Abrasive carving bits _ cleaning

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Abrasive carving bits _ cleaning

Post  Vlad on Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:54 pm

Abbrasive carving bits are in my opinion one of the best tools for small scale wood carving projects.   Unfortunately they tend to clog with wood dust.  The cleaning with a burner as recommended by the local dealer sounded a bit strange to me.  I was thinking to buy some liquid stuff that is used by the carpenters to keep their tools clean but then I have tested the liquid used to remove the baked scraps from the ovens and so far it looks OK.  



After the first "bath" there were still places on the cutter with a clogged material.  For these spots I have used a needle to break their structure a bit and then I have placed the cutter back into the bath for another 20 minutes ( as per manufacturer's instructions ). Really happy with the result.  


Vlad
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Re: Abrasive carving bits _ cleaning

Post  0soyoung on Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:41 pm

So called 'structured tooth' Dremmel bits can indeed be torched clean.

Inexpensive automotive wheel cleaner, as suggested by Harry Harrington, seems to be effective for cleaning those other types.

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Re: Abrasive carving bits _ cleaning

Post  kevin stoeveken on Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:18 pm

good tip on the wheel cleaner.
thanks

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Re: Abrasive carving bits _ cleaning

Post  Vlad on Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:55 am

Thank you Osoyoung for the link to the alloy cleaner. Looks great.

btw do you have any personal experience with the torch cleaning of tungsten carbide burrs?

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Re: Abrasive carving bits _ cleaning

Post  0soyoung on Sat Sep 05, 2015 2:53 am

Vlad wrote:Thank you Osoyoung for the link to the alloy cleaner.  Looks great.

btw do you have any personal experience with the torch cleaning of tungsten carbide burrs?

Yes, I do. I torch clean 'structured tooth' tungsten carbide burrs - works great, it is fast, and doesn't harm the bits. I just fire up the torch whenever the bit becomes too gummed up, leaving the bit in the Dremmel tool. I run the tool and torch the spinning bit. It only takes a few seconds. Any little butane torch works, including those nice little ones used for browining the sugar topping of creme broulee. I've been using the same pair of 'structured tooth' burrs for 3 years now.

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Re: Abrasive carving bits _ cleaning

Post  Vlad on Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:06 am

Sounds good. Only the idea of using a +1000°C flame on wood carving tools is still a bit difficult to swallow Wink The advantage of having the burr ready in seconds is tempting though...

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Re: Abrasive carving bits _ cleaning

Post  0soyoung on Sat Sep 05, 2015 5:07 pm

Vlad wrote:Sounds good. Only the idea of using a +1000°C flame on  wood carving tools is still a bit difficult to swallow Wink   The advantage of having the burr ready in seconds is tempting though...

Just don't put the hot point of the torch flame on the burr - back away a little into the cooler part of the flame.

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Re: Abrasive carving bits _ cleaning

Post  Marty Weiser on Sun Sep 06, 2015 12:53 am

The key to torch cleaning is that these are the solid carbide bits - the hardness is not changed until you get them very hot - up around 1300 Celcius (2370 F) where the metal cementing the carbide together starts to soften and melt. The wood and gunk will burn off well before that temperature. The biggest danger is thermal shock due to uneven heating which is why you avoid the very hot tip of the flame and heat them while spinning.

On the other hand, heating a hardened steel woodworking tool (most of our cutting tools and chisels) to more than about 500 Celcius (930 F) for even a few seconds will reduce the hardness dramatically (lower temperatures for longer times will do the same). It is much better to clean them mechanically and chemically, but watch out for corrosion if doing a chemical clean.

Some carbide tools have small pieces of carbide brazed to a steel shaft or plate. The braze alloys will start to soften and melt in the 500 - 700 Celcius range depending upon the alloy so great care is needed if heat cleaning them. If you decide to chemically clean them make sure you have a cleaner designed for the job - many oven cleaners and similar household cleaners will attack the braze alloy so the carbide flies off when you next use the tool.

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Re: Abrasive carving bits _ cleaning

Post  Vlad on Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:52 am

Great cover Marty. I do appreciate the contribution from all of you guys.

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Re: Abrasive carving bits _ cleaning

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