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Atlas/Craftsman Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

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louosten

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#31
Re: Atlas 10" Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

Robert;

Here are a couple other things I noticed on this model (H36) 10" F lathe:

1. The on/off switch has an oval shape (not rectangular)
2. The set screws on the countershaft "hanger" have hex heads, not single blade screw heads
3. The half-nut lever is not fastened on by a screw; it's pinged on by a ball peen hammer

There may be other small nuances I haven't discovered yet. So far, your hunch places it at about 1939 vintage; according to your last post, approximately 100,000 10" model F lathes were produced. Is this right?

Lou O.


Lou,

OK on "H" but the standard bed length was 42" according to several catalogs. On the "S", what little information we have in the database would agree with Standard = Babbit . But we have several 101.07403 probably from a later period with an "S" suffix and that model only came with Timken bearings. So that has to be filed under "maybe",

We have no actual production data. We have only a few 9" serial numbers but they are all lower than any 10" s/n. So I am beginning to think that Serial Number 1 was a 9" compound drive and not the first 10". The highest 10" serial number that we have is 88786 which I calculated (from one with bearing dates of 06/22/1951) was made around 08/14/1951. When I get time, I will use post-war data and calculate the approximate highest serial number. It will be under 100000, because that's what the late 12" started at.

Robert D.
 

wa5cab

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#32
Re: Atlas 10" Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

Lou,

(1) According to photos in available catalogs (specifically 1942 and 1943), the headstock casting was changed to use the rectangular switch plate in time for making the photographs for the 1943 catalog. Catalog L43 is dated December 1943. So that doesn't help pin down when yours was made as we already knew from some bearing dates that it was earlier than May 1942.

(2) Judging by photographs in some Sears catalogs, headless slotted set screws may have been used on the Craftsman 9" countershaft bearing adjusters in 1932 through 1935. However, all four catalogs used the same photograph which does not zoom in well. So I'm not sure. All Atlas catalogs from 1932 through 1952 (all 9" and all 10") show the square head screw. I don't think that Hex head screws would have ever been used. The same wrench (supplied with the lathe) that fits the carriage lock and the screw in the tool post would also fit the square head screws in the countershaft. So the hex head ones are probably not original to your machine.

(3) That appears to have changed from peened to screw at the same time as the headstock and switch plate change (between 1942 and 1943).

Not exactly. What I said was that the sum of all Atlas 9" and all 10" was something under 100,000 but over 93668. The new 12" serial numbers (Atlas) started at 100000. Or maybe 100001. The highest change gear 10" serial number we have is 088786 and the highest 4-digit QC serial number that we have is 4882, the sum of which is 93668. 88786 has a 1951 bearing date. And we have one example indicating that Atlas may have shifted the QC serial numbers over to run with the other 10". So the highest serial number must have gotten quite close to 100000.

However, we don't have data to pin down the first 10F serial number very closely. There is a gap in the database between a 10D at 8635 and a 10F at 15883 (yours).

Robert D.
 

Hankus

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#33
Re: Atlas 10" Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

Wish I could provide a purchase date, but I feel fairly comfortable that I'm only the third owner of an Atlas 10F serial number V9552S. Its 36 inch bed vertical countershaft, with Babbitt bearings. Documentation purchased with this lathe included VERY early edition of the Atlas Lathe Operation and Machinists Tables book. Confirmed that this is not an original edition but very early nevertheless and the original owner had signed his name inside. Earliest edition I'm told was 1937 with first revision in 1938-1939. It has several dated entries in the notes pages which were from a Chicago saw sharpening business April 1946. FWIW
 

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#34
Re: Atlas 10" Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

Hankus,

Thanks for the serial number, model number, and bearing and countershaft types. That is the lowest 10F serial number that we have, only about 900 above the highest 10D number that we have.

