Removing the Center Pulley from a 17 inch Drill press

Has anyone experimented with taking the middle (removable) pulley lever out and run their drill press with just one long belt? Obviously it would have fewer speeds but I am wondering if there is a reason for the third pulley besides adding speeds.
I just purchased some link belts and am thinking of doing it as one long belt.
It's a pain in the butt to change speeds, so I haven't in ages. I do mostly wood.
Opinions are appreciated.
Geoff
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Geoff Clark wrote:

Yes. *Tension*.
How are you going to tension the belt properly without the idler pulley and tensioner lever? It can be done. My benchtop DP had no idler pulley, but instead an awkward, sliding motor mount.
However, if yours is a typical 12ish-speed drill press, you'll be looking at a bit of an engineering challenge to figure out some new way to tension the belt by moving the motor instead of the tensioner lever. It could certainly be done somehow, but I submit that it would probably be far less trouble just to use two belts and leave well enough alone.
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I took the middle pulley out of my drill press about two years ago for the very reason you mention. I put in one long link belt and everything has been working fine, just a few less speeds. Changing speeds got a whole lot easier and I do it more now than I did with all three pulleys. Tension is not a problem since it is accomplished via a movable motor mount.
Woodpecker

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Thanks Woody. I think that is the direction I am heading. I have left my DP at one speed for a couple of years now. Just too much of a hassle to change, and for what really. Slow for metal, no need to be so slow for wood. Did you get one of those keyless chucks for yours? If so, do you like it?
And Silvan, I appreciate your response and your time. I should have mentioned that the DP I have has the motor mount which Woody writes of.
My thanks to both of you.
Geoff

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Don't have a keyless chuck on the drill press. Never found using a key all that inconvenient to justify the cost of a new chuck. Biggest problem I think people have is keeping track of the chuck key. I solved that by drilling a hole on top of the pulley cover that I slip one leg of the key into. Always know where the key is.
Woody

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I glued a rare earth magnet into the hole that existed on the back of my chuck key and it sticks to the DP most anywhere.
BRuce
Woodpecker wrote:

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BRuce

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Ahhhhh...... yes! that is why I read the wreck. I've been thinking about what a hassle it is to change speeds. It seems like I always had the wrong belt on top.
Thank you all for posting. I will certainly try this out. Especially as the change is reversible.
Next question- if I don't want to buy a link belt- what is an easy way to figure out what length (single) belt I should get?
I'm using the big Delta, I think it is a 17-965.
-Dan V.
On Sat, 10 Jan 2004 23:54:10 -0500, "Woodpecker"

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wrap rope around pulley and measure?
BRuce
Dan Valleskey wrote:

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BRuce

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On Mon, 12 Jan 2004 04:17:34 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAMcomcast.net (Dan Valleskey) brought forth from the murky depths:

Link belts are under $20 http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumberC771
My Griz bandsaur got so smooth and quiet that she thinks she's a Powermatic now that I'm running a link belt on 'er.

Here's a calculator: http://www.baumhydraulics.com/belt_length.htm
-- Vidi, Vici, Veni --- http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
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thanks! I may just go with the link belt. Though I never noticed a real big difference on my contractores saw.
-Dan

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You guys will love this.
After vowing to squeeze in a trip to Harbor Freight in the morning for a link belt, I went out to the shop tonight to pull off the center pulley and take some measurements just for S's & G's.
I took the belts off, than got out my (automotive) gear puller, as I could not remove the motor pulley, of course it will have to be flipped over. It came off okay with the puller. I turned my attention to the center pulley. I applied the gear puller the same way I had on the motor shaft. Nothing budged. I came in to the computer, looked up the parts list (deltamachinery.com, nice having that online). I couldn't see why the pulley would not lift off. I went back, applied a little more pressure. Sure enough, cracked the pulley. Damn. Just as the gear puller went flying, the whole center pulley assembly lifted out from where it sits in the head casting. shit. Nothing holding it there!
Okay- glad I can laugh at myself. And now I am committed to a 5 speed drill press in place of a 16 speed. Guess I got what I wanted.
-Dan V.
On Mon, 12 Jan 2004 14:20:48 GMT, Larry Jaques

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Geoff Clark wrote:

I don't have a problem changing speeds, maybe it's a technique thing. How do you try to move the belts?
-- Mark
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Well Mark, the pain in the butt starts with figuring out what speed I am "supposed" to be using, and opening the top. Then its unloosening the motor mount, figuring which pulley slots to use, shimming the belts to where they should be and then retightening the motor mount. And all because someone decided that a 5/64ths brad bit should go at a faster speed than a 3/8ths. Yeuch. It is this kind of thing that makes ww'ing suck. More time is spent preparing than doing, and I spend entirely too much time preparing and not enough doing. I am learning tho.
Now I have the DP at a constant, fairly unagressive, speed. Haven't had a problem since and it leads me to believe that in a 16 speed DP, 13 of the speeds are really quite unnecessary.
In a nutshell, I want to woodwork from my gut more and my head less.
Opinion de moi only,
Geoffrey

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It will be easier to change one belt than two. Seems like nine times out of 10, the wrong belt was on top, so I would end up taking both belts all the way off the machine.
Also, the tension mechanism is clumsy, two screws, one on each side.
I am sure they could have found a better way to tighten the belt. Might have cost more though.
Remember, I am using a 16.5 inch Delta. "YMMV"
-Dan V.
On Tue, 13 Jan 2004 22:17:19 GMT, "Mark Jerde"

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Mark & Juanita wrote:

Where abouts? I recall when Denver was a cluster of lights, then you drove north on the Interstate and Boulder was the next real cluster of lights off on the left. <g>
-- Mark
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snipped-for-privacy@verizon.no.spam.net says...

I grew up more northeast, around a town called Brighton. Went to school in Boulder though.
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