Rockwell Bandsaw: Reassembly

The bandsaw tires and bearings have arrived.  So, back to working on the bandsaw I go.  The tires arrived first so I put them on last night. Here’s what they look like.


I imagine there are numerous ways to put tires on but here is my technique.  The first thing I do is clamp the tire on the wheel in a couple places.  Next, I secure the wheel in my vise between a couple pieces of wood.


To get the rest of the tire on, I pull on the tire and insert a wooden dowel between the wheel and tire.  Now roll the dowel away from the section of the tire you want on.  This will cause the tire the climb the edge of the wheel and allow you to easily pull it into place with your hands.  Repeat until the tire is all the way on.


Here are both finished wheels.


Below, you can see the crown of the new tire.  A definite improvement over the old worn tires.


Here’s what came from Accurate Bearings today.  I have bearings for both wheels and guides.


Here is a comparison of the new and old bearings for the bottom wheel.


Putting the new bearings in consisted of going through the disassembly steps backward.  First, I tapped the back bottom bearing into place with a soft hammer.  Next, I pressed the shaft into the front bearing with the arbor press.  It really wasn’t tight enough to need the press but it was the easiest way to get it into position.


The shaft and bearing were inserted through the body casting and tapped into place.  From here, the bottom wheel can be reinstalled and the nut that holds it on tightened down snuggly.  The nut on the back, shown below, is also tightened down.  With the shaft reinstalled, the cover box for the rear pulley and belt can be put back on.  Next, the pulleys and belt can be reinstalled.


Now that the bottom wheel is done, I turned my attention to the top wheel.  Using the arbor press, one bearing for the top wheel was pressed into place, the spacer inserted, and the other bearing pressed into place.  I make a point of keeping one of each type of old bearing I remove.  It can be used with the arbor press to go between the ram, which is the part of the press that presses on your part, and the new bearing.  Since it is the same as the new bearing it will distribute the force from the ram equally and in exactly the right place on the new bearing.  With the bearings installed in the top wheel it can now be placed back on the shaft and the nut tightened down.  Here’s a picture of it reinstalled.


With the wheels finished, it is time to put the lower blade guide and table bracket back together.  Taking pictures before disassembly was helpful in putting it back together.  Here’s the lower guard assembly.


After some more reassembly the part is finished and ready to go back on the bandsaw.  Normally with moving parts I’d grease or oil them.  This part of the saw will be subjected to a lot of sawdust though.  Therefore, I didn’t use any grease since it would just get contaminated by the saw dust and result in poor movement.  Speaking of movement, the top knob in the picture below slides the entire lower guide assembly forward and backwards with respect to the blade.  The bottom knob slides the thrust bearing forward and backwards independent of the rest of the guide.


With the table support bracket reinstalled it is time to put the trunnions back on the table and reinstall it.  I put a very light coating of grease on the mating surfaces.  They are a little further away from the sawdust storm that is generated when cutting.  I also rarely move the table which should keep the surfaces cleaner.


After the table has been reinstalled, the blade can be installed.  To install the blade you put in on the two wheel and put a small amount of tension on the blade.  Now, spin a wheel by hand and watch how the blade tracks on the top wheel.  If needed, you can adjust the top wheels tilt to make sure it is running in the middle.  Now tension the blade the rest of the way if you’re using the gauge on the saw and spin the top wheel again.  If the blade is still tracking where you want it you’re good to go.  The next step is the make sure the table is perpendicular to the table.  I do this with a small square as seen below.  Now you can adjust the position of all the guides.  The side guides should be located  so that teeth of the blade can never come in contact with the guides.  Then they can be adjusted in and out to leave only a little room between the blade and guides.  Next, the rear thrust bearings on the guides can be adjusted.  It should be close but not contacting the blade.


With the saw completely reassembled and adjusted it is time to make sawdust.  I made a few test cuts on some scrap material I had and have no complaints about the saw.


Even though the saw looks no different from the front, I still feel I should post a “finished” picture.  So, here it is.


Sometime in the next couple of days I’ll make a mobile stand for it like I did the drill press.  After that, I’ll be completely done with it.

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2 Responses to Rockwell Bandsaw: Reassembly

  1. Looks like that was a bit more of a project than I would have done myself. How hard was it to get the old bearings out?

    • davidjbod says:

      It wasn’t too bad. The worst bearings to get out were the ones in the top wheel. Once I realized that the spacer between them could be moved to the side it was easy to remove the bearings. All of the bearings came out with some light tapping.

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