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Flat belt driven lathe.

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  • Flat belt driven lathe.

    My little 3 1/2" Grayson lathe looks very nice after its cosmetic refurb. A little bit more than cosmetic as I had to repair a few things and adapt a topslide for it.

    IMGP1417 by aardvark_akubra, on Flickr

    It is a flat belt drive and came complete with a laysaft with fast and loose pullies and a flat belt to a 1/4HP motor.

    The belts I am using are automotive multi V type, turned inside out, but they do not seem to have much friction operation and require quite high tension to drive the lathe.

    The feed screw has a slight bend, it still operates but I imagine it puts a lot of stress on the half nuts.

    That's two things, at least, I need to attend to!

  • #2
    Nice job on the lathe. Where you able to find the right length belt in the automotive line. I have the belt no problem but i am hoping some one has a lacing tool for sale


    • #3
      Don't know that I need to flog this horse anymore, but I have of late been experimenting with belts. Amongst some V-rib belts, I made a flat belt using rubber strips, polyester cord, and urethane rubber. The urethane side is much 'grippier' than the real rubber side.

      I know the type of belt you're using- perhaps you could rough up the smooth side and add a layer of urethane to it. The stuff I'm using took two weeks to cure, but is tough and quite grippy. There is a faster-curing compound, but it's softer with less tensile strength. Softer probably means it would grip even better, but would wear more quickly. I have no figures for expected lifetimes, but no reason to believe it would be unexpectedly short.

      I have no experience with leather belts, but I think it would be good in combination with a urethane rubber coating. If you can get a strip of leather that's long enough, you can join it using one of several methods, then apply the coating. For best results, you would want to grind the final result to be perfectly smooth, but with care in applying the rubber, you could use it as is.
      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


      • #4
        Just as a matter of curiosity, have you tried running the belt right side out? I personally like leather belts. They were always originally sized to handle the intended power for the machine and seem to do a good job of it if they are in good condition. A soft clean belt with proper tension rarely slips for me. Of course, modern belts do perform better.
        Don Young


        • #5
          A rag and a bit of acetone fixed the belt slippage, I cleaned the pulley wheels then wiped over the surface of the belt which now no longer has a glossy surface.


          • #6
            How's that indexing device work on the lathe? Never seen anything like that before.

            I've used ribbed belts on smooth surfaces for the brakes on my winches. Despite the lower contact area, I found the ribbed side has more traction.
            Last edited by winchman; 04-17-2013, 12:41 AM.
            Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.


            • #7
              I have not played with the indexing device yet but it seems to be of good quality and I am sure it would work fine, the only thing is it really needs a brake on the spindle independent of the indexer but it does not have one.

              Unfortunately the ribbed belt is not long enough if I turn it ribbed-side-in.