Kevlar Belts for Drill Press Pulleys? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 05-31-2020, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Kevlar Belts for Drill Press Pulleys?

I have a used Delta 11-990 drill press that I bought in February. Unlike my prior drill press, on the Delta you adjust speeds by moving a belt between five different sets of pulleys on top.

The belt that came with it is an orange urethane belt with teeth. The pulleys are smooth; they do not have matching gear teeth. The teeth may be there for greater flexibility, but I don't really know. The orange urethane belt feels flimsy. When I pull it over the pulley edges, I worry that it will wear out or break soon, so I want to have a replacement belt on hand.

-> Should I be concerned about the urethane belt and have a replacement on hand?

-> The least expensive belts are on eBay for $14.95, made from kevlar. Are they any good?

-> Can you recommend an inexpensive source for a decent pulley belt that fits my Delta 11-990 drill press?

(Note: Like others, I should stay away from auto parts stores at the present time.)
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-31-2020, 12:52 PM
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Why should you stay away from auto parts stores. they carry a good selection of belts. That is the first place that I always look.


George
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post #3 of 15 Old 05-31-2020, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
Why should you stay away from auto parts stores. they carry a good selection of belts. That is the first place that I always look.
Me too, when I can. It is not possible at present. The questions remain unanswered:

-> Should I be concerned about the urethane belt and have a replacement on hand?
-> The least expensive belts are on eBay for $14.95, made from kevlar. Are they any good?
-> Can you recommend an inexpensive online source for a decent pulley belt that fits my Delta 11-990 drill press?
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post #4 of 15 Old 05-31-2020, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
Me too, when I can. It is not possible at present. The questions remain unanswered:

-> Should I be concerned about the urethane belt and have a replacement on hand?
-> The least expensive belts are on eBay for $14.95, made from kevlar. Are they any good?
-> Can you recommend an inexpensive online source for a decent pulley belt that fits my Delta 11-990 drill press?
Kevlar wont help - the belt will die when you inevitably slip it and burn it.

Auto stores won't help much longer, V-belts are going the way of the dodo.

It may wind up being sourced only online. OR at an HVAC parts house.

Retired engineer-bureaucrat in Oakland, CA. Been working with wood since the 1960's.
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post #5 of 15 Old 05-31-2020, 08:13 PM
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You must mean 5 steps on the pulleys .......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
I have a used Delta 11-990 drill press that I bought in February. Unlike my prior drill press, on the Delta you adjust speeds by moving a belt between five different sets of pulleys on top.

The belt that came with it is an orange urethane belt with teeth. The pulleys are smooth; they do not have matching gear teeth. The teeth may be there for greater flexibility, but I don't really know. The orange urethane belt feels flimsy. When I pull it over the pulley edges, I worry that it will wear out or break soon, so I want to have a replacement belt on hand.

-> Should I be concerned about the urethane belt and have a replacement on hand?

-> The least expensive belts are on eBay for $14.95, made from kevlar. Are they any good?

-> Can you recommend an inexpensive source for a decent pulley belt that fits my Delta 11-990 drill press?

(Note: Like others, I should stay away from auto parts stores at the present time.)

I can't image 5 pulleys on a single drill press. 5 Steps, yes.

The orange belt is smooth and flimsy, not a good sign in my experience. How do you change the distance between the pulleys in order to move the belt OR are they a fixed distance apart and need to stretch the belt to shift it?

I always order a new spare drive belt when I buy a new machine because parts fail OR go out of stock before the machine itself wears out. Kevlar will not stretch ... at all. It is generally used on outdoor mowers and other industrial applications with greater HP requirements than a drill press, so overkill in my opinion.
https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...--44-in-mowers


I've never heard of a urethane drive belt, but I haven't been out much lately, since under house arrest here in MI. It could be a great idea or a terrible one, I donno? I would just order 2 more OEM belts and they should last you a long time.


The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 05-31-2020 at 08:22 PM.
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post #6 of 15 Old 05-31-2020, 08:24 PM
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I've been using the PowerTwist Adjustable Link V-Belts for years. On all my belt driven equipment. Drill presses, Rivett 1020 metal lathe, vertical knee mill, horizontal band saw, Powermatic 140 woodworking bandsaw. They are great. Adjustable to whatever length you need, within about 1/2" increments. No spliced/glued joint so there is no vibration. Holds up great to pulley changes for speed changes, Don't stretch. They are NOT cheap however, so if that is your criterion, keep on looking. I've never had to replace one, but I've only been running them for 20 yrs.



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post #7 of 15 Old 05-31-2020, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Responding to @woodnthings and @RickKr:

Woodnthings is correct. It is a typical drill press with two pulleys, each with five steps. My bad on the terminology.

The motor is mounted on a hinge with a spring-loaded pin held by a thumbscrew. You release the thumbscrew and press the motor towards the pin/spring to relieve tension on the belt to adjust it.

The problem with the owner-supplied urethane belt is that it is too short. There is still tension on the belt in its most "relieved" position. That's one reason why I am concerned about the belt's longevity. I don't like the way it rubs when I move it from one pulley step to another.

I just found a link to the same urethane belt that was on the drill press when I bought it. Some reviews complained that the belt is too small, too:
https://www.amazon.com/Urethane-Repl.../dp/B00UW4VUUI

Here is a kevlar replacement belt on eBay that I am considering:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/362719782943

That's why I asked about kevlar.

