Linked/toothed/segmented vee belts...

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ianjkirby

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Hi Group, my lathe recently shat itself, and presented me with a ragged, split, shabbilly broken piece of material which used to be a vee belt. I have changed the belt in the past (involving complete removal of the spindle), several years ago, and I remember the job taking much longer than I anticipated, and i am not relishing doing it again. I wish to ask for opinions of people who actually run machine drives with such segmented vee belts. I don't wish to seem to be ungrateful, but if you are not actually using a segmented vee belt, please do not reply. I am only interested in the opinions of actual users. Looking forward to learning from experience.
Best regards, Ian.
 

Charles Lamont

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I have a couple of NuTLink belts in use.

They allow assembly without removing a spindle. They can be quieter. They are stiff, meaning a lot of tension is required, and they won't go round the smallest pulleys. They take up more space, so if the belt guard is very tight for clearance there can be a problem.

I use one on the primary drive of my Myford super 7, as it stops the rattle that these machines are prone to in high range. For low range I swap to a standard v-belt as the small motor pulley sheeve is too small for link belt.

I also use one on my Fobco pillar drill, where it makes it quieter, but it is also a fight to get it onto the bottom pulley sheeve because there is not enough room inside the bottom, fixed, part of the belt guard.

In summary, I am ambivalent.
 

Poppy Ott

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I use the segmented belts on both metal lathes, the wood lathe and the milling machine. The belts on the milling machine are a particular bugger to replace — there are three of them driving the main spindle and access appears to have been given no consideration by the designers. Switching to liked belts made the job of swapping out to old V-belts, if not exactly easy, at least tolerable. And with the linked belts it is much easier to get matched lengths where multiple belts are needed, than with standard V-belts.
 
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gartof

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Hi Group, my lathe recently shat itself, and presented me with a ragged, split, shabbilly broken piece of material which used to be a vee belt. I have changed the belt in the past (involving complete removal of the spindle), several years ago, and I remember the job taking much longer than I anticipated, and i am not relishing doing it again. I wish to ask for opinions of people who actually run machine drives with such segmented vee belts. I don't wish to seem to be ungrateful, but if you are not actually using a segmented vee belt, please do not reply. I am only interested in the opinions of actual users. Looking forward to learning from experience.
Best regards, Ian.
I run a linked v belt o my table saw. It is quiet and smooth. I changed because if the saw sat for a few weeks the old v belt seemed to have a flat spot that took several minutes to smooth out, not so with the segmented belt.
Gary
 

Brian Hutchings

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I use a segmented belt on my Boxford, because belt changing would involve dismantling the spindle if using conventional belting. I also use one on my Tom Senior Major ELS again for the same reason.
Brian
 

Nerd1000

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The segmented belts were originally designed for emergency repairs. My understanding is that they will wear out the pulleys faster than a normal belt, and that they are directional and should not be run in reverse.

When I got my lathe it had segmented belts everywhere, even on the countershaft where the V-belt runs on a flat pulley. I pulled the spindle to repair the bull gear (it had missing teeth) and clean the grease from the bearings (they are meant to be oiled, but the oil is added via 'zerk' fittings that resemble grease nipples, so of course someone put grease in it). When I put it back together I used normal v-belts. Much quieter and smoother on the pulleys.
 

Poppy Ott

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The segmented belts were originally designed for emergency repairs. My understanding is that they will wear out the pulleys faster than a normal belt, and that they are directional and should not be run in reverse.

When I got my lathe it had segmented belts everywhere, even on the countershaft where the V-belt runs on a flat pulley. I pulled the spindle to repair the bull gear (it had missing teeth) and clean the grease from the bearings (they are meant to be oiled, but the oil is added via 'zerk' fittings that resemble grease nipples, so of course someone put grease in it). When I put it back together I used normal v-belts. Much quieter and smoother on the pulleys.
I’m not sure about the ‘emergency repair’ being the original intent of the segmented belts. My Hardinge TM mill had a segmented belt as original equipment for the primary drive, motor to counter shaft, Why it then had three standard v-belts from counter shaft to spindle I don’t know.
 

