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Better not to mess with the belt. Oil will eat away at the rubber covering. These were a usual brake band for older looms. I think that you should let it be unless/until it needs attention. When it frays, you’ll be able to easily find a replacement with a steel cable which is covered with plastic so that it doesn’t bite into the wood warp beam.
Sent from Liz Moncrief, www.aweaversway.com
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On Apr 2, 2020, at 11:29 AM, Sally O <s.orgren@...> wrote:
I have a hand-built, 4-shaft jack floor loom that could be as old as 75-100 years.
I am wondering if there is any maintenance I need to perform to the industrial-style belt that provides tension for the break. There are no current issues with the loom and tension, but I have never done anything to the belt, like oil it to retain its suppleness, etc.
The belt is not a thin strip of leather or rubber. It looks like the belts used at historic sites like Edison's Labs or the Boott Cotton Mill looms. It's at least an inch wide and maybe .5" thick, perhaps composed of two different materials. The belt is very rigid and the top surface, probably rubber, is quite shiny. I cannot snap a photo to share as the room is currently in quarantine, so I hope my verbal description gives you an idea.