Author Topic: Questions on a little Skil locomotive sander  (Read 3659 times)

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Offline Bill Houghton

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Questions on a little Skil locomotive sander
« on: January 08, 2012, 09:04:22 PM »
A little Skil locomotive belt sander followed me home from my travels Saturday - a Skil "Zephyrplane Junior" belt sander, model number, JY.  Googling that model number got me nothing, nor is there anything over on VintageMachinery.com. It's a chunky little tool: 5 amps, considerable weight (I love the advice on the label to let the tool do the work; with the weight of this tool relative to its sanding footprint, that won't be a problem).

Anyone have any literature on this, or thoughts on these questions?:

1. The belt width appears to be 2-1/4". The length isn't clear yet - the belt doesn't want to come off, yet the drive drum just spins, not moving the belt (not sure if the idler drum spins freely, or if the belt's oversized). So, my first question is, what belt size is called out for this?
2. Suggestions on maintenance? There's a plug marked "oil," down where the worm drive would be; I assume that, as with most worm drive tools, the worm/bevel gear run in oil, but don't know what oil is recommended. Also, not visible in this photo because it's on the left side of the sander is a plate over what I bet is a short chain or a gear train from the bevel gear shaft down to the drive drum; do these usually run in grease?
3. And, the evergreen question: anything else I should know before putting a new cord on this and putting it in service?

Offline Branson

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Re: Questions on a little Skil locomotive sander
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2012, 06:00:07 AM »
Sounds like it would take the same belt as a Skill Sand Cat.  I like those little belt sanders though I don't have one. 

Offline ron darner

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Re: Questions on a little Skil locomotive sander
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2012, 10:32:06 AM »
Like this one? http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/tls/2726683578.html Or http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280785376201&_trksid=p2992.m753?  Or http://lfar.net/view.php?id=71&t=Vintage-Skilsaw-Zephyrplane-ZP-Worm-Drive-Belt-Sander?  Here is an early advertisement that may be of real help. Though I don't see belt length, width is spelled out as 2-1/4", and weight is given as "...only 9-1/2 lbs."  The drive is said to be by link-belt; I don't know if that relates to the company, "Link-Belt", or if they mean a series of flexible links like the Fenner Power Twist V-belt - or perhaps something else entirely. 
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 10:36:44 AM by ron darner »
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Offline Bill Houghton

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Re: Questions on a little Skil locomotive sander
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2012, 10:44:21 AM »
Thanks, Ron.  Mine is like link #2, except I have a knob (and paid less).  This is useful information on what is, I guess, a non-uncommon but not terribly well documented sander.

Offline ron darner

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Re: Questions on a little Skil locomotive sander
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2012, 11:27:43 AM »
Paying less is practically always good, Bill.  I try my best to do that at every transaction!  I wouldn't call them common by any means, but I suspect that a decent percentage of all those ever made still work.  I'd bet that production ended when WWII commandeered the production lines, unless it was used for the war effort itself.  The ads I saw were all 1940-41, including December '41.  All were the same pictures & text.
Arrogance and Ignorance have more in common than their last four letters!