If you follow my social media feeds, you may know that I’ve recently acquired an old metal lathe, a Logan model 200 to be precise. And, if you’ve spent much time around the blog, you’ve probably seen the various old tools I have and may have guessed that I love old machinery. They truly don’t make stuff like they used to. Case in point, I needed a belt for the Logan and since removing the spindle is a bit more time consuming than stitching up a belt, I now have another topic to share with y’all!
Traditionally leather or canvas was used for these belts. I decided to follow with the “modern” alternative and grabbed a serpentine belt from the auto parts store. And given my new found affection for paracord, I used one of the 7 strands that make a cord as my stitching material. There are of course other ways to assemble a flat belt, which include glue and metal clips.
So, I start off by figuring out the length of belt I need. For my lathe, I cut the belt to 48.5″ and was diligent to get the ends relatively square. Then I marked where the stitches needed to be and made 1/8″ holes with a small leather punch. Conveniently enough, these holes lined up perfectly in between each rib on the belt.
The two holes closest to the end of the belt are about 1/2″ from the end and 1/4″ inset from the side. The next hole is centered and 5/8″ from the end. The last two holes are also centered & about 3/8″ from each previous hole. These hole locations are based on what I’ve seen in other examples. This pattern should be repeated on the other end.
To removed a strand from the paracord, simply fray the end of the cord and pull one of the strands out. I think I pulled out about 18″ which was just enough to work with. If I had it to do over, I’d be a bit more generous… Oh well, it all worked out.
Grab a heavy needle from your wife’s sewing equipment and ask her first. Ummmm by the way dear… May I use this needle? Thanks! P.S. It’s still in the shop if you need it 🙂
Ok, Ok… now back to the task at hand. Thread the needle (some of you guys might need help with this) and tie a knot or three to keep the thread on.
Now just feed the belt around the pulleys and try to remove as much tension from the system as possible so that the pulleys are pulling against the belt while you’re trying to work. I put the grooved side of the belt against the pulleys.
Here’s the lacing pattern from the Logan manual for the model 200. It’s easy enough to read if you want to study it for a while…
I decided to make a graphic that lays out the stitching sequence to help all you folks out. Before you get confused (like I did) study the above image and then scan through the photos below. It should eventually be clear as mud and honestly once you dive into stitching up a belt, the process is pretty straight forward.
The only things to remember are to really tighten down each stitch so the ends of the belt don’t pull apart once the belt is under tension. Repeat the steps for the second half of the belt and you’re good to go!
Please feel free to leave any questions or comments below.