Chesapeake Area Metalworking Society

Review of 26 April 2001 Meeting
Fairland Public Library
14910 Old Columbia Pike
Burtonsville, MD

<from Luther Dietrich>

Here are some notes from the April 26 CAMS meeting:

18 to 20 people attended. Dave Welser assumed the position as "den mother". In addition to introducing the evening's guest speaker, Dave brought to the group's attention that the CAMS/Tuckahoe machine tool restoration project has just observed its one-year anniversary.

He also introduced three new CAMS-ers--Bob Davison, Wayne Bower, and Jeff Thompson--and asked them to say a few words about themselves.

The guest speaker was John Slingluff, Jr., President of the Baltimore Belting Company, Inc. He gave a very informative presentation about applications of flat power transmission belting, with strong emphasis on leather belting. One of the more surprising facts that we learned is that leather belting is to be preferred over more modern materials for older machinery not merely because it is more "traditional", but rather because it can transmit power efficiently with some slack in it; thus it does not stress the bearings as much as newer materials, which must be fitted fairly taut. (Upon hearing this, at least two CAMS-ers nervously inquired as to the possiblity of procuring leather belts for their home shop lathes in preference to the belts they currently have installed.)

Mr. Slingluff also talked about the methods used to join belt ends, as well as considerations to be taken into account (pulley diameters, distance between pulleys, etc.) when designing a flat belt power transmission system. He set up an exhibit of archival materials (which he very generously offered to provide copies of for those who might want to pursue their own research) that he had collected in studying the history of belting. Finally, Mr. Slingluff distributed a tremendously informative handout on leather belting that he had prepared from industry sources. The URL for the Baltimore Belting Company's website is:


Following Mr. Slingluff's talk, Roy Schaffer presented a "show and tell" session of belt lacing and trimming tools from his collection.

Chris Hall had attempted to find a shop that would regrind the carbide tips that his Honda service department uses to turn disc brake rotors. Having concluded that this work probably cannot be done in a cost-effective manner, Chris brought several boxes of the used tips to hand out to the experimenters in our midst.

Fred Schirrmacher talked about and sketched the details of a contrivance that he had made to hold leather belt ends for scarfing in a wood planer. Fred also brought an older Sherline lathe tailstock in which the ram was significantly (0.025") off-center and related his plan to machine a portion of the ram true in order to mount a drill chuck.

(I didn't stay for the late-night chow session. Possibly Chris Daniels, Chris Helgesen, or Stan Stocker could provide details. Also, Chris Beachy had some mechanical difficulties with his digital camera, but I believe that Stan Stocker got some pictures for you.)


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