View Full Version : Anyone tried the Fenner belts on multiple pulleys?

10-12-2003, 06:14 PM
My Sheldon lathe has twin spindle pulleys. I need to replace the belts and at one time bought the Fenner style link belts. However turns out that they are not for reversing operations. According to Fenner AND Grizzly who sell knock offs. So I sent them back without trying them.
As it happens I rarely use reverse on my lathe (since I have a threaded spindle nose I don't much fancy it!) so I was wondering if anyone has tried these type of belts on multiple parallel pulleys?
The reason I ask is that I remember once before seeing in print that the belts are highly recommende for table saws but NOT for cabinet saws like the Unisaw which have multiple parallel pulleys (in it's case three).

[This message has been edited by kenc (edited 10-12-2003).]

10-12-2003, 08:53 PM
I have used them on multi-groove pulleys up to 16 grooves wide,the only thing you must do different is count the links in the belt,each belt must have the same count just like a roller chain so that they strech out at the same rate,other than that they work great.

Forrest Addy
10-12-2003, 10:06 PM
You can run them in reverse no sweat. Just don't take big cuts in reverse. There's something about their segmented geometry that causes trouble if loaded to near capacity in reverse. never seen it. Just heard it.

[This message has been edited by Forrest Addy (edited 10-12-2003).]

10-13-2003, 08:36 AM
good morning.

i have them on all my tools. lathe [2 belts] table saw [2 belts]. no problems. i was concerned about the 'reverse' part too, but then i realized that i *rarely* reverse my lathe.

they DO minimize vibration, but for the life of me i cannot see how/why. difference in lathe and saw is amazing. seems to me that with all those little segments it would vibrate more. maybe i am ignorant. surely i am.


10-13-2003, 09:02 AM
I use a Segmented Belt on my Bridgeport Mill. It works well but now I have to loosen the motor off completely to change speeds. Step Pulley Vintage 1949 s/n 370. I should of taken the time to buy a regular belt cause its a pain in the you know where to change the speeds now. Otherwise in forward or reverse it works quite fine. Audrey

10-13-2003, 01:12 PM

thanks. i guess i forgot about my mill. also wouldn't think about being difficult to change speeds. it is hard enough to od now and it has a 'plain' belt. sometimes it is nice when someone beats you to figuring things like this out.

have a good day.

10-13-2003, 01:39 PM
Anyone find a good price for the Fenner belts? I probably am not interested in the Chinese knockoffs by Grizzly etc.
Best price I've seen is by Enco, I believe 25feet of 5L was about $138 from memory. 4L and 3L cheaper of course. 25ft is a lot more than I need though!

10-13-2003, 09:14 PM
I haven't found a cheaper price for it anywhere and I work for a distributor,but I can get it in bulk(100')for about 40%less,if we could get a few of us together to throw in on a roll I could get it and divide it up?

Bill,it runs better because it doesn't have a memory like a v-belt,ever look at a new v-belt,when you take it out of the card its in a oval shape,when it runs over pulleys it causes lumps even after it been run for awhile.
Also v-belts are not endless,they have a start and stop in them,that also has a bearing on vibration,and a v-belt can if you have ever noticed be plucked like a guitar string so it will transmit vibration also,the link belts don't do that so good.

10-13-2003, 09:26 PM
Count me in weirdscience.

10-13-2003, 10:41 PM
If we're talking the 5L stuff, count me in!
I need to replace two 5L550 belts, so need a minimum of about 10 feet. I'll take more if the deal requires it though.
Is it worth starting another post with a new title otherwise this deal may go unnoticed?

[This message has been edited by kenc (edited 10-13-2003).]

10-13-2003, 10:49 PM
I'll see if I can get a price breakdown and type size thing going tomorrow then go from there.

10-14-2003, 08:49 AM

i can [just barely] grasp the theory. however, when i look at the belts, they are anything but smooth where they contact the pulleys. it is enough that they work. pleases the hell out of me.

i am glad i didn't/haven't put one on my mill though.

best price i found on them was enco. i bought mine direct from fenner and they were $138.00 for 25'. last i saw was about $125 at enco.

worth it anyway.

happy tuesday.

Ian B
10-14-2003, 09:24 AM
On the vibration issue, the reason I heard that they run smoothly is that the individual segments rub together, absorbing vibration energy as friction - they self-damp.

Not sure if it's the real reason, but they certainly work well...


10-14-2003, 10:45 AM
Regarding vibration.....yes, the Fenner belts will help dampen it, but it'd be better to cure the cause of the vibration IMO.

Another belt I've used quite a bit that runs very smoothly is the Browning "cog-type". More of a conventional v-belt with little cogs on the inner side.

My first use of a Fenner was on a small Logan turret lathe used for production tapping. This machine had two belts to the spindle from an intermediate jack shaft. To replace the belts the spindle had to be removed, big pain. When the original belts went south, I installed one Fenner. I don't recall the instructions saying anything about direction, I just installed the belt whichever way. Since the machine tapped the spindle was constantly reversed. It ran fine for at least ten years with at least an hour a day use until I replaced it with CNC and sold the machine.

10-14-2003, 08:34 PM
Okay,my base price on 100'rolls is $6.01 on the fenner for the 4L/A belting and $6.98 for the 5L/B belting,but that is the base price,my vendor says that the Enco account buys in 1,000'+ quanities and no break until 500'so no satisfaction there.

However,they also tell me that there are at least 6 other mfg for these belts,Gates also makes this product under a diffenet name and my base on those would be $5.01 and $5.46 per foot on a 100' quanity,but from what she says at around 300' it would drop to $3.23 and $4.01.

Well anyway she is sending me info on all the mfg and I will post here once I get it,if I can get up to at least 800' or better of one size I should be able to get it for the same price Enco pays for it,something like $3.75,we'll see.

10-14-2003, 09:45 PM
Great Wierdscience, keep us informed!