Tire Blowout on Ancient Belt Sander

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Forum topic by FarmerintheWoods posted 03-09-2017 07:09 PM 1446 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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36 posts in 905 days

03-09-2017 07:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sander trick

I am running a Sears & Roebuck disk/belt sander, model 103-0803. This morning it blew out the rubber tire on the drive pulley. See the pic below.

Sears doesn’t carry parts for it, and while eBay has salvage parts, no new tires. I need a good idea for how to fix this—hopefully even a way to do it without taking this old beast apart. But I will if I have to.

10 replies so far

View Woodknack's profile


12877 posts in 2835 days

#1 posted 03-09-2017 07:39 PM

Bicycle inner tube?

-- Rick M,

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36 posts in 905 days

#2 posted 03-09-2017 08:45 PM

Butyl rubber is tough stuff, it’s useful for lots of things. Minus the belt and tire—down to the steel—the diameter of the drive pulley is 2.97”, and that’s on the outside. These things are crowned in the middle, to help make the belt self-centering, so it might be 3.0” or more in the center of the pulley.

But bicycle inner tubes aren’t flat in any dimension.

If I could find a source of flat butyl rubber, I could try something with an adhesive. Adhesive certainly works for holding things on the disk part of the sander.

View ocean's profile


172 posts in 1289 days

#3 posted 03-09-2017 09:19 PM

I think if you use an adhesive to hold a flat sheet to the pulley you will have trouble. The belt running around generates a fair amount of heat, which effect the adhesive below and failure is very possible. It is much the same problem of gluing a belt back together. I’ve tried many different methods but none work for very long. The adhesive used for this purpose is very special and resistant to heat but it is not available to the public that I know. I think the inner tube is the answer if the pulley is already crowned. Try a heavy duty tube they are much thicker.

-- Bob, FL Keys

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36 posts in 905 days

#4 posted 03-09-2017 09:41 PM

I’d need a source of inner tubes that are ~3” in diameter. I’ve heard of ‘balloon’ tires on bikes back in the day, but nothing like that. And it needs to be shaped like a cylinder, which isn’t quite the same.

I found a recommendation of using black electrical tape, and another, of using duct tape, and that seems like it would be a mess in 2 minutes or less.

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12877 posts in 2835 days

#5 posted 03-09-2017 10:29 PM

You’d want an inner tube about 2.5” diameter and stretch it on. But if you don’t want to go that way then search for a similar size belt sander and see if the parts match up. A lot of the Chinese machines are copies of old American designs.

-- Rick M,

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 3264 days

#6 posted 03-09-2017 10:53 PM

Why don’t you throw it in the trash then get you a new one ?

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36 posts in 905 days

#7 posted 03-09-2017 11:43 PM

Here’s what the drive pulley looks like with the tire removed.

The center diameter of the pulley is 3.002” There is no indication that there was ever any adhesive involved, it was just metal-to-rubber plus a little bit of hope.

The randomly-spaced grooves suggest that the pulley and belt have been mutually slipping for a while. And also, this venerable machine had been sitting in a dank warehouse for about a dozen years before I got it 2 months ago.

You can see there’s nasty patches of corrosion. I had that problem on the disc part of the sander, but it cleaned up nicely with a knife-honing stone about half the size of a brick. A regular brick would probably have worked just as well.

RickM, thanks, I will look into the similar-diameter-but-different-mfr possibility. That’s looking pretty good. I’ll get back.

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36 posts in 905 days

#8 posted 03-10-2017 05:25 PM

Found a place on the net where the guy said spray-on Plasti-Dip worked like a charm on the roller on his belt sander. Another place said it was great for painting cars because it peels off easily if you change your mind. Hm.

Another guy said run it without the rubber, you don’t need it. So I tried that. I don’t need it! Hah!

View splintergroup's profile


2780 posts in 1678 days

#9 posted 03-10-2017 05:55 PM

Interesting problem!

Thinking aloud here, I’d consider finding a radiator hose or other thick walled rubber tubing that will have a slip fit over the pulley. A crown could be achieved with progressive wraps of tape on the pulley before slipping over the hose.

View Picklehead's profile


1053 posts in 2385 days

#10 posted 03-10-2017 11:16 PM

For what it’s worth, my 6×48 belt sander doesn’t have any type of rubber there, just the metal roller. Works just fine. YMMV.

-- Quote from ebay tool listing: " Has nicks and dings wear and tear dust and dirt rust and pitting but in good working condition"

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