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Author Topic: flat belt dressing stick recipes  (Read 2618 times)

cae2100

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flat belt dressing stick recipes
« on: July 30, 2016, 09:41:57 AM »

Ive been working on coming up with a recipe for belt dressing sticks since most of my machines still run leather flat belts, and was curious if anyone knew of any other recipes. Ive been using the 1:1:1 beeswax:neadsfoot oil:rosin and maybe a small amount of parafin to stiffen it up, and I mean a very tiny amount, but the 1:1:1 mix seems to help a ton and it puts the neatsfoot oil back into the leather, which helps to recondition it.

Ill just post here my file of bits and pieces that Ive collected and you guys can go through it for ideas.

Quote
in case you haven't found the solution yet, these recipes were published in Model Engineer in 1935 and reprinted in "Home Workshop Hints and Tips" by Vic Smeed (ed):

1) Mix one pint of castor oil and 2 1/4 lbs of powdered resin, melt together in a jar placed in water and brought to boiling point; take care it does not boil over. This mixture is for inside dressing, to prevent slipping.

For outside dressing? Yes, I'm afraid it's the one you already got:

2) One pint of old cod liver oil and 4 - 8 ounces of tallow. Mix and enjoy. This goo is said to prevent belt cracking and is primarily for leather belts.

Old cod liver oil? Must be the magic ingredient.



 I found my notes from when I was starting out as a stationary engineer. An old guy at the time was imparting his wisdom. He was never impressed with the quote store bought solid belt dressings. So he gave me an assortment of ingerdents to roll my own sticks. So to speak.
First off you can use a high tack gasket holder sealer from the olden days prema-tex high tack comes in a small can or tube very sticky,messy he only recommended it in a dire emergency.
You basically want a substance that will give some grip to belt and pulley.
I have enclosed a picture of the basic stuff needed to make your own.
First the safety warning. melting this you need to do it in a water bath or double boiler type pot out side. Smell factor, two large tin cans will do.
The formula is equal parts of bees wax,rosin,tallow is mixed in with the bees wax and rosin till you are getting an equal or smooth fluid mix. Then add the paraffin wax for strength hardness.No more then the amount of rosin and or bees wax.
You can use turpentine, or a linseed type oil but the more liquid oils the the tube might need to be stored in a jar.
You tape over one end of the paper tube(masking or packing tape) paper towel tubes are about the right size. Fill up the tube and let set up. Use like any other stick belt dressing.
You may want to adjust the ingerdents to suit your own operating tastes.

1. Bees wax more will soften the stick
2. Tallow same thing more will soften the mix.
3. Paraffin more will harden up the stick.
4. Rosin the more rosin in the stick will transfer more to the belt making it stickier.
5. For a gritter stick you can add talc powder, pumice or even baking soda it also can be a filler to make the stick go farther.

For those that are use to and like the old black looking dressing you can mix in a little asphatlham or the crack sealer rod you heat and melt into the drive walkway cracks.
The tackiness is what you are looking for (grip).






Some of the best belt dressing is made from chunk pine rosin just like what you would rosin up a fiddle bow with and steam cylinder oil again use steam cylinder oil, not valve gear oil, cylinder oil with beef tallow use a 1/2 gallon coffee can fill 1/2 full of steam cylinder oil cook oil until it boils keep it boiling ad 1/2 pound of chunk pine rosin to oil and continue to boil and stir 1/2 hour then remove from heat, let cool then you have some of the finest stickest belt dressing know to man, if it is too thick ad some oil and recook to a boil too thin ad more rosin and recook, the cylinder oil makes a wonderful belt conditioner that keeps belts plyable and limber and the chunk rosin makes it grip excellent also the rosin keeps rodents away for storage.Just simply apply
with a paint paddle to belts while running and your belt dressing problem is over, this is a old family recipe that has been handed down to five generations of sawmillers and threshermen and has always proven to be very effective even on damp or wet belts. I always cook it on top of a old coal stove in the work shop in the winter smells great while cooking, good luck!!!




 I had also saw some bees wax and pine tar sticks made once that worked nice they just melted bees wax and pine tar together and rolled it up in a news paper and let it cool into sticks..




This a variation of the tar paper rolled tight in to a stick and then held against the belt to deposit a layer of tar on the belt.
The big box stores sell a tar rope used for sealing cracks in a driveway with a synithy tar. You melt it with a propane torch into the crack. You could use that with the rosin and waxes to make up an old time stick dressing called black beauty. Or if you can pick up a chunk of the tar billet used for hot tar roofing that would work also. A full billet is about 80 pounds if I remember correctly.
Or the pitch used for chasing and repousee work in metal smithing , but that is a little pricey.
For the best place to get rosin for melting see my other previous post.




 yes it contains beeswax, rosin, lard and castor oil. Helps keep the band on, assuming the wheel is coplanar with the spindle head.



