My C&P 8x12 leather belt keep falling off

Hi there,

I tried to run my C&P today, when I turn it on, and I ran it for less than 1 minute and my leather belt fell off from the flywheel. I tried couple times, it’s seem the belt won’t stay on the flywheel for long once the motor is running. Please advise what’s the best way to keep my leather belt on the flywheel and not fall off. I attached a picture of my press and belt.


image: PICT0011.jpg


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The belt tension might not be properly adjusted (could be either too tight or too loose) or the alignment of the motor pulley with the flywheel might be slightly off. I would check the alignment first, then reduce and increase the belt tension until the problem is in remission.

Thanks for suggestion. I’m a beginner of this press, not quite sure how do I check the alignment and reduce and increase the belt tension? But I can assure that the belt is kind of loose like you said.

You also could put some belt dressing on the contact side of the belt to make it tacky. It is available from auto supply stores.

The belt dressing available in auto supply stores is not designed for leather belts. The best and virtually only remaining traditional belt dressing for leather belts is Neatsfoot oil. This is available from Tandy Leather and other leather companies and some industrial suppliers. It keeps the belt supple and prevents rot and improves friction with the pulley. If the belt is not too dry already it will rstore it to a great degree. It does this not by a sticky substance on the surface of the belt but through the natural preservation or rejuvination of the leather itself. The pulley side of a belt is the outer or skin side of a hide and has natural gripping properties.


Front Room Press
Milford, NJ

I have used neatsfoot oil on harness, boots and the like. I would not use it on a leather belt under tension. Neatsfoot oil is a fluid that soaks into leather, softens it, and makes it stretch even further. Belt dressing is designed to increase friction … in other words, provide more cling. It works on leather belts as well as automotive belts.

Numerous tests were run by professional trade groups, companies, and individuals around the turn of the century that evaluated the effectiveness of belt dressings then on the market and in regular use. In addition to sticky, tacky substances several types of oil were on the market and included. In all of the tests I’ve read Neatsfoot oil was always one of them.

The sticky substances were universally evaluated as bad for the leather and the puilleys and ineffective in general even though at first application they would make the belt grip the pulleys better. But this initial “grip” quickly wears out and more and more must be applied, building up a thick coating. I’ve seen belts and pulleys so caked with the stuff the belt was useless and it had to be chipped off the pulleys in chunks.

One problem with the sticky substances (usually available then in a wax-type stick and today in aerosol cans) is that since they do not “feed” the leather they hasten its deterioration. In some cases they cause the all-important surface skin to dry out and crack. They cover up the very surface that is the best friction producer. They also dry hard on the belt and pulleys requiring frequent cleaning if one is to, ironically, prevent the belt from slipping. These are but some of the faults found in these kinds of tests and in my own experience.

It is the natural, outer skin of the hide and the suppleness of the belt as it wraps around the pulleys that results in good contact with the pulleys and therefore the necessary friction to work properly. The natural gripping properties of the leather and its suppleness must therefore be maintained, not covered up. Neatsfoot oil does not cause the surface to be slippery, it preserves, enhances, and often restores a belt’s natural ability to grip the pulleys. Of the oils once available, Neatsfoot is the last left. I’ve used it regularly for years on vintage woodworking, metal working and other machinery with excellent results, including my 10x15 C&P.


Front Room Press
Milford, NJ