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7x10, 7x12, 7x14 Mini-Lathe Information

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V-Belts, Fenner Power Twist Adjust-A-Link Belts, and Other Power Transmission Belts

Many power transmission belts are of the "V" variety. Just like the ones in your car, they are usually made of a black tire-rubber-like material and have more of a trapezoidal cross section than that of a "V".

These belts are inexpensive to buy and install but can create or contribute to vibration in your machine. We recently purchased a round-column Rong-Fu 31 clone mill/drill and found the vibration in the entire machine (from motor to table and beyond) to affect the surface finish of the part being machined. One possible fix (yet to be verified, but we will perform some tests using a decibel meter, etc.. and report back) is to install another variant of the V-belt - the "adjust-a-link" style belt where you can simply by adding or removing links, shorten or lengthen the belt.


This belt, purchased from McMaster-Carr is a replacement for trade size B or 5L types up to B72 or 5L740 (as shown in the packaged version). This belt is a "Power Twist Plus" belt or "zero downtime v-belt" since you can use this length again to adjust for your machine requirements. You can also see from the picture above a small one foot section of belt. McMaster sells them by the foot as well, but of course at an increased cost over a pre-packaged length. Upon close inspection of the belt, you can see that "Fenner" is stamped on them (and on the back of the package). Fenner Drives, located in Manheim, PA, claim the following:

  • A permanent replacement V-belt
  • "B" section industry standard power rating
  • Special polyester/polyurethane construction
  • Higher oil, grease, water, chemical, and solvent resistance
  • Wider operating range: -40F to +240F
  • Dampens transmitted vibration
  • No need to dismantle drives
  • Hand assembly in seconds without tools
  • Instant on-site availability - less inventory with a higher service level

Upon closer inspection of the links, we can see its basic construction and geometry:


Each link consists of two holes and one tang which is inserted into another link. Thus, each link actually transfers forces across three links instead of just one as you would normally imagine with linkage-type systems. This could be considered a factor of safety approach to construction, but is more than likely designed to distribute forces across a larger area instead of concentrating them around a single point or other concentrated areas. Another point to make here is that the tangs are shaped in a trapezoidal fashion (like the v-belt) and makes the internal cross section for the belt.

Removing these links requires some very tough hands, skin and fingernails, or better yet, a simple pair of pliers should be suitable for grabbing a link tang and twisting it such that it can be inserted through another link to make it free of the chain.

Read about how we sourced this purchase.

The verdict is in!

Stay tuned for more...


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