Handy 5-second Belt Repair

About: Hi! I'm Star Simpson! I'm a real me! See more at [http://stars.mit.edu stars.mit.edu]. photo by [http://bea.st/ Jeff Lieberman] (http://bea.st) stasterisk - my name is Star, and when I was 13 I ...

This works really well on small toothed belts.

I built a roller for my maslab robot out of scrapped printer parts, but the belt went missing. I borrowed one from another team, but it was about an inch too long.

So what do you do?

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Step 1: The Answer!

Heat shrink tubing! Hooray!

I added a daub of hot glue to the smooth side of both belts first.
Then I slipped a bit of heat shrink around, and hair-blow-dried that belt like I was a stylist at a posh salon in New York.

It works really well! It acts just like a continuous belt, goes around the gears just fine, doesn't seem to have any elasticity or want to pull apart.

Also, the heat shrink tube goes all the way around the belt, and grabs the teeth, so it's better than any glue solution (and it's compatible).

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    8 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    could this work on really small-ish gears? like in radio controlled car gearboxes?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Cool idea, my heat shrink never gets used up so now another way to use. Mostly I use it for quick change of polarities on AC to DC adapters, who needs solder.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Hey - what's on the rest of that Squid Labs T-shirt? Haven't seen those before... Cute idea on the belt splice. Not sure it would work with belts that are much smaller than that though. Hmm... since I called it a "splice" - I guess an alternative might be to cut the belt on a long diagonal, so you have a much larger gluing surface. That would sure be a lot more finicky than your solution though.

    3 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    That's a good idea, and many funkier cuts have been suggested. I did it in 5 seconds, as the title indicates, so I measured roughly with my fingers, cut so that a tooth and a groove would butt, and then heat shrunk them like I wanted them to be siamese twins. T3h_Muffinator posted images of the squid labs shirt a while ago. Man, you guys are observant! Here's the whole thing:


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Any cutting of the belt will make it shorter. If it does not fit it id ng even if not broken. Plan ahead a shorter belt might work. Overall idea of using hs tube is great. I assume it has to shrink enough to form teeth?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I wouldn't have thought that would work. I'll have to give it a try!