 The flat leather belt dressing sticks were mostly beeswax and rosin mixed hot, then poured into a paper tube. Different brands had some other additives, some were brown, others black.



The old belt dressing contained a good deal of rosin, along with cod-liver and neat’s-foot oil

Hopefully you can sort through this, and from what Ive seen, there is no real replacement for neadsfoot oil in the belts, it's the same as the natural oil in the leather and as they dry out and get old, they start to slip, the oil, just a very small amount in the middle of the belt to let the pulleys spread it out for you, and it reconditions the leather and makes it run as it once was, as the leather was. For cloth belts, using castor oil in place of the neadsfoot oil seems to help in the belt dressing stick recipes.

So far, the best that Ive had so far had to just be beeswax and rosin together with some neadsfoot oil.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2016, 09:48:27 AM by cae2100 »
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admin

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Re: flat belt dressing stick recipes
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2016, 05:20:42 PM »

My dad's original machines in his machine shop at the lumber mill were all run from flat belts, and I remember him dressing those from time to time, but I am not sure what he used.

The entire machine shop at the Soule Foundry is run from overhead line shafts and belts.
I will ask them in November what they use for belt conditioning.

Ropes were originally used before the advent of leather belts, and most industries in the states were converted from rope to leather belting before Europe made the change.

I found an old article about how leather belts were made, and it is quite an interesting process.
I will try to find that and post it here.

I can remember seeing lacing on belt butt joints.

And one clever trick I saw at Soule was the use of leather donuts between all the pulleys along the line shaft.
The donuts were oversized, and when the shaft is running, they randomly meander back and forth along the shaft, and keep it clean and bright.
The idea is that if you every need to remove the pulleys from the line shaft, it is quite easy if there is no rust.

Interesting stuff, thanks for posting.
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cae2100

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Re: flat belt dressing stick recipes
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2016, 11:22:08 AM »

yea, we're planning on going to soule this year, so maybe we'll see you there.

Ive seen lineshaft mice before and always wondered what they did until someone told me, he said that with the large lineshafts, if the rust, gunk, or dust clumpped up on the shafts, and if a belt came off of a pulley somehow, it could get wrapped around the shaft itself and either pull the lineshaft down, or try to pull the piece of machinery upwards, ripping it off of the ground and potentially injuring or killing someone.

Ive seen a good bit of belt lacing techniques and such through research, but all of my machinery all use clipper system, the safety clasp type.
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cae2100

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Re: flat belt dressing stick recipes
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2016, 04:01:44 PM »

ok, after messing around a bit, I think I found the best recipe that I could come up with that works best. Ive tried adding the various oils and such to it and it didnt really help much, but a mixture of 1:1.25 beeswax to rosin gave the best results and is identical to what was on my lathe when I bought it, which had the old belt dressing stick used on it.

I just rolled up some paper into tubes around a 5/8" steel rod, and wrapped it in plastic wrap till it was fully cooled and solidified. I put the stick forms into a icecream pail of washing soda to support them while pouring, its just what I had on hand and it didnt hurt anything and anything like sand will work fine also since it has no way to get into the sticks. I just melted the two together on a hotplate at the lowest setting heat in a steel tin and poured it in the tubes, and stuck them into the fridge to cool quickly. It shrunk in the middle, but peel back the paper slightly and you can push the top into itself and after setting for a few hours, it'll solidify completely. It'll feel like a crayon almost, but be really grippy and will work extremely well.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 04:25:59 PM by cae2100 »
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admin

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Re: flat belt dressing stick recipes
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2016, 10:59:44 PM »

That's pretty neat.
I like the idea of experimenting and discovering things that work.

It seems like when I started playing around in the shop a few years ago, pretty much all of what I did was experimental, and my failure rate was almost 100%.

As the years have gone by, I have gotten to the point where I have a high success rate on pretty much whatever I try (casting, machining, pattern making, etc), which is good, because failure gets rather discouraging.

« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 11:00:17 PM by admin »
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cae2100

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Re: flat belt dressing stick recipes
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2016, 12:32:59 AM »

I find the part where there being not many failures discouraging, if you arent making mistakes, then you arent learning, and where's the fun in that? :p

If you arent blowing off any limbs or pointy bits, then your still ahead of the game.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 12:34:02 AM by cae2100 »
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