Bike wheel for a bandsaw..

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Hi,
I'm repairing a two wheel bandsaw and need a top wheel for it. OEM spares are very expensive (£100+, ~$200) so I was wondering if a 12" bicycle wheel could be used? It only needs to take the pressure of the blade and spin round when required, after all.
I can easily rig up a surface for the blade to ride on.
It's a small bandsaw and I only really use 1/4" blades so I don't need the mega-tension on it you'd need for a 3/4" resaw blade.
Any thoughts? experience?
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PCPaul wrote:

I can think of a number of objections on the basis of theory, but not having tried this and being too lazy to do the calculations, I don't know if they have any validity. If the bicycle wheel is paid for and fits the shaft, I'd say try it, from a distance. If it holds together let us know how it worked out. I wouldn't go out and buy a bicycle wheel though.
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--John
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On Mon, 14 Jul 2008 07:55:30 -0400, J. Clarke wrote:

Good answer ;-)
I'd obviously much prefer to use the real thing, but paying £100+ for an alloy wheel - no tyre, no bearing, no axle! strikes me as ridiculous.
If I find a suitable wheel, I'll report back. I have other irons in the fire too, so hopefully it may not be needed...
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PCPaul wrote: ...

...
As another poster noted, the bicycle wheel relies on the (inflated) tire for much of it's integrity under load.
I think the only way you could make it work would be to have a tensioned banding around the rim to serve the purpose--if you could arrange that w/ sufficient stiffness and tension, you might have a chance.
In essence you would need a 12" hose clamp of the right width w/ the tightening mechanism flush w/ the outer edge...ottomh, I'm not sure how one would arrange that easily... :)
--
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I'm betting that if the bicycle wheel was substantial enough that you would see more similar type wheels being used. Because of the constant side load tension I'm betting that spoke tension will be a nightmare and ever changing. I seriously doubt that the bearings are up to the task either.
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No experience, but my thought is that the reason they went from iron wheels to aluminum was price, not because less mass is better. More mass in the wheels means better cutting for thicker stuff. And I know that bike wheels depend on the inflated tire for a great deal of their cohesiveness. After riding for a half mile on a flat tire, I can attest to that. :-)
If you could somehow add a few pounds to the bike wheel it might help but otherwise, assuming it didn't fly apart as soon as it got going, it would bog down in half-inch stock.
Reminds me of a Don Weber article in a back issue of PopWood, that used a bike ratchet, chain, and a spring to make a simple treadle-type late for third world woodworkers. Good article. But while they used parts from old bikes, they didn't use wheels.
I'd look for old flywheels off of junk farm equipment before I'd think of bike wheels.
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An old flywheel off a small block GM could work. A chisel and a firm blow to the ring gear and it will come off (Safety goggles etc). I made a set of free-weights for myself out of those.
I also think that bicycle wheels are a lot tougher than meets the eye. I think the width at the hub might cause you grief. Also, a 12-inch wheel isn't exactly designed to handle big weights...unless little 4 -year-old Bubba weighs in at 150 pounds, which with today's diets could be a design parameter.
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On Mon, 14 Jul 2008 08:29:18 -0700, Robatoy wrote:

