Author Topic: Belt up!  (Read 9766 times)

bogstandard

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Belt up!
« on: June 26, 2009, 04:16:18 PM »
You have read about these before when I have mentioned about them.

Most people who replace belts on their machinery, usually put a new v-belt on them or if they have a difficult installation, maybe a link belt. I have been using this product in industry for at least the last 20 years, and in my old shop I used this type of belt on both my mill and lathe, and found it superior to everything that I had used before.

I don't know if it is available in other parts of the world under a different name, but here in the UK it is called Redthane (or as I have now noticed, Greenthane). I buy it from my local engineering supplier, who always has it in stock (that shows just how popular it is with the maintenance guys).

http://www.poly-products.co.uk/beltext.htm

I purchase it in multiples of metre lengths, and it comes in a variety of sizes. The normal ones I use are 10mm or 12mm. It costs about 7 squid a metre, roughly the same cost as a good quality v-belt. I think it goes down in size to about 5 or 6mm for those really small pulley drives, and of course a lot larger, for real big stuff. The main advantage is that it can easily be made into any belt length that is required and can be joined AROUND say a lathe spindle rather than having to do a strip down to change the belt.

This shows what is left of my little stash, with enough left to finish off the die filer and the very long belt that is used on my surface grinder.




The die filer really requires a 12mm belt size, but because I don't have enough left, 10mm will be perfectly OK. As long as the belt doesn't touch the bottom of the groove, it will work perfectly well.
What I do is pull the belting around the pulleys as tight as I can, if you notice at the back of my hand, around the small pulley it doesn't look too tight, this was as tight as I could pull it. I marked it up with a gap of about 1.25" (32mm). The belt was cut at that mark.




This is a major component that is required to weld the two ends together. This is just a piece of steel plate with a twist in it to put it into the correct position for use. Also required is a blowtorch to heat the top end of the plate up to a very dull red colour.




Because I don't have three hands, it is very difficult to show you how the next bit is done, so I will have to explain it to you.
A bit of imagination has to be used here.
First, the plate is brought up to dull red, then the torch is taken away and using TWO hands, the belt is allowed to form into its natural round shape and once in that position each end of the belt is pushed against each side of the hot plate. It needs to be held there for about 5 seconds, during which time the ends will melt and start to 'run', you can see previous runs on the plate. Then in one motion, still with the ends being pushed towards the plate, both ends are slid up the plate and off the end, and the two melted ends are pushed together.




I then transfer it into a bit of old v-groove stock, you could just use a bit of angle iron. Then keeping pressure to push the joint together and also down into the v groove. I am showing it being done with two fingers, you would do it with two hands, it isn't because I am superman, just that I am using my other hand to take the piccy. Hold it in that position for about five minutes (if you can).
By using two pairs of hands, it is just as easy to assemble the belt around a shaft, as I mentioned before, saves having to strip down the lathe spindle. The spare pair are there to warm up the plate and hold it while you push the ends against it, and get things out of the way when you are finished with them.




Do NOT pull, push, stretch, twist, poke, or even fart near the joint at this stage, just place it gently onto the bench for 15 to 20 minutes for the joint to cure.




After you have waited the allotted time, then you can pull, push, stretch, twist, poke, or fart on the joint. If it doesn't come apart, you have got a good weld, if it does fall apart, then repeat the exercise. I have about a 99% success rate now. When I first started doing it, I got a few more failures than I really wanted. It is all to do with the melt, slide and hold bit.
Assuming all is well, carefully dress away the bulgy out bits with a very sharp knife or razor blade. Job done.




So that is two 12mm ones for my lathe and a 10mm one for the die filer.




Now fitted.
But it has couple of advantages that normal v-belts don't possess.

The first being that to change to a different pulley size, just stretch it over to the new pulley, no need to slacken off the motor and retension.
The next is that I have never had one of these belts slip, even when covered in grease and oil, as long as it has tension on it, it will drive, and unlike what you maybe think, it doesn't act like a big rubber band, and 'twang' all over the place, in fact I find that it smoothes out machine drives and makes them quieter.




I was going to make and fit a tensioner onto my lathe to allow me to swap over the belts between the speed ranges, but now, I will just stretch and reposition.