Here is another. It looks like rubber. The seller is a vehicle parts company:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/271980436137

RickKr suggested a link belt. I hadn't thought of it, but I have one on my bandsaw that works great. My only concern about link belts is that links are 1/2 inch, and people were complaining that the urethane belt was 1/4 inch too short and causing issues. I might get lucky, or I might not, and link belts cost more.

-> Which belt would you choose?
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post #8 of 15 Old 06-01-2020, 12:00 AM
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You can get 3/8" wide link belts as well, I use them on my Atlas metal lathe.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #9 of 15 Old 06-01-2020, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
...snip...
The motor is mounted on a hinge with a spring-loaded pin held by a thumbscrew. You release the thumbscrew and press the motor towards the pin/spring to relieve tension on the belt to adjust it. ...snip...
Like this photo of the Delta 11-990:


My only concern about link belts is that links are 1/2 inch, and people were complaining that the urethane belt was 1/4 inch too short and causing issues. I might get lucky, or I might not, and link belts cost more.
...snip...[/QUOTE]

Given there is a range of travel for the motor, on the hinge, when you release the thumbscrew, I don't see why there isn't the capacity to adjust for a bit adjustment possible to account for the distance of the links in the link belt. There certainly has been in the older Delta drill presses that I own and others that I've used in the past. What are the length increment of standard rubber belts, or any other belts?

I sorta think you might be over-thinking this. It shouldn't be that hard to pick a standard type belt, or the link belt and it will work.

And for the comment about having to stretch the belt over the pulley grooves, there shouldn't be that much tension, as the thumbscrew releases the hinged motor and the pulley pull over the groove relatively easily. I think there is just about no stretch in standard belts and none with the link belts.

Rick
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-01-2020, 11:45 AM
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i'm not sure why your worried about the belt on a new drill press ???
i think my drill press has the same belt that was on it when i got it from my dad's estate in 1984
and it's probably the belt he bought it with in the 60s, used

i've used and abused the drill press many times, stuck bits, belt slipping, smell of burning rubber
had i bought a belt back in 1984, i would have used it or given it away by now
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post #11 of 15 Old 06-01-2020, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Ogre View Post
i'm not sure why your worried about the belt on a new drill press ???
i think my drill press has the same belt that was on it when i got it from my dad's estate in 1984
and it's probably the belt he bought it with in the 60s, used

i've used and abused the drill press many times, stuck bits, belt slipping, smell of burning rubber
had i bought a belt back in 1984, i would have used it or given it away by now
Because I bought the drill press used, and the belt that the previous owner installed is too tight. I don't like the way it rubs on the pulley step edge when I move it from one step to another. In my opinion, it is only a matter of time before it cuts, wears, or snaps.

General Comment for All:

I measured the belt with an ordinary ruler, and it is 32-3/4 inch long. I suspect that the correct belt is 33 inches. Now I wonder whether a 4L330 belt might be the same as what I need for the Delta 11-990 drill press. The 4L330 is a 33 inch x 1/2 inch automotive V-belt.

I cannot find an online source that confirms that a 4L330 is the right fit for my drill press. I suspect that many of the belts sold as replacements for my drill press are ordinary 4L330 belts, but can't prove it ... yet.

Maybe Ogre is right about those rubber belts lasting a long time, but the too-tight, thin, orange urethane belt that is on it now does not inspire confidence for a long life. It is too tight even when the tension is slack and you move it from one pulley step to another.

Last edited by Tool Agnostic; 06-01-2020 at 03:11 PM.
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post #12 of 15 Old 06-02-2020, 01:18 PM
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ah! new to you drill press... carry on
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post #13 of 15 Old 06-02-2020, 06:30 PM
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Fractional HP V belt designation .......

A fractional HP V belt can have a designation of 4L33.

https://hvhindustrial.com/blog/common-types-of-v-belts



An automotive may have the same prefix and designation:

https://mastertoolrepair.com/images/...Size_Chart.pdf


The first number is the width in 1/8" increments, so a 4L would be 1/2" wide.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #14 of 15 Old 06-03-2020, 05:11 PM
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Get the Acculink from Harbor Freight - https://www.harborfreight.com/vibrat...elt-43771.html
I got this for my DIY V-Drum sander. Not only it is quiet but it is adjustable, just like the red one in few posts up, but maybe cheaper ? With 20% coupon I paid $29
Indeed it is very smooth & quiet after I installed it.
In fact, I have some of it left, I will try and see if it fits my drill press :) if not, I'll probably buy another one and have left over for my band saw :)
Here's a pict someone posted on HF website. You can buy them on Amazon too.

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Last edited by umbert; 06-03-2020 at 05:19 PM.
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post #15 of 15 Old 06-04-2020, 08:43 PM
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Not so fast on condemning urethane drive belts.... They are the new IT thing: They are the material of choice for industrial conveyance systems, CNC, and robotics.

I suggest you look them up on Amazon in a 10mm-12mm round stock, and buy a 10’ length so you can make a few Belts. The DIY method is very simple and very quick:

1) Cut the ends squarely to the correct length with a utility knife

2) Clean a putty knife with solvent(s) to remove any residues/contaminants

3) Heat the putty knife to red hot, and press it between both ends of the belt long enough to melt the urethane

4) Immediately press the ends of the belt together and hold until cooled enough to stay put. This welds the ends together. Done.

These are very strong, very resilient, very long lasting, and super smooth operating. Plus they look very perky in those candy colors &#x1f601;.

There are roughened surface or smooth surface stock. The roughened version is supposed to be more resistant to nicks and cuts. The material is supposed to be stretched a bit, I don’t know how much, but some tension is needed, so your hinged motor Mount should be ideal.
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