Hi everyone, this is my first time posting so I hope I'm in the right location.
I picked up an old Davis and Wells 14" bandsaw for $100 and from a novice's untrained eye it looks good. I don't see any cracks in any of the casting, both wheels spin freely and the 3/4 hp motor on it operates. The thrust bearings for the guides are mostly there. The top one is a little chewed up but complete, but he bottom guide is missing the part that the blade rests on. I'm not sure what part of the thrust bearing that is. I have a friend that's going to make me a few new ones out of A2 tool steel. So no worries on getting new guides.
My real question is, how should I replace the old rubber tires. The tires are 90% still there. On the back side they are starting to crack and split, so I would like to replace them. I talked with the guy who runs davisandwells.com, but his option sounded to expensive, once you consider I would have to ship these cast iron wheels to him. So I figured that urethane tires would be the way to go, but how do I put crown on them? I was thinking of gluing some copper wire to the center of the cast iron wheel rim. That would cause the urethane tire to have a crown, but I have no idea how much of a crown it should have.
Also from comparing pictures, I think this saw is from the early 1940's.