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Good day everybody!

I was recently reading about carbide rotary burrs.

One brand's recommended cleaning method was a propane torch. Said to hold torch flame to resin & wood buildup, get the metal to glow orange, let it cool, then use it on sacrificial stock to get the flakes out. Stated that a metal brush would be worse for the burr.

So I began wondering - do any of you actually use propane flames to clean cutting surfaces like table saw blades or router bits?

I recently cleaned up some of my 10' diablo blades with concentrated laundry detergent, followed by a towel and coat of boeshield. But a quick torching of the teeth would be so much easier.

My suspicion is that this generally isn't used because it'd harm the anti-friction coating on some of these cutters. But who knows, maybe buildup free metal is more slick than anti-friction coated edges with light buildup.

Thanks in advance, for any insight! :nerd:
 

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no...
and you can't be serious...
you might want to abandon that flame cleaning notion and leave it to the shade tree crowd...
all you get from it is...

wasted money..
shortened tool life..
changed metal tempers...
brittle carbide...
exploding carbide..
compromised brazing..
warped plates...
flaking metal...
damaged finishes..
changed balances,...
misaligned center axis...
and a possible trip to the ER if one of the teeth on a blade or a cutter on a bit lets go because of brittleness or compromised brazing while in use...
 

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Good day everybody!

I was recently reading about carbide rotary burrs.

One brand's recommended cleaning method was a propane torch. Said to hold torch flame to resin & wood buildup, get the metal to glow orange, let it cool, then use it on sacrificial stock to get the flakes out. Stated that a metal brush would be worse for the burr.

So I began wondering - do any of you actually use propane flames to clean cutting surfaces like table saw blades or router bits?

I recently cleaned up some of my 10' diablo blades with concentrated laundry detergent, followed by a towel and coat of boeshield. But a quick torching of the teeth would be so much easier.

My suspicion is that this generally isn't used because it'd harm the anti-friction coating on some of these cutters. But who knows, maybe buildup free metal is more slick than anti-friction coated edges with light buildup.

Thanks in advance, for any insight! :nerd:
I would guess that the silver solder holding the carbide chip insert might melt or soften with too much heat.
Not something I would consider.

Herb
 

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I would guess that the silver solder holding the carbide chip insert might melt or soften with too much heat.
Not something I would consider.

Herb
another thing to consider is that heat is not any cutters friend...
even heat that isn't as hot as the propane torch...
 

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@creative...

I like to see that article/recommendation...
got a link...
 

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@creative...

I like to see that article/recommendation...
got a link...
I wouldn't post a link. Someone might follow this advice and get themselves hurt at worst, or destroy the tool at the least.

I don't know of anyway to sharpen a burr or rotatory cutter without specialize equipment. The best you can do is clean it. heating it IS NOT the way.
 

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Ive got some of those burrs and haven't had a problem with them getting gummed up. But I only use them on dry wood, haven't tried them on green wood. Still not convinced it is the way to go.

Herb
 

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I would NEVER buy another bit from any manufacturer who would recommend such practices.
SCARY!!!!

Good job Stick!!
 
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@Stick486 - this is where the bad info came from:
I saw what the guy did and how...
and how so much can go wrong...
why risk it...

now go back and delete your post or ask a moderator to delete it...
 

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The insert tips on large sawmill blades (52") can be purchased in carbide and the 3000 rpm drill and grinder wheel for sharpening them get the tooth so hot that the carbide turns blue. This is deadly for HSS tips but doesn't bother carbide. The silver solder used to weld the carbide onto the tips requires an oxy acetylene flame to get it hot enough to melt. Propane won't come close by itself.

What would concern me is the heat transfer to the steel saw plate which could warp it. I've ruined one 10" blade by getting it too hot just trying to rip with it and it wasn't a rip blade. IMO it's not worth the risk. Trend blade cleaner works very well and it is cheap. You can buy a set of toothbrush shaped brushes for under $5 that has a brass and a nylon brush in the set which can be used without harming the teeth.
 

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Scary...I wouldn't clean a crowbar that way...

I could hear the pitter-patter of little carbide pieces dropping on the floor on next use...

CMT or Trend Bit Cleaner...what a great job either one does...and you won't burn the shop down...

