Instructions for Putting a Belt on a Singer Sewing Machine

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Things You'll Need

  • Pen

  • Scissors

  • Ice pick

  • Pliers

  • Ruler

  • Screwdriver

Singer sewing machine belts may need replacing.

Singer sewing machines have been in existence for more than 150 years; belt replacement is integral to proper functioning of these machines. The treadle machine with foot power replaced the first hand-cranked machines. Modern versions use electricity to propel the needle and bobbin through gear usage. Belt replacement needs only a few simple tools, and you can quickly be on your way into the wondrous world of Singer sewing machine stitchery.

Treadle Machines

Step 1

Take note of the manner that the old belt is fed through the machine, if possible.

Step 2

Place one end of the belt in the belt groove of the balance wheel and make certain that it is under the bobbin winder on the front.

Step 3

Thread the belt through the metal lifter plate and through the wood shield hole; put at least 12 inches of the belt through so it does not slip back through the hole.

Step 4

Bring the other end of the belt down through the back of the metal lifter plate and through the belt guide.

Step 5

Feed it between the brace and the band wheel and then through the belt shifter.

Step 6

Overlap the ends of the belt and make a mark with an ink pen where they overlay each other. A new belt will stretch so you can make it very tight.

Step 7

Cut the belt on the ink line with scissors.

Step 8

Punch a small hole with an ice pick in one end of the cut belt; place a treadle belt hook, attached to the original end, through the hole. Do not flatten this hook until you test the tension by operating the machine.

Step 9

Pinch the hook together with pliers when you acknowledge that the tension is correct. This is determined when the machine operates freely and sews accurately.

Motor Machines

Step 1

Examine the position and threading of the old belt, if possible.

Step 2

Take note if you have a v-belt pulley or a positive traction system pulley; the latter will have teeth on the pulley.

Step 3

Measure the length of the belt by slipping it over the end of a ruler and taking note of the measurement to 1/8 inch; find the correct belt replacement. You can find this measurement by simulating the belt with any unstretchable cordage placed in the proper position and measuring this length.

Step 4

Slide the belt off of the belt pulley; remove the spindle and balance wheel. Loosen the screw on the arm shaft and remove the bushing.

Step 5

Remove the belt through the space the bushing normally occupies.

Step 6

Put the replacement belt on the lower pulley and through the housing to resume normal functioning.


There is a special treadle sewing machine tool called a a belt-punch; it will snip and puncture the belt in one movement.