These belts can be bought as two types, either solid all the way thru, or with a hole in the middle, as in tube. If you are welding it, you can use either one, the solid would give a much stronger joint (I use the tube, and have never had a joint fail in use in my shop, I can't tell you if any other of my joints have failed, as I no longer work for the companies). But if ever a joint did fail, just reweld it back together again.
For the tubular type, you can buy special little barbed couplings, that joins the two ends together. I have had those joints fail after a time in industry, so I would always recommend the welding technique if possible.


Bogs
« Last Edit: June 26, 2009, 04:43:40 PM by bogstandard »

Offline Darren

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2009, 05:35:28 PM »
Nice, I really must try some of that stuff...I just wish they did it in flat as well.

I know you can get modern flat join together belts, but I can't find a supplier in the UK.
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Offline John Stevenson

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2009, 06:00:19 PM »
You can also get this type of belting in a proper V section as well as round.
Comes in M or Z, A,B and C still weld together.

Darren, ask you local bearing stockist for the green flat belting, ours stocks it in 10, 20 and 30 meter rolls of different widths.
You need a special cement for it and it has to be vulcanised.

Last place I worked we had the proper gear but it can be done without. We had a proper grinder than scarfed the joint, by that I mean it went from full thickness to a feather edge over about 2". It was pig to use so all the fitters just used to support the belt on a flat piece of wood and linish it to a scarf joint.
Do both ends but make sure you have the ends handed  ::)  Don't ask.

Thread it thru where it has to go, lay it out on a flat brass or alloy bar, apply the glue and stand the missus's best iron on it set at max for 20 minutes, take off, leave to cool and jobs a good un.

.
John Stevenson

Offline Darren

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2009, 06:18:07 PM »
Hi John,

I ordered a belt from Benson Belting last year that was fitted as you described. Supplied cement with instructions etc.

It didn't last long, just slowly came apart next to the glue joint. The glue itself held. But they did say vulcanizing would be the proper way to do it. It was a leather/nylon belt. I had a lot of problems with slip too.

The best belt I have tried so far is a car serpentine belt, grips like a good un and seems very quiet. Don't laugh but it's held together with 5mm bolts and a bandage strip to straddle the joint. The heads sink into the grooves so don't touch the pulleys.
It's been on for a good while now, but I can see it failing eventually. The heads of the bolts seem to be pulling through slowly. I could re-do it but would like to fit a once and for all belt.

Bog's round belts look good, I wonder if two together would work on a flat pulley?

I would like to try a Fenner flat link belt, like the v-belts but flat. I just can't seem to find a UK supplier. 

I'd be quite happy to take the spindle out, I did once to fit the serpentine belt, but the bed goes right under the spindle too. Only way would be to cut a section of the bed out and I'm not about to do that......
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bogstandard

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2009, 06:19:09 PM »
John,

We used to use flat belting and vulcanising equipment on the envelope machines I used to work on. But that was more of a hardish heat resistant rubber with a fabric back, about 2.5mm thick, and as you said, a PITA to scarf it. More of a conveyor type of belting.

I have seen Redthane in the v-belt format but never as a flat belt.

The reason I use the round, it is much easier to roll on and off pulleys, plus you can get away with a 'not quite correct' size for those non critical jobs.

John

Offline John Stevenson

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2009, 06:39:58 PM »
No I have not seen the redthane in flat only the green rubber fabric flat belt.
We had proper fittings for vulcanising the belts. They were electric with a kettle type plug and two spring clip, one either end to hold the belt whilst you closed the hinged top.

Once vulcanised they literally wore out first.

.
John Stevenson

Offline Darren

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2009, 06:49:59 PM »
This is the stuff

http://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/showthread.php?s=82df363ff1c5e53c0e524199b838ce3c&t=18326&page=2

Anyone know where it can actually be purchased from, cos i have drawn a blank.

John S, I don't doubt you for a moment, Benson Belting almost insisted that they joint the belt before sending it to me due to the need of vulcanizing. But as I said that would have been useless.
The vulcanizing tool seems to be a rare beast as I've yet to find one.

