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Flat Drive Belts - Any Size

For inquiries and orders, call (484) 755-4696 or  (484)507-4230 (8 to 8 EST)After initial phone inquiry, Email Us to forward any photos/other information.

Frequently Asked Questions About Drive Belts

Which type of belt joint is better, - a connector-pin joint or a glue-in-place?

If it is important to quickly put the machine back into service, the connector pin joint is the way to go.

The glue-in-place joint is stronger and will last longer, but it takes more time to install. If the machine is to be run constantly, the glue-in-place would be the better choice.

Also, a glued belt is friendly; no possible metal to metal wear on the pulleys. There is no difference in price between the glue kit or a connector pin joint belt. It is a matter of choice.

Which is better, leather or synthetic belt material?

  • There are several reasons that leather is still used today. On some applications, there is no mechanism to adjust belt tension. In this case, your measurement around the pulleys will result in a belt we will make shorter by a calculated amount so that when the belt is installed it will have the necessary tension
  • We can also use leather to retain a machine’s antiquity. Customers who want to restore a machine to original will use a leather belt
  • Leather is often used in combination with modern synthetic materials to achieve the needed performance. An example would be a nylon core belt with a layer of leather bonded to it for the purpose of providing a “soft start” in applications where suddenly setting a large flywheel into motion would not be desirable. These belts can be made endless or with a connector pin joint.

So the short answer is neither. It is the application that will make one better than the other.

Which side of a leather belt goes against the pulleys?

The smooth side goes against the pulleys. It has a better surface for friction than the rough side.

Do you recommend or offer a belt dressing?

No, we do not, and although you can readily buy it on eBay. If you feel the need for belt dressing, it is likely because the belt symptom is slippage due to insufficient tension, a worn belt, the wrong belt, contamination issue, or mechanical issue. Address these issues first.

Do you offer skirting/skirtboard?

Yes,- skirting is used on conveyor systems for containment.

If I tell you the make/model of my lathe, can you tell me what belt size it takes?

We think we have likely made every belt for every lathe manufactured in and out of the USA at least once! For certain, South Bends and Logans are the most popular in number, and while we have a good idea of the size range, we ask you to measure, because we cannot see your machine and have no knowledge of any repairs or modifications.

Also, if you are changing from a leather belt, which stretches, to a nylon belt, which does not, and you were at the end of travel of the leather belt you are replacing, taking a measurement from that belt will render your new belt too long. This is why you want to be in the middle of your travel when you measure from your machine, with your machine in the tensioned or running position. The short answer is measure twice, cut once.

What glue is used with your glue kits (glue-in-place)? Can I get the glue at a hardware store?

The glue kit belts come with two different types of glue. One is a rubber cement (contact cement) and the other is very special glue for the nylon in the belt. This glue is not available in hardware stores. Both types of glue are to be applied to each end of the belt, and the glues are not meant to mix. The rubber cement goes on the rubber areas and the nylon cement goes on the nylon areas.

If I make a mistake during gluing, can I get more glue and try again?

If you are able to restore the surfaces that are to be glued to what they looked like when the belt arrived, you may order just the glue itself for $8 plus shipping, and try again.

For the best chance of success, the old glue should be removed and the area cleaned with alcohol. If glue has dried on the glued surfaces, it can be removed by carefully abrading the area with a belt sander or similar device.

When you are ready to bring the glued ends together, check the belt path to avoid gaps, twists, or catching, use light clamping to keep the belt in good alignment, and your glued belt will turn out perfect.

If I buy a glue-in-place belt, must I glue the belt right away?

It is best to glue the belt within two weeks of receiving it. The nylon glue is less affected by the passage of time than the rubber cement. The nylon glue can still be used when it is 6 to 8 months old, but by then the rubber cement will probably not be usable.

Will a nylon core belt stretch?

All belts will elongate when tension is applied, - some more than others. Tension a new belt slowly in fine increments, particularly on a belt with a connector pin joint. It does not take much to achieve good tension. A nylon belt will return to its original length when relaxed. It is recommended to relax belts (if possible) when not in use.

(1) Why is it important to know the diameter of the smallest pulley that the belt wraps around, and (2) what is wrong with measuring the length from the belt I am replacing?

The material for the application must comfortably bend around the minimum size of your pulley. This information will dictate the thickness of the material we use. Diameters of idler pulleys are generally not taken into account because the belt usually does not wrap around an idler.

If you take an accurate measurement from around your pulleys, your belt will fit. It is that measurement that reflects the working length of the belt. A reel-type tape is the best measuring device. It is soft and pliable. A dressmaker’s tape will work, and strapping tape is an alternative.

Always be mindful of measuring in undercarriages where it can be difficult to see the path that the tape does not get caught or twisted. If you run into a situation that measuring is near impossible, and you have the old belt that fit (preferably not leather), form a circle with the belt ends touching and measure the inside (circumference) use clamps or clothespins to keep your tape in contact with the belt.

Is there a special type of belt made for applications in which the belt travels in a figure 8 path?

Many belt types have been used for figure 8 drives. In applications where the belt is very long and with minimal tension, the power transmission belts made of layers of fabric and rubber have been used successfully for more than 100 years.

Some of those belts even had connector pin joints that were not a problem. In more brutal circumstances, - where tension is substantial and speeds are much greater, - nylon core belts really shine. Nylon core belts can be made endless to provide smooth action where the belt crosses itself. Sealed edges prevent damage/wear to a belt that is continuously in contact with itself.

Can you make a belt wider than 3 inches?

For most belt materials we can make belts up to 40 inches wide. Most materials are available in lengths up to 200 feet. Our website lists our custom lathe belt price and shipping, because lathe belts are only offered in nylon or leather, and glue kit or connector pin joint.

All other belts are so numerous and specific to the various materials and sizes used appropriately to the application that they are calculated and quoted only after we have all the necessary information from the customer.

What belts do you stock?

We do not stock belts. Belts from here are custom made. We stock rolls of materials. In addition, we also have suppliers/distributors for stock belts and belting across the United States that we rely on to quickly ship belts for us once we have determined the correct belt for our customer’s application.

If I tell you the model of my Brown & Sharpe surface grinder, will you know what belt it needs?

There are variations in the Brown & Sharpe grinders. You will need to be prepared to answer our questions specific to your machine. There again, the older B&S grinders often had repairs or modifications that required a belt that was nothing like the original.

Do you provide belts for tool post grinders?

Yes, almost any size belt is available for tool post grinders. With small belts such as these, we have a minimum order, which usually results in the customer receiving 2, 3, or possibly 4 belts for $50 to $55 plus shipping.

Do you offer toothed belts and ribbed belts?

Yes. Each toothed belt conforms to a specific tooth profile. If the belt is not a proprietary product, the tooth profile will probably match a profile that is currently available. There are metric profiles and English profiles.

Generally, a few measurements of the tooth height, width, and pitch will be sufficient to determine the correct profile. Ribbed belts conform to a specific profile as well, and can be determined by counting the ribs, measuring the belt width, and observing the tooth shape.

Why is there no shopping cart for purchases?

The need for discussion, consultation, and customization are not conducive to a shopping cart. We serve the individual, small shop representatives, and large company representatives. We accept credit card or PayPal at the time of order. We use email for confirmation/ orders, paid receipts, and tracking.

Do you ship outside the USA?

Yes, we ship anywhere that can be reached by USPS.