Even though it doesn’t take much to keep your cold saw happy, a spa treatment will go a long way in making it run and look brand new. There are a few simple things you can do which will help you get years of service from the saw and keep it looking sparkling and shiny for a long time. Here are seven tips to keep in mind when running maintenance on your saw!
- Never try to squeeze extra cuts from a worn out, dull blade. This puts undo stress on the machine and will require heavier regrind of the blade. Consequently, the more you remove during a re-grind the quicker the blade loses diameter and reduces your capacity. Always use the proper blade for the material you are cutting. One more thing that will prevent premature wear is when installing a blade, you clear the surfaces of any chips and remove the backlash.
- Keep all lubrication points oiled or greased as needed, and keep in mind to regularly change the gear box oil. Just like your car, a saw is an investment that is worth staying on top of, or it may keep you stranded on the side of the road.
- Clean fresh coolant. Never use anything besides a water-soluble coolant. Keep it clean or you will have an example of a 6th grade science project: slimy, stinky, with all sorts of things growing in it. Keep in mind that your chosen coolant passes through coolant pumps, hoses, nozzles etc. with the potential of leaving behind a breeding ground for future failure.
- Keep the machine clean. There's nothing worse than needing to adjust the vise or miter cut with the vise refusing to open or head not rotating because it’s frozen solid. Coolant and chips will do that. Always clean the saw of chips after operating it, as these chips will get embedded and rust themselves to the saw.
- Frayed or cut electrical cords. Any time you find a cord that is questionable, lock out the machine. Liquids and metal chips are not a good combination on a bad electrical cord. Change any questionable wiring or you risk getting injured or shorting out the machine. Oh yeah, and try to avoid using extension cords.
- Vise jaws and clamping. One of the most important areas on the saw is the clamping vise. The better you clamp the part, the better your cut will be. Keep the cutting bed clean, as a simple chip can prevent the material from lying flat and cutting out of square. If you own a machine that has an adjustable gib vise, it is advisable to keep chips from loading up around the gib ways and lead screw. Also, take note if the vise jaw gets sloppy as you can adjust this gib and bring the saw back into spec.
- Don’t force the issue. Let the blade dictate the cutting rate. Don’t force the blade. Let the blade set the chip load and you will be rewarded with minimal cutting effort and good finish quality for many years to come.