almega

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I have an old Logan 400 and to change the belt from the countershaft to the headstock pulley requires significant disassembly. I had to replace the belt about 4-1/2 years ago and decided to try out a link-belt. I have not been disappointed. I see no wear on the pulleys as previously noted and when properly tensioned it doesn't slip. One note, is that mine did stretch a bit but after initial break-in and adjustment, I have had no additional issues. It has been in regular use since that time. I would suspect there could be an issue with trying to run it in reverse under load, though I do run mine in reverse when doing metric threads, which with my lathe I cannot disengage the leadscrew, but that is not under load. I would recommend using these belts for applications where one belt is needed and it is easier to install than a regular v-belt. Be sure to get the right width size.
 

trlvn

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... linked belts it is much easier to get matched lengths where multiple belts are needed, than with standard V-belts.
I believe this information is (long) out of date. Some decades ago, maybe the 1970's or earlier, you had to specify if you wanted "a matched set of v-belts". Since then, manufacturing tolerances have tightened so much that this is no longer necessary. All v-belts stretch a little when first used*. If you have a multiple-belt drive, the shortest belt is going to stretch a little more...and all will be well.

Craig
* Very often, a v-belt drive system needs a small adjustment after the belts have gone through the initial run-in period.
 

DickG

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I use the segmented belts on both metal lathes, the wood lathe and the milling machine. The belts on the milling machine are a particular bugger to replace — there are three of them driving the main spindle and access appears to have been given no consideration by the designers. Switching to liked belts made the job of swapping out to old V-belts, if not exactly easy, at least tolerable. And with the linked belts it is much easier to get matched lengths where multiple belts are needed, than with standard V-belts.
several minutes to smooth out, not so with the segmented belt.
Gary
My Myford S7B has NuT link belts for both belts. Runs smoother and quieter than the original Vee belts. As the lathe now has a 1HP 3phase 1400RPM motor with an inverter I have managed to run the lathe up to around 4,500RPM with no problems. The rear spindle bearings have been replaced with a pair of taper roller bearings. There are no problems with the NuT belts going round any of the pulleys.
 

mc_n_g

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I have used the A and B profile link belts on a Sheldon 0 mill and a South Bend lathe. One belt had the metal 'rivet' links the other was fabric only. Once they stretch out a little they run fine. You might have to remove a link or two as it stretches and seats. Never had any problems. No wear on pulleys etc. I would recommend using them.
 

methuselah1

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I use multi link belts on a Britan lathe, with no trouble at all. When I worked in an auto shop, we used power twist for all replacements. They are a pain to link up, but faster than a headstock strip.

On the flip side, my Dad once bought an ML7 which had been using steel studded multilink belt, and the soft headstock pulley had damn near been cut in half by it!

To be honest, when the Britan's belts go, I'll go back to vee belts because of the cost... 3-4 metres of power twist is a lot more expensive than vees and my spare time.

I think that's a reasonable overview of my reasoning!
 

Iampappabear

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Don't hesitate to use a link belt, they are common place these days on large industrial equipment and sheaves last years under constant heavy load. With the light loads and intermittent use in hobby equipment you will never have to touch them again.

I built a series of machines for the heavy electrical industry and required round section segmented belts. These belts had to be run exceedingly tight as round section belt do not grip the sheave as well as vee belts. After years of operation the belts and sheaves were in great shspe.

Colin
 

comstock-friend

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I use segmented belt on my South Bend 9". Yes they are marked with direction but I have run in reverse to no ill effect. Segmented belts are premium belting and are smoother running than standard v-belting. I use them even though I have no issues pulling the spindle if needed; a little all thread and some pipe spacers make that an easy task. Can't see that wear on the pulleys is any greater or less than standard v-belting. I bought USA made material, not Chinese; be prepared for sticker shock...

John
20190608_101146.jpg
 

comstock-friend

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Also easier to match lengths for double belts. Photo of my Diamond B12 (made in Los Angeles) horizontal bench mill. With lots of machines, I bought a 100 feet of the stuff!

John
100_9647.JPG
 

dazz

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Hi
I upgraded my lathe to VFD and changed the original Vee belt to a poly Vee belt. I also elected to retain the original poly-link belt.
They are good at absorbing any shock and run quietly.

Watch this video here: YouTube
 

ianjkirby

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Hey People, thanks for all the replies! I really appreciate the input, and I rather think I will go for a segmented belt! If it doesn't work out, for me, i can always go thhe whole hog and do a spindle out belt change. I was just hoping that the segmented belt might have been worth the extra cos. I had heard stories of rhythmic noise, and poor surface finishes, which is why I was asking for wider opinions. I hope you all stay safe through the feckin' virus!!
 
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