View Full Version : Link belt.... Help!

03-21-2012, 11:34 PM
Have a belt driven Sheldon lathe, finish is suddenly TERRIBLE!

The drive belt has been going downhill ever since I got the machine, but one of those things kind of nursed along, as you have to disassemble the spindle in order to change it. Got busy on another hot project, so the lathe set idle for about a week, starting up again today noticed a terrible difference.

I don't really notice it when running a heavy cut, but try to get finish cuts and things go south. Does not seem to matter speeds/ feeds, new inserts, etc. Disconnected the power feed drive and fed slowly by hand, with the same result. Inspecting the belt, it is in very bad shape (cracks, missing outer sections), wondering if the vibration from the belt is affecting my finish. Kind of like chatter lines, without the chatter!

I have a big pile of parts that need to be shipped soon, so my thoughts are to get one of those linkable belts. Harbor Freight is within driving distance, but the belts there are 1/2" width and the pulleys on the lathe are 5/8"; looks like I will have to order one to fit.

Just wondered if anyone else has experience with these belts? Its a 1/2 hp motor, can't imagine overworking the new belts as long as this old belt has lasted.

03-22-2012, 12:06 AM
I ordered mine through McMaster-Carr. They came the next day with no extra shipping charges.

I really like the segmented belt which has been on my lathe for at least nine years now. It runs very smoothly and is much quieter than the original V-belt.

03-22-2012, 12:08 AM
That's what I was thinking, McMaster Carr, for that reason! Have you had good results with the belt?

03-22-2012, 01:26 AM
Go for the link belt and don't look back. They do make them in 3/8, 1/2, and 5/8, so if you can somehow get the 5/8 that would be best. I don't know if the 1/2 in one will bottom out in the 5/8 pulley- if not, then it will work fine. I know from experience the 1/2 inch link belt will handle 1 horse no problem.

03-22-2012, 08:38 AM
5/8" link belt (red) from McMaster-Carr on my lathe.
It handles a 2 HP motor just fine. :)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Highpwr/Lathe%20conversion/th_Lathe_3phase.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Highpwr/Lathe%20conversion/?action=view&current=Lathe_3phase.jpg)

03-22-2012, 08:59 AM
Just pulled the trigger and ordered it, should be here tomorrow. Roughing operations will have to do for now on the lathe.

Hoping the new belt fixes the problem; wondering if the belt developed some "memory" while it sat. That is the reason I am suspicious of the belts and not the bearings :confused: , as things were fine when I shut it down for a week.

Thanks for the replies!

PS Must have been delirious responding to winchman (stressed and sleep deprived) nine years use + smoother and quieter has to qualify as good results!

03-22-2012, 09:00 AM
Just my opinion but this link belt is Great, i have it on a number of machines, and am slowly converting all to it.
I have noticed the odd "Grumble" here and on other sites about the price per foot being a bit expensive, but i do not find it out of reach at all or overpriced considering one having to tear a headstock down to change a belt.

Well worth the price of it.

03-22-2012, 09:57 AM
The powertwist belts are all I ever ran on my atlas. I like them allot!