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  1. #1
    Elite Member tallyho8's Avatar
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    Default How to cut conveyor belt?

    I have used conveyor belt from grain elevators as flooring in my barns and sheds for many years now and have been very satisfied with the durability and economy of these belts.

    These come in 3 common thicknesses, 1/4", 1/2" and 3/4". The 1/4" is about 3 times as thick and tough as the sidewalls on a truck tire and the 3/4" is indestructible and very tough and hard to cut. I have the 3/4" belt. It is 4 1/2' wide. When I cut it into shorter lengths and only have to cut 4 1/2' I use a razor knife with a new blade constantly dipped in diesel for lubrication and it usually takes me about 15 minutes to cut it exerting as much pressure on the blade as possible. By the time I make one cut I am worn out and need a long rest.

    My problem comes in where I am trying to cover the floor of the alleyway of my barn which is 16' wide and 60' long. Three strips are 13 1/2' wide and then I need a strip 2 1/2' wide. This means I have to rip a piece 60' long. This is much harder to do than it sounds. Between cutting times and rest and recuperation time for my aching muscles, it would take me at least a week to accomplish plus about 15 utility knife blades and probably 2 or 3 sliced fingers.

    I have never found a power saw that would cut this material. Has anyone ever found an easier way to cut this belting?
    Happy Trails!
    Dudley

  2. #2
    Silver Member funny farmer's Avatar
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    northren mn
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    ford 4000

    Default Re: How to cut conveyor belt?

    Are you saying a regular skill saw blade wouldn't work? Maybe an abrasive one for metal, but then it might get gummed up. A sawsall blade made for wood and metal may work, you just have to find a way to hold the belting so it doesn't move up and down with the blade. If you can't get any of these to work, I have a buddy that used to have his own buisiness splicing belts, I could call him and find out the eaiest way.

  3. #3
    Gold Member
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    Rutledge, GA
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    Kubota L3710DT

    Default Re: How to cut conveyor belt?

    Tallyho8;

    Commerical belt slitters use a round knife that rolls while cutting. A circular blade may be hard to find and then you would have to fab up a contraption to drag the belt through/under the blade. You mentioned a power saw. Have you already tried ripping with a table saw or Sawsall? Have you thought about powered sheet metal shears or an open throat metal shear at a local sheet metal shop? Those belts are tough and hard to handle. Sorry I don't have any good solutions. Good Luck

    SimS

  4. #4
    Elite Member tallyho8's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to cut conveyor belt?

    A sawzall, jigsaw or circular saw just gums up and burns up the blade without even cutting one inch. As a 60' length weighs about 1200 pounds it is not the easiest thing to transport around to shops to see if they can cut it. You can not bring it to a machine, you must bring the machine to it.

    SimS
    "Commerical belt slitters use a round knife that rolls while cutting"
    This sounds sort of like a supersize pizza cutter.
    I wonder if they make any kind of razor blade that would fit a circular saw and it would probably have to be lubricated while cutting.
    Happy Trails!
    Dudley

  5. #5
    Elite Member tallyho8's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to cut conveyor belt?

    Quote Originally Posted by SimS View Post
    Tallyho8;
    Have you thought about powered sheet metal shears? SimS
    I have never seen powered sheet metal shears. Could these easily cut a large truck tire in half? If so, they might be able to do it.
    Happy Trails!
    Dudley

  6. #6
    Silver Member John D's Avatar
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    JD 5103

    Default Re: How to cut conveyor belt?

    Just thinking here but I wounder if you could cut them to 8-10ft and have a sheet metal shop shear them with a break shear.
    Best durn swing man in Texas

  7. #7
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: How to cut conveyor belt?

    A contractor I know sharpens recip saw blades to an edge to cut rolls of landscape fabric. Maybe it would work on conveyor belt?

    How much does it typically cost to get used conveyor belts?

  8. #8
    Silver Member
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    Default Re: How to cut conveyor belt?

    Quote Originally Posted by tallyho8 View Post
    A sawzall, jigsaw or circular saw just gums up and burns up the blade without even cutting one inch.
    Try using a jigsaw blade designed for cutting plastic. I have cut many conveyor belts from rock quarries withoout issue. There are different types of jigsaw blades for cutting many different materials. The ones I have found that work are very aggressive in cutting and produce rubber shavings about 1/16 inch wide and 1/2 inch long. They have never gummed up or burned. I would suggest trying different brands and designs. Cutting 60 inches of conveyor belt should take about 2 minutes after setting up on a couple of sawhorses.

  9. #9
    Super Star Member
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    Default Re: How to cut conveyor belt?

    I've had good success with sandwiching things like pickup bed mats between pieces of scrap 1/4'' plywood , paneling or osb and sawing through the whole works with a metal cutting blade in a jig saw or a saws all.
    Tractors 2003 Kubota BX1500 / 2004 Kubota Bx23 / 2005 Kubota BX1500.
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  10. #10
    Elite Member tallyho8's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to cut conveyor belt?

    Quote Originally Posted by John D View Post
    Just thinking here but I wounder if you could cut them to 8-10ft and have a sheet metal shop shear them with a break shear.
    Cutting them into small pieces would greatly reduce their effectiveness as a smooth tough floor as seamless as possible and I truly doubt that a sheetmetal brake could cut them. They are thicker and much tougher than the threads on an 18 wheeler tire. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
    A contractor I know sharpens recip saw blades to an edge to cut rolls of landscape fabric. Maybe it would work on conveyor belt? How much does it typically cost to get used conveyor belts?
    I might have to at least try that.
    I get it for free because I know the right person but there are usually some grain elevators that sell it for $1 a foot when they replace their belts.



    Quote Originally Posted by L3650 View Post
    Try using a jigsaw blade designed for cutting plastic. I have cut many conveyor belts from rock quarries withoout issue. There are different types of jigsaw blades for cutting many different materials. The ones I have found that work are very aggressive in cutting and produce rubber shavings about 1/16 inch wide and 1/2 inch long. They have never gummed up or burned. I would suggest trying different brands and designs. Cutting 60 inches of conveyor belt should take about 2 minutes after setting up on a couple of sawhorses.
    I have tried blades with very fine teeth to very coarse teeth with no success. Maybe you could give me a better description of the blades you are talking about. I need to cut 60 feet of belt not 60 inches. Even 60 inches of this belt would weigh about 200 pounds and be hard to get up on sawhorses but I could cut it on the ground with 4x4s under it.

    This is extremely tough belt. I have used a piece as a back up for my firing range. A 22 long rifle or a 38 does not even leave a mark on it. I read where they use lazers to cut some of these belts but they only cut ones up to 1/8 inch thick and these are 3/4.
    Happy Trails!
    Dudley

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