For more details on the print and content history of the Atlas Manual of Lathe Operation and Machinist Tables (MOLO for short), see my writeup in Downloads, mentioned in a Sticky above. But briefly, all MOLO's printed between 1937 and 1954 say Copyright 1937 on the copyright page. 1955 was the first year to give the print date and the print history (years in which an edition was printed). There were apparently five versions. And three types of bindings. V4 and V5 (Atlas and Craftsman) were printed from circa 1940 on. Although V3 was apparently sold with a lathe in 1943 (probably some Sears store didn't practice FIFO).

Robert D.
 

Hankus

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#35
Re: Atlas 10" Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

Hankus,

Thanks for the serial number, model number, and bearing and countershaft types. That is the lowest 10F serial number that we have, only about 900 above the highest 10D number that we have.

For more details on the print and content history of the Atlas Manual of Lathe Operation and Machinist Tables (MOLO for short), see my writeup in Downloads, mentioned in a Sticky above. But briefly, all MOLO's printed between 1937 and 1954 say Copyright 1937 on the copyright page. 1955 was the first year to give the print date and the print history (years in which an edition was printed). There were apparently five versions. And three types of bindings. V4 and V5 (Atlas and Craftsman) were printed from circa 1940 on. Although V3 was apparently sold with a lathe in 1943 (probably some Sears store didn't practice FIFO).

Robert D.
I know you and I have discussed my MOLO in the past and knew it was a very early print. In fact on the back page there is a small display of current lathes and none display a power crossfeed.
 

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#36
Re: Atlas 10" Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

Don't know how I missed this post. The PDF of MOLO V1 that I have doesn't have any photos in the back. Could you send me a copy of it?

Robert D.
 

Hankus

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#37
Re: Atlas 10" Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

Don't know how I missed this post. The PDF of MOLO V1 that I have doesn't have any photos in the back. Could you send me a copy of it?

Robert D.
I would be glad to, if I could only figure out how to rotate the scanned image. Look at these in the meantime.
 

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#39
Re: Atlas 10" Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

I had already done it (rotated the pages) but those look fine. The machines shown (specifically the 10A and 10C) match those shown in what several of us think is a 1935 Atlas catalog. In the (we think) 1937 catalog, the 10A, B & C are replaced by the 10E. As the First Edition appeared in 1937, the 10E photo may not have been available yet.

I have a total of three different copies (two hard copies and one PDF) of the V1. They all have minor differences and none have the photos in the back. I suspect that V1 went through more than one printing. V2/3 (at least the one original I have of it) doesn't have the photos. If they had added the photos at the second or third printing of V1, I would think that they would have carried over to V2. So your copy may well be not only V1 but a First Edition.

Robert D.
 

Hankus

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#40
Re: Atlas 10" Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

I had already done it (rotated the pages) but those look fine. The machines shown (specifically the 10A and 10C) match those shown in what several of us think is a 1935 Atlas catalog. In the (we think) 1937 catalog, the 10A, B & C are replaced by the 10E. As the First Edition appeared in 1937, the 10E photo may not have been available yet.

I have a total of three different copies (two hard copies and one PDF) of the V1. They all have minor differences and none have the photos in the back. I suspect that V1 went through more than one printing. V2/3 (at least the one original I have of it) doesn't have the photos. If they had added the photos at the second or third printing of V1, I would think that they would have carried over to V2. So your copy may well be not only V1 but a First Edition.

Robert D.
I won't give it to you, but I would be willing to send you my edition for your review, if you'll be sure to return it. Let me know.
 

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#41
Re: Atlas 10" Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

That might be worth doing. I can compare the rest of it to the copies of V1 that I have and confirm that there isn't yet another significantly different version. But let's wait until after New Year.

Robert D.
 

Hankus

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#42
Re: Atlas 10" Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

That might be worth doing. I can compare the rest of it to the copies of V1 that I have and confirm that there isn't yet another significantly different version. But let's wait until after New Year.

