cleaning table saw gears

What is the best way to clean table saw gears, without using stuff that would attract sawdust? Any recipes out there? thanks. Robert
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RWS wrote:

I'd say clean them off w/ a stiff brush and a rag. Not like they need to be microscopically (sp?) clean. Then lube w/ something that doesn't attract an undue amount of dust, like furniture paste wax (Johnson's works for me) or maybe a dry graphite lube spray.
HTH,
Monte
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Well RWS, we have the same initials so I'll share my magic formula with you just so long as you don't tell anyone else okay...?
First, clean the gears off with mineral spirits and some cloths and an old toothbrush. Be sure to dispose of the rags, paper towels properly. Don't need any fires.
Now go to the auto store and purchase one of those very small tubes of dry graphite. Next you will need some wax like Johnson's, or Butchers or some other carnauba wax mixture, a couple of drops of mineral spirits and a small baby jar. That jar will last you for years so make sure it has a good lid.
Fill the jar about half way with wax, add about half the graphite and mix. Add a drop of mineral spirits so the mixture turns evenly black from the graphite as you mix it in. You want the consistency of soft butter that spreads easily. Add more wax and more graphite and mix, keep going until the jar is 3/4 full and its black as the hole in your wallet from buying all the holiday gifts.
Apply to any gears needing lubrication. The wax doesn't attract dust, provides a carrier for the graphite and the graphite provides the lubrication. So does the wax but in this case, the graphite does a better job than wax alone.
If the mixture in the jar is to soft, leave the lid off a day or two and the spirits will evaporate out. If the wax is to hard to apply, add a drop at a time of spirits. Once applied, the spirits evaporates out, the wax clings to the gears and holds the graphite in suspension to do the lubricating. Well that's the theory anyway and its used on all my shop tools, from drill press to tablesaw, and planer. You don't need much on the gears and any hanging over the edges isn't lubricating a thing - so clean it off.
Bob S.

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Bob S. wrote:

This mixture is also useful on electric guitar saddles, incidentally.
I never thought about using it on a machine before.
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Bob, do you know the website where this recipe came from? And what is Butchers Wax? Do I get it at a hardware store? thanks. Robert

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Came from my father - he was a tool and die maker. Butcher's wax can be found at HD and at hardware stores. It comes it white or yellow wax.
Bob S.
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NOTE . . . "Butcher's " is the BRAND NAME, not an indication of it's intended user. I think the full name is, "Butcher's Bowling Alley Wax".
I've used it for YEARS on countless applications . . . none of them a Bowling Alley !!
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop
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Built into these gears should be enough clearance so sawdust should not effect free movement. My table saws' gears are encased in an oil-able gearbox. [ Oliver # 80 Variety Bench Saw ] Anyway, besides the Oliver I've been using a Clausing table saw for the past 20 years .... its a belt driven machine with exposed tilt and blade height adjustment gears... they're on the inside of the cabinet type of stand and have never given me a problem.
If you want to ' try ' a fix if your gears need some lubrication I would try a bar of soap... just rub it on the gears... hard hand soap is a fix for binding cabinet drawers where wood meets wood and auto mechanics use it to quiet down a noisy fan belt... sawdust shouldn't stick to it. You might have success with candle wax as well.

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First fire your compressor up and blow all the sawdust you can out of the way. Then take a steel toothbrush and some mineral spirits and clean the gears up. Now when you go to re-lube the gears, I used to use johnsons paste wax and it worked fine. Now I use Boeshield. Seems to be a little less dust collecting. <shrug>. Either will work. I know the gears are working good when I can use one finger to move the wheel. SH
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Slowhand writes:

I'd avoid that steel toothbrush on some gears: better saws have all cast iron gears; not so great saws (the ones usually most in need of clean & lube services) may have aluminum or pot metal gears. In such cases, a stiff regular toothbrush is better, though brass MAY be OK.
Charlie Self
"Man is a reasoning rather than a reasonable animal." Alexander Hamilton
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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iron
regular
I forgot to add to make sure to have a good saw ;-). Actually, common sense goes along way. I use my toothbrush basically to get any gummed up stuff out of the gears. I don't really need to scrub that hard to the point that damage would occur. SH
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Slowhand responds:

All true, but leave us not forget that there is a solid reason they tell you, in large letters in the manual, not to stick fingers or toes on the lawnmower deck. I've actually known one young woman who stuck a toe under to slow down the blade. You don't do that twice with the same toe!
Charlie Self
"Man is a reasoning rather than a reasonable animal." Alexander Hamilton
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,

lawnmower
down
Yep, there is always going to be the necessity of the disclaimer for the few.
SH - Now I have to finish blow drying my hair as the water in the shower is getting cold.
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"Caution: do not stare into laser with remaining eye"
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Clean off the gears with a rag moistened with mineral spirits or kerosene. Wipe dry with paper towels. Apply white lithium grease.
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Robert asked:

Okay, let me ask a couple of questions.
If you have an air compressor, compressed air would seem the easiest way to clean the gears.
What am I missing?
After the gears are cleaned, seems roller chain lube would be a natural.
It is a graphite powder emulsion in an aerosol can that goes on wet, then dries in a couple of minutes.
What's the down side?
--
Lew

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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Ever tried it? I haven't tried on a saw, but I've attempted to clean greasy stuff with my blow gun before. I'm thinking back to a bicycle sprocket covered with bits of grass and stuff. It didn't work very well at all. Sawdust on greasy gears seems a similar proposition. YMMV.

Down side is I ain't got none, and I have some o' that wax/graphite stuff laying around already. :)
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Mike, The only 'down side' I can think of is the BLACK MESS that seems to get over everything.
I use something called 'Motor Mica'. Fine White Mica flakes, almost a powder. I've mixed it with Wheel Bearing Grease for use on my reloading equipment, and wax for use on sliding aluminum windows.
If your not afraid of Silicone getting on your wood, there is a wax product that already exists - get a can of 'Sno-Proof'. It is a water & snow repellent coating for boots & shoes.
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop

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