A belt, band or other tire component folding machine and method are characterized by a rotatable and expandable drum comprising a substantially rigid cylindrical deck having a precisely formed peripheral deck edge and an inflatable bladder assembly positioned slightly axially and radially inwardly subjacent the deck edge which cooperate to define a precise fold line along the deck edge at which a ply or belt band or the like is precisely and sharply folded. Preferably, dual inflatable bladders are employed at each end of the deck, one bladder being contiguous to the other and arranged on inflation to walk up the precisely formed and contoured deck edge to turn up the overhanging band end, and the other arranged to push the first bladder axially inwardly to complete the fold of the band flat upon itself. A preferred form of deck comprises a plurality of readily replaceable segments which are mounted in a self-aligning manner on a radially expandable and rotatable hub. Each segment includes a pair of interfitting outer deck sections which are movable axially of the drum towards and away from each other to expand and contract the width of the deck in precise increments. Various forms of the deck further comprise spring gap shields or elastic gap spanning bands which circumscribe the deck at the deck edges. The various components are readily interchangeable with components of different sizes and adjustable to accommodate different sizes of tire components.