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Giving dirty chainsaw chains the Dip

Post in 'The Gear' started by Benchwrench, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. Benchwrench

    Benchwrench Member

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    I was hoping someone could mention a method of cleaning baked on pitch and something to help free up rusty kinks from abused chainsaw chains.
    Was considering an oil/mineral based solvent of some kind like I used to use to clean carburetor parts. That stuff was called "parts dip" and it worked well, you were supposed to let it soak overnight,so I was looking for something like that were I could just soak the chain then air blow it clean. (maybe diesel?) Whatever product, it needs to double as a moisture barrier so the chain doesn't rust like a water based product would.


    Any recommendations?

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    WD40
    Benchwrench likes this.
  3. Boom Stick

    Boom Stick Feeling the Heat

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    oven cleaner. Lay it on a plywood scrap or whatever and spray it, give it 5 minutes, toothbrush, done......takes care of pitch right quick.....
    jatoxico and Benchwrench like this.
  4. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    Nothing after that, no kind of rinse or anything needed, sounds easy!
  5. CaddyUser

    CaddyUser Member

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    I havn't tried PineSol on chains, but I've been using it on carbs for awhile now, and it works well. I'm trying to get away from using mineral based solvents....
  6. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    My chains dont stay idle long enough to rust... lol .Not much sap or pitch on that nearly petrified Red/White Oak either.Occasionally it builds up when milling green/semi-green wood,but gets cleaned off on drier stuff.
  7. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Some kind of penetrating oil to free up the rivets. Maybe buy a gallon of your favorite and soak the chain in a dish/bucket. For chains that have sap/sawdust stuck on them, make sure they're sharp and then run 'em through some Oak with the saw oiler cranked up. Works pretty good as "chain floss"! ==c

    Also, Stihl sells a spray for de-gunking hedge trimmer blades that I could see working well. Very $$ tho.
    Benchwrench likes this.
  8. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Some type of Mineral Spirits?

    I have a Coffee can that I let mine soak in for a day or two before sharpening. Helps to clean them and remove and residual oil so my files last longer.
  9. Benchwrench

    Benchwrench Member

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    I was thinking of diesel or something that wouldn't be flammable.
    The thing about the rust is due to forgetting that a chain was left in the weather and now has kinked up from the rust.
    I thought diesel might be a good start then just run it through some ash or oak, which might give the rust something to think about next time.
  10. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Coca cola is supposed to be pretty good at eating rust. Haven't tried that personally tho.
  11. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    +1
  12. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I use Stoddard Solvent, but mainly because I happen to have a parts washer in the garage so it's handy.

    Usually my chains stay pretty clean, but I did throw a few in a bowl of solvent for a week or so. I had forgot them in the back of my truck for a couple months and they got pretty nasty.
  13. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    This is the first I've heard of anyone cleaning a chain. If the links don't move freely I'd probably hit them with a shot of penetrating oil spray (Liquid Wrench or whatever) and be done with it. They'll loosen up plenty after a couple cuts.

    WD40 works good at cleaning pine pitch, as others have said.
  14. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    Acetone and transmission fluid.
    I save drained tranny fluid as it doesn't need to be clean.
  15. Benchwrench

    Benchwrench Member

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    The reason I mention a cleaning technique is for the chains that aren't going to be put in service right away but waiting to get sharpened without wanting to handle gummed up chains while sharpening then storing them until needed. I thought there should be a procedure/process going from a spent chain to a clean sharpened chain staged to be put in service.
  16. BravoWhiskey

    BravoWhiskey New Member

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    There's your answer. And you can mix ATF in with the chain oil to prevent gumming up when cutting sticky wood.
  17. Benchwrench

    Benchwrench Member

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    Instead of a bucket I found that a 2" PVC tube filled with cleaner enables the suspended chains to soak out of the way
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  18. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

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    Lye is the cheapest and probably nastiest but most effective.

    Also use in Meths production so difficult to find.

    Sodium Hydroxide.

    There is a local company that refurbishes commercial kitchen equipment and that is what they use.
  19. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

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  20. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    Yep, although I use new fluid to avoid any grit that may be in the used. If you're about flammability, just use the ATF. Very high detergent + lubricity. A C
  21. trailmaker

    trailmaker Member

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    Vinegar might be worth a try. It does wonders on rusty axe heads so it might work on chains as well.
  22. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    Best penetrant ,50 50 mix, Acetone and transmission fluid.
    I use pitch and gum remover, (spray can) on table saw blades, and have used oven cleaner on them, both,will remove,pitch and gum
  23. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    Oven cleaner also works very well on dirty glass. Not as big a problem for me as it was last year. :cool:
  24. flhpi

    flhpi Burning Hunk

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    I like the coke idea. It does wonders for my Jack Daniels.
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