I turned my attention last night back to Big Bertha and her tires. After unsuccessfully trying to install her new tires myself a couple of days ago, I decided to hold off until I had help. In the meantime, I noodled around on the Interwebs and several forum posts caught my attention. The general recommendations were to get the tires good and hot in soapy water. Another post was by a woman who used a Crock Pot to cook her tires so she could slide them on herself. She cooked them at medium for 30 minutes. I eschewed the soap because I didn't want it all over the shop, but I took up the Crock Pot idea.
I cooked mine on High until they reached 120 degrees. I must admit that, even with the cooking, mounting the tires was one of the most difficult things I've ever accomplished in the shop. It's a lot like wrestling a large snake made of rubber that's not happy with the situation onto a thin, constantly moving rail. I ended up clamping, stretching, clamping, stretching and then REALLY stretching the final 6-8 inches. It's the least amount of fun I've had in a great, long while, but I did get them on.
I'm hoping they last years because I don't want to have to do it again. Ever. Of course, I haven't given the 12" band saw its going-through, yet. I may have to replace the tires there, too, but I'm pretty sure they're the orange urethane ones and are good to go for now. Here's a photo of Big Bertha in her completed splendor. I even installed the 3/4" blade and cut a piece of scrap (can't wait to get the new Timber Wolf blade - I have no idea what they were cutting with the current one, but it wasn't good for the blade; it burned the wood from start to finish).
She runs quiet, quieter than the 12", so I'm happy. I have very few things left to do with her. One is to replace the v-belt with a link belt that will cut down on vibration. She does have a bit of vibration, but she weighs so much, it's at a minimum. I will also be replacing her blade guide blocks and bearings, but those can wait. The blade and link belt are the next improvements to come her way.
In an unrelated matter, I received more parts - the table saw miter fence end cap (as you may recall, a previous owner sawed through the last one) and a quart of Garrett Wade wood glue. The glue was recommended by Mark Roberts of Mark Roberts Guitars and Ukuleles, a scholar, gentleman and master luthier. It's a great product for luthiers because it has some saw dust in the mix and is designed as a "gap filler" glue. I can't wait to use it.
Today is Christmas Eve, so I'm going to sign off and stay out of the shop for a couple of days unless, of course, Santa brings me a SawStop table saw. Trust me, I haven't been that good this year. I hope you can find time to enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones; it's a time to review, rethink, recalibrate - and maintain!
Until next time...