Willcox and Gibbs Ferrule for Treadle Belt
Actually Willcox and Gibbs did not connect the treadle belt with a staple like most other machines. They used a little ferrule which screwded on to both ends of the treadle belt to connect it together. Unfortunately they were often lost when the old belt rotted away. By good luck a couple of years ago I purchased an old W&G machine that still had a ferrule attaching the two parts of a very rotten belt that was in pieces but had not been thrown away yet. The original ferrule is in the center while the homemade one is on the end. They are 3/16 inch in diameter and 3/8 inch long. I thought it might be helpful if I explain how I made my DIY ferrule.
Originally Posted by Kittywolf13
1. I started with a 1/2 inch brass Chicago Screw (aluminum also works). Cost about $1.00.
2. I used a Dremell tool with a cut off wheel to cut off the barrel of the Chicago screw 3/8 inch from the end, leaving only a short stump attached to the head.
3. To fit the ferrule to the 3/16 inch treadle belt used by W&G you need to taper the end of the belt. I use a pencil sharpener. I GENTLY push the end of the belt into the pencil sharpener and turn.
4. To connect the ferrule to the leather belt I push the tapered end into the ferrule and turn in a clockwise direction. I can usually make about 3 complete turns before it get too hard to turn. This is the same method as describe on page 32 of the 1870 W&G brochure available on line from the Smithsonian Institution at
(http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollect...0039/index.htm). It is much harder to describe than to do. The resulting connection is more than strong enough for a treadle machine, is very easy to remove and reattach, and gives a nice authentic addition to your W&G treadle.