The vertical bandsaw is an awesome tool that serves many functions in a home workshop. Whether cutting plywood, plastic, or even some softer metals such as aluminum, the vertical bandsaw makes quick work of many types of materials. I have discussed my pleasure with the price and performance of my WEN 10″ Bandsaw in this previous post, but I also have an older Craftsman 12″ bandsaw/sander that I have used for a few years now as well.
Though a good saw, the particular Craftsman bandsaw that I was given (pictured above) had seen its better days in terms of aesthetics and working features. With no miter gauge, rip fence, or instruction manual, it seemed that this saw’s potential in my shop would never be fully realized and that is why I ended up getting the WEN saw. Nevertheless, a new blade was all that was required to get this donation up and cutting wood shapes for a variety of projects. I even found some sanding belts that fit the saw on ebay and have sanded a good bit with it too.
After meeting expectations for a few years, the old Craftsman eventually lost a tire from one of the pulley wheels rendering it basically useless. No sweat, after some internet research and a stop by amazon , my new tire was in the mail and on its way to South Louisiana. Upon arrival I quickly followed the advice of many internet users and let the new tire soak in very hot water for about 10 minutes, grabbed a screw driver, and headed to my shop to install the new part. It was not as simple as I had hoped.
After a few annoying attempts at installing the new tire per internet advice, I quickly got creative and added a step that saved me both time and headache and did not require me to remove any wheel from the saw. The process is discussed below.
HOW TO CHANGE A BANDSAW TIRE WITHOUT REMOVING THE PULLEY WHEEL
-bucket or bowl of very hot water
Soak the new urethane tire(s) in very hot water for 10-15 minutes to enhance elasticity
Make sure that the pulley wheel is free of dirt, debris, and old tire remnants
Remove the new tire from the water and clamp it very lightly to the bottom of the pulley wheel in two places (tighten the C clamps just enough to hold the tire in place, overtightening the clamps can damage the pulley wheel which is often made of aluminum)
Once clamped, simply pull the tire up and around the remainder of the pulley, using the slotted screw driver as a guide if needed.
After getting the tire on, go around the wheel ensuring that the tire is seated correctly around the entire pulley.
If you follow these steps with the installation of a new bandsaw tire you will not only eliminate the need for removing the pulley wheel from the saw, but you will also save time and knuckle-skin in the process. After the 10-15 minute soaking of the new tire, this process should take a maximum of 5 easy minutes to complete using these steps.
NEVER WORK ON A BANDSAW THAT IS PLUGGED IN, TURNED ON, OR HAS AN INSTALLED BLADE, DOING SO COULD RESULT IN SERIOUS INJURY OR WORSE.
P.S. If you have a Craftsman 12″ Bandsaw/Sander similar to mine in the pictures, the link below will take you to the exact replacement tires needed for your saw. It took a decent bit of research for me to put my thumb on what I needed, so I hope that it will save you some time. Also included is a picture of the packaging. These particular saws take 80″ blades that can be up to 1/2″ in width.
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Jake with tool-school.com