Cleaning carbide insert teeth in planer head - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-24-2016, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Cleaning carbide insert teeth in planer head

Got a call from a friend who was rotating the carbide insert teeth in his helical head planer for the first time. He's used the planer quite a bit for planing pine, and the pitch buildup had caked on the head and on the inserts. After removing an insert, he'd soak it briefly in WD40 and then scrape off the pitch buildup, a rather time consuming process. I suggested pulling all the inserts off and soaking them a few hours or overnight, then see if they'd clean up more easily. Haven't heard back how well that worked.
I've been using helical head cutters in both my 13" Delta planer and 8" Powermatic jointer. I work almost exclusively with hardwoods, having planed maybe a dozen 8' spruce boards, and have had no pitch/gum buildup, so couldn't offer my friend any help based on personal experience with the problem. Anybody had to deal with this problem, and how did you go about resolving it?
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-24-2016, 08:39 PM
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WD-40 is not a solvent and should not be so used.

The most common solvent for pine pitch is alcohol. Other thinners like paint thinner should also work. Never tried lacquer thinner, but would think it would also work.

The secret for your friend is to soak the cutter in whatever he chooses to use until all of the pitch is dissolved into solution. Let "google" be your friend and you can find many more suggestions.

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post #3 of 4 Old 07-24-2016, 11:12 PM
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Simple green works wonders on pitch build up. No idea on how to make the process easier though, still gonna need to make the inserts off and soak em

I need cheaper hobby
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post #4 of 4 Old 07-27-2016, 09:51 PM
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I use aerosol blade cleaner. Spray it on, let it sit for ten minutes and wipe the blades off, clean as a whistle. I think it's similar to oven cleaner.
Mike Hawkins:smile3:
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