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Tools #2: Craftsman 6x48 / 9 inch belt sander, model 103.0803

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Blog entry by PASs posted 01-26-2014 04:19 PM 11339 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: TS3650 and RS1000 Part 2 of Tools series Part 3: Grinding and polishing station »

I got this off a craigslist add a few years ago.

It’s old school with oil bath bearings.

And tracking adjusters on both sides of the idler roller.

The disk sander table has a really terrible angle adjuster, a screw wedge, but it also has two support arms that help lock the table in position.

It has worked well for me although the belt has a tendency to drift.
The problem was pretty bad until the rubber sleeve on the idler roller disintegrated due to dry rot.
I decided to replace it with pieces of an old 3×21 belt sander belt that had come apart.

That has reduced the belt drift quite a bit, probably because the gap acts as a self-center.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."



13 comments so far

View NormG's profile

NormG

6507 posts in 4128 days


#1 posted 01-27-2014 01:07 AM

I have seen these machines, they hold up very well. I wonder if a hose manufacture would be able to make and/or direct you to a good place to obtain one

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View PASs's profile

PASs

603 posts in 4223 days


#2 posted 01-27-2014 05:06 PM

Norm,
Thanks for the suggestion.
The sanding belt works great.
I miss-identified the roller in the initial post as the idler roller.
It was actually the drive roller that failed (see photos.)
When the idle roller dies I’m going to replace it with sander belt as well.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View stefang's profile

stefang

17040 posts in 4458 days


#3 posted 01-28-2014 09:32 AM

Looks like a pretty solid piece of machinery. I have a disk sander about 3 or 4 years old and the table adjustment isn’t that great on that one either, so I think you’ve gotten a good tool there Pete.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View PASs's profile

PASs

603 posts in 4223 days


#4 posted 01-28-2014 05:11 PM

Thanks Stefang,
If my research is correct this was made in the ‘40s.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View FarmerintheWoods's profile

FarmerintheWoods

36 posts in 1573 days


#5 posted 03-08-2017 07:33 PM

PASs, your machine is a dead ringer for mine, except for the blue color. Mine is a Sears & Roebuck (aka Craftsman) model 103-0803. I have a belt drift problem that started suddenly after many hours of operation.

I found the owner/operator manual and parts list here: https://www.manualslib.com/download/497423/Craftsman-103-0803.html

It was free, lots of places charge for these things. Trouble is, they recommend lubrication but don’t say where the lube goes in. Is it under the capscrews that sit at 45 degrees?

View PASs's profile

PASs

603 posts in 4223 days


#6 posted 03-09-2017 09:33 PM

FarmerintheWoods. If you look at the second and third pictures you can see a couple of plugs with knurled tops. Unscrew those and put a couple drops of oil in the holes.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View fredu52's profile

fredu52

1 post in 495 days


#7 posted 02-14-2020 09:33 PM

PASs, did you use a glue to keep the belt pieces on the roller? Have you tried using rubber?
Just got one of these and I need to refurbish it for my use. It’s a sturdy beast.

—Fred, “I ain’t buildin’ a piano.”

-- --Fred, "I ani't buildin' a piano

View PASs's profile

PASs

603 posts in 4223 days


#8 posted 02-14-2020 09:49 PM

FRED52, I did use glue. I think it was liquid nails.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View BrassNSawdust's profile

BrassNSawdust

4 posts in 400 days


#9 posted 05-20-2020 01:10 AM

I have an old Craftsman model 103.0803 also. My wife’s uncle gave it to me about 20 years ago. I’ve replaced the motor a couple of times over the years and have the motor AND sander mounted on a board on top of an old microwave cabinet (mounted it years ago and haven’t found the need to change that since).

I’d like to know if anyone knows how/why the belt rollers drift a lot. The belt still tracks true, but there’s an awful lot of play in the rollers.

-- It's not crooked; just turn your head like this!

View PASs's profile

PASs

603 posts in 4223 days


#10 posted 05-20-2020 01:15 AM

BrassNSawdust, I’d remove the belts (sanding and driving) and see if there is any slop in the bearings.
Mine are bronze sleeve bearings and they wear out over time.
If you have some “rattle” in the bearings I’d say time for some new ones.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View BrassNSawdust's profile

BrassNSawdust

4 posts in 400 days


#11 posted 05-20-2020 01:15 AM

I have an old Craftsman model 103.0803 also. My wife’s uncle gave it to me about 20 years ago. I’ve replaced the motor a couple of times over the years and have the motor AND sander mounted on a board on top of an old microwave cabinet (mounted it years ago and haven’t found the need to change that since). The table was removed while I was adding a new sanding disk. I’ve added a hook-and-loop (hook side) to the disk to make changes a bit easier.

I’d like to know if anyone knows how/why the belt rollers drift a lot. The belt still tracks true, but there’s an awful lot of play in the rollers.

-- It's not crooked; just turn your head like this!

View sawdustmaker1961's profile

sawdustmaker1961

75 posts in 187 days


#12 posted 12-22-2020 09:56 PM

My Father in law passed away, God rest his soul and I became caretaker for a Craftsman 103.0803 6” belt sander. Not sure when it was manufactured. Looking to put a 1/3 or 1/2 hp motor on it and see how she does. Mine doesn’t have the disk but the shaft is plenty long enough to put one on, I have some pictures that would help me ask a few questions if someone would be so kind to tell me how to post pictures???

-- Two Wrongs don't make a right !

View BrassNSawdust's profile

BrassNSawdust

4 posts in 400 days


#13 posted 12-23-2020 06:44 PM

Select the icon at the bottom of your posting labeled “img”

From there you will be prompted to select an image from your phone or computer that will be attached

-- It's not crooked; just turn your head like this!

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