Uses for Electric Motors With Belt Pulleys

Written by phillip james
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Uses for Electric Motors With Belt Pulleys
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Salvaging an electric motor with a belt pulley from old or broken equipment is an ideal way to recycle or repurpose a useful item, such as a fan or a bench grinder. A belt drive pulley allows an electric motor to be used without needing to adapt or purchase a drive system.

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Belt-Driven Ceiling Fan

A belt-driven ceiling fan uses an electric motor with a pulley to drive one or more ceiling fans. Drive belts are strung along the ceiling to each fan in turn, making for an attractive antique-style system.

Bench Grinder

Many older bench grinders were belt-driven assemblies, and parts for them can still be found at estate sales or auctions. An electric motor with a pulley is perfect for powering such a bench grinder. Care must be taken to cover the belt drive assembly, as this area can cause serious harm to the operator if loose clothing or hands are caught in the belt.


Electric motors are designed to turn electricity into rotary motion, but they also work in reverse. Spinning an electric motor's output pulley will cause electricity to be generated at the connection terminals. Combining a small gasoline engine with an output pulley (many riding lawnmower engines use belt pulleys) with a pulley-equipped electric motor and an appropriate voltage regulator will create a small generator capable of charging batteries or powering small electrical equipment.

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