Jan 10

What to Look for When Buying Band Saw Tires

While very thin blades on a band saw are used for detailed and fine cutting, wider blades are used for straight cutting. The throat capacity, or the size of the saw from blade to frame, can range from 8 inches up to 36 inches. Typically the blades have two or three wheels. For woodworking purposes, the blade width can range from 1/8 inch up to 1 inch across.

If you are a woodworker by trade, then a band saw, no doubt, is a tool you use almost every day. For a great deal of straight cutting or resawing, you’ll want to choose at least a 14-inch band saw for your cutting needs. Band saws are versatile saws so they are highly prized for anyone who enjoys woodworking as a hobby or has made it their profession. In professional shops, woodworkers particularly like 17” size band saws as they are usually the most economical, although the saws also come in 19”, 21” and 24” sizes. The 17-inch band saws are particularly good for resawing and curve cutting.

Therefore, choosing the right band saw tires is key to achieving good results when you’re woodworking. It doesn’t matter then if your band saw is aligned properly. If your tires go bad, your machine will not cut wood with optimum efficiency.

Consequently, if you have an older band saw that vibrates and isn’t performing smoothly, tire replacement is a must. Every band saw has varying features; therefore, some wheels on band saws require installation that is specific for the type of tire. If you must replace your tires, you’ll need to:

  • Remove the tires currently in place;
  • Clean the rims on the band saw
  • Stretch the new tires over the rim
  • Glue the tires in place
  • Equalize the new tires, then trim and crown them
  • Rebalance the wheels

The Internet offers various brands of band saw tires, including Delta band saw tires and Harbor Freight tires. For example, you can replace an old band saw tire with model number 426020940003 from Delta. This model tire fits all Delta 14-inch band saws. The manufacturer suggests that you use weatherstrip adhesive by 3M to affix the tire to the wheel. Place the tire in hot water to make it easier to install. The tire is 1 inch across and is 1/8 inch in thickness.

A band saw tire is a vital piece of equipment on a band saw as it keeps the blade from making contact with the wheel and causing damage. The aforementioned brands offer band saw tires made of rubber or urethane. For the money, urethane is probably a better choice as it doesn’t require glue to keep the tire in place and generally lasts longer than a rubber tire. Make sure that the tires you select are sized a couple inches smaller than the wheel for a good and reliable fit. Most tires, like the products mentioned, cost from around $39.00 on average at local retail outlets and on the Internet.

Jan 10

Safest Way to Change Band Saw Tires

Tire replacement is the number one reason that band saws will not operate to their maximum capacity. On old machines, you may find that worn tires will be cracked or brittle. Even if you try to readjust or realign the wheel, you’re not going to achieve the results you want if your band saw tires have gone bad.

Making the Choice for Urethane

When your band saw wheels need new tires then, you have to make a decision between either installing rubber tires or tires made of urethane.  Many band saw users like the urethane variety as they generally last longer than rubber tires and do not need any type of epoxy to be held into place. Although you’ll probably have to fork out a little bit more money for urethane band saw tires, you’ll probably pay less in the long run as the tires, as stated, typically last longer.

Removing Old Tires

To effectively take off old tires, use some lacquer thinner to reduce the amount of cleanup you’ll need to do later. Pour in a bit of thinner between the wheel and tire after separating them with a razor knife. After waiting a short time, use a screwdriver to open up the space farther and insert a small wedge of wood. Pour in a little more thinner and continue the operation until you’ve removed the tire from the metal wheel. After you’ve removed the tire, make sure you do a thorough job of cleaning the wheel on your band saw. Cleaning will help guarantee that your tire will fit well and your saw, in turn, will perform at optimum efficiency.

Cleaning the Metal Wheel

To clean the wheel, you’ll need to make sure you get all the old contact cement off the metal. Don’t even think about installing the new tire until this part of the process is complete. Otherwise, the new tire can’t possibly bond well to the wheel, what with the amount of debris and residue remaining from the old epoxy. Therefore, remove the old glue and debris with a stiff wire or steel brush. Make sure not to use water or any kind of solvent used for cleaning. Doing so may cause harm to your saw. As soon as you’ve cleaned each wheel and made a thorough inspection, you are ready to stretch on the new tires and remount them.

One Final Note

Once the new tires are installed on your band saw, you may want to attach a brush on your saw’s lower wheel to safeguard your new tire installation. Such a brush can aid in removing any saw dust or debris that can contribute to altering the crown of your tire over time. If you’re serious about your craft, checking and maintaining the wheels and tires should be a regular part of routine maintenance. To keep your maintenance costs low, choose tires made of urethane for your band saw.

Jan 10

What Are the Best Band Saw Tires to Use?

If they have grooves or cracks, or have become brittle, then it’s imperative that you replace them. A band saw can be expected to give you many years of service if it’s regularly maintained, especially if you examine the tires on a routine basis. Therefore, if you determine that your tires are due for replacement, you’ll have to measure the wheels to find out what size of tire you’ll need. Once you obtain a measurement, plan on buying tires that are about 2 inches smaller than the size of your band saw wheel for a good fit. Home Depot provides a variety of tires for this purpose.

Sizes of Tires

For instance, you can obtain Home Depot tires, in a number of sizes, such as 6 inch band saw tires, and 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20-inch tires. Therefore, make sure, as stated, that your tire is sized a couple inches smaller than the measurement of your wheel. If glue was used on the old tire to secure it, then removal can be quite a time-consuming process. To effectively remove the tire and reduce cleanup, it’s best to use lacquer thinner when removing the tire from the metal wheel.

Removing the Tire

Pull the old tire away from the wheel using a razor knife and pour a small amount of lacquer thinner into the crevice. Wait about half a minute before proceeding. Use a screw driver to separate the tire from the wheel and place a wedge made of wood in the opening. Again, use some thinner to dissolve the epoxy on the old tire. Repeat this process until you’ve completely removed the tire.

Clean the Wheel

Once the tire is removed, make sure you clean the wheel so no residue remains. This will help in bonding the new tire to the wheel and help in further safeguarding the blade. Clean the wheel off by using a stiff or steel brush and a dry towel. Don’t use any water or cleaning solvents as they can harm the saw. Thereafter, the tire will need to be equalized, trimmed and crowned and the wheels rebalanced.

Always Rebalance your Wheels after you Replace the Tires

Rebalancing is important, so each wheel should be balanced each time the tires are replaced, especially on bigger band saws or high-speed models. Also, once you have the wheels balanced, you may want to insert a kind of brush on the saw’s lower wheel to preserve the tires you’ve just installed. A brush that touches the lower wheel is helpful in getting rid of saw dust and other debris, and therefore will keep the tire in good condition for a longer period of time.

A band saw can give you many years of use. Because worn tires are the primary reason for poor saw performance, make it a priority to inspect the tires on your band saw on a regular basis.