011 22:08:04

blister15/07/2011 22:37:03
28 forum posts
3 photos
Hi John,
I have just done the same as you after endless hours with a hacksaw. I managed to pick up a secondhand bandsaw that needed a little TLC and promptly undid every nut and bolt I could find. The previous owner kept breaking blades so gave up on it and left it sitting behind his metal polishing buff for the next 20 odd years. Upon strip down I located the reason for this and repaired/modified the offending component. I went to 'Big W' and bought an environmentally friendly degreaser to clean the parts with. Suffice it to say, after several goes with this I reverted to the Aussie way and used Kero and a pressure washer (outside the workshop). I hope you enjoy, as I do, watching the saw do all the work.
The blade on mine is a 14 tooth Bi-Metal no name brand and I have a spray bottle with the appropriate mix of cutting oil for coolant.
I am also running the slowest speed possible and all is going well.
ps I began in the morning and was cutting steel that night too
pps I will try and upload some photos of the project
Robbo15/07/2011 23:22:03
1504 forum posts
142 photos
Hi, as has been said, all these imported bandsaws are similar. I have a Warco which I got in similar circumstances for £20. Because they are similar you can look up a manual for those freely available and the advice will apply to the Warco.
Try looking for the Sealey version, they have pdf files available for all their machines. I can't remember it's no. offhand., but it's a bit more "posh" than the Warco, but probably only to meet latest legislation on safety.
I actually bought a Sealey part to fit on the Warco, which it did with a little fiddling.
Hang on - I've just had a dig in my "Paperwork Tray" (actually a 12" pile) and found the print I did of the Sealey pdf- now that in itself is amazing.
The model is SM5.V3, and was the latest one, but the basics are all the same.
Have a look at and you should be able to find it. If not, do another post and I'll have a look.
PS I got some blades from Axminster and they are doing well.
PPS I have found that Clive is right about using white spirit as a cleanser.  Have used it since kero (paraffin) got too dear, and it is better, you don't really need to filter it, just let the gunge settle to the bottom and carefully decant the clean spirit.  Painters do this all the time.

Edited By Robbo on 15/07/2011 23:25:26

Edited By Robbo on 15/07/2011 23:28:58

John Coates16/07/2011 06:32:54
558 forum posts
28 photos
I've been corresponding with Ian (ex- Dragon Saws now tuff_saws on ebay) who does a mixed pack of 5 (different tpi) for £35.35 posted.
His advice is:
"14tpi would be the best option with possibly one or two 18tpi just to see the difference and which you prefer.
24tpi will cut ok as well, but because it's a fine tooth pitch then it tends to be a slow cut and the teeth will go blunt a lot faster than a blade with the proper tooth
When blades are new, the teeth are pretty sharp and for metal cutting the tops of the teeth need to be slightly rounded to get the best out of them, so the first five to ten minutes of cutting should be at a slow feed rate just to run the blade in and not
damage the teeth. If this is done, then the blade cuts better and lasts longer."
So I'll be buying a pack from him
I'm amazed the rather blunt 24 tpi that is on it managed to cut through the piece of 15mm plate I tried (on edge) as a test ! Having found the drive pulleys mine is on the slowest speed though
Stub Mandrel16/07/2011 19:50:46
4311 forum posts
291 photos
1 articles
The vari-tpi saw I got when he was Dragon saws is still doing good work for me. It eventually snapped, but I was able to silver solder it with advice from this forum.

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