Bandsaw tires are one of the many essential parts of a bandsaw machine. Tires protect the wheels in order to help improve saw performance. They provide adhesion to the metal wheels so that the blade stays on the wheels, moving smoothly and continuously around the saw.
A well-maintained bandsaw machine’s tires will always be in good shape, be soft and pliable, and made of quality materials. If they become hard, brittle if rubber, worn out, or are cracked, then it is time to replace them. If the tires are not replaced, blade drift will occur due to the blade not being properly set on the wheel(s).
There are two types of bandsaw tires — rubber and Urethane. Installation of either type can be difficult. Often, it takes a third hand in order to help stretch or clamp them onto the wheel.
Rubber tire sizing can be problematic due to the need to have them stretched, and most rubber tires need to be ordered at least 2” smaller than the wheels. Also, rubber tires require glue for installation along with solvent to remove them and clean the wheels, adding to the cost.
Rubber tires especially are prone to wear and tear.
Rubber bandsaw tires installation requires the following steps: — measure the wheels and use tires that are two inches smaller than the wheel. Prior to installation, make sure to clean the wheels with solvent. Use a soft cloth and apply a fair amount of glue or adhesive. Stretch the tire and place it around the wheel. Use a screwdriver for leverage if needed to hold the tire in place.
Urethane tires are sized to fit onto a wheel. A 14” wheel takes a 14” tire. Simple unless the bandsaw has an odd sized wheel, or when you are forced to go with the rubber tires.
Urethane tires fit right onto the wheel(s) and require no glue to apply nor solvent to remove old glue. They are more durable than rubber and are abuse-resistant as well. They are also the standard now and come highly recommended due to their ability to offer better grip and straighter cuts while helping to prolong blade life.
Installation of Urethane tires is a little less challenging. Urethane, while being less pliable than rubber, will become just as flexible after having soaked them in hot, soapy water for about ten minutes. By doing this, the tire should stretch right onto the wheel(s).
Place the tire on the wheel and clamp it securely. Stretch it halfway around and add another clamp. Then continue to stretch the tire until it fits well. An extra pair of hands comes in handy. After the tires are secured to the entire wheel, the machine is good to go.
Check the tires regularly and replace as needed. They don’t wear out fast, so the tendency to ignore them is there. Tires are a bit like the chip brush – always appreciated yet barely noticed.
Great bandsaw machine performance depends on things like compatibility and properly installed parts. Both are great ways to help maintain the bandsaw and keep it running at its best possible performance level.