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rubber flat belts on camelback?

metalmagpie

Active member
I am restoring a 20" drill press from the early 20th century. It needs 3 belts. Obviously leather belts would be the best choice but they are very expensive, on the order of $11-18 per foot. McMaster sells "super-grip flat belting" which is a rubber belt which is like $1.50-3.00 per foot.

Example: McMaster-Carr

I do not expect this drill press will ever see heavy industrial use again. Most probably it will be in someone's home shop.

What are the pros and cons of using rubber belts instead of leather?

metalmagpie
 
Rubber belting doesn't stretch like leather, impervious to water and mildew, quiet [especially when you "sink" the lacing on the pulley side], and grips like, well,,, rubber.
 

rons

Active member
I am restoring a 20" drill press from the early 20th century. It needs 3 belts. Obviously leather belts would be the best choice but they are very expensive, on the order of $11-18 per foot. McMaster sells "super-grip flat belting" which is a rubber belt which is like $1.50-3.00 per foot.

Example: McMaster-Carr

What kind of stitch pattern is used to tie the two ends together?
 

J Henricksen

New member
I replaced the leather belts on my old hendy with new leather. 3 inch wide was about 10 dollars a foot.
I have had to trim almost 6 inches off of the main drive belt because of stretch.
I'm using old metal lacing with a bakelite rod as the tie bar.
Monarch-McLaren, Elkhorn Wisconsin is who made the belt. They make leather piston seals also
 

metalmagpie

Active member
What kind of stitch pattern is used to tie the two ends together?

Actually, you can hand stitch rubber belts. The trick is knowing just how long to cut them so they're tight enough without pulling your stitching out. Here is a fabric belt I stitched on a previous camelback:

lacing.jpg


I believe you can do lacing like that on any flat belt you can punch holes in.

metalmagpie
 

metalmagpie

Active member
I just figured you might want to see the machine I'm talking about:

nearlyComplete.jpg


It's not a great picture but these are hard to photograph in a crowded small shop. Normally I'd take it outside and put it against a white background but it was raining cats and dogs here near Seattle.

metalmagpie
 

jdavi581

New member
I use bailer belting, and slit it to width. Tractor supply was selling it for .50 a foot on clearance. I stitch it with linen thread, no sound, does not slip or wear in my use.
Joe


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

M.B. Naegle

Active member
Leather belting USED to have the advantage of being cheap and easily obtainable. Every town and community had several shops that could set you up. Today, buying it online produces the same results as buying hardwoods online; you're paying a premium price for convenience. The EPA restrictions on the tanning industry have had the biggest impact on leather prices in my experience, but if you know a guy with a saddle shop or similar old-world transportation connection, shops helping each other out will get the best deals. It may be antiquated, but IMO the applications that are still kicking it around aren't going to let Elon Musk take their business.

That said, Leather is great because if maintained, it'll last and last and last, but it is high maintenance (keep it dressed and in regular service). More modern materials might have a shorter life span comparatively, but often perform much better. If authenticity isn't a big deal and low maintenance is the goal, rubberized belts are the way to go. I like leather, but I also have a connection to get it and stubborn tenacity to see it in motion.
 

metalmagpie

Active member
I use bailer belting, and slit it to width. Tractor supply was selling it for .50 a foot on clearance. I stitch it with linen thread, no sound, does not slip or wear in my use.
Joe

At the risk of being offensive, YOU SUCK! What a bargain!
Would you care to share exactly how you cut it lengthwise, and how that came out?

metalmagpie
 

jdavi581

New member
At the risk of being offensive, YOU SUCK! What a bargain!
Would you care to share exactly how you cut it lengthwise, and how that came out?

metalmagpie

Lol! It was a deal!
How did I cut it? With a belt slitter, of course! Assuming you are cool enough to have one…..;)
Otherwise, take a board, and nail a lath on it parallel to the edge the width you need. Make it 1/4” narrower than the pully. Then, nail a utility knife blade to the side of the board. 90 degees or less works. With one hand, blade facing away, pull the belt through the blade, keeping the edge against the lath, and the other hand pulling the unused belting down so the blade doesn’t bind. Think of it like pulling a board through a table saw.
Cleaned out my inbox btw.
Joe


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

M.B. Naegle

Active member
^ A little oil on a razor sharp blade helps a lot too.

Google "draw knife," leatherworking tool, for a visual of jdavi581's concept.
 
At the risk of being offensive, YOU SUCK! What a bargain!
Would you care to share exactly how you cut it lengthwise, and how that came out?

metalmagpie

You want cheap? Know any farmers that have round balers? Once in a while a belt gets broken/damaged and since it is now too short for the machine [some machines use belts 20 feet long] you can have it for less than 50 cents a foot. Best part is it is already "broken in", prestretched and flexible. I just cut mine to width by tacking then to a board to keep it straight, then clamping a straightedge on the desired cut line. A couple of swipes with a utility knife and a new belt is born.
 

MotoX

Member
After placing an order on mcmaster for a made or order belt for my surface grinder and then having it delayed for three months then cancelled, I went to Tony's (lathes) site and ordered what i needed at almost half the cost. It was delivered within a week and a half.
 

Screwmachine

Active member
I have a flat belt lathe that came to me with a great condition leather belt. Used it for years with that belt. At some point I was doing a Habasit rubber matrix belt for a friend (gotta have the belt scarfer, and heater/clamp setup which I do) and said f it, I'll do mine. So much smoother, much less slip. Most belting suppliers will rent the scarfer and heater for a small fee; I have Habasit belted machines going on 20 years with no issues.

When I was based in Cincy Ohio 20 something years ago it was dead easy to get Habasit belting and the tools to install, might depend on where you are but they're still massive in belting. (Was living in a village here and had a headstock I didn't want to take apart- local hardware store stuck a Habasit on no problem, but that's Switzerland- throw a rock and you'll hit a Schaublin or Studer)
 








 
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