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tricklidz
01-08-2014, 08:29 PM
This ones driving me crazy. 9x20, don't have the model number now but it's the same as a Grizzly which I've used for users manual (which is so much more complete than the useless photocopied Encos I see online and in print) and parts as I've messed a few things up on a rebuild without info. Anyway here's the question. There's a lever to tension the belt for spindle speeds on the top. Forward toward you and the tensioner is off the belt and it's slack for making changes, back away from you and the belt is tensioned-either way the spindle moves when started-I think. There is a sentence in the Enco manual that states Note:To David breaking of the belt move tension lever toward you before starting.
Well, This will slacken the belt and when I did this then moved the lever away tightening it I broke a belt!! To be honest, I'm not sure if I had the belt in the right location on the correct pulleys... Like I said, not enough info

Well, I've just thoroughly read the whole Grizzly manual for a lathe that is exactly like mine- tension lever and all and this statement is not there, matter of fact it states to losses the tensioner, make belt changes, the put lever back in tension position!! Before starting the motor!!
I've got another belt coming but before I break this one I need a definitive answer.
What gives? Tension Off or ON, before starting???
Thanks,
Steve

PStechPaul
01-08-2014, 08:54 PM
My HF lathe is essentially the same, and it has the same precaution about loosening the belt tensioner before starting. I have forgotten to do so several times with no ill effects, and I have also sometimes used the lathe for light cuts with the belt loose. I haven't really used the lathe very much and I have always used a rather slow speed, which probably exerts less start-up torque on the drive train. Here's the manual:
http://manuals.harborfreight.com/manuals/45000-45999/45861.pdf

I have been meaning to ask this same question so I'm glad you brought it up. Hopefully we can resolve this with the help of those who have experience with this and similar lathes. This is also possibly a good reason to use a reduced voltage starter or a VFD to bring up the speed slowly with less of a jolt. You may also want to look at the following:
http://bedair.org/9x20.html

Also search YouTube for some videos:
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=harbor+freight+9x20+lathe&sm=12

I also found and posted the following a while ago, but I think it was agreed that showed more what NOT to do:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nuKQ1APrlg

trackfodder
01-08-2014, 09:24 PM
That name sounds like one we had at a place I worked. The plant in Taiwan burned down and it was an orphan.

tricklidz
01-08-2014, 09:30 PM
[QUOTE=PStechPaul;896645]My HF lathe is essentially the same, and it has the same precaution about loosening the belt tensioner before starting. I have forgotten to do so several times with no ill effects, and I have also sometimes used the lathe for light cuts with the belt loose. I haven't really used the lathe very much and I have always used a rather slow speed, which probably exerts less start-up torque on the drive train. Here's the manual:
http://manuals.harborfreight.com/manuals/45000-45999/45861.pdf

I have been meaning to ask this same question so I'm glad you brought it up. Hopefully we can resolve this with the help of those who have experience with this and similar lathes. This is also possibly a good reason to use a reduced voltage starter or a VFD to bring up the speed slowly with less of a jolt. You may also want to look at the following:
http://bedair.org/9x20.html

Also search YouTube for some videos:
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=harbor+freight+9x20+lathe&sm=12

I also found and posted the following a while ago, but I think it was agreed that showed more what NOT to do:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nuKQ1APrlg[/QUOTE
Yikes!!! That guy has no clue!!! I certainly wouldn't show that to a beginner!!
Anyone else with thoughts on the belt tension on start up??

loose nut
01-08-2014, 10:21 PM
My lathe manual stated the same thing, so naturally I left the belt in tension when starting, for over 20 years. Belts fine.

Bob Fisher
01-09-2014, 01:17 PM
I find the tension release one of the redeeming features of the 9X20. I really dislike having to switch off the motor to take a measurement. That said, I always start my lathe with the tension released. I most often use the 600 RPM setting, that is the M5710 belt runs from the clutch to the headstock, and the tensioning idler runs on the side of the belt opposite the "V". There are three higher speeds, these run directly from the motor to the headstock. As an aside, I now have a spare belt, thanks to one of our members who found himself with three belts and no use for them. The belt appears to be very delicate but my first one lasted more than 10 yrs. Bob.

tricklidz
01-09-2014, 06:30 PM
I find the tension release one of the redeeming features of the 9X20. I really dislike having to switch off the motor to take a measurement. That said, I always start my lathe with the tension released. I most often use the 600 RPM setting, that is the M5710 belt runs from the clutch to the headstock, and the tensioning idler runs on the side of the belt opposite the "V". There are three higher speeds, these run directly from the motor to the headstock. As an aside, I now have a spare belt, thanks to one of our members who found himself with three belts and no use for them. The belt appears to be very delicate but my first one lasted more than 10 yrs. Bob.
How do you take measurements with tension off? Notice the video above, tension is off and spindle is still spinning??? Unless you have a different lathe. Mine is like that one !!
Why is this so damn confusing...there's gotta be a correct answer!!

VicM
01-09-2014, 07:22 PM
My father taught me to "soft start" the 10 inch Atlas lathe by tensioning the belt after starting the motor. He didn't tell me why. The motor is the original, maybe 65 years old. It might reduce the start-up amperage some. Doesn't wear the belt that I can tell so I start the motor, then tension the belt.