My Powermatic 20" that I had at my business just used wood backed brushes that you likely could find at the hardware store; the Rockwell/Delta that I have now uses bristle brushes that look like something you would clean your fingernails with, about 1" wide and 2" long, held against the bottom wheel at about 10:30 with an angle bracket, at an angle to the wheel. I think the Powermatic used brass bristles.
I was just looking today for some , on eBay I found 4-$7.32 delivered 1 1/2 dia with 3/8 " bore. I was thinking one on each side of the blade with sleeve bushings ad a rubber and or oring for tension against blade where the teeth are.
I also need to change the metal bristle brushes on my horizontal bandsaw but after seeing the price of new Kalamazoo brushes on ebay ($42), I have decided to fashion a couple out of file cleaning brushes, they can be had for under $10.
See the chips on the guide bearings? Keeping them off of there, and off the faces of the the drive and driven gears, is what this is all about. For that you need to have brushes at the sides of the blades, so the chips don't get rolled and smashed into sticking to things. I suppose keeping chips out of the teeth might help, but I have never seen trouble from that issue, though it couldn't hurt to keep them out of the blade gullets. Three brushes total, well after the cut to be away from gathering more chips, and before the drive wheel, seems to make the most sense to me.
Thanks Bob. I was under the impression that the point was to clear chips from the teeth so it doesn't pack up, stop cutting, and get dull from rubbing.
Not that this is gospel, but every commercial bandsaw photo I could find has the brush or wiper after the guide bearings or block. In my case there is essentially zero clearance for a brush between the bottom of the table and the guide bearings due to the vertical-mode table.
I don't run coolant so have no good way to flush chips short of an irritating air-blast arrangement. And I've not experienced any issues to date with chips getting on the bearings or drive wheels. That is to say yes, chips get on everything but they don't seem to cause issues.
I've not needed a brush on my 4x6, but my 14" vert bandsaw is another deal. Mostly I wanted to keep stuff off the tires so they wouldn't get a bunch of swarf mashed into them. So I finally found a use for our old SoniCare brushes. It's always rankled to just toss them until the light went on. They have really strong magnets in the base so it makes them easy to mount. It just takes a little cutting and carving and then superglue.
My Grob 4v-18 vertical has an air blower on the blade teeth and a basic wooden handle wire brush that's been shortened to keep the drive wheel clean. If you're cutting soft metals buildup on the wheels can tighten up your blade tension over time possibly breaking the blade. Anything you can do to keep the chips off is a help.
My vertical band saw accumulates chips in the rubber tires on the saw. The wooden handled mill cleaning brushes cleans them up prtty good. Haven't done so but need to figure a way to mount them .
Have a good day