I was recently changing tires on my band saw and needed to balance the wheels. I have heard of the method where you spin the wheel and whichever side ends up down the most time is the heaviest, but i wanted a little more precision. After several failed attempts to use a spinning-top kind of a device i came up with (and i don’t claim originality) with following simple device:
The idea is let the wheel balance around the point that is on center axis few inches of the plane of the wheel. if the wheel is balanced, it will hang level, if it is not it will lean to the side that is the heaviest. The greater the angle, the more off-center it is. The sensitivity of the device depends on how high off the plane the fixed point. The farther it is the less sensitive it is.
Here’s the jig itself:
And here is how it fits the wheel:
To manufacture it, first drill a piece of wood and then turn it on a lathe to the inner diameter of the wheel. Drilling it first ensures that the hole that thread emerges from is exactly in the center of the wheel. Here are before and after photos. I managed to balance one wheel (not shown) to be pretty much horizontal, however with the second wheel (shown) the jig did not extrude far enough out of the wheel which made it overly sensitive, so i could not make it exactly horizontal.