The right Belt

What is the right Belt for the saw? We have had some experience with different kind of V-belts. There are three main categories to choose from: regular v-belts, cogged belts and link belts .

The photo at the left shows a typical link belt.
Link belts provide some stretching that makes them ideally suited for our designed mechanism. The distance between pulleys varies by a few millimetres between blade full up and blade full down positions. This small difference is easily absorbed by link belts. Link belts are sold by its length in feet (305mm) and they are 1/2" (13mm) wide . You assemble them to the required total length. Eight feet (240cm) will be enough for the two required belts and will leave you with some extra spare links. These will become handy if there is damage over time. You just replace the worn or broken links with spare ones from the stock you should keep. Unfortunately, link belts are not available all around the world.

The alternative is using a normal or a cogged V- belt. Regular V-belts are the least suited for the purpose, cogged belts are more flexible and adequate for the task.

Both are less flexible in length so you may have to use a hinged motor base with a gas spring to maintain tension.

These are available nearly everywhere and are also much cheaper than link belts.

Cogged V-belts can go around smaller diameters more easily because they are more flexible than regular V-belts.

The belts should have an AX section (1/2" or 13mm wide) to handle the load.

The second prototype of our saw uses XPZ V-belts . The “X” means it is cogged and the PZ defines the profile. However, we would recommend AX to be on the safe side.

Check that the profile of the belt fits the profile of the pulleys. The right belt lays with its top flush with the pulley outer diameter and should NOT touch the pulley body at the bottom. V-belts work using friction of the angled sides against the equally inclined pulley inner faces.

How many are necessary? New V-Belts are rarely perfectly round when lying flat on a table. This imperfection can cause vibration on the system. Using two belts helps to cancel this effect. A single belt will also handle the load so if one belt breaks during work you can go on until you get a spare. Things usually break always when you need them most. On the other hand, I never had a broken belt as yet. To get the right length of the belt use an online calculator. Just type in the diameter of both pulleys, distance between shafts and the profile of the belt. The calculator will tell you the right length.

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