That's true enough.. I know when my kids were small I could ride their bike without the wheels folding up, and I'm around 200lbs. I think the smaller wheels are actually tougher than the larger sizes.
Small block GMs aren't so common this side of the Atlantic (I'm in the UK) but I see what you're getting at. It's arranging the axle that gets tricky then, without a decent metalworking lathe.
I might try adding a few layers of parcel strapping for tension - that can be made *very* tight, although possibly not smooth enough.
A cast iron pulley would probably be the best choice but with the price of metal going up like it has done most of the scrapyards round here have been shipped lock, stock and barrel to the Far East :-(
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Just came to me... one thing that makes a bicycle wheel tough, is the fact that the shaft is supported on both sides. In a band-saw, the shaft is held by one end only. That can be compensated by a bigger diameter shaft, but in a bicycle wheel, the hub diameter is limited.
(One of my ex's cheesecakes would make a nice wheel... but then we're back to a metal lathing again...)
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Right!
Actually, the tire simply protects the wheel from direct impact damage. With no air, you most likely collected impact damage to a marginally built wheel. Once the rim is bent, the spoke tension gets tossed all over the place, allowing the wheel to quickly disintegrate. The inflated tire doesn't really add much strength.
If you ever saw what a good wheel builder can do to a correctly built wheel, to check the durability with no tire installed, you'd surely be impressed.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I'll have to disagree with you on this. The inflated tire protects the rim from road damage, but does absolutely nothing for the mechanical integrity of the wheel. (And with clinchers, it can end up with basically zero net force on the rim, anyways.)
The spoked bicycle wheel has been analyzed thoroughly from an engineering point of view (complete with finite element analysis) by Jobst Brandt in his book "The Bicycle Wheel". The spokes are tension elements, while the rim is in compression. Inflating a tire outside the rim can add some additional forces, but they are fairly minor compared the tension applied by the spokes.
Chris
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No experience, but sort of a thought... BE FRIGGIN' CAREFUL!!
Yes, it might work... You might also use a strip of rags for a belt and weld old hack saw blades together for the blade.. Will it be safe? Will you be able to adjust blade tension and tracking correctly?
Will the bike wheel fit inside the case and offer some protection, or does it not have a cover? I have no idea what the pound/USD conversion rate is, but I'm guessing that 100 to 200 is a lot of cash? In the US, you can buy a new 14" bandsaw for a bit over $300... How does that convert to pounds?
In some cases with tools, a new one can cost less than a few parts..
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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mac pointed out that there's more to a bandsaw - that won't try and maim or kill you - than two wheels and a bandsaw blade. I believe the phrase Penny Wise, Pound Foolish came from your side of The Pond. Unless you have plenty of spare time and are sure you can get Express Service at the nearest emergency room, I suggest you pass on trying the Jerry Rig a bike wheel.
Perhaps a ply or MDF wheel?
charlie b
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On Mon, 14 Jul 2008 09:52:06 -0700, charlieb wrote:

Ply or something is also on the cards. And I currently have feelers out to get an alloy disc turned to the right size thanks to a friend at a small engineering company but he has to wait for the right sized 'scrap' to be available ;-)
The bike wheel idea is looking a bit dodgy though, not due to the pressure but due to the hub/bearings, as has been mentioned.
It's a nice bandsaw - an Elu with an induction motor, decent fence etc.. the only new saws in my price range would be cheap chinese stuff.
Oh, and the Elu was free.
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A rule of thumb, here in the colonies, is when a repair costs half or more of replacement cost, its time to purchase a new tool. Joe G
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On Mon, 14 Jul 2008 10:08:31 -0700 (PDT), GROVER

Unless said replacement tool is a Chineses "kit tool" that you are going to have to take apart amd modify extensively to make it accurate and reliable.
If I can fix a quality NorthAmerican or western european tool for less than 90% of the cost of a peice of Chuinese crap, I'll fix it.
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What's wrong with the original wheel? Is there no way it could be bodged up into working again?
The bicycle wheel idea sounds interesting if you have the time to play with it, and you're not expecting too much. I'd love to hear how it turns out. I've been wanting to build my own bandsay and this might be good way to come up with some of the required parts.
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On Mon, 14 Jul 2008 21:08:32 +0000, Smaug Ichorfang wrote:

The original wheel was plastic and had a crack through the centre. The bandsaw was used with it like that until it got so worn the blade wouldn't track (not by me).
So the whole centre of the wheel (where the bearings were a press fit) is effectively gone.
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PCPaul wrote:

No experience but I'd make one out of plywood before rigging up a bicycle wheel.
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Jack
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wrote:

I'd make it from baltic birch ply - or in a pinch from MDF, and put a coat of West Epoxy on to seal it against moisture etc.
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