So I rescued a 12” Craftsman band saw a couple of weeks ago. The price was right in my wheelhouse … $0. Not knowing if I will really use a band saw that much, it seems like a prudent investment. A cursory inspection indicated that it was worth hauling home. A little research revealed that it was 70’s vintage which I put down as a plus since I’ve got it in my head that Craftsman was better made back then then it is now. That’s probably just my latent geezer-ness showing.
Anyway, hauled it home and excavated a spot in the shop to try it out. Flipped the switch and it spun right up. At least it runs. But I don’t think it is really supposed to be shaking like that. And I think a butter knife might rip this 2×4 faster than this.
Okay, I read someplace (here) that these things need a tune-up from time to time. Open it up and it seems odd that there is a rubber tire around the top wheel and none on the bottom wheel. Maybe that had something to do with the blade being hammered to dog do-do.
The local merchants are no help and the Sears store is worse than useless so it is left to the World Wide Web and UPS to deliver two new tires (PART NUMBER: 41815 from Sears) and a new 1/4” blade. Ten days later. The tires (neoprene I think) and blade arrive. The tires appear pretty small next to the wheel. After a quick geometry refresher I determine that I’ve got to get 28 3/4” of neoprene around 39 1/4” of wheel rim. Seems a bit of a stretch, so to speak.
While struggling to work one on I’m thinking to myself, “Ya know, if I had a band saw I could cut a couple of concentric disks that I could attach to the wheel and use them to step this rubber band onto the wheel”. As I don’t QUITE have a band saw, I use a couple of plastic jawed bar clamps and after a couple of scraped knuckles finally work a tire into place … as it simultaneously changes from a rubber band into a rubber strip. Close inspection reveals that some dumb ass may have nicked the edge of the neoprene during this delicate operation.
Using the due caution that that dumb ass should have used, I deftly get my backup tire in place. Smug with success I install the nice new sharp blade, adjust the guides as instructed by the manual. It still shakes like it really wanted to be an orbital sander and is only in the sawing business cuz dad was. Then I notice that the add on speed reducer is noisy distraction that might not be helping things. After removal things calmed down considerably. Still more vibration than I would expect. The flimsy motor mount is my prime suspect. Modification is in order but first I’m going to cut a couple disks.
-- Visualize whirled peas