A Stinky Solution for Soiled Saws
While pegging the joints in a Shaker stepback I built for the February 2009 issue of Popular Woodworking, I used a $100 flush-cut saw. It’s a darn nice saw. Unless one clogs the teeth with glue.
Now, I didn’t intend to make it look as if I were trying to cover up my crime. I meant to ask Christopher Schwarz how best to clean the yellow glue out of its tiny little teeth. But he was out that day, I got distracted with other stuff, and the saw ended up back in the rack, gunk and all.
About two weeks later, it was summarily brought to my attention that this pricey saw was now unusable. But Chris suggested a solution (short of buying a new saw), and it worked. I poured white vinegar into a shallow Pyrex pan and soaked the gunked-up teeth for a half-hour or so, then I went to work with an old toothbrush. It took some serious scrubbing, but the vinegar softened the dried glue enough to allow me to scrub it out, tooth by tooth. To speed up the process, you could heat the vinegar in a microwave, but that would increase the aroma. (After a visit from our human resources department during the last time we sprayed a finish, well, we try to avoid stinky things as much as possible.)
After the teeth were cleaned, I rinsed the vinegar away and wiped the blade with jojoba oil. The blade lost some of its shiny luster, but the teeth cut, and that’s $100 I can spend on shoes. Or on a couple new Hock plane blades.
– Megan Fitzpatrick