Belts are used on most cylinder machines, Edison Amberola series had both belt and direct drive. Belts can be made quite easily. It takes leather belting, a sharp razor knife, and Contact cement to bind the two ends with a tight, flexible joint.
# 1 Some pulleys are rimmed and some are high centered, both hold the belts if they are aligned properly. The first thing is to get the works to a position that will allow you to work. Soften and straighten the belting. The belting has been wound on spools and will take on a curl. Take your thumb over the sharp edge of a scissor and draw the belt, smooth side up, between your thumb and scissor. This will straighten and stretch the leather while softening, use moderate firm pressure.
# 2 Lay the belting around the pulleys without the Idler tension pulley, Do not pull tight, Just snug. Mark the place the ends meet, Plus 1/2" more. Cut the belting and taper the end half inch
You can taper by scraping, sanding or slicing, I recommend scraping. Apply the contact cement to both sides of the taper, wipe off excess. After setting for about 10mins, join the ends together, press firmly with a flat press (board, vice etc.) this takes the lump out. The diagram shows this joint.
# 3 The next step is to install in the machine. each machine is different, you may have to remove a pulley or something else to install the belt. After the belt is on, check the tension idler pulley, ( if your machine has one) this should be rolling freely and is deflecting into the belt approx. 3/8 inch. If close, place the motor in a position that you can watch the governor ( weights and leaf spring gadget that spins). When the motor is up to speed stop the mandrel ( where the records go on) with your hand, and watch the governor, it should spin 3-4 times and
stop. If the governor stops too quick, then the belt is too tight. You can loosen the belt by removing and running it over the scissor blade again, being careful not to pull the joint through and tearing it loose. If the Governor keeps running, belt is too loose. Depending on how loose it is you can increase spring tension, adjust bed height or make new belt a little tighter. It may take few attempts, It did with me.
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