do link type belts help on cab saws?

Folks-
I'm still in the afterglow of christmas gloats, and have gift certs..... so, I was thinking about link belts for the bandsaw, jointer and tablesaw....
The BS is a 4 speed HF 14" w/riser. I never have changed speeds or anything, but it has a two belt/jack-shaft type of arrangement. The motor to jackshaft belt is ~ 42, and the jackshaft (that word sure*sounds* dirty, heheheh) to BS drive is ~22"
The jointer is an old, cast iron (presumably good) craftsman 6" with a ~52" belt...
The TS is a General 350 driven by a pair of fairly short ~22" belts.
Which of these would most benefit, and would the TS operation improve to the point of buying link belt assemblies there as well?
Remarks are welcome, especially from those that have link belts on their cabinet saws.
John Moorhead
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john moorhead wrote...

Hi John,
This is a re-post of a message I posted a couple months ago on the subject. Hope you find it useful.
Cheers!
Jim
I have the twist-lock belts on a lot of my machinery, including my cabinet saw, which takes three "matched" belts. Everything works just fine; my cabinet saw easily passes the "nickel" test.
IME, the Accu-Link belts are not as nice as the PowerTwist brand. However, they appear to work just as well. They've been running some of my machinery for about two years now, at heavier levels of use than is typically encountered in the home-shop, although perhaps not so much as industrial-level use. I have no major complaints.
I wrote a mini-review on the belts awhile back. It's at
http://www.paragoncode.com/shop/link_belts
Despite the glowing praise in that write-up, I have since found that the link belts are no better than cogged v-belts in some applications, and no better than top quality ordinary v-belts in others. I learned much of this by experimentation after writing the review, but haven't gotten round to updating the page.
Cogged belts share many of the advantages of link belts: excellent vibration dampening characteristics, reduced slippage, higher energy efficiency, longer life, and resistance to taking a set.
Additionally, there is no waste, as occurs with a link belt when there is a leftover, unused portion, and which drives the already high cost of link belts up even more. On the down side, cogged belts are not adjustable, and in the event of a broken belt (exceedingly rare) the entire belt is lost, as opposed to one or a few links. Personally, I'm quite willing to give up these latter two advantages in exchange for the cost savings. Apparently the only unchallenged advantages of the link belts are (1) the ease of replacement -- especially in cases where machinery must ordinarily be disassembled for it -- and (2) the ease of maintaining spare inventory. (Anybody, please feel free to jump in and correct me if I'm missing something here.)
While both the link belts and the cogged v-belts dampen vibration, the link belts are a little better with lower frequency vibrations such as are cause by pulley or load imbalances and such. However, both types of belt also introduce some higher frequency noise owing to their "teeth." In this respect the link belts are noticeably worse (louder in the higher frequencies), and they also "squeak" a bit from the links rubbing against one another and the pulleys or sheaves.
Because of this, a particular machine may sound quieter or louder with the link belt than with a cogged or regular v-belt. On all my machines that run them, save one, the link belts seem as quiet or quieter than regular or cogged v-belts. The oddball is a woodworking bandsaw whose sheet metal stand apparently oscillates in harmony with the higher pitch of the link belt links. That saw runs about 3 dBA quieter with a cogged v-belt and 2 dBA quieter with a regular v-belt.
Here is some slightly dated pricing information I collected from MSC (www.mscdirect.com), one of my favorite industrial suppliers. Prices for 36", 48", and 60" classic v-belts are $6.80, $8.16, and $9.35, respectively. Cogged belts in the same sizes run $8.43, $10.14, and $11.47. Assuming no waste, the same link belts would cost about $12, $16, and $20 each at Harbor Freight pricing. Something to think about.
Jim
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I have not switched to them yet on my cabinet saw but probably will... I understand that they help eliminate the start up "Jolt" that most cabinet saws have when you start them up.
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Linkk belts have helped everything i own that can us ethem. my Unisaw has 3 belts so I am somewhat perplexed as to how to make the tension uniform on all three belts. May not be a problem- I "think" it is so---.
On Fri, 26 Dec 2003 20:44:38 GMT, "john moorhead"

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Lawrence A. Ramsey wrote...

It's not. Lot's of us have the same setup, and it works well.
Jim
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After pontificating about apostrophes in the optical center punch thread, Jim Wilson produced this abomination...

*sigh*
Jim, assume the position. THANK YOU, SIR! MAY I HAVE ANOTHER?
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