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Lathe help! How do i change the belt?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Dynaflash_8, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. Dynaflash_8
    Joined: Sep 24, 2008
    Posts: 3,035

    from Auburn WA

    So for x mas i got an Atlas 10" lathe, model OC54. The old belt is shot and i need to change it out. Problem is, i cant for the life of me figure out how to. The spidle and gear reduction all needs to come out but theres no diagram for it anywhere. Anybody know it better than i?

  2. mike budniewski
    Joined: Jul 30, 2005
    Posts: 327

    mike budniewski

    if its a flat belt i cut a serpintine belt from a late model car punch a few holes in each end and use mechanics wire to make some belt staples. it refuses to slip. mike
  3. I've got the same problem with mine. I have to take off the two saddle bearings to remove the shaft that holds the pullys on and then change the belt. The belt lasts about 15 years so its a good chance to check the bearings. I should say split bushings, they aren't bearings.
  4. I have a south bend, don't know if its similar to the atlas. There is a retaing nut on the drive end of the spindle, the spindle comes out towards the tool end. Lots anal parts and gears involved, took me about 30 mins with an extra set of hands.

  5. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,856


    Funny coincidence. I recently was given an Atlas 10" lathe in need of repair/refurbishing. If you do an internet search you'll find a guy in England who has documents and manuals for just about the entire Atlas/Craftsman product line from it's entire history.

    To replace the belt, you have to remove the spindle shaft. Yeah, there should have been an easier way, but there's not.

    I don't know the names of all the parts, but you have to loosen and remove just about everything on the shaft to get the shaft out and then push the shaft out towards the right (chuck) side. Make sure you get all the set screws loose.

    Mine is apart right now and I'm debating whether to buy new bearings.
  6. powdercoater46
    Joined: Oct 27, 2009
    Posts: 246


    I made a new belt out of a leather belt I used to wear. I drilled several tiny holes in each end and sewed the ends together with kevlar fishing line while it was in place.
    works great !
  7. hotflint
    Joined: May 9, 2009
    Posts: 310


  8. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,461

    seb fontana
    from ct

    ""To replace the belt, you have to remove the spindle shaft. Yeah, there should have been an easier way, but there's not.""

    Oh yes there is...Cut the old belt off, replace with a peice together make-any-length belt from HF or your favorite industrial belt supplier..
  9. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,202


    I replaced the belt on my 13" Southbend lathe by cutting off the old one, putting on a new one and gluing the ends together with a special glue made for the material I used (sorry, but I don't recall and wasn't smart enough to save the name of the glue). I got the belt from Ebay and the glue from McMaster-Carr. It's been on for 5-years and still running great.

    Check on old posts on the Practical Machinist chat room.
  10. Go to and search "adjustable length V-Belt" or "adjustable length round belt". and find the right size and order. Nice stuff, works great for stuff like this
  11. 1934coupe
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 4,766


    Go to he reproduces quality original manuals I have bought several and also give them to people that buy equipment I sell.

  12. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope

    You can do a scarf joint, where you taper the flat belt for about an inch. Useta be you sewed the ends together, but now I think a good glue would work. Easier than pulling the head apart, unless the bearings are in need of attention anyway.
  13. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 51,160


    or you can use "alligator lacing" to connect the ends of the new belt, if it's a flat belt. Lots of ways to skin this cat
  14. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,427


    Here is a good site to learn more about your lathe, glad someone suggested HF for the belt, I found one at a local Baum Iron store in Omaha, it was just a little pricier but may be better quality, I didn't know at the time that HF had them
  15. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    from Phoenix AZ

    It's a Atlas guys ,they use a modern V-belt not that out dated flat thing. But OP simply buy the link belt and save yourself a bunch of unneeded work.
  16. Frank36
    Joined: Aug 27, 2007
    Posts: 45


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