Long vs. Short Belt Drives

My grandpa bought Delta shop equipment in 1940, and I have inherited all of them. They are all in excellent condition. My question: the table saw, band saw and planer all have long drive belts – is there an advantage to this or can I replace them with shorter belts? In other words, move the motors closer to the actual machine. 

Michael Dresdner: “There is no real advantage to longer belt drives, other than the convenience of placing the motor out of the way. If you can shorten the distance, go ahead. One word of caution: changing the belt length will change the vibration. Sometimes it will lessen it, but at other times, it will merely raise the pitch of the noise the belts make.

“While you are at it, you might want to look into link belts. They can be made any size, are quieter, and limit vibration substantially. You can find out more about them, and buy them, at In-Line Industries.”

Posted in: