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Farm + Industrial Antiques and Collectibles Old belt driven farm equipment: shellers, milkers, threshers, pumps and antiquities of the industrial revolution.

Farm + Industrial Antiques and Collectibles

Making power belts from leather


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  #1  
Old 03-13-2019, 01:44:54 AM
RustyNumbat RustyNumbat is offline
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Default Making power belts from leather

I've had a bit of a search online and on the forums but I can't find any guides for making machinery belts out of leather! I've got a Lister D and old milking vacuum pump I hope to have ready for the weekend, but no belt to suit the two. I do however have loads of full thickness leather and leather working gear (studs etc)

Is it worth making up a leather belt, and does anyone have advice? I'd only be running the pair at the odd show a few times a year..
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:52:23 AM
anthony k axsom anthony k axsom is offline
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Default Re: Making power belts from leather

Why not should work. Old metal lathes and machining tools use leather all the time.
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:43:52 AM
Bill Hazzard Bill Hazzard is offline
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Default Re: Making power belts from leather

I am not sure if you are talking about making belting from hides or lacing a belt that you already have but I use only leather belts for my lineshaft machine shop. I use Clipper lacing to join the ends.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:31:15 PM
RustyNumbat RustyNumbat is offline
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Default Re: Making power belts from leather

Making a new belt from leather Bill. Cutting a belt to size is easy, I guess I just don't know how to join the ends, if the leather should be oiled etc etc
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:40:22 PM
Bill Hazzard Bill Hazzard is offline
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Default Re: Making power belts from leather

New leather should not need any treatment. On old leather I use 2 parts lard to 1 part cod liver oil and apply while hot. The ends of the belt sections should be skived and glued. I don't know what they use for glue but I have used melted gelatin to glue clean leather and it worked great.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:28:16 PM
Frank DeWitt Frank DeWitt is offline
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Default Re: Making power belts from leather

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Originally Posted by Bill Hazzard View Post
The ends of the belt sections should be skived and glued. I don't know what they use for glue but I have used melted gelatin to glue clean leather and it worked great.
I agree, I have a belt I had made by a local shoe repair shop, for a old air compressor. It was skived and glued. Worked great.
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:03:02 AM
RustyNumbat RustyNumbat is offline
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Default Re: Making power belts from leather

Skived? What do you mean by that? I have a tin of Foss leather cement, which is fine for shoes and such but I would have thought the forces a belt is under would require some rivets or staples or something...
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:43:33 AM
eddie bedwell eddie bedwell is offline
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Default Re: Making power belts from leather

Hi Team,
here is a link to an article on splicing/lacing leather drive belts--I Googled "how to lace leather drive belts" and this was one of several that came up.

There have been numerous Threads on belt dressings, lacing, splicing and care on here over the years--some of these appear in a box at the bottom of the page.

https://www.farmcollector.com/equipm...ce-a-flat-belt

Hope this helps--if not keep asking questions and you will surely get some more help.
Saw a nice lacing job a mate had done on his pump drive belt as displayed at our recent MSTEC Club Steamfest Rally here in Melbourne

http://www.melbournesteam.com.au/steamfest.html

Hope this helps.
Cheers,
Eddie B.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:27:31 AM
Kirk Taylor Kirk Taylor is offline
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Default Re: Making power belts from leather

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Originally Posted by RustyNumbat View Post
Skived? What do you mean by that? I have a tin of Foss leather cement, which is fine for shoes and such but I would have thought the forces a belt is under would require some rivets or staples or something...
Skive means to shave. In glue-splicing a leather belt, both ends of the belting are carefully shaved to taper the thickness from full thickness out to nothing over a relatively long distance. The two ends are shaved from opposite sides and in equally-long tapers so that when they are joined, the splice is uniform. There is a reference as to how long the taper should be for a given thickness, but I'll have to hunt. It has been a very long time since I glue-spliced a leather belt. The taper for 1/8" belting is something on the order of four inches, if I remember. An old machinist once told me that he was taught in machinist's school to never use a laced belt on a lathe. The belts were to always be glued because the lacing passing over the pulleys would leave an imperfection in the machined surface. How true that is, I don't know; that's what he was taught in 1946.
I, personally, prefer a glue splice on leather. If nothing else, it just looks nicer.
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:37:55 AM
Kirk Taylor Kirk Taylor is offline
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Default Re: Making power belts from leather

Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyNumbat View Post
I've had a bit of a search online and on the forums but I can't find any guides for making machinery belts out of leather! I've got a Lister D and old milking vacuum pump I hope to have ready for the weekend, but no belt to suit the two. I do however have loads of full thickness leather and leather working gear (studs etc)

Is it worth making up a leather belt, and does anyone have advice? I'd only be running the pair at the odd show a few times a year..
Here is a South Bend Lathe Works bulletin on belt splicing:
https://wewilliams.net/docs/Belt%20S...20No%20600.pdf
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:51:27 PM
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Junkologist Junkologist is offline
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Default Re: Making power belts from leather

Always remember that the hair side of a leather belt runs on the pulley, not the flesh side. This is something I donít usually see mentioned when talking about leather belts.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:40:13 PM
mihit mihit is offline
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Default Re: Making power belts from leather

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Originally Posted by Bill Hazzard View Post
I don't know what they use for glue but I have used melted gelatin to glue clean leather and it worked great.
Hide glue or animal glue ( of which gelatin is one) - generally all the hooves and hides boiled down in a hot pot. Powerful stuff.

Generally dealing with stuff you use "like with like", animal products with animal products, plant with plant, plastic with chemicals.
ie leather gets treated with neatsfoot and glued with hide glue, while canvas gets treated with rape or flax oil, rubber is vulcanised etc.

---------- Post added at 04:40:13 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:21:48 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirk Taylor View Post
The belts were to always be glued because the lacing passing over the pulleys would leave an imperfection in the machined surface. How true that is, I don't know; that's what he was taught in 1946.
I, personally, prefer a glue splice on leather. If nothing else, it just looks nicer.
I've heard the story too, for clipped belts rather than laced, but never seen any corroborating turns.
I like the rhythmic "click CLICK click CLICK click..." of a clipped belt.
Now, a gear driven thing with a high spot on the pinion, watch out!
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Old 03-20-2019, 03:45:59 AM
RustyNumbat RustyNumbat is offline
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Default Re: Making power belts from leather

Here's a highly scientific diagram I made up, side-on view of these methods as I understand them.



I thought of trying the third one, where I use a fairly short half join and use both glue and leather studs to hold the overlap together.

On second thoughts, the leather I have is only about 3mm anyway, and I'll only be running the gear as a demonstration so I think I might just overlap them and glue/rivet as they are.
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Old 03-20-2019, 05:06:00 AM
RustyNumbat RustyNumbat is offline
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Default Re: Making power belts from leather

Well I bit the bullet and decided I should actually try to learn some new skills, so laced it is! Going well so far, this is a fairly calming activity once I learned I needed to tidy my work space and clamp the belts in place....




Had to make the four "finishing" holes a 5mm punch instead of 3, to accommodate so many passes of the thong. Has come together pretty well, though the outer passes are a little loose. Looking forwards to getting the other two done. Then I'll have a belt, and be relying on the positioning of the pump and engine to give it tension.

Last edited by RustyNumbat; 03-20-2019 at 06:29:25 AM.
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