Whether you use a bandsaw for commercial construction and contracting, or carpentry and custom woodworking, replacing the bandsaw tires when necessary is crucial for maintaining your machine. By conducting regular visual inspections of each tire, you can spot cracks and other signs of damage that indicate it’s time for a replacement. The following tips on how to install rubber and urethane bandsaw tires ensure you can get the job done right.
Preparing for Bandsaw Tire Installation
To prepare for installation, you’ll need to remove the blade and the old tires and then clean the wheels. It’s crucial to clean the wheels and make sure they’re residue-free before installing new tires. A clean wheel allows you to get to the proper fit and keeps the tire from wearing unevenly. Here are all the steps you need to take.
Unplug the Unit and Remove the Blade
To remove the blade, follow the manufacturer’s instructions or use the following steps as a guide:
- Unplug the unit.
- Open the top and bottom cabinets to reveal the wheels.
- Clean out any sawdust or chips.
- Turn the tension knob on top of the bandsaw to loosen the blade.
- Raise the guard to its highest position and tighten it in place.
- Take off the rear blade guard by removing the screws.
- Loosen the under-table blade guard with a screwdriver and move it out of the way.
- Grab the blade near the top of the wheel and pull the blade off the two tires.
You may also want to remove the wheels before installing new tires, so they’re easier to work with. Remove each nut at the end of the axles and pull off the wheels.
Pry off the Old Tires
With a razor blade or sharp utility knife, cut the glue holding the tires in place. You might also use a flat-head screwdriver to pry off the old tires.
Clean the Wheels
Use a putty knife or flat-head screwdriver to remove any residue or leftover tire pieces from the wheels. A stiff brush can also help you scrape away residue. If anything remains, clean the wheels with a rag and lacquer thinner.
Finally, wipe the wheel rims with denatured alcohol and let them dry completely before installing the new tires. You want each wheel surface to be spotless to ensure the tires adhere to the wheels.
Rubber Bandsaw Tire Installation
Rubber tire installation requires a special adhesive and a few other tools. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Two C-clamps
- Two quarter-inch-thick pieces of scrap wood
- Three-quarter-inch-diameter pipe or rod
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Industrial rubber adhesive
- Scrap wood applicator
To install the rubber tire, take these steps:
- Place part of the tire onto one side of the wheel rim with the rough surface facing the rim.
- Clamp it in place with the C-clamp and piece of scrap wood.
- Stretch the tire to the opposite side of the wheel and add the second clamp and piece of wood.
- Pull the rest of the tire onto the wheel.
- Use a flat-head screwdriver to pry the tire away from the wheel and insert the pipe between the wheel and the tire.
- Roll the pipe around the diameter of the wheel to equalize the tension of the tire.
- Add a small amount of glue to the wood applicator.
- With the pipe holding the tire up from the wheel, apply the adhesive to the underside of the tire.
- Work your way around the wheel, applying adhesive and pressing the tire in place as you go.
When you get back to the starting point, there will be a small area where you won’t be able to add glue, but this is nothing to worry about. Let the glue dry for 24 hours before putting the wheels back on the bandsaw. Another tip: If the tire is too wide, you can use a utility knife to trim it after the glue dries, using the rim as a guide.
Urethane Bandsaw Tire Installation
Installing a urethane tire is a simple process. The trick to urethane tire installation is heating the tire first, so that’s it’s pliable and easy to stretch. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Small bucket of hot, soapy water
- Flat-head screwdriver or putty knife
To install the urethane tire, take these steps:
- Fill a small bucket with hot water from the sink.
- Add a small amount of dish soap.
- Soak the urethane tire in hot water for five minutes.
- Remove it from the water.
- Add the tire to the top of the wheel.
- Clamp it in place.
- Stretch the rest of the tire around the wheel rim.
- Remove the clamp and allow the tire to cool.
Make sure the hot water you use is no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Boiling water, for example, will damage the urethane.
When to Replace a Bandsaw Tire
Just like with a car, bad tires will keep your machinery from performing the way it should. Your bandsaw uses two wheels, one on the top and one on the bottom, to operate the blade. Each wheel needs a rubber or urethane tire to keep the blade from getting damaged. Eventually, these tires wear out and need replacing.
You can replace the tires yourself, but first, you need to determine if it’s even necessary. Your bandsaw tires may only need a thorough cleaning for them to perform smoothly again. If you notice any of the following signs when you inspect your tires, it’s time to change them:
- Deep cracks
- Missing pieces
Tracking issues may also indicate a need for new tires.
How To Measure and Order Your New Bandsaw Tires
The first step to installing bandsaw tires is to take measurements and order your new tires. You need to get the correct measurements to ensure you buy the right size for your machine. To measure for new tires, take these steps:
- Measure the wheel’s diameter in inches.
- Subtract two inches from the diameter.
You want the tire to be slightly smaller than the wheel, so it fits tightly and doesn’t slip off while you saw. Consider removing the blade and the tire before taking any measurements to get the most accurate numbers. You’ll also need to decide what type of material you want to replace them with — urethane or rubber.
Urethane Tires Compared To Rubber Tires
Rubber tires are the standard, cost-effective option. Rubber tires may wear quicker than urethane tires and therefore need to be replaced more frequently. They are also prone to dry rot in arid climates. However, a high-quality rubber tire can last just as long as urethane. Rubber tires require the use of a special adhesive to install.
Urethane tires are a popular option because they are long-lasting. They are easy to install and stay in place without the need for special glue.
Whether you choose urethane or rubber tires, it’s a good idea to order them in pairs, even though stores sell them individually. You’ll want to replace both tires on your machine at the same time.
Final Thoughts on Installing Bandsaw Tires
Replacing your bandsaw tires is easy, as long as you use quality products and follow the instructions provided. When you shop for woodworking supplies from Luxite Saw, you benefit from durable, high-performance bandsaw tires backed by unmatched product knowledge and technical support. For more about our product line and how to install rubber or urethane bandsaw tires, visit us online or call us at 1.800.654.7297 for additional details. View our made-in-the-USA rubber bandsaw tires and urethane bandsaw tires here! We also offer glue for rubber bandsaw tires!