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

Question
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.



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