Metal Type: Home | Library | Forum | Free Ads | Store

Main drive belt too lose

Started by Roger Holmes, December 08, 2022, 06:58:22 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Printle: A Printing Word Game from Metal Type

Roger Holmes

Does anyone know an easy way to increase the tension on the main drive belt on a Model 31?
or do i have to take it off cut it a bit shorter and put it back on??

John Cornelisse

As far as I know, it is not easy to cut a piece out of a belt, on most machines there is a possibility to move a wheel that touches the belt, and give it more pressure.

You should be able to look into the manuals available in The Library

Dave Hughes

I don't know if we have a Linotype book that covers drive belts in detail.

The best chance, I would say is this Intertype book, which is very comprehensive:

The Intertype, Its Function, Care, Operation and Adjustment", by MacD Sinclair, with the collaboration of the engineering staff of the Intertype Corporation (1929)

I'm pretty sure someone on the Forum will have adjusted one though  :)
Printle: Word Puzzle for Printers Play Now

Keep in touch with Metal Type Get our newsletters

Dave Hughes

I've done a bit more looking around and found this diagram (the publication does not state which model) that covers the adjustment of the belt:

I loved the phrase "it is not necessary to have the belt 'fiddle string' tight"

The illustration came from Instructions for Linotype Operators and Machinists produced by the Mergenthaler Linotype Company:
Printle: Word Puzzle for Printers Play Now

Keep in touch with Metal Type Get our newsletters


Roger, unless I missed it, you don't state what style drive, V-belt, or wide flat.
The standard drive belt before the update to V-belt drive is 79 1/2".

I posted scans of the 4 reference pages from a Star Parts catalog which include all Linotype and Intertype belt lengths on Flickr.

Star-Parts_Belts-and-Belting-p157 by interrobang letterpress, on Flickr

Star-Parts_Belts-and-Belting-p158 by interrobang letterpress, on Flickr

Star-Parts_Belts-and-Belting-p159 by interrobang letterpress, on Flickr

Star-Parts_Belts-and-Belting-p160 by interrobang letterpress, on Flickr

interrobang letterpress
18R Kenton Road
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts 02130

Eric Holub

I have wide flat belt on my 1930s Model 14, and belt tension can be adjusted. I have been told that this tensioning appartus is replaced when the machine has a Hydraquadder.
What would I do in your case? Wrap enough friction tape around the drive wheel to get sufficient grip, even though I have all the alligator clip tooling needed to shorten the belt 1/4' or 1/2". Belts are not easy to get perfect.


All Linotype have a flat belt drive to drive the distributor and the assembler. The only thing the V belt drive is to replace the pinion drive on older Linotypes. The only way I know to shorten the flat belt is to cut it off and rejoin it. Any tightening device would have been supplied by a third party. When fitting a Hydraquadder you ordered the quadder to suit the drive motor. Either v belt or pinion drive.
You have to have the wide drive pulley to accommodate the clutch drive to drive the Linotype or Intertype, for that matter, to drive the cams for redistribution and casting operation
The Elektron is the exception to the rule, It has an electronic clutch.
George Finn (Mechanic)
Gold Coast

Quick Reply

Please leave this box empty:
Type the letters shown in the picture
Listen to the letters / Request another image

Type the letters shown in the picture:

Shortcuts: ALT+S post or ALT+P preview

Printers' Tales - Over 30 stories from the pre-digital age. Buy now on Amazon/Apple Books

☛ Don't miss our illustrated newsletters. Click here to see examples and subscribe. ☚