Robert D.
I would be happy to do that if for nothing else to get a better appraisal of the copy I have, and to contribute anyway to the history of the MOLO if possible.
 

louosten

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#43
Re: Atlas 10" Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

Gentlemen;

It occurred to me that there may be several Atlas lathe owners out there that can't find their serial numbers. Admittedly, until I cleaned off the front way of this lathe I'm working on, it was not clearly visible due to rust & discoloration. If you have an older model, look at the far right end of the front most way near the tailstock for the number:

Serial_No_2.jpg

This lathe, # H 15883 S, was brought home 'by the truck load' several months ago. I thought I got a deal at $300; now I'm not so sure. After spending considerable time cleaning the machine up, I've realized, as many others have said, that you can put many hours in restoring old iron to working condition again. Fortunately, my clean-up operation has not revealed any serious problems...just getting rid of old grease, de-rusting, painting, and replacing broken handwheels.

pickup_load.jpg

There is some wear after 70 or so years, but the machine seems to be usable again. I'll post some other pics under a new heading...later.

Lou O.

Serial_No_2.jpg pickup_load.jpg
 

wa5cab

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#44
Re: Atlas 10" Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

Yep. Quite often we see statements from new owners that there is no serial number on the bed and no sign anywhere that there was ever a nameplate. It is extremely unlikely that Atlas ever actually shipped a lathe (or mill, shaper or drill press) without a nameplate. And available evidence suggests that they didn't stop putting the serial number on the bed until late 1957.

Robert D.
 

robinj66

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#45
Re: Atlas 10" Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

R0010760.JPG R0010780.JPG

Hi Robert

I have a TV36 with a serial number 024446 which is quite close to the document shown n the lathes.co.uk site. I can only guess that it is contemporary to that machine - presumably sent over the pond as part of the war effort.

I believe it to have Timken bearings but I haven't stripped it down to confirm this. As you can see it has the oval switch surround.

I don't know anything about it's early history - I bought it from a mate in 2012. He had it for a few years (but no more than 5)

R0010760.JPG R0010780.JPG
 

Round in circles

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#46
Re: Atlas 10" Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

Robin,
I have a Sphere back gear lathe possibly a totally British made version under license of the Atlas 10 F in 1943/44 but with some USA tooling..

My lathe has proveable history I'm the third owner previous The original naval engineering officer who had it passed it to his son .
The son sold it to me it in August 2014.
It was purchased as one of the first warstock release sales in Feb 1946 at an auction held in London and was still in it's original wooden crate with greased packing etc. My model was primarily used in the munitions arena most likely making torpedo fuses for that is what the original naval engineer was involved with and where he saw the lathe at work

There were quite a few USA units stationed around the UK before & after D day with plenty of engineering capabilities plus the legacy USAF bases that existed /still exist even today . Your lathe might have come from one of these sources either at close down sales or as a personal sale off a serviceman .
 

wcornwel

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#47
Re: Atlas 10" Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

Mine is a QC54 with SN 004958. I don't know the date on the bearings.
 

atlas ten

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#48
Re: Atlas 10" Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

i have no idea on age of my 2 atlas 10". both 54" beds. first is s# d4598s. vertical counter shaft, 5/8 lead screw and babbitt bearing. second is h54 s# 048529. horizontal counter shaft, 3/4 lead screw and babbitt bearing. the atlas manuals that came with fist one are dated 37, was told it was made in 39. the h54 came with book dated 75. i think this was previous owner bought it.

ad_0_1407305571235.jpg ad_2_1412904118073.jpg
 

wa5cab

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#49
Re: Atlas 10" Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

atlas ten,

(Please sign posts). Thanks. The first one is a 10D, Model Number 1054. Judging from rather scanty early info, it was more likely made in late 1937. Looks nice. My only down comment would be that I would get it onto a decent bench before I tried to use it much. And lose the castors. Otherwise, I don't see anything missing.

The H54 is of course a 10F and at a rough guess was made 3rd Quarter 1943. It also looks nice.

