View Full Version : Wandering Belts

09-02-2015, 12:30 AM
OK, let's say that 'm grinding away and my 50-60x belt is driving me nuts, because it will not stay centered on the serrated grinding wheel. (Of course "centered" is a relative term, as I personally move it back and forth, getting the correct overlap on the edge of the wheel, to allow correct cutting at the "stop" or end of the grind at the choil). This phenomenon seems to sometimes get worse, as the size of the wheel increases up to 14", in my case - and sometimes even as it gets smaller, say down into the 2" range. There are a few things that can cause this, one, and possibly the most obvious of which, is too little tension on the belt. It's gotta be tight enough to stay put and not vibrate, but not so dang tight it breaks on you, half-way through grinding of a blade.

What are some other solutions that you have found to this problem. I'll hold my couple more ideas back and let you forum viewers inform us, if you'd be so kind.....

09-02-2015, 01:33 AM
belt tension...
uneven belts...
loose bearing somewhere...
something else out of alignment between tool arm and contact wheel...

those are the places id check, but then im still relatively new to grinder ownership.

09-02-2015, 07:27 AM
Thanks, damon. Good thoughts. Sometimes a cheaper belt that is not even, or runs untrue, is not worth the hassle. If you can't make a decent grind it's all for naught. We learn fast when this is the problem.

09-03-2015, 08:08 AM
Steve, I assume that the grinder is perfect, which can be determined immediately changing belt .... if the problem does not occur with the new one then it is to be sought in the belt.
It happened to me that the tape had not uniform width along its length, 2mm (0.07 ") give me this visibile problem.

09-03-2015, 08:13 AM
Yes, Riccardo. Sometimes the splice/tape is not straight and all you can do is change belts and use that one for rough grinding, or grinding handles, etc. where fine work and detail is not a concern, just the removal of metal, or wood, etc.

09-03-2015, 03:01 PM
Are these new belts? I have found that if I'm quitting for a while, that releasing spring pressure on the belt helps. I I leave it overnight the belt doesn't track well the next day.

09-04-2015, 06:39 PM
I think that I've experienced that a bit, too, Zane. Thanks, that's a good tip. I was told by someone waaayyyy back to release the tension on your grinder springs after work, it's better for them.....and probably the belt, too.

Steve M
09-05-2015, 05:05 AM
Hey Steve
I've experienced this too. And as I built my own grinder I was on my own to figure out.
What I would check is:
Are all bearings/shafts in the belt path parallel in spacial alignment? (This is the problem I had)
Has a pulley drifted sideways on it's shaft due to a set screw coming loose etc?
Has something changed in the overall setup recently to cause this?
Is there debris on the tool arm or in the in the tool arm housing to cause the arm to "twist/rotate"?
Are the bearings worn so as to mis-align the wheel on belt tension - give the grinding wheels a good workout side to side by hand - or use a dial indicator to check for change when loaded with belt tension.
Set up a straight edge between all contact wheels, idlers and drive pulleys and check alignment.

Anyhoo I know how frustrating it is to diagnose and hope that helps


09-09-2015, 02:26 PM
Typically the drive wheel has a crown and if it's worn, the belt will wander. You can remedy this by putting a few wraps of masking tape worried the center of the wheel.

09-11-2015, 05:28 PM
Has it always wandered a bit.

It could be the basic grinder design. There's some thought that when the tracking wheel is on the uphill side of the belt direction, that pressure on the belt at the contact wheel or platen causes a decrease in belt tension on the uphill side, against the tracking wheel. On the downhill side, the tension is supposed to increase because the drive wheel is pulling on the belt, and the work is resisting.

I believe that's why the TW-90 Wuertz grinder tracks with the drive wheel. I didn't think it would make much of a difference, but the little that I've seen of a Wuertz grinder in action seems to show that the concept has some good thought and results to show for it. I'm not the biggest fan of this particular grinder, but it is very smooth.

Only thoughts if everything else is in decent shape, Craig

09-15-2015, 05:32 PM
Typically the drive wheel has a crown and if it's worn, the belt will wander. You can remedy this by putting a few wraps of masking tape worried the center of the wheel.

I put several rubber bands around the wheel instead of tape.

09-15-2015, 08:05 PM
Great idea, Dick. I'll have to give that a try.