How To Install New Band Saw Tires

Topics Covered
1. Remove the Band Saw Table
2. Unfasten the Power Switch & Light Assembly
3. Remove the Blade & Tires
4. Install New Tires (plus a tire installation video)
5. Install Band Saw Blade
6. Adjust the Blocks
7. Adjust the Thrust Bearings
8. Reinstall the Band Saw Table
9. Wrapping It Up
10. Request

What follows in this post are the steps to go thru to change out your band saw tires.

The band saw I will be demonstrating on is a Sears 12” band saw, model 113.243311. However, the sequence of steps shown should be applicable for pretty much any band saw.

Here’s a shot (Photo 1) of the urethane tires (still in package) that we will be installing.

Photo 1

1. Remove the Band Saw Table
Let’s get started, remove the band saw table, since you want all the room you can get when installing your new band saw tires. The band saw table in this demo is fastened to the band saw frame with the four bolts labeled in Photo 2 below.

Photo 2

To remove bolt #4 (shown in Photo 2 above), tilt the table as shown in Photo 3 below.

Photo 3

Photo 4 below shows the table after being removed along with the four bolts that secure the table to the band saw frame and the band saw blade.

Photo 4

2. Unfasten the Power Switch & Light Assembly
If you have the same type band saw that I have, then before removing the band saw blade, you will have to first unfasten the “Power Switch & Light Assembly” shown in Photo 5. Three screws (labeled as screw #1, screw #2, & screw #3) secure the “Power Switch & Light Assembly” to the band saw frame.

Photo 5

I didn’t disconnect the wiring from the “Power Switch & Light Assembly,” instead I just let it dangle as shown in Photo 6 below. The “Power Switch & Light Assembly” is left dangling until the new tires and blade have been installed.

Photo 6

3. Remove the Blade & Tires
Next, remove the band saw blade and then the rubber tires from your two band saw wheels.

To remove the rubber tires, use a screwdriver, as shown below in Photo 7. For the record, removal of the rubber tires using the screwdriver as shown below (Photo 7) went smoothly.

Photo 7

After removing the existing tires, I sanded the wheel rims lightly with 320 grit sandpaper and then finished cleaning the wheels with paper towels lightly soaked with mineral spirits, to remove small specks of rubber that remained stuck to the wheels when the tires were removed.

Small specks of rubber that remained stuck to one of the wheels (typical for both wheels) is shown in the following Photo (Photo 8).

Photo 8

4. Install New Tires
To install your new tires, first soak each new tire for 10 minutes in a bucket filled with hot water and a couple drops of liquid dish washing detergent.

Installing one tire at a time, go thru the following installation process:

Step 1
Place the tire on the wheel and clamp (I found spring loaded clamps to work well) the tire to the wheel with three clamps spaced over an approximately 180* span along the perimeter of the wheel.

Also, place a board across the top of the wheel and clamp to the tire and wheel. The YouTube video below will clarify placement and use of the board just referenced. Board dimensions will vary depending on what type band saw you are working with. Board dimensions for the band saw I am working with are 1/2” x 2-1/4” x 16-9/16”.

Purpose of the board referenced above is to keep the wheel from rotating while you work at installing the tire.

Step 2
Next take two good size screwdrivers (the two I used were approximately 12” in overall length) and use the two screwdrivers to stretch the tire as you slide the tire down the shaft of the screwdriver and onto the wheel.

What I found worked best for me was to place the two screwdrivers about 30 to 45 degrees apart along the perimeter of the wheel and then work a 30 to 45 degree section of tire onto the wheel: the two screwdrivers are between the wheel and tire.

Step 3
Next, remove the screwdriver closes to the clamp and reposition it approximately 30 to 45 degrees from the second screwdriver.

Step 4
Continue the above process until the entire tire has been slid onto the wheel.

The following YouTube video link documents the above tire installation process.

▶ How to Install Band Saw Tires wmv – YouTube

Step 5
To center each tire on each wheel, I used a scrap piece of wood as shown below in Photo 9, to push on each tire as need be to center it.

Photo 9

5. Install Band Saw Blade
After installing your new tires, install your band saw blade, and reinstall the Power Switch & Light Assembly: adjust the blade as need be to center the overall blade width on each wheel (as you turn the upper wheel by hand).