I forgot to add that the 1975 Edition of the MOLO is OK with either lathe as far as the generic tables and operations go. But that's a Version 9 and is a better match to something like the Atlas 3996. The 1937 one looks like it might have wire instead of plastic binding. Check whether it has anything bound into Part 7 - Threading (or Thread Cutting). If so, does the first printed page mention the Atlas F-Series 10 Inch, the Sears Master Craftsman 12 Inch, or start off with a photo of some threaded parts? If it doesn't, you need the 10F Threading Supplement and it will match your 10F. FYI, all versions printed from 1937 to 1954 say "Copyright 1937" on the copyright page.

Robert D.
 
Last edited:

wa5cab

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#50
Re: Atlas 10" Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

Robin,

When you mentioned that it was "quite close to the document shown on the lathes.co.uk site", it didn't register which document you were referring to. I'll say that it's close! Probably came off of the assembly line about 20 minutes later. And arrived in England on the same ship.

The "T" in "TV36" stands for "Timken". Plus you can clearly see from the photo that you posted that it has the Timken headstock. The babbit bearing caps have two hex head caps screws clearly visible. You might write and tell Tony about it.

Robert D.

 

cdhknives

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#52
Re: Atlas 10" Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

Anyway, your machine was built 1948 or later unless the PO bought and retrofitted the QCGB after 1947 and changed the nameplate. And serial number 003825 on a change gear machine is almost certain to have been on a 10D. That's another area where the database has so few entries as to be statistically inconclusive and possibly incorrect as well. That's one of the reasons that I started this sticky thread - in hopes of collecting enough data to be able to weed out the bogus entries. Sadly, there has been very little response.
I also have the power cross slide of a 10F, but no way of determing (other than probably not with the history I know of) if it was retrofitted. What else is a dead giveaway between a 10D and 10F?

The lathe came into my family in the 1960's when my grandfather bought it and my uncle (then a HS student) helped him rebuild it. The lead screw was badly worn near the headstock, so it was removed and remachined to reverse it end to end...so my leadscrew works in opposite directions and I assume a custom half nut was made. It works fine otherwise, so long as I work close to the headstock. Other than that, I understand nothing but much cleanup was done to it, but my uncle is still around and in good shape so I'll ask...

The history of these is a big part of the fun and value!
Sorry, I lost track of this. Here is a picture of my QC54. You can tell better than I if it is a retrofit QCGB. I can get closeup pics of anything to need to see in more detail.
DSC01141_zps8bbc536f.jpg
 

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outsider347

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#53
Re: Atlas 10" Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

Robert;
Are you interested in collecting any data on the C Man 12 in lathes?
If so here is mine
101 29840
sn 000637

I had the spindle apart recently, but failed to note any markings

Regards
ed
 

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#54
Re: Atlas 10" Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

Ed,

Yes. Thanks. I think that you have to pull the cups to see the inspection dates.

I've been meaning to change the thread title but keep forgetting.

Robert D.
 

wa5cab

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#55
Clayton,

I may have said part of this before (I didn't go and try to find our orur original posts) but I'd bet on it's being an original QC54.

Besides the power cross feed, 3/4" dia. lead screw and two-piece apron, the other differences between a 10D and a 10F are that all 10D's had vertical countershafts originally. Yours is horizontal. Most (but not all) 10D's had babbit bearings, not Timken's. Early 10D's had smaller rectangular symmetrical legs but later ones had the same longer slanted legs as the 10F. So that isn't much help. The Quick Change kits did not come with a new nameplate.

Robert D.
 

dwl324

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#56
I hadn't previously noticed it probably because looking back I see that almost all age related questions the past year have been for 12". In the combined machine database (408 entries to date) there are only 74 10" entries, a third of which show no serial numbers. And there is a large jump or blank range in the 10" serial numbers. They meander up to a little over 8000 and then skip to over 17000. Plus we only have three supposed bearing dates, one of which does not track with the other two. Meaning that it is about 13000 smaller than one with almost the same date.

Anyway, anyone with a 10" who doesn't remember for sure entering your machine into the old Yahoo database or giