Pitch-Free Saw Blades
Tom Silva has some handsaw maintenance suggestions
I have a number of saw blades that are covered with pitch. How do I remove this sticky buildup?
—David Prescott, Krebs, OK
Pitch is actually tree sap that gums up saw blades as they cut through resinous woods, like pine and fir. In the old days before chainsaws, when loggers used two-man crosscut saws, they’d dissolve the pitch that slowed them down by wiping the blade with a rag soaked in turpentine. That still works for me! For safety’s sake, use turpentine outdoors or in a well-ventilated area, protect your skin with gloves, and keep the rag away from fire; turpentine fumes are flammable.