Stretch on Rubber Tires
What you need to know When Buying Bandsaw Tires
Very thin bandsaw blades are used for detailed and fine cuts, and wider blades are used for straight cuts. Throat capacity — the size of the saw from blade to frame — can range from 8″ up to 36″. The blades have two or three wheels. For woodworking purposes, the blade width can range from 1/8″ up to 1″ across.
If you are a woodworker by trade, then a bandsaw is likely the most-used tool in the shop. For straight cutting or re-sawing, choose at least a 14″ bandsaw.
In professional shops, woodworkers seem to prefer a 17” size bandsaw as they are usually the most economical, although the saws also come in 19”, 21”, and 24” sizes. The 17″ bandsaw is good for re-sawing and curve cutting.
Choosing the right bandsaw tires is key to achieving good results in woodworking. It doesn’t matter then if the bandsaw is aligned properly. If the tires go bad, the machine will not cut wood at optimum efficiency. Poor quality bandsaw tires are the main reason for inefficient bandsaw operation.
An older model bandsaw that vibrates and isn’t performing smoothly will require tire replacement.
Every bandsaw has varying features, and some bandsaw wheels require specific installation for the type of tire purchased. If tire replacement is inevitable, you’ll need to:
- Remove the tires currently in place
- Clean the rims on the bandsaw
- Stretch the new tires over the rim
- Glue the tires in place
- Equalize the new tires, then trim and crown them
- Re-balance the wheels
A bandsaw tire is a vital piece of equipment that keeps the blade from making contact with the wheel and causing damage. The choices include 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.
Urethane tires will normally require submersion in hot, soapy water to relax the band and allow for easier installation. Urethane tires need to be sized as a direct replacement for an OEM wheel as they do not allow any stretch.
If the bandsaw machine takes a rubber tire larger than a 10″ diameter, select a rubber tire sized a half inch smaller or larger than the wheel — this will assure a reliable fit.
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