John, Bogs, sorry I seem to have taken this thread over, I will try the Redthane and thanks for showing, it looks like good stuff.  :thumbup:
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Offline Bernd

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2009, 08:40:35 PM »
Just did a quick search on the McMaster Carr catolog and found they sell this type of belting. It comes in green, orange and clear. Sold by the foot. The green goes for $5.19 per foot, Orange and Clear for $0.95 per foot. Why the difference I couldn't find out. Their welding kit goes for over $400.

I had to chuckle because I think Bogs may have spent $1.95 for his welding equipment.  :lol:

So there's one supplier. I'm sure the other major catalogs also carry something similar.

I remember my dad had some of that belting, it was green, for his pillar drill. Neatest stuff I had ever seen back then.

Bernd
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bogstandard

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2009, 10:48:49 PM »
Darren,

I don't mind it being taken over as long as a bit of good comes from it. All info, no matter how trivial, might be able to help someone one day. So don't worry about it.



I was very surprised Bernd, I hadn't realised I had spent that much, maybe a patent is called for seeing it is such an expensive bit of kit.

Maybe I should charge extra for having a left hand twist in the plate rather than a right hand one. :lol:


Bogs
« Last Edit: June 26, 2009, 10:52:27 PM by bogstandard »

Offline Darren

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2009, 04:56:36 AM »
Thanks Bernd,  McMaster Carr says this about their orange solid core

"Multiple strands of belting can even be used to replace conventional flat belts. To join ends together, use a weld-splice kit. "

And they have a Urethane flat belt too.......now that would be worth trying...


Cept we don't have a McMaster Carr in the UK...... :bang:

http://www.mcmaster.com/#drive-belts/=2huy2f
« Last Edit: June 27, 2009, 05:05:28 AM by Darren »
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Offline Bernd

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2009, 07:45:42 PM »
Bogs,

That's why I got such a big chuckle out of the price. If people only were a little bit more mechanical inclined. But some need buy those tools to do it right. Oh well.

Darren,

I saw some of that other belting too. I did a search on another company and all they had was the belting with barb that Bogs was talking about.
McMaster Carr does have a lot of stuff.

Bernd
You can't fix "STUPID".

Online John Hill

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2009, 03:24:14 AM »
Thats interesting Bogs that you have double-double sheaves on your lathe,  does the fibreglass cover still fit on?

From the den of The Artful Bodger

bogstandard

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2009, 03:55:57 AM »
Yes John, the cover still fits.

It was the very easy way Chester UK managed to take it from a 9 speed machine to an 18 speed one. Put two sets of pulley sheaves on there.

That was great, but they gave you no belt tensioning device to allow the belts to be swapped over easily.

You have a choice, gorilla tendencies and move the belts over by brute force without removing tension, chopped off or trapped fingers spring to mind. Or slacken the motor mounts off to allow the belts to be easily swapped over, then reset the motor and belt tensions, maybe a half hour and a two man job (unless each of your arms is four feet long). My way, once the cover is removed, about 30 seconds. Just like stretching a big elastic band.

Which method would you prefer?

John

Online John Hill

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2009, 04:37:50 AM »
Very interesting, so far I have not really felt the need for more speeds but if I did your red belts is sure attractive considering those other options!   BTW,  I only use one belt anyway, they gave me two but one is quite a bit longer than the other! :scratch:  Meanwhile I have been happy to accept that one belt might be a bit of a safety valve if I do something really stupid!

I have another speed problem in that I cannot use the higher speeds as the starting current trips my circuit breaker and if I change anything it will be to resolve that, one idea has been to use a manual belt tensioner as a starting clutch and such a thing might fit in very well with another pulley ratio,  so many projects, so many days at the office! :doh:
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Offline DavesWimshurst

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2009, 11:42:50 PM »
I have been using the red belting from McMaster Carr for experimental purposes for a while.  I have used the flat tip that came with my soldering gun to make the joints.  Held the gun in a vice with the switch wired on and used an auxiliary foot controlled switch to turn it on and off, otherwise same method as Bogs.
 :worthless:
Used it here for an overhead drive for milling spindle:


On several electrostatic machines such as this 12" Bonetti machine:



And this finger engine with decorative governor:



You can see the semi-untrimmed joint through the flywheel.

