Cleaning Melamine Blades

Solvent cleaning will give you a little more mileage between blade re-sharpenings. March 9, 2008

When our hollow ground melamine blades start chipping out, I just send them out to be sharpened. Does anybody have luck with cleaning to get a little more life between sharpenings? So far I haven't had much luck, but I'm not sure how best to clean.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor B:
I always used Easy-off oven cleaner; let it soak for a little while before removing. But be careful with it. Spray can or brush on. Works better than lacquer thinner, etc.

From contributor S:
We have a company in our building who does ultrasonic cleaning. You would not believe how clean things can get until you see this. I think it works with a combination of chemicals and vibration.

From contributor M:
We use Easy-off spray oven cleaner. Wurth makes a pitch remover that works great, but Easy-off is cheaper.

From contributor I:
I use a product that is made to remove pitch from blades and sandpaper (material backed). I think it's called PITCH Rx. I got it at Atlanta's wood show last year. This works great; it adds new life to blades, but is only a temporary fix. After cleaning I can cut 3-5 sheets with only slight chips, but a freshly sharpened blade is definitely the best.

From the original questioner:
Thanks all for your responses - I will give Easy-Off a try.

From contributor D:
Ultrasonic is great. It's used by most of the good sharpening shops around the country to clean your blades before they sharpen them. But cost prohibitive to the average woodworker, as a unit to clean 14" blades is $7,000.

From contributor I:
I use Simple Green for cleaning blades and cutters. It works very well and is much less toxic than oven cleaner