Link Belts

Hi Gang - How does the link belts work on the mill / drill? My original
v-belt is so tight and is hard to change. Thinking of replacing it with
a link belt. George G.
Reply to
George G
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They work great. I've got them on my lathe, mills, and the horizontal bandsaw. Great when you have to pull out the spindle to change a belt, as on many lathes.
Al
Reply to
Alan Raisanen
Hi Gang - How does the link belts work on the mill / drill? My original v-belt is so tight and is hard to change. Thinking of replacing it with a link belt.
They're OK, but the best belt is an A/AP belt, expecially for ganged belts.
Reply to
Peter H.
Hi George,
This is a re-post of a message I posted not too long ago on the subject over in rec.woodworking. Hope you find it useful.
Cheers!
Jim
I have the twist-lock belts on a lot of my metalworking and woodworking machinery, including my cabinet saw, which takes three "matched" belts. Everything works just fine; my cabinet saw easily passes the "nickel" test.
IME, the Accu-Link belts are not as nice as the PowerTwist brand. However, they appear to work just as well. They've been running some of my machinery for about two years now, at heavier levels of use than is typically encountered in the home-shop, although perhaps not so much as industrial-level use. I have no major complaints.
I wrote a mini-review on the belts awhile back. It's at
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Despite the glowing praise in that write-up, I have since found that the link belts are no better than cogged v-belts in some applications, and no better than top quality ordinary v-belts in others. I learned much of this by experimentation after writing the review, but haven't gotten round to updating the page.
Cogged belts share many of the advantages of link belts: excellent vibration dampening characteristics, reduced slippage, higher energy efficiency, longer life, and resistance to taking a set.
Additionally, there is no waste, as occurs with a link belt when there is a leftover, unused portion, and which drives the already high cost of link belts up even more. On the down side, cogged belts are not adjustable, and in the event of a broken belt (exceedingly rare) the entire belt is lost, as opposed to one or a few links. Personally, I'm quite willing to give up these latter two advantages in exchange for the cost savings. Apparently the only unchallenged advantages of the link belts are (1) the ease of replacement -- especially in cases where machinery must ordinarily be disassembled for it -- and (2) the ease of maintaining spare inventory. (Anybody, please feel free to jump in and correct me if I'm missing something here.)
While both the link belts and the cogged v-belts dampen vibration, the link belts are a little better with lower frequency vibrations such as are cause by pulley or load imbalances and such. However, both types of belt also introduce some higher frequency noise owing to their "teeth." In this respect the link belts are noticeably worse (louder in the higher frequencies), and they also "squeak" a bit from the links rubbing against one another and the pulleys or sheaves.
Because of this, a particular machine may sound quieter or louder with the link belt than with a cogged or regular v-belt. On all my machines that run them, save one, the link belts seem as quiet or quieter than regular or cogged v-belts. The oddball is a woodworking bandsaw whose sheet metal stand apparently oscillates in harmony with the higher pitch of the link belt links. That saw runs about 3 dBA quieter with a cogged v-belt and 2 dBA quieter with a regular v-belt.
Here is some slightly dated pricing information I collected from MSC
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, one of my favorite industrial suppliers. Prices for 36", 48", and 60" classic v-belts are $6.80, $8.16, and $9.35, respectively. Cogged belts in the same sizes run $8.43, $10.14, and $11.47. Assuming no waste, the same link belts would cost about $12, $16, and $20 each at Harbor Freight pricing. Something to think about.
Jim
Reply to
Jim Wilson
Thanks gang - I'm sold on it. Going to order one tomorrow. Good response - George
Reply to
George G
I bought my first lathe with a riveted link belt fitted. They don't work so well on a flat pulley!
John
Reply to
John Manders
I bought my first lathe with a riveted link belt fitted. They don't work so well on a flat pulley!
These belts are still in new production. Browning, I think.
Reply to
Peter H.

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