When your clear belts that run between the motor and the ball widner stretch at an unsually rate (every 2-4 weeks) that is a sign of a problem.
The belts are not the problem, they are acting as the "canary in the mine shaft" and are alerting you to another problem.
The belts stretch in direct response to increased load on the motor. What causes increased load on the motor? Here is a list:
- Dirty gears inside the ball winder - they are packed with fiber debris and the ball winder needs to be cleaned out see video on youtube http://youtu.be/nDzLJ928Q_U
- Flange O-ring is pressing too tightly against the pointy shaft on the ball winder - see video on Youtube http://youtu.be/IH_v7NT-csE
- Collar on the end of the spindle shaft is "pinching" the underside of the wooden arm - loosen it and use a business card as a spacer
- Tensioner post arm and/or curly Q on top of post are putting too much tension on the yarn - put them in the correct position - watch Oring Adjustment video above
- Swift is creating too much drag - corrc the swift so that the yarn rolls easily off of it.
- Make sure the white pulley on the ball winder is tight and the set screw is tight.
Those items are the main cause.
To check a belt, lay the existing belt flat on the table and lay a new one on top of it. If the existing belt is stretched the new belt will fit inside of it. Throw the existing belt away!
Belts are designed to act as shock absorbers. They take the brunt of all of the abuse that the system and the user can throw at it! They will then stretch or break. Rarely do they break, however. Typically a belt should last 6 months and then you can discard it. Always have a fesh supply of belts available.
The original motors used black and or orange belts. These were thinner 3/16" diameter belts. These cannot be used with the current High Torque motors that we sell which use clear 1/4" diameter belts.
The belt performs the obvious task of driving the ball winder. But it also performs an equally important function in that it will slip at the point at which a jam or other problem would otherwise cause the motor to break your yarn. At the exact point where the break would occur, the belt will automatically slip on the pulley and save your yarn.
So as we have stated elsewhere, that the motor is to be saluted for performing its job day in and day out, the belt is also to be recognized as a critical component of the system.
Low cost? Sure, but critical? Absolutely! Always have some extra belts around, they are cheap insurance.