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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a motorized lift which has a 2” pulley on the motor which drives an 8” pulley. The 8” pulley is under pretty considerable load and sometimes the motor just spins the 2” pulley and can’t get enough grip on the belt to get the bigger pulley moving, despite being properly tensioned.

To make matters worse, it can sometimes sit for long periods of time, causing the belt to take a set which really discourages the small pulley from grabbing the belt. Also, the pulleys are really close together, so the belt is relatively small.

Would I be better off with a link belt?
 

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The closer the pulleys are together the less wrap around you have on the small pulley, doubt a link belt will help. What may help would be a longer belt and an idler to tighten it giving more wrap on the 2" pulley.
 

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The closer the pulleys are together the less wrap around you have on the small pulley, doubt a link belt will help. What may help would be a longer belt and an idler to tighten it giving more wrap on the 2" pulley.
Of course, I was going to say that! 😁

No seriously - I’m continually amazed at the common sense a lot of you guys have. 👍🏻👍🏻

I was thinking chains and sprockets…….😳😳
 

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I have a motorized lift which has a 2” pulley on the motor which drives an 8” pulley. The 8” pulley is under pretty considerable load and sometimes the motor just spins the 2” pulley and can’t get enough grip on the belt to get the bigger pulley moving, despite being properly tensioned.

To make matters worse, it can sometimes sit for long periods of time, causing the belt to take a set which really discourages the small pulley from grabbing the belt. Also, the pulleys are really close together, so the belt is relatively small.

Would I be better off with a link belt?
In my opinion, “belt set” is the problem you are experiencing. Regardless of the quality of a solid circle V belt, the material will always take a set when it remains dormant for a period of time. This accounts for the start-up clunk of many types of belt driven shop equipment.

Probably the greatest and most beneficial single change made to my cabinet saws, jointer and planer is the removal of the old V drive belt(s) and replacing them with link belts. With the upgrade, vibration levels dropped almost to zero. After several years use, I’ve never experienced a gripping problem from wear. Link belts are somewhat pricey, but I think they’re well worth the money.

Link belts are simple to install, made of separate links that twist-fit together to get any particular size needed. In general, they’re more flexible V belts, and they do not take a set over time. Their sections are made of urethane elastomer material, reinforced with woven polyester fabric for durability. Each link, depending on brand, adds 3/4" or 7/8" to overall belt length. Individual sections are about 2" long. If the belt is too long, snip off a link. If it's too short, add a link. The links can be assembled by hands alone, but using a needle nose pliers makes the job easier on the fingers. Threading a belt around pulleys, and then joining the ends, is much simpler than any other method of belt installation.

With the installation of a correctly-sized link belt, your grip problem may be resolved. They also come in different widths. The correct width for most woodworking machines is 1/2" (A/4L).

If you cannot use a link belt because of a pulley distance issue, I’d go with FrankC’s suggestion of adding an idler.

- Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
what does it lift? a wheelchair or boat on a dock? is it outside in the weather?
John, I can’t slip anything past you!

It’s on a boat lift. It’s outside of course, but it’s inside an enclosure. I’d dare say the problem occurs mostly when it’s cold and the belt is less supple. I guess that’s what had me thinking about a link belt.

I can’t think of a way to rig an idler.
 

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Without knowing more about your drive spec I'm reluctant to push any suggestions. How far apart? How much horsepower at what rpm? What section belt? I can suggest doing a little research by visiting:

Small Mechanical Components: Precision Gears, Timing Belts, Gear Assemblies, Timing Belt Pulleys, Couplings, Bearings and much more from SDP/SI

to get a pile of info and ideas. I've used these guys for a variety of drive components in the past. Quite comprehensive.
Also, take a look at everybody's favorite online hardware store: McMaster-Carr.
 
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