| April 2005

Belting Up

Our corner of the universe is likely one of the last points of refuge for the once-common flat belt. A simple piece of equipment that was instrumental in transfering power output to working machinery, the flat belt helped change the working world for farmers and manufacturers.

For all intents and purposes, however, the flat belt has long since been rendered obsolete. Beginning in the 1920s, direct-drive electric motors combined with smaller working instruments paved the way for a new order in tools and equipment. Farmers and threshermen, perhaps the last bastion of the flat belt, slowly retired their belts and related equipment as modern combines and farm implements were developed.

But the humble flat belt maintains a position of prominance and importance in our hobby, used today as it was yesterday, driving everything from butter churns to threshers.

Even so, how many of us actually know the issues and computations to consider when choosing the right belt and pulley for the job?

Noticing an absence of contemporary literature on the subject, enthusiast George Loughery decided to research the issue and put his findings and experience with belts to work. Ten years ago, George shared his considerations with members of the Hay Creek Valley Historical Assn. in Geigertown, Pa., of which he's a member. His work was subsequently published in the Summer 1994 issue of the Assn.'s publication, The Journal.

Seeing a need for a similar article that would reach a wider audience, George contacted us about reproducing his work in Gas Engine Magazine. The result of George's contact appears on page 16, where we present the first installment of a two-part series on belt power transmission.