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CBN Wheel Cleaning

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by William Rogers, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    I have never cleaned my 180 CBN wheel. I have been careful and have used it only for HSS and V10. I saw a "cleaning stick" on Amazon made by Norton, 1X1X6 Type 54 Dressing Stick 38A150-Ivbe. It says for cleaning CBN wheels and is made from aluminum oxide. I'm guessing it is used the same as the rubber sticks used for sandpaper. Has anyone used this? What is the preferred method to clean CBN wheels?
     
  2. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    Wow. Interesting. I wouldn't think you could "dress" or true up a CBN surface. There isn't enough there to true up. Cleaning maybe. Reed Gray suggests cleaning with Trend lapping fluid and I tried that and it works well and is obviously non abrasive. I would think touching the CBN with something as abrasive as Aluminum oxide would not be good but I'm willing to learn.
     
  3. billooms

    billooms

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    I wouldn't use any "dressing stick" on my CBN.
     
  4. Doug Rasmussen

    Doug Rasmussen

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    I wouldn't use dressing stick on a plated wheel. On my tool and die grinder the CBN and diamond wheels have to be redressed once in awhile when they lose sharp corners from wear, but on those you have around a 1/4" thickness of abrasive on an aluminum core. Still they're expensive so dress only when really needed.
     
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  5. robo hippy

    robo hippy Barely Scraping By

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    There are two types of CBN wheels. Most of us use the metal ones with the abrasive electroplated to the metal. The other variation is the CBN is in a matrix of some sort that is bonded to the wheel in a layer about 3/16 thick and is grey in color. That type of wheel is rounded/trued up and cleaned by using a very hard aluminum oxide wheel and cleaning sticks. They really don't do anything for our plated wheels. I do regularly apply Trend lapping fluid to the bevels of my tools when I sharpen them. I turn sloppy wet wood, and that slop does get on the wheel. The Trend, and I am sure other light oils really help clean the gunk off. Dave Schweitzer of D Way tools uses a little kerosene on his, if they need it. You can also use Ajax or Comet type cleaners on the wheels, and I think oven cleaner as well. For me, just Trend, dip a pipe cleaner in the fluid, wet the bevel and sharpen. If you always turn dry wood, you most likely will never need to clean them up at all. I did try some of the aluminum oxide on my wheels, and I think the fine dust from the abrasive made it look cleaner, but that was probably the white dust on the wheel, and you do not want to breathe that stuff....

    robo hippy
     
    Mark Hepburn likes this.
  6. Why do you want to clean it? What are you trying to remove? - John
     
  7. Zach LaPerriere

    Zach LaPerriere

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    I tried Comet a while back with a steel wire brush, and I didn't find that it removed the loading—but I didn't soak the wheels.

    So far the best thing I've found is what Dave Schweitzer recommended to me recently: soak the wheels in water (swells any wood particles) and then use a good soap or other degreaser.

    It occurs to me that the resins/sap that load CBN wheels probably varies between turners owing to what woods we turn and how green we turn them....so to a certain degree what works best could also vary a little.
     
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  8. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    Seems a solution might be to clean the resins off the tool before sharpening and the time before cleaning is needed will be extended considerably.
     
  9. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Interesting thought.
    I often sharpen more because of resin drag on the bevel than the tool being dull.
    With friable wheels the periodic dressing to true the wheel also eliminated any glazing.
     
  10. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Isopropyl alcohol is the most commonly used solvent for cleaning tree sap from a surface.
    Invertase is the most common enzyme used to break down raw sugars.
    Amylase is the most common enzyme used to break down starches.
    A water solution with yeast could also be used to break down the tree sap compound.
     
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  11. Zach LaPerriere

    Zach LaPerriere

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    Thanks for the quick chemistry lesson. I'll have to try isopropyl alcohol on saw blades and bandsaw blades.

    And maybe sourdough starter on my CBN wheels. :D Remember the scandal of iron filings in cereal for extra iron? This could make for some hearty pancakes!
     
