Thrust bearing, wheel and tire - bandsaw questions (Inca 260 model)


Hello all!
I'm an artist living in Europe who has wandered into woodworking and is currently putting together a small shop. I've been reading posts in rec.woodworking on and off for a while but this is my first post.
I recently acquired an old Inca band saw (two wheel model with a 26 cm. throat) which I'm cleaning it up. This is my first bandsaw. I've got Mark Duginske's book at hand but have a couple of rudimentary (and Inca specific) questions which I hope some of you might have answers for.
(1) Concerning the thrust bearings
The seller mentioned he had replaced the upper thrust bearing and while the surface is smooth and it does turn if you finger it -- it doesn't spin very easily. The lower thrust bearing looks like it needs to be replaced. Should thrust bearings spin freely or simply be able to turn?
(2) The saw when I received it was extremely grungy -- the guide post assembly and table tilt trunions being very hard to move. I've cleaned and polished the guide post assembly and see that I need to take the lower wheel off the saw to remove the inside trunion. The lower wheel is directly connected to the motor (direct drive) and has an allen key screw that goes through the wheel hub. I've removed the screw but cannot seem to remove the wheel. Is it simply a matter of force or do I need a special tool to do this? (I realise that this is really a specific question in relation to this model and would appreciate the advice of anyone who has a similar model...)
(3) The tires on both (flat) wheels are very cracked. They seem to be glued on to the saw. As Inca spare parts are difficult to come by can anyone suggest replacements? I've done some searching and see that urethane band saw tires seem to be good replacements for rubber tires. Has anyone had experience with fitting such tires to european (metric) flat wheels or specifically the Inca?
I appreciate all help and advice.
-- Paul
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Toy maker wrote:

hey Paul - I wont be of too much help I'm afraid. First - Welcome to the world of wood. Can comment on bearings, Cant comment on the motor shaft except that in my experience with motor shafts connected to wheels with an allen set screw there is no anything additional. Try some penetrating spray oil and let it soak in beofre applying force. make sure your set screw is all the way out (there may be a recess in the shaft) Regarding the tires. I would contact the various aftermarket tire companies and ask them what fits. They may know.
One more thing, and I know its bad form and bad etiquette to promote another forum within a forum, I have found another forum for woodworking that I find more useful than this newsgroup. Check out woodnet http://www.forums.woodnet.net/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php
There is much more activity there than here, some people here also post there, on that forum you can post pictures and things are organized a bit better plus you do not have the spam like you get here. Additionally there are moderators to help keep things in order.
Good luck, I'll be interested in reading a copy of your post on woodnet and seeing if you get different advice over there.
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First, check www.incamachines.com (use the E-Mail address there) to see if they have tires for your wheels. I don't know how old your bandsaw is, so I don't know if they will still have stock. But they have been very responsive for my requests.
Inca makes euro-type bandsaws, which means the blade teeth ride just outside the wheel. So the blade doesn't run on a crown like US-saws. At least that is the way my tiny Euro-205 works.
To remove the wheel, I had to use a pulley-puller. Looks like this:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
My local auto-parts store lends them free for a day. It wasn't a perfect fit, but it did the trick. You could make something with a small piece of wood, that would probably work even better.
The reason it is stuck to begin with is probably that it is an aluminum wheel on a steel shaft. You need to add anti-seize when you reassemble. It is available at your local auto parts store.
Toy maker wrote:

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