Intro: 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.
Step 1: Remove the Rear Drive Wheel
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
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
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
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
Step 5: In Overview
The JB Weld seems to holding up quite well , I did plan on using an industrial epoxy but JB Weld is only $ 5.99 at my local hardware store. In hind sight I should have ground or trimmed down the the teeth to the left and right of the worn teeth, these teeth were starting wear as well.
But they did not seem to affect the desired outcome.