I have tried one of the Power Twist belts in this application. Although it damps out the vibrations, I see that it does this because it is quite flexible (it stretches quite a bit). This characteristic causes problems in this jointer design, because the belt path is narrow and the large amount of stretch allows the slack side to impact the edge of the slot for the belt. In addition, the power twist belt (a 1/2 inch belt) stands proud of the pully and tends to rub on nearby structures. The old belt was 1/2 inch also (or rather about 0.48 inch wide), but it did not stand out on the pully as much. I ground out the belt slot in the cabinet and it has pretty well solved the problem, but I would like to have seen more improvement (for the $30 the belt cost) with less rework on my part. I am fairly well satisfied with the end result after my rework.
Here is what I would like to learn about belt designs from this effort. I know that the newer tablesaws (SawStop, for example) have the flat ribbed belts, but I also know that the components are quite expensive. My questions are:
1. Are these flat ribbed belt designs better suited to an application such as this (a pretty powerful 3 HP motor that obviously stretches the belts on startup)? 2, Is there a newer belt technology that still fits the standard V- belt pullies, but possibly addresses the stretch and control problems in this design? 3. Has anyone used the 3/8 inch Power Twist design on this jointer? I don't feel moved to make another $30 purchase to find out.