Friday, May 29, 2015

You're Still Running Black Tires? Mine are Bright Orange!

Fenner Urethane Bandsaw Tires

I once picked up a 14-inch band saw for free – all I had to do was haul that hefty ol’ Delta 28-243 from Houston to Austin, Texas. You can’t beat that kind of deal with a stick. When I got it, it was about fifteen years old and had spent its entire life in an un-air conditioned Texas garage. In other words, the original rubber tires pretty much disintegrated the first time I used it, so I picked up a pair of replacement tires online – Fenner Urethane Band Saw Tires, most notable (at least at first glance) for being the precise shade of orange of a Tennessee Vols fan’s favorite t-shirts. More to the point, though, I slapped them on and the saw has functioned just fine ever since. 

Unlike traditional rubber tires, the Fenners don’t need any sort of glue. Regardless, I found them surprisingly easy to slip on, without even needing a lubricant. Yet ten years later they’re still solid as a rock, no slipping, no abrasion. The orange color also makes it easier to check the tracking of the blades, as opposed to the darker rubber (see photo). Although they’re somewhat more expensive than rubber, urethane is said to be less sensitive to changes in temperature (a positive, since I don’t have a shop under HVAC) and the maker claims they’re more durable. 

These replacement tires are packaged in pairs – you should always replace both tires at the same time, even if only one of them s shot. The urethane version is about 1/8” thick and an inch wide; it’s flat on both sides - there's no grooving or tread. Fenner says they will fit all or almost all band saws that have 14-inch wheels; for the record they fit just fine on the Delta I inherited. All in all, I now have about $40 invested in that big old band saw – a darned good deal when you come right down to it!


PLUS: install easily, provide good visibility for evaluating blade position, less temperature-sensitive than rubber, no glue
MINUS: some might consider them expensive
What They're Saying: If you have a band saw that stays in an unheated/air-conditioned shop, some of these Fenner Urethane Tires is probably a good idea.

No comments:

Post a Comment