For the Sears band saw used in this post, you do the following to adjust the location of the blade on your two wheels: There is a screw at the center of the upper wheel that you turn clockwise to move the blade toward the back of the wheel and counterclockwise to move the blade toward the front of the wheel.

The screw referenced above that you turn to adjust the tracking is pointed at with a screwdriver tip in Photo 10 below.

Photo 10

The goal here is to center the overall width of the blade on the two wheels as you rotate the upper wheel by hand. Photo 11 below shows the blade centered on the wheel.

Photo 11

6. Adjust the Blocks
Since new tires have been installed, this would be a good time to check that your blocks (or bearings) and thrust bearing are properly adjusted relative to the blade.

Check the clearance between your blocks (or bearings) by checking to see if you can insert a piece of notebook type of paper between each block and the blade; you want the fit of the paper between the block and blade to be tight enough that the paper doesn’t slip out when you let go of the paper.

If the paper feeler gauge slips out or will not fit between the blade and block, then adjust both the top and bottom blocks.

To adjust the blocks, loosen the block set screws. An Allen wrench being used to loosen one of the blocks is shown in the following photo.

Photo 12

Now with the block set screws loosen, adjust the blocks by pressing in on them with your thumb and forefinger as shown in the following photo, and at the same time tighten the block set screws while the blocks are pressed against the paper feeler gauge.

Photo 13

Besides adjusting the clearance between the blade and the blocks, you may also need to adjust the position of the front of each block, such that the front of each block is approximately 1/32” behind the bottom of the gullets.

Positioning of the front of the blocks relative to the bottom of the gullets is depicted in the following photo.

Photo 14

The adjusting of the blocks relative to the blade gullets described above for the upper blocks also needs to be done on the lower blocks.

7. Adjust the Thrust Bearings
For adjusting the upper and lower thrust bearings, I used the same paper feeler gauge that I used for making the block adjustments.

Loosen the Allen screw that locks the thrust bearing in place, and adjust the spacing between the back of the blade and the front of the thrust bearing to equal the thickness of your paper feeler gauge.

Spacing between the back of the blade and the front of the thrust bearing using the paper feeler gauge is illustrated in the following photo.

Photo 15

8. Reinstall the Band Saw Table
After installing your new tires, reinstalling the blade, reinstalling the Power Switch & Light Assembly, and adjusting the blade, blocks, and thrust bearings–you can now reinstall the band saw table.

After reinstalling the band saw table, check to ensure that with the table angle set to zero-degrees that the angle between the blade and tabletop is ninety-degrees. Using a combination square to check for a 90* angle between the blade and tabletop is illustrated in the following photo.

Photo 16

If the tabletop is not at a 90* angle to the blade, then adjust the tabletop as required. For the band saw being used in this post, there is an Allen screw on the tabletop that you turn to adjust the tabletop relative to the blade.

For this particular band saw, the location of the Allen screw for fine tuning the squaring of the tabletop to the blade is pointed out in the following photo.

Photo 17

9. Wrapping It Up
Here’s a shot of the band sand with new tires, reinstalled blade, reinstalled Power Switch & Light Assembly, and reinstalled band saw table.

Photo 18

Removing the old tires went smoothly, and installing the new tires went reasonably well.

Now, I tried to leverage the tire across the whole wheel using two screwdrivers, but that just didn’t work for me. And grabbing the new tire with my bare hands and trying to stretching it across the whole wheel, I could tell that there was no way that was going to work for me. But, the technique for installing the new tires as covered in this post worked reasonably well for me. I would have no qualms about using this technique in the future.

Also, even though, the title of this post is “How To Install New Band Saw Tires.” As you can see, one thing led to another. In this case, besides installing new tires, we ended up adjusting the blade tracking, the blocks, thrust bearings, and the tabletop.

In closing, the new tires, reinstalled blade, and the adjustments made are working out well, no complaints. So, if you will excuse me, I am going to go power up the band saw and cut some wood.

10. Request
If you enjoyed this post, I would be very grateful if you would share it by email with a friend, on Google+, and/or Facebook. While I am being needy, would you give me a “Like” on my Facebook page (Woodworking with AJO)? You can click on the link shown below for my Facebook page. Thanks a bunch.

Woodworking with AJO | Facebook

Take Care