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Any old-time dentists here?

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  • Any old-time dentists here?

    Yes this is on-topic....

    I have a small 18" or so tall drill press with a jacobs #1 chuck. It is belt driven.

    I also have a bunch of "seamless" type "dental engine" belts, presumably for the old type belt-driven drills that were just disappearing when I was a kid.

    The belts would work fine on the DP, except they are all way too long. The lengths are presumably loop length, and are 9 foot 1 or 2 inches, mostly.

    Can those belts be shortened and spliced effectively?

    Seems it would have to be done by some form of "sewing" because a clip would not go over the pulleys (not shown in pic).

    Otherwise I'll have to get the plastic belt that you weld together, but that stuff "isn't cheap".

    The drill press


    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  • #2
    Some old sewing machines used a round belt, you may want to check at the local sewing repair shop.



    • #3
      JT, We had an old sewing machine at home that used a round leather belt. It had a simple double ended hook that held it together. I remember shortening it for my mother several times.
      I have tools I don't even know I own...


      • #4
        J T

        My father had a drill press similar to that one in his shop. The belting used originally was 1/4 or 5/16 round leather. Don't know if it is still available. It was joined by drilling a small hole in each end of the belt and using a wire loop as a joiner. This round leather belting was quite common on low power drives - I can also remember it being used on a 4" bench grinder and a 1930s sewing machine.

        The drill press motor was mounted on the bench behind the machine, and the belt ran from the motor pulley over a tensioning pulley behind the head, round the spindle pulley, over a second tensioning pulley and back to the motor. The system worked quite well, but it paid not to let your hair get too close to the spindle pulley. Ask me how I know!



        • #5
          Don't know about the belts, though I have seen some that were hooked together using a few links which looked like wire, or heavy staples, something like that.
          Oh, and I'm not a dentist, but I did put a filling in someone's tooth once, at his dire insistance. Epoxy putty, and it fell out two weeks later.
          I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


          • #6

            The round belting they used to use in the olden days was round leather scarph spliced to length. If you're interested in a historical restoration the round leather stuff is still available as of 7/2002 9my last info).

            Otherwise its Habasit and others who make the plastic stuff. Just what you want is a bright red plastic belt on your cool old drill press.

            [This message has been edited by Forrest Addy (edited 03-17-2005).]


            • #7
              Belts used in the dental office or dental lab are cloth covered and wear very well. Once they get nicked they fray and are not long before they hit the trash can. They are ordered by length of the loop. I don't think there is any way to alter their length successfully.


              • #8
                If you do decide to go with leather, McMaster-Carr still sells various diameters at . Do a search on leather belts. They also sell different types of connectors for the round leather belts.


                • #9
                  what about using o-ring(s) ??? I've done that with an old movie projector once....worked okay.....