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Round (leather?) belts

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Robin Graham07/04/2018 22:58:10
646 forum posts
147 photos

I'm having a clear out - a while back I bought a 1938 Singer treadle operated sewing machine for £25, complete with the original receipt (it cost £25/10/- in 1936!) just because it seemed a bargain. I've pretty much restored it but I the original leather drive belt is perished beyond redemption. I've drawn a blank looking for authentic replacements, so wondering if anyone can suggest a supplier of round belts ~6mm diameter?

It's actually a lovely machine, really well made, but I don't do a lot of sewing and would like pass it on in good order to someone who does and dislikes Chinese rubbish


Michael Gilligan07/04/2018 23:12:16
14767 forum posts
635 photos

6mm may be difficult [it would be wise to check the original carefully] ... but this is a very good place to start:



Don Cox07/04/2018 23:13:23
45 forum posts

Rob. I did a similar exercise on a treadle containing a Singer 66 about 10 years ago, I reckon it was about 100 years old then according to the machine serial number. A search of "Treadle Sewing machine Belts" on eBay brought up about a dozen or more offers today which is a similar quantity to my search back then . For example: might be close to the size you want.

Don Cox

peak408/04/2018 00:27:04
981 forum posts
95 photos

I've just measured mine, which is a shade under 6mm, so I'd always guessed a well worn 1/4" one.

However, almost all of the ones I've seen recently are 3/16" so I wonder if mine may have swelled up a bit over the years. e.g. See Here

I presume you know about the site for the manuals

Personally I've a 66 Treadle and a 29K walking foot treadle.



Edited By peak4 on 08/04/2018 00:30:28

roy entwistle08/04/2018 09:47:05
1104 forum posts

I got mine from a local shop that sells ( and repairs ) sewing machines

Roy ( I've just been informed that the shop no longer exists )

KWIL08/04/2018 10:23:03
3143 forum posts
57 photos


Ady108/04/2018 10:36:02
3502 forum posts
513 photos

Small Lathe belting?

6mm round should be easy to find, join it together with a candle flame

Unimats use around 6mm (5.5mm I think)

FMES08/04/2018 11:29:00
602 forum posts
2 photos

Maybe this will help:




roy entwistle08/04/2018 14:00:43
1104 forum posts

Ady1 How do you join leather belts with a candle flame ?

Roy cheeky

Speedy Builder508/04/2018 14:10:06
1886 forum posts
131 photos

Or here 5/16" is just a bit bigger.

Speedy Builder508/04/2018 14:12:27
1886 forum posts
131 photos

Or to the point, how do they grow leather that long ?

Speedy Builder508/04/2018 14:12:27
1886 forum posts
131 photos

Or to the point, how do they grow leather that long ?

Brian Sweeting08/04/2018 15:35:05
400 forum posts
1 photos

Good links above but if all else fails ebay sellers list the belts complete with joining link.

Richard S208/04/2018 15:39:03
173 forum posts
108 photos

I have an unused 6'.6" length of 1/4" (not 6mm) purchased new and long stored sealed. Still supple and as new.

I am prepared to part with it so you can sell your machine on. PM me if you're interested

Robin Graham08/04/2018 22:12:51
646 forum posts
147 photos

Thanks for replies and links to suppliers - my Googling skills obviously need honing!

I confess that I just eyeballed the old belt and thought it looked like quarter inch, so posted 6mm. Actual measurement vary from about 4.5 to 5.8mm - it's seen a bit of work! I doubt that the exact size matters though - anything from 5 to 6.350 mm would work I expect.

Bill - no, I didn't know about the site for the manuals, so thanks for that link, but unfortunately the machine I have (201K) isn't listed.

Having done a bit more research it seems that this was a highly desirable machine in it's day, usually bought on the drip by households needing to make some extra cash in the post-depression years. £25/10 (£25.50 for any youngsters!) in 1938 translates to around £1700 today, so a significant investment for a sewing machine. What would a hobby lathe have cost at that time I wonder?

Richard S2 - thanks for your kind offer, PM on way.

Cheers, Rob.

peak408/04/2018 22:25:21
981 forum posts
95 photos

Looks like the 201K is too recent for a free manual; they charge £9 for it


It does seem to be available elsewhere though



Edited By peak4 on 08/04/2018 22:28:14

not done it yet09/04/2018 05:39:38
3933 forum posts
15 photos

10 to 15 years ago, most treadle machines, at auction, ended up in the skip. Only the cast iron stands were retained - for later sale as bbq supports.

I suppose that if enough were dumped, they will now be that much more rare and collectible. We still have my Mum’s treadle Singer.

A decent circular sock knitting machine cost about £16/10s. (I think) back in 1900 - I would need to look out the original receipt for the actual price as it may have been a few bob and a few pence more than that, but I daresay it included the train fare from London to Grimsby.

Robin Graham15/04/2018 23:31:21
646 forum posts
147 photos

Just to wind this up, Richard S2 has very kindly sorted me out - although the original belt was probably 5mm the wheels look like they could take anything up to 8mm+, which seems to be the size for 'industrial' machines.. so 1/4" will be fine.

Slightly connected - I was looking round Masson Mill (one of Arkwright's water-powered cotton mills, now a shopping mall of course) t'other day and they had were selling some old stuff off. There was a coil of flat leather belting, maybe 20 foot long for a tenner, so I snapped it up with no idea why or what I would use it for. "What would that have been for, I sell all sorts of things but I don't know what they are' said the lass at the till. Weird to me that anyone can work in that place without wondering what went on back in the day, but quite possibly I'm the weirdo looking at the ironwork rather than the clothes on display...

Anyhow, maybe someday someone will want some flat belt and I'll be able to repay the favour into the community.



Edited By Robin Graham on 15/04/2018 23:33:24

Chris Bradbury16/04/2018 09:36:55
17 forum posts

I made all my sails for a 33ft boat on a Singer treadle machine. They have done six Atlantic crossings so far. I carry a hand Singer on board for running repairs. They knew how to make things that lasted back then.


Neil Wyatt16/04/2018 20:40:29
17070 forum posts
690 photos
76 articles
Posted by Speedy Builder5 on 08/04/2018 14:12:27:

Or to the point, how do they grow leather that long ?

The put a cow between centres on a large screwcutting lathe and use a gouge tool to remove along strand of leather 'swarf'.

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