This is was the upper thrust bearing on my Inca 342 band saw:
I don’t know how someone lets a part get to this level of failure without replacing it, but this is what was there. The lower thrust bearing was not as bad, but it had worn down enough that the blade was riding on the full face of the bearing, and not just on the outer edge as intended.
Now I had to deal with the reality of the saw I had purchased: where was I going to find replacement parts for a Swiss saw from a company that had gone out of business some time ago?
I looked around the internet and found a few references to Eagle Tools as a possible source of advice and replacement parts, but I decided I’d see if I could find something local first.
…it turns out that my solution was really local.
I have been using the Amazon.com wishlist to drop serious hints to anyone wishing to buy me a present, and one of the things I had wished for and received was a lot of 100 608zz ball bearings. I picked these ones because they are the most commonly used size of bearing and I wanted to use them for various hobby and jig-making projects… nothing specific in mind.
Coincidentally, This is the same size bearing Inca chose to use on their saw. So, not only did I have a replacement thrust bearing on hand, I had 100 of them!
The process of removing the old thrust bearings and replacing them with new ones was easier than I thought it would be.
The bearings are press-fit, but the fit is far more loose than other bearings I’ve dealt with. Although they were too tight to remove and install by hand, they were loose enough for me to feel comfortable using a punch and a dead-blow hammer to remove and install the bearings.
To install the new bearing, I simply laid the baring flat on a piece of rubber and tapped the thrust bearing shaft into the bearing.
I re-installed the bearings on the saw and was ready to work on the next repair (seen in the picture below) the wooden replacement blade guides.
…to be continued in Inca Band Saw Part 3: The Guides