I have fallen out of love with my Startrite band saw! The first 18 months were fine and we were good friends, plenty of power and 16" depth of cut to match my planer. However 4 months ago a blade broke and ripped half the tyre off the top wheel. Annoying but not too much problem, just get a new tyre. Wrong! you have to buy a new wheel at a cost of £250! Unlike every other manufacturer Startrite machines have flat wheels with the tyre crowned after fitting. In the old days the tyres were welted on (a heat treatment process) but for the last few years they are simply glued and can be pulled off.
After pleading my case the cost was drastically reduced to £86 but they didn't have one in stock! Ten days later one arrived from Italy on a neat little pallet. There were no instructions but after a phone call I was told the wheel should just slide off after removing the locking nut. The nut came off easily but the wheel would not budge. I even drilled a hole in the back of the casing and hammered a tommy bar against the wheel but to no avail. An engineer had to be called, more cost! He couldn't move it either. He returned with a 'puller' but it was too small and came back with a larger one. Eventually with enourmous effort the wheel was finally removed. The new one was fitted with a lot of help from a lump hammer and all was well.
I have to say Startrite were helpful all the way, but surely a cost of £120 and my main band saw out of action for 6 weeks is a bit excessive for the sake of a new rubber tyre!
As all this happened last year I had put the experience behind me but guess what? When I was cutting out some hammer handles (below) the saw died on me. It is currently standing lifeless in my workshop minus the motor which has been taken to an electrical repair shop. I will report on progress.