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How to repair the drive wheels on a Chicago electric portable band saw

Picture of How to repair the drive wheels on a Chicago electric portable band saw

Chicago Electric portable band saws are the brand carried by Habor Freight, they are made in China as are several other no name brands ( which are most likely the same tool ). The drive wheels, which are the part that the blade runs on, are made of plastic. These do not stand up to the abuse that the saws are exposed to, especially when the saw binds while cutting. The shaft gear is steel and chews up the inner gear on the drive wheels. An easy fix it to swap the front wheel with the rear wheel. When this is not possible I have a quick fix using JB Weld that seems to be holding up quite well.

 
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Step 1: Remove the rear drive wheel

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Remove the blade ,and the rear wheel. You will need a 5mm allen wrench for this. Once off ,clean up the worn part with a razor knife

Step 2: Make a wax mold of wheel

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Once all the melted plastic burrs are remove spray wheel with a release agent ( I used cooking spray). Apply some tape across a good section of the wheel. Melt some parafin wax and scoop into prepped area. Allow to cool and harden for a few hours.once its hardened trim the excess off and square it up . To remove put the wheel in the freezer for an hour or two; this helps release the wax. To get wax out bang wheel against counter or hand and wax will slide out.
Make sure that you create this wax mold using undamaged teeth.

Step 3: Add epoxy to mold

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Wash wheel with dish soap to remove any grease or oil. Slide wax mold over damaged area and clamp in place. I used JB Weld ...mix your epoxy and force into spots that are missing teeth. Allow to harden 24 hrs (if you use JB Weld like I did)

Step 4: Remove mold and reinstall wheel

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After 24 hrs unclamp and remove wax by banging it the same way you did in step # 2  .....inspect , re install and away you go

It seems that whether it be harder or softer patch material the difference in hardness would be cause for inevitable separation. So am wondering about casting a good wheel in a sand mold and making replacements out of pot metal.

dolabil66 (author) 4 years ago
I `ve found that JB weld does not hold up to long, I am in search of a new epoxy to try that may be more durable
You could try melting plastic into it, but you would need a more heat resistant mould.
scavanger5 years ago
 Ya just gotta love an ingenious tool fix. Great job.
dolabil66 (author)  scavanger5 years ago
Thanks...