Belt Repair 101…a how-to and guide for fixing your damaged belt

Can I repair my Teflon* coated fiberglass screen print dryer belt in the field? We often get that question. As usual, the answer depends on the damage done and the amount of wear the belt has experienced.

W.F. Lake Corp. has been manufacturing these belts for quite some time, and we’ve seen some pretty creative repairs made…literally duct tape and bailing wire (but no bubblegum yet)! Truthfully, screen printers are a creative bunch (kinda’ have to be, right?) and often make repairs using whatever is lying around the shop.

We’ve seen ragged cuts from carts that bumped against a running belt; burnt areas created when a belt stopped and sat too close to an IR heater; cuts made when unboxing a new belt; torn edge trim when a belt tracked off the pulleys; broken splices from over-tensioning, etc.  And, of course, lots of belts that are just worn out.

So, can I fix it myself? If it involves simply patching a small hole or sewing on a piece of edge trim, the answer is yes. Use one of our repair kits to put it back into service…these repairs usually last a while. If the metal lacing pulled out, give us a call to discuss your options.  If, however, the damage is severe or it is a pulled or torn splice, it probably cannot be fixed in the field but we may be able repair it at the factory. And if the belt is just plain worn out, we usually suggest a new one since the required thermal welding bonds are inhibited by dried inks that may have penetrated the coating.

Whatever the cause, we’re always willing to help out to see if it can be fixed, either in the field using one of our repair kits or sent back to us for investigation / factory reconditioning. It’s worth noting that some customers purchase a new belt and then return their old belt for review to see if it can be repaired and used as an “emergency backup” belt.

The operating characteristics of PTFE coated fiberglass belts are pretty impressive and if care is taken, these belts last a long time. Give us a call, e-mail us a question or ask for a quote out of curiosity. Check out how to measure a belt for the most easy and accurate way to give us the dimensions you need…each of our belts is custom made to your specifications!

Note: Before starting a new Teflon* coated fiberglass screen print dryer belt, be sure to check out our Belt Startup & Operation data.

*Reg. Chemours

W.F. Lake: Must Love Cats

Do you remember that movie, ‘Must Love Dogs’? Well, all the employees at W.F. Lake must love cats. It might come as a surprise to you that we currently have 3 unofficial mascots. All of the cats ended up here by chance (or luck depending on how you look at it!).

The cast of characters is as follows: Verne, named after Laverneus Coles, the former Jets player, came to us in 2005 when his namesake started playing for the Jets. He was named by an employee with a voracious love of the team. Bobcat, a small and timid black cat, showed up at our door about four years ago and is named after her favorite employee, Bob. She came to us after what looked like a close encounter with a fox, which explains her cautious nature. And our final mascot to show up was Beauford. Beauford is a Maine Coon cat who we guess to be about two years old. Beauford is the most loving and friendly of our pets and he can often be found sleeping on John’s desk or begging for food. While we have only three cats now, we have seen several animals show up on our doorstep. The pet list could go on… Lucky (a black cat that showed up on Halloween), Clifford the dog, and several other kittens and cats that have been lovingly adopted by our employees.

You might be curious about how we ended up with this many animals. Well, it should be noted that the SPCA is essentially in our backyard. Either they forget to lock the doors or people drop off unwanted animals on their doorstep in the night and the animals escape. We like to think it’s the latter. Regardless, we have taken quite a few animals in and given them loving homes either here or elsewhere. When one shows up, we always take them to the vet to have them checked out and then have them spayed or neutered. In our care, they are given a seemingly endless supply of cat food, a 50,000 square foot indoor playground (sometimes with live toys), and lots of affection by our employees. Stay tuned for future blog posts highlighting the daily lives of Verne, Beauford, and Bobcat!

Made in the USA!

I have a great story. Actually, we have lots of them, but this one stands out in my memory.

We recently purchased some used twisting equipment from a mill in North Carolina. Now, recall if you will, that until the mid-90’s, there were tens of thousands of textile jobs in the area of western North Carolina. Then, for a variety of reasons, those jobs went overseas, devastating that part of the Country. Truly a terrible situation, but I’ll stay out of the politics and economics of the whole thing.

Anyway, we bought several twister frames from a broker. They came out of a mill that was shut down. We brought them up to Northern NY to add to our existing operation that twists very high temperature threads, yarns, and other products. The drivers and riggers that delivered these frames were all quick to point out how great it was that they didn’t deliver them to some port on the east coast to ship out on a freighter to another country. Rather, this time, those twister frames were actually going to a new industrial building in Upstate N.Y., USA! What a great feeling for all of us here at W.F. Lake Corp.! Working together, we were all investing in the future of the United States of America!

W.F. Lake Corp. manufactures all of its products in the U.S.A. and we’re proud of it. Since our founding in 1991, we’ve been especially aware of the need to produce products here at home. We’re fortunate to have been born here and we appreciate it!

It’s interesting to take a look at how important it is to have manufacturers here and to support them when you can. We like to point out that when it comes from the US, the box it came in was likely made in the US, the poly bag in the box, the truck driver that delivered the materials lives here, the guy repairing the truck, the company that put up the building, filled the vending machine, cleans the carpets, plows the driveway… well, you get the idea.

Statistics abound as to how important manufacturing is to the US Economy and I’ll spare you the details, save one.  The highest multiplier effect of any economic sector in the US is manufacturing. Don’t forget the person at the bakery who bakes the cake for “birthday month” and makes the buns for the hot dogs for the impromptu “bosses turn to cook” cookout, and… Sorry, got carried away again.

Made in the U.S.A. matters and we’re proud to say that is what we do!

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