Leather and Bernie’s Motorbike
Leather stretches more than many other belt materials. For some applications in which there is no adjustment for belt tension, the stretchiness of leather is desirable.
The belt tension can be built into the belt. If we are making a belt for a camel back drill press that measures 120 inches around the pulleys, the belt will be made with a length of about 118.75 inches.
This is about 1 inch for every 8 feet of the measurement around the pulleys. The belt is installed diagonally across two of the small pulleys and then carefully ‘walked’ into position onto the desired pulleys. If a laced leather belt eventually stretches a little more over a period of time, a small amount can be cut off and re-laced.
In applications where leather is desirable, but the stretchiness of it is not, we might try to take the stretchiness out of it before installation.
A hydraulic jack and a Jeep spare tire work well, as Bernie in Wisconsin demonstrates with some clever ingenuity.
The successfully stretched belt looks good on Bernie’s motorbike.