Practical Wood Working

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Sunday March 26, 2017

V-belt vs Link belt


I've had my eye on the link belts for a long time but never wanted to spend the $$ on them. But while doing some upgrades on my old Craftsman table saw I decided to take a chance and spring for it. The short of it is that nothing has made such a dramatic improvement to the old saw's performance - with the possible exception of the 3rd party Delta rip fence, but that came from the previous owner and was there when I got it.

With the old bent out of shape v-belt the saw vibrated excessively, especially on start up and shut down. That pretty much went away with the change of belts. Before it was like having a gas engine running the saw. After it was like I had suddenly changed to an electric motor.

If you poke around the internet you will find several different types of link belts. Some green, some red. I don't know what the difference is but I decided to pay the premium and go with 4 ft. of $13/ft. red belt from Rockler.com. Maybe all link belts are the same. Maybe they're not. But I knew if I got a lemon the first time I was not going to be in any mood to throw good money after bad.

In the video above you will see first the saw start up with a v-belt, then the same thing with the camera sitting on the table saw itself. Next is the same routine using the link belt.

If you've read this far you can pretty much guess that I'm a satisfied customer. But there is one more test. And for that we'll just have to wait and see how long it lasts.

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