Melted my bandsaw tires

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Forum topic by swied posted 03-24-2010 10:09 PM 4129 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View swied's profile


74 posts in 3756 days

03-24-2010 10:09 PM

I feel so stupid…

Yesterday, I was cutting some 3” thick balsa wood on my bandsaw. I was creating a set of curved sanding blocks to give away to surfboard shaper friends. I was just working away wearing all my safety gear (3M respirator, head phones, and eye goggles). My respirator prevented me from smelling the burning rubber until it was too late. All of a sudden my blade just came to a stop. I turned the motor off, and then I noticed some wisps of black smoke, and black goo dripping from my blade. I opened the case, and saw that the blade was embedded deep in the middle of the molten tires.


My only gues is that I had the tension on the blade too high. I guess that is a lesson learned. Now, I need to buy new tires. Is there anything else I should watch out for to prevent this from happening in the future.

-- Scott, San Diego

9 replies so far

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3723 days

#1 posted 03-24-2010 10:38 PM

I’ve never heard of this and I’m not a bandsaw expert (or even a heavy user for that matter) but it sounds like the tension would be too low. this would cause them to slip and then you’d have the friction you are talking about. This is just my UNeducated guess.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3475 days

#2 posted 03-24-2010 10:44 PM

Did it melt the tires on both wheels? Just wonder if one wheel or the other had the bearings sticking.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View swied's profile


74 posts in 3756 days

#3 posted 03-24-2010 10:58 PM

It melted both tires equally, and I’m pretty sure the tension was not too low. I replaced the blade and tuned everything up within the past month. I have only used it a few times since then. It is a 14” Powermatic BTW.

One thing to note. My saw has always produced a ghostly whiring sound when I made a tight turn. I checked the motor and wheel alignments a while ago, but was never able to get the sound to go away. It didn’t seem to effect the performance, so I just ignored it. Maybe whatever caused that sound was the culprit?

-- Scott, San Diego

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3110 days

#4 posted 03-24-2010 11:07 PM

and with balsa waaoov
not good
something most have
prevented the wheel
from turning the same
speed as the sawblade

do you have a dustcleaning
on you wheels

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

453 posts in 3000 days

#5 posted 03-24-2010 11:10 PM

How about the blade guide bearings or the thrust bearings top and bottom. Do they turn freely or is one of them frozen? That could cause enough friction to heat up the blade I guess. Are your lower guides adjusted properly?

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3069 days

#6 posted 03-24-2010 11:16 PM

I hate to admit it, but I did this. In my case, the tension was definitely too high. I have a good excuse/explanation but I’ll skip that. I made a mistake and set the tension for my 1/4” blade as if it were a 3/4” blade. What a mess. The blade cut/melted a groove into the tires and the melted tire messed up my wood.

I had to cut the blade to get it off and replace both tires. I still have that piece of osage orange with a portion of a band saw blade sticking out of each side.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View swied's profile


74 posts in 3756 days

#7 posted 03-24-2010 11:35 PM

The blade guide bearings were in perfect working order, and everything turned freely. The brushes on the tires were also in good shape.

I think that Rich’s experience above explains it. I now remember why my tension was so high. A little over a month ago I had to cut a curve on a 12” thick piece of balsa. Before you freak out, concider that the density of the wood was about 7 lbs per cubic foot. My blade cut through it like it was a block of foam.

In my tests I found that the blade would bow a little when I made a turn too fast. I cranked up the tension, and made my cut nice and slowly. It worked out well, but then I forgot to lower the tension on the blade aftwerwards.

-- Scott, San Diego

View tblank's profile


61 posts in 2964 days

#8 posted 04-09-2010 07:50 PM

Fellow Swaylockian! A Powermatic is about top of the line. This is probably blade tension. Try the blue urethane tires, they last longer.

View russv's profile


262 posts in 3164 days

#9 posted 04-09-2010 08:38 PM

i put the blue urethane tires on my PM and it made a great machine even better.

I use to get the same whirling noise till I replace all bearing in the guides. The ones that came with the PM weren’t sealed bearing and sawdust would get in. I use precision sealed bearings now and all is quiet and with the tires, life is good.

one thing i have to say about my PM, others talk about their BS bogging down when cutting thick hardwood. I probably have made hundreds of bandsaw boxes over the years. many of which were over 6” deep and lots of tight curves. I have never heard my bandsaw bog down once. not even when resawing.


-- where to go because you don't want no stinking plastic!

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