Instructions for Putting a Belt on a Singer Sewing Machine

Singer sewing machine belts may need replacing.
Singer sewing machine belts may need replacing. (Image: sewing machine image by styf from

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.

Things You'll Need

  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Ice pick
  • Pliers
  • Ruler
  • Screwdriver

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Treadle Machines

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

Cut the belt on the ink line with scissors.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

Remove the belt through the space the bushing normally occupies.

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

Tips & Warnings

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


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