I've experimented with the 2 inch wide flat belting and found it is hard to join smoothly.  Had to make a special tip for the soldering gun.

Dave

bogstandard

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2009, 02:18:07 AM »
You are a bit of a dark horse Dave, hiding all these wonderful machines from us.

But a nice post on just how versatile this belting can be.

People seem to think that such a long belt as you have used for your milling spindle would not be able to drive properly because of it's rubber band characteristics, but I have never found that an issue.


John

Offline Darren

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2009, 07:28:56 AM »
Polyproducts don't keep the flat belt Redthane type in stock.... :(

I tried..... :bang:
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Offline Bernd

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2009, 09:50:57 AM »
Dave,

That overhead milling drive looks like an item that Guy Lautard discusses in one of his Bedside Readers.

BTW, nice looking finger engine.

Bernd
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Offline DavesWimshurst

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2009, 10:41:14 PM »
Bernd,
Thanks, finger engines are fun bait to lure them what like shiny things!

Yes the overhead was in one of the bedside readers.  I find it useful for little milling jobs and for running this drilling spindle:



It's very quick to set up and small drills seem happier at the higher speed since the lathe tops out at about 1400 rpm.

For the milling spindle I use a heavier counterbalance weight to tension the belt but usually use it for light work.  It's also handy to use the chuck jaws to index work:



Nose of spindle with some collets 3/16, 1/4, 5/16, and 3/8 inch:



Dave

Offline Bernd

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2009, 09:18:30 AM »
Dave,

Thanks for the extra pictures. Really appreciate it.

Very nice tooling you have made for your lathe. And speaking of lathes, is that a South Bend? It looks like you've adapted a cam lock for that chuck.

I've got a Logan and need to get a new chuck for it some time soon.

Thanks again for the nice pictures.

Regards,
Bernd
You can't fix "STUPID".

Offline DavesWimshurst

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2009, 10:07:21 AM »
Bernd,
Yes, it's a heavy 10 bought new in 1980.  Camlock spindle was standard then with threaded spindle or long taper spindle being extra cost options.  The only mod to the lathe is a cam lever lock for the tailstock.  It is sort of visible in the last pic.
I also have an old Logan as sold by Montgomery Ward in 1944. 
Three of the chucks for the South Bend are made by Buck.  I have two Bison chucks made in Poland that seem pretty good.
Dave

Offline Darren

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2009, 07:05:17 AM »
I've rang around all my local (loose term) engineering supplies trying to find some Redthane belting.

Oh course no joy, they know about it, but don't stock it....bloomin' typical...!!

Same old story....

I'll have to try the manufacturers and see if they will send out smaller orders.


My new mill has that old type 'orrible Brammer link belt, the studs are touching the pulleys and causing some vibration in the spindle.
Whilst the surface finish is very even, it's not particularly smooth.
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Offline sbwhart

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2009, 01:01:06 PM »
Darren

I could try and get you some from Crewe Engineering Supplies and bring it over with me next week

Stew
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bogstandard

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2009, 02:32:50 PM »
Stew, as you go into the counter area, look over to your left and down. It is all on a rack there. They usually have plenty in stock.

Make sure you get the right one for the size of belt groove.

If you want to be shown how to join it, I need to get the surface grinder out and fit a new redthane belt to that. I had to put the old belt back on there when I needed some redthane for a rush job a while ago.


John

Offline Darren

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Re: Belt up!
« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2009, 02:52:02 PM »
That would be great Stew,

The mill needs an A sized belt which I believe is 12mm? I might have a go with it on the lathe as well when the current belt lets go. Two runs on that should do it.

It doesn't help that the Brammer belt someone has fitted on the mill is a B size, so it's dropping into the bottom of the pulleys and that's why the studs are clattering about.
Funny though, cutting steel seems fine, get a nice finish with that. But with alloy although it's not bad you can see something is amiss.

I'll have a measure up later and see how much I'd need.

Anyone have any idea how much this stuff is, it will have a bearing on quantity..... :dremel:


Edit:

A size belts are smaller than B section, please read a couple of posts down for an explanation.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2009, 06:57:47 AM by Darren »
You will find it a distinct help… if you know and look as if you know what you are doing. (IRS training manual)