Why I like Vintage Tools #9: Dunlap Belt/Disk Sander

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Blog entry by brianinpa posted 02-09-2009 05:21 AM 13547 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: The Finished Scroll Saw Part 9 of Why I like Vintage Tools series Part 10: Completed Shop »

Here is my latest basket case, and yes it needs some work.

It is an early 1940’s Dunlap 4”x36” belt sander that is missing a few pieces. This is a 103.08011: the 103 means it was made by King-Seeley for Sears and Roebucks. Dunlap serves as the economical part of the Sears tool line.

There is supposed to be an 8” disk that goes with it and tables for both but they have parted ways years ago. In addition, the drive wheel was broken and needs to be replaced. Aside from the obvious missing pieces and broken wheel, not much else is wrong with… other than the color.

When I am finished, I hope to have as complete a machine as possible. I have a newer (Japanese made) AMT belt sander that is going to sacrifice the drive wheel, and I also have an 8” disk wheel and table from another machine that died a few years ago, so I am going to make one complete sander out of the three. I just want to make sure that my attempt as Dr. Frankenstein has better results.

Oh yeah, the price for this piece was free: I just had to get it from Oklahoma to Pennsylvania, so $39.00 in postage is all it cost me. Now if it stays worm enough I can get rid of the blue color and convert it to my black/gold color scheme.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

9 comments so far

View Woodchuck1957's profile


944 posts in 4925 days

#1 posted 02-09-2009 05:30 AM

Thats a neat old find, sounds like quite the prodject. It will be neat to see when it’s done, I’m a fan of some of the old stuff too.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3869 posts in 4598 days

#2 posted 02-09-2009 05:38 AM

I’ve refurb. Two old belt sanders. After fussing with a rusted bandsaw and drill press I came across this little timesaver. I had an old belt that I had kept because it was still usable in a pinch. I turned it inside-out and mounted it on the sander. Then I started it and took a small block of wood and slid it around on the back side of the belt that was now facing up. The sander de-rusted and cleaned it’s own sanding table. it came out very nicely. i finished it off with automotive rubbing compound.

I also find that a 4” grinder with cup shaped wire brush indispensable.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 4884 days

#3 posted 02-09-2009 05:46 AM

Daniel I have already used your tip from reading one of your posts: it worked great.

Half the fun of owning these old tools is working on these old tools. The other half is actually using them.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View cab's profile


1 post in 4502 days

#4 posted 04-02-2009 06:11 PM

I recently bought a very similar machine at a garage sale (mostly for the motor). Mine is complete with the exception of the tension wheel and assembly. Any ideas where I can find one here in Florida or what I may be able to adapt? If I can’t find one, you may be interested in what I have which is a drive wheel in good shape, the 8” disc and table. Please post here if you’re interested or have any suggestions.

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 4884 days

#5 posted 04-11-2009 03:12 AM

For the drive wheel on mine, I barrowed one from a Japanese knock-off. It was 6” and I cut it down to 4”. Do you have the attaching hardware for the tensioning wheel? These things are always showing up on Ebay or Craigslist. Shouldn’t be too hard to find the pieces that you need.

I am actually taking parts from three different sanders to make this one whole and complete again. Not certain that my plan for the table will work, so if you do not have any luck, I might be interested in the table.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 4834 days

#6 posted 08-12-2009 02:31 AM


I was wondering if you could look at your machine and give me any casting numbers you can find on it.

1 should be on the table, 1 on the table bracket and 1 on the main body. Also if there is one on the platten that would help as well.

I’m researching a similar unit that I have (actually you can see mine in my blog as well) however my belt sander is 6×36 which is an anomaly.

I would like to line up the casting numbers with known machines that match the catalogs.

View MrKona's profile


1 post in 3139 days

#7 posted 12-26-2012 07:38 AM

Hi Brian – I’m wondering if you ever finished this project? I have this same sander, but I’m missing the tension wheel. If this project didn’t get off the ground for you, and you’re interested in parting out your sander, please let me know (sorry for sounding like a cannibal, would just love to complete my sander with the original piece). Thanks very much.

View woodshed's profile


2 posts in 2462 days

#8 posted 11-02-2014 05:04 PM

I have this bench sander and a wood lathe both made in 1940’s made by Craftsman that I use on a daily basis.
They are the most durable pieces of equipment I own. the disk on the sander is on the opposite side of the machine but that’s the only difference.

View roncarl's profile


1 post in 1940 days

#9 posted 04-07-2016 10:01 PM

where did you find parts

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