Monday, 11 March 2013
The Quick Remedy for a Slipping Treadle Belt
It comes in a handy little tin from the music shop and costs less than three quid.
It looks like barley sugar but tastes nothing like it. I know. I tried it when I was little.
If it stops violin bows sliding across the strings when they get greasy, it can do much the same for leather belts when they slip on treadle wheels.
The 201K treadle was a bit sluggish. The machine was well oiled and turning well, and so was the treadle wheel. The problem was the belt. I was assuming it was too slack because it had stretched with age, but it didn't seem any great deal slacker than the belt on the 15K, which goes like the clappers.
I knew if I tried to shorten the belt I would probably end up needing a new one anyway, so I tried the easy option. I gave the treadle wheel a thorough wiping, to make sure there was no oil in the groove, and then ran the wheel with the rosin scraping on the rims of the groove. The rosin dust has made all the difference. The treadle belt is now gripping, and I can run the machine fast enough for the needle to become a blur, which I just couldn't do beforehand.
Helen Howes has a good page of advice about treadle belts on her website. It is well worth reading.