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  12. Gary Beasley

    Gary Beasley

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    Do you think the same cleaner for saw blades would do for the CBN wheels?
     
  13. Zach LaPerriere

    Zach LaPerriere

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    My usual disclaimer that I'm no expert...but I would think so. Dave Schweitzer said he tried darn near everything, both to see what might affect the bonding in his wheels and to clean most effectively. Oven cleaner apparently works fairly well.

    My limited experience says Dave is really on to something about soaking the wheels being very helpful in getting wood particles to swell.
     
  14. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Some of the chemicals used in saw blade cleaners differs between manufacturers.
    A few of them list the chemicals in the MSDS sheets and some of them only list the
    chemicals that provide a risk to the user and do not list the largest percentage chemical
    in the formula. A few of these chemicals that I have seen in some of the formula's are
    propane, butane, butyl carbitol, sodium hydroxide, sodium carbonate, petroleum products
    and water.
     
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  15. Zach LaPerriere

    Zach LaPerriere

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    Back when I did a lot of cabinetry, my main sawblade cleaner for both softwood pitch and tropical hardwood burnt on gunk was Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds. I would put it full strength on a sawblade and leave it in the shop sink overnight.

    The main ingredient is sodium laurel sulfate, and this may be the only thing that will both clean sawblades and backwoods hippy laundry!

    I don't have any kicking around (despite being what many would call a backwoods hippy) but I've been meaning to get some to try on CBN wheels.
     
  16. Jon Murphy

    Jon Murphy

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    I'll go with Dave Schweitzer's method, it has worked for me when I have a heavy wood build-up to clean off my CBN wheels. No, I don't make a practice of grinding wood on my wheels - but now and then it is necessary. I make jigs of coated particle board shelving for setting the angle of the tool rest for my flat tools (skews, scrapers, bedan, etc). The final "cut" is on the wheel so as to match the shape perfectly, so when I make a new jig I do grind a bit of wood. I've found that soaking the wheels in the kitchen sink with dish soap then brushing with an ordinary scrub brush does the trick.

    A real plus to the CBN wheels is the fact that you don't wear them down, so don't have to remake jigs. A little hint for any who make similar jigs - slide them in from the side on the square edge wheel (my 80) if it has the abrasive on the edge (D-Way does). It is a quick and clean cut and leaves residue mainly on the edge.

    I've had my D-way beveled edge 180 for at least 3 years and added my D-way 80 about a year and a half ago. I love to turn green wood, but don't have much access to a supply. I have only had to clean my CBN wheels when I make jigs.

    It is always nice to learn something simple, I never thought of cleaning the tool before grinding it - thanks guys.

    As to setting the tool rest exactly, it is not that a perfect angle is important to the cut - it is that an exact duplication of the grind saves tool steel. My excuse for spending all the money on CBN wheels is they they cost me an arm, but saved me a leg. The best of jigs will never duplicate a grind on a wheel that is wearing down, so you always will be making more passes when you go to the wheel.
     
  17. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Truly Frugal

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    A few days ago I had friend over at the shop. He was sharpening a gouge with the David Ellsworth jig. Somehow the jig got sucked in the cbn wheel. I thought he got hurt! Luckily he was OK. Now I have a big streak of aluminum about 1/8 in wide and wider going all around my wheel... Any ideas how to clean it? Happy new year!
     
  18. JeffSmith

    JeffSmith

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    Emiliano - grind a nice large scraper on the wheel. Maybe turn it into a negative rake scraper. By the time you’re done, the aluminum should be gone or mostly gone...
     
  19. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Truly Frugal

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    I can definitely try that! Good idea. Aloha.
     
  20. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Or, just ignore it. The aluminum is a lot softer than the HSS tools that you are sharpening and will wear off. That's probably a good safety lesson. Rotating machinery can grab anything that touches it faster than the blink of an eye.
     

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