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Thread: Got The Reeves Drive Fixed

  1. #1
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    Got The Reeves Drive Fixed

    As mentioned in an earlier thread, my Sears lathe was showing signs of a slipping belt in the reeves drive. I looked things over and couldn't find anything to adjust to directly to change the belt tension in the reeves drive, so I figured it was the belt. Keep in mind that I was pretty ignorant about how the reeves drive worked. I knew the lower wheel adjusted to change the width of it, but it seemed the upper wheel was fixed in place.

    I ordered and received a new belt from Sears (highway robbery...$63 for a little toothed belt that's apparently proprietary to Sears, and I now know, Palmgren). Put the new belt in last night, and it made no difference. I was bummed. Trying to figure out how to talk LOML into letting me buy a new lathe.

    While I was in the process of writing up the long sad story to post here with for FW buddies, it dawned on me that the upper wheel (the spring-loaded one) simply had to move in order for the drive to work. (Remember the part where I said I was ignorant?) So at about midnight thirty, I went back out into the shop and figured it out.

    I took the belt off, and despite a bit of pushing and pulling, the upper wheel was not adjusting. I could see the shaft had some rust on it, but the two wheel halves were stuck in the 'apart' configuration. I even sprayed a bit of WD-40 on it and reached in and tried to shine things up a bit with steel wool. As it turns out, it's a good thing that my efforts didn't free up the stuck wheel (or sheave, I guess it's called) right then, with my fingers in between the two halves. After a little light tapping with a ball pein hammer, all of a sudden it became unstuck, and WHACK! the sheave slammed into the other half of the wheel. I breathed an audible sigh of relief since my fingers were out of the way by then. (Otherwise, I'd be typing this left-handed today. That thing would have pancaked three fingertips in a heartbeat.) Now it was time to get the wheel off and get things clean and smooth again.

    I'd read Darrell Feltmate's web narrative of tearing one of these Sears lathes apart, and he had a great trick for releasing the spring tension on the upper wheel without shooting metal bits across the shop. I'll let the following pics tell the the rest of the story:

    Here's a shot showing the 'apart' position the upper wheels were stuck in. (This was actually taken after I fixed everything, but it's to show the relative position of the wheel halves when I started, since I forget to get a pic when I first started.):

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Using a piece of 1/4-20 all-thread and a hunk of scrap steel with a couple holes tapped in it, I made a jig to allow me to put some tension on the spring (to release the snap ring) then de-tension the spring safely. Good thing I did this, since the spring was even stronger than I'd originally imagined. Here's the drive side of the contraption...I've already popped the snap ring off in the pic:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And here's the other end of the all-thread, with just a couple washers and a nut. I slipped a deep socket over this, cranked it by hand and very easily tightened or loosened the spring tension. (Used a pair of vice grips to keep the all-thread from spinning as I turned.)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's a shot after I've released the tension from the spring:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's a pic showing how the pully shaft looked before cleanup. There's a bit of WD-40 on it, but you can see the rust:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I pulled the outer half of the upper wheel completely off, and after a bit of time with the drill-mounted wire brush, the shaft cleaned up nicely. (I forgot to take the pic until I was in the process of reassembling the whole thing.) I put a bit of dry graphite lube on the shaft, and the sheave moves like it's on ice:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now it all works as it should. When the lower pulley is set wide (via the red knob), the spring ensures the upper pulley goes narrow. When the lower while is narrow, the upper wheel is now wide. No more slipping!

    Slow speed: Click image for larger version. 

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    Fast speed: Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm a happy camper (for now)!
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  2. #2
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    Well done. Your Reeve's looks a bit different than the one on my Grizzly but principal is the same. You were very clever with your tension control tool thingy. A friend helped me the first time I had to change belts. Getting the spring and pulley off wasn't a problem. Squishing that spring and getting everything back to where the snap ring would go into place by hand was the cuss generator. Took two of us with a lot grunting to do it. Hope that $63.00 belt lasts you a long-long time.

  3. #3
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    Great new Vaughn,
    Keep the old belt as a backup for the day you need to replace the new one..
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    Great news, Vaughn...I think...

    BTW, you might try these guys. Click on belts, maybe give them a call. They are in N. Cal, but might work for you. I can't believe that there is only one supplier for a special belt for a lathe.... Doesn't make economic sense.

  5. #5
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    Now that your initiated are you ready to tackle a restoration? Thats a good way to get a new lathe.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Cook View Post
    Great news, Vaughn...I think...

    BTW, you might try these guys. Click on belts, maybe give them a call. They are in N. Cal, but might work for you. I can't believe that there is only one supplier for a special belt for a lathe.... Doesn't make economic sense.
    Is it just me, or can anyone else figure out "Which Guys" Gregg is talking about..........
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post
    Now that your initiated are you ready to tackle a restoration? Thats a good way to get a new lathe.
    Sure Jeff, just drop that green Powermatic off at my place on your way home with the other one, and I'll see what I can do.

    Greg, there quite possibly is another belt the same size and shape available, but when I called a big Bando distributor (the brand of the belt), he didn't have a listing for that model number. (BTW, I think you missed putting the link in your previous post.)

    Don, I'll sure be keeping the old belt, because as you likely figured out, there really wasn't anything wrong with it. I'm just ignorant. (Reformed ignorant, actually, now that I know how it all works.)

    Frank, I wish I could take credit for the tension release contraption, but Darrell Feltmate came up with the idea.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  8. #8
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    Duh....I musta been having one of those moments....

    http://bearingengineering.com/id34.htm

    Another:

    http://www.daltonbearing.com/Belt-Dr...hronous-Belts/
    Last edited by Greg Cook; 01-05-2007 at 06:54 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Cook View Post
    Duh....I musta been having one of those moments....

    http://bearingengineering.com/id34.htm

    Another:

    http://www.daltonbearing.com/Belt-Dr...hronous-Belts/
    Dalton was the place that told me they couldn't find that model of Bando belt in their catalog. If I would have had the exact dimensions they likely could have found a close enough match, but when I was on the phone with them, I didn't have the belt out of the lathe yet, and I also don't know how close 'close enough' needs to be with this type of drive.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Dalton was the place that told me they couldn't find that model of Bando belt in their catalog. If I would have had the exact dimensions they likely could have found a close enough match, but when I was on the phone with them, I didn't have the belt out of the lathe yet, and I also don't know how close 'close enough' needs to be with this type of drive.
    In the 1970's I owned a Sears Roebuck franchise store. I found that it was (then, dunno about now) a common practice for Sears to buy items with their own model number on them. It may be the same item as sold by the factory but you could not cross-reference them.

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