...glad you asked instead of trying it...
 

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I've quite a few carbide burrs and found the OP's thread of interest. Personally I've never had one get clogged to the point of needing to go to such an extreme, BUT...and I do say this cautiously.. seems the burning off with propane is an accepted method of cleaning... I"m not about to promote the process however...

CarvingBurs
near bottom of the page

Tungsten Carbide Burrs Page 1

Dura-Grit 6 Piece Woodcarving Set - Burrs for Rotary Multitools - Rotary Multitool Accessories - Multitool, Precision & Modelling - Power Tool Accessories - Accessories | Axminster Tools & Machinery

from HolyGalahad:
Burning
Use a small propane burner (e.g camping burner)
and apply to disc. Let sit until cool and use a brass
or bronze wire brush to remove loosened debris
and residue.
1. You will not damage the disc. Common sense
dictates that you remove the disc from the angle
grinder and place it on a non-flammable surface
prior to burning.
2. Another preferred method is to apply paraffin
to the disc first, then burn and brush clean as
described above.
 

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The one thing I did NOT like was when he said "You can use pretty much any type of flame" aaaaahhh, good thinking there. So my oxy-acetylene flame, which will melt steel no problem at all is fine, is it?

I dinna think so laddie!
 

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Creative; specifically talked about Carbide burrs, then went on to query applying the same technique to other carbide toothed cutting tools.

If we assume that burrs are actually solid Carbide, and that the manufacturer will stand behind their tool and recommended procedure, then it may well be valid for that specific application.
It'd be interesting to hear from a metallurgist, and from the manufacturer that made the burrs.
 

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DISCLAIMER:

I have never nor will I ever use this approach but out of curiosity I watched the video and checked the specs on that torch which came up as: Max. Flame Temperature 1,315.6°C (2,400°F).

Even without that bit of trivia I support all the arguments against using it.
 

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Creative; specifically talked about Carbide burrs, then went on to query applying the same technique to other carbide toothed cutting tools.

If we assume that burrs are actually solid Carbide, and that the manufacturer will stand behind their tool and recommended procedure, then it may well be valid for that specific application.
It'd be interesting to hear from a metallurgist, and from the manufacturer that made the burrs.
Thats a good point Dan... a distinction does need to be made regarding the application of propane as a cleaning medium. Personally I have several. HSS, solid carbide and carbide coated. The HSS I would not attempt using propane if only for fear of taking the temper out of the edge. Solid carbide I most likely (and I say that with a bit of apprehension) would give it a go. The majority of my burrs are Saburrtooth Burrs, which are advertised as having a "carbide" coating. these I would hesitate on using propane if only for the lack of further data to support the claim.

Propane burns around 1950 degrees, MAPP gas around 2050 and MAPP gas w/oxygen goes up to 2870 degrees. I think it safe to say that MAPP w/oxygenis out of the question!!! I think the process used to adhere the carbide to a mating surface would dictate whether or not propane could or even should be used.
The make up of the mating surface itself would also be a consideration.

The tech torch used in the video uses "Butane",,, as Jon mentions,, this burns considerably hotter than propane... yet another factor to be considered
 

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Thats a good point Dan... a distinction does need to be made regarding the application of propane as a cleaning medium. Personally I have several. HSS, solid carbide and carbide coated. The HSS I would not attempt using propane if only for fear of taking the temper out of the edge. Solid carbide I most likely (and I say that with a bit of apprehension) would give it a go. The majority of my burrs are Saburrtooth Burrs, which are advertised as having a "carbide" coating. these I would hesitate on using propane if only for the lack of further data to support the claim.

Propane burns around 1950 degrees, MAPP gas around 2050 and MAPP gas w/oxygen goes up to 2870 degrees. I think it safe to say that MAPP w/oxygenis out of the question!!! I think the process used to adhere the carbide to a mating surface would dictate whether or not propane could or even should be used.
The make up of the mating surface itself would also be a consideration.

The tech torch used in the video uses "Butane",,, as Jon mentions,, this burns considerably hotter than propane... yet another factor to be considered
Good points ,Bill, I think to me burning would be a last resort before buying a new bit.
Be a good place to use WD40 ,you have nothing to loose. I use that on my hole saws and it works good.

Herb
 
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