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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased this Vintage Craftsman tool years ago from my father in law who bought it new in the 1960's. I tried to use it but it didn't work right. It sat in the corner of my shop for years. I recently remodeled/ cleaned up/reorganized, my shop and decided to take on several of my old tools not in use. I bought some new sanding belts and tried to make this unit track right but no luck. So I disassembled, cleaned up, polished, lubed, tracked down and installed new bearings. STILL wouldn't track right. It would run off without any load. I researched the net for this issue. I found the electrical tape on the center of the idler drum and tried it. I tried two to three wraps and up to up to a lot of wraps and still no resolve. I looked on the net some more and found a reference for placing tape on the driven drum. So I tried tape on the driven drum and still no luck. So I used the Fu-it method and tried two wraps of Scotch # 33 electrical tape on both drums and SUCCESS. It now tracks like a dream.
I have included pics of the sander, the tape job, and the bearings. My father in law took care of his equipment but used them a lot so evidently he wore down the slight dome in the center of the drums. I have the original manual if someone needs a copy of it.
 

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What I think you did (not that it really matters) is put the crown in the middle...like a bandsaw. Anyway, salvaging a machine is fun. I've done a couple over my 40 years too. I always tell myself that I'll learn so much more about the machine...and after its fixed...I forget what I did! LOL.
 

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That’s the exact same model I have. Did, as you figured out, the same cure for the tracking issue. I’ve done lots of modifications, including adding dust collection for both the disk and belt, and in a sudden departure from actually spending my remaining time on this planet doing important and practical things I repainted it metallic blue. In my defense…it looks pretty good in blue. ; )

You have a great addition to your shop! Enjoy!
 

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The crown on the belt rollers causes the sanding belt to track to the center but consider what happens if the sanding belt becomes stretched. It's a good idea to ease off the belt tension when not in use.
 

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I can’t help but come back to this one. There’s great joy in rehabbing an old machine. You get to be both inventive and creative, because often the parts you need are no longer available…or so dearly priced on fleabay that they are simply not worth the expense. I remember finding an aluminum replacement adjustment knob and adjusting cam assembly for sale for my belt sander for some ridiculous price, so I decided to make my own. Time spent going through all of life’s accumulated hardware almost always finds a hidden gem that with some head scratching and maybe an epiphany or two can be made to bring an old tool back to life or a new tool a better tool. Equipment that I have worked on, rehabbed and/or improved, is the equipment that I enjoy using the most In my shop, and makes my time spent there that much more rewarding.

Again, rhodessam, enjoy your “new” old Craftsman sander.…and while you’re at it, give yourself a pat on the back too! ;)
 

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The crown on the belt rollers causes the sanding belt to track to the center but consider what happens if the sanding belt becomes stretched. It's a good idea to ease off the belt tension when not in use.

Of the many machines like this in use, I would guess that zero of the owners do this. The belt has little tension and no springs. On this type, the screws on either side do both the tension and tracking- there's no quick release like on a handheld belt sander.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
That’s the exact same model I have. Did, as you figured out, the same cure for the tracking issue. I’ve done lots of modifications, including adding dust collection for both the disk and belt, and in a sudden departure from actually spending my remaining time on this planet doing important and practical things I repainted it metallic blue. In my defense…it looks pretty good in blue. ; )

You have a great addition to your shop! Enjoy!
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Thanks for the comments. I have plans to remodel/ upgrade the tool in the future. Not too sure about the metallic blue for mine but I bet yours is kick ass. (Would that be Dallas Cowboys shade of blue?) I do back off the tension when not in use as I've read that in several places.
 
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