A key machine is an integral part to the business of a locksmith. This essential locksmith tool can last for years, decades even, of service when properly maintained. There are several areas of key machine maintenance that are helpful to extending the life of manual, semi automatic, and fully automatic key machines. These service options may be lubrication of wear parts, cleaning of the machine, replacing wear parts and replacing dull cutters. Another area can be often overlooked.
Replacing The Key Machine Belt
The key machine drive belt is an integral part of its whole operation. The drive belt is traditionally a rubber or nylon belt, sometimes molded with a metal wire or wire mesh for added strength. This belt connects the motor to the key machine cutter shaft. These belts sometimes need replacing and there are some signs that can help you know to replace the belt.
- Belts can begin slipping on the motor and cutter shaft, especially under a load while cutting a key.
- A visual inspection of the belt may reveal cracks and splits. These could cause a belt to break, a safety concern to the operator.
- The smell of burning rubber while cutting a key could reveal a key machine belt slipping without visually seeing it slip.
If any of these are happening while cutting a key or operating a machine, it may be time to replace the key machine belt.
How To Replace the Belt
Key machine belt replacement varies from machine to machine, but there are some standard steps to replacing the belt. The first step to any key machine maintenance is unplugging the machine from any power supply. Then, many key machines have a cover or shield to protect the user in case of belt failure. This cover is held on by a number of screws or small bolts. Remove each of these to release the cover to access the belt drive.
The next step on many machines will be removing any attachments on the end of the cutter spline that may prevent the belt from being removed. A large brush or other accessory can keep the belt from being removed easily.
At this point, some key machine belts can be removed and replaced simply be pulling the belt out of its wedged pulley and stretching the new belt on. However, this is not always possible or advisable. Many machines have too much tension for this to work. There may be a screw or bolt holding the key machine motor down to the stand, which also relieves the pressure on the belt. By loosening this bolt, the belt will have slack and can be replaced.
Purchasing Aftermarket Key Machine Belts
New belts are available for a variety of key machines at CLKsupplies.com.