Saw Blade Steel; How To Test For Brazing

Saw Blade Steel; How To Test For Brazing

Brazing Water break test

Brazing Water break test

Saw blade steel, also called saw plate or saw body, comes with a protective coating on it to keep it from rusting. This protective coating also interferes with brazing.

The easiest way to test to see if your saw plate is clean enough for brazing is with a version of the water break test.

In this test you take a plain old ordinary eyedropper and you put about four drops of water in the same place. Then you see what kind of a shape. The water makes. If the water beads up into a nice round half bubble then you have something on your plate that is going to interfere with the brazing. If the water flows out into a shallow puddle then your plate is clean enough for brazing.

It is common to try and remove protective coatings with some sort of a solvent such as alcohol, acetone, paint thinner, or almost anything. The problem with these solvents is that they dissolve the protective coating then, when the solvent evaporates, it leaves some of the protective coating on the surface.

I prefer to use a caustic-based cleaner. For experimental purposes a can of Easy Off oven cleaner works for a well.  For large uses the best I have found is a barbecue grill cleaner from a local janitorial supply. The strong caustic solution breaks down the oils and greases and turns them into a soap. You want to buy a commercial product that’s been formulated with some sort of a rinsing agent. Just a straight caustic solution, as Sodium Hydroxide, can be very hard to rinse off.

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