Lube for a Bandmill Blade in Freezing Weather

      Window-washer fluid and diesel fuel are two options for bandsaw-mill blade lubrication when water would freeze. March 3, 2006

I have had my bandsaw for a while and have been using water with a splash of pine-sol for sawing softwood, mostly white pine. Freezing temps are now here in NH, and I need to look at using window washer fluid for lube.

A few questions:
1) Is there a table of mixing ratios (water and washer fluid) versus temperature?
2) Are all washer fluids the same?
3) Any other suggestions for sawing in below freezing?

I am probably overdoing the lube now, as I keep a steady stream on the blade while sawing, but window washing fluid is expensive compared to water.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor M:
I mill mostly oak and walnut in freezing temperature. In winter I use washer fluid at a drip and it takes a long time to use a gallon of it. If you drain the tank when you’re done you can still use water in freezing temperatures because at your rate it is constantly draining.

From contributor T:
I use diesel fuel as a lube. I am in Ontario so have to deal with frozen logs. If you are cutting something gummy just use a very slow drip. Or give it a shot when necessary. A lot of the time I don't use anything. The sawdust will sometimes freeze on the board as you cut, and I like to brush this off before stacking. Stain and fungus will form in it if not removed, especially in lighter colored woods.

From contributor S:
I have been using diesel drip with about 20% chain oil for ten years now and have never had a stain.

From the original questioner:
Now that I've got some below freezing sawing experience, I've found that the typical windshield washer fluid will not freeze till -40 degrees F. So if you mix it 50/50 it will not freeze till -4 degrees f (36 deg below freezing).

When I shut down the mill at night I add straight window washer fluid to the reservoir so it won't freeze overnight. The next morning I use a pine-sol water mix and during the day when the temperatures are warmer.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: Sawmilling

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article