Flat belts

Hi folks, i was given 30 feet of flat belt today, it's been hung in a
farm workshop for decades and has gone a bit stiff and dry, apart from
that it looks to be in good nick. Any ideas how i can give it a new
lease of life. ??
Cheers, Gary M
Reply to
gary millward
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According to books on the subject Linseed is a drying oil so will tend to form a hard skin on the surface. Said books recommend "Cod oil" or "turpentine and tallow". !! Personally I suggest repeated light applications of Neatsfoot oil to the outside of the belt (not the inside as it will increase slip. Soaking is hard to control and it could easily become so soft it simply stretches. If you can arrange to sling it between a pair of large pulleys it will help straighten it and make treating easier. hth Roland
Reply to
Roland Craven
Roland's correct Gary, I could not remember name so made an uneducated guess, as usual :-))
Martin P
Roland Craven wrote:
Reply to
Campingstoveman
Saddle soap (any horse shop) - the block stuff is cheaper than the liquid, and you'll be using a fair bit.
Then when it softens up a bit, you can use neatsfoot. Neatsfoot on its own won't touch really dry leather as there's no emulsifier in it. Don't use linseed, as that dries on the surface and seals it.
You might need to take an old belt dressing off the belt, maybe even by scraping, before you get to bare leather and something remotedly absorbent.
For fine work and appearance (i.e. belts you might wear) I'd use British Museum leather dressing (home made) rather than neatsfoot. This is beeswax in cyclohexane, with some lanolin and cedar oil added.
Reply to
Andy Dingley
Erm, I've just come in after two days away, read my way through this thread, gone back & checked the opener - & Gary didn't say it's leather. It could easily be a canvas or a rubberised canvas belt. Before you do anything to it Gary, it IS leather, isn't it?
In general, IMHO, you shouldn't use linseed oil, raw or boiled on leather. It is a fine wood treatment, but it decomposes into acidic compounds in leather & these will attack the collagens & rot them away.
On the theme of leather flat belts, I have some twenty meters of unused belting & mine too is as dry as toast but otherwise in perfect condition. Anyone know how they made 60 feet of one piece leather belt without recourse to a whale? ;o))
Regards,
J. Kim Siddorn,
Reply to
Kim Siddorn
Gary didn't say it's leather. It could easily be a canvas or a rubberised canvas belt. Before you do anything to it Gary, it IS leather, isn't it?
Kim, its a canvas belt, Regards. Gary M
Reply to
gary millward
Worth askin' then ;o))
Run it onto a couple of the biggest pulleys (perhaps a couple of car wheels with the tyres on) you can find & rotate it slowly for hours. Repeat until supple.
If it is rubberised canvas, don't treat it with anything except soap & water to get any old dressing off.
If just canvas - dunno - ask a maritime museum & BTW, it is OLD!
Regards,
J. Kim Siddorn,
Reply to
Kim Siddorn
Thanks for the advice fellas. I've soaked it in cold water for a day that seemed to help, i'm planning to use the belt at the weekend to saw some logs on the saw bench. I'll run it light on the pulleys first and see how it performs. Cheers, Regards, Gary M
Reply to
gary millward
While we're on the leather belt topic. I have an old West Bend tool room lathe that uses a 2" wide, ~5/16" thick leather drive belt. If the belt tensioner lever is engaged the weight of the entire electric motor assembly is hung on the belt. If the lathe is stored for long periods with the tension on, the belt stretches and the problem now is that it slips at rather low torque. I was wondering what the best procedure might be for shrinking the belt. I was thinking of removing it and soaking it for a day or two in clear water and then drying it, possibly in the sun. Any suggestions?
Thanx, Rob
Reply to
rcavictim
OOPS! Brain fart. :( My mind must be like an electrical insulator. Once it arcs over in a certain way leaving a carbon track it is more susceptible to making the same arc pattern over again. I have mistakenly called my lathe a West Bend before too. Isn't West Bend a type of kitchen blender? The lathe is a classic vintage South Bend, as in Indianna. 36" bed, 16" swing. I'd be totally helpless without it.
Reply to
rcavictim
plain cold water will not shrink the leather. However, very hot, still water with a little washing up liquid in it might do the trick.
The hot water will cause the collagens to contract, the washing up liquid lowers the surface tension & will get some of the crap off the belt, too. allow to dry flat in the Indiana sunshine.
Hot does not mean boiling! DON'T OVERDO THE HEAT!!
Regards,
J. Kim Siddorn,
Reply to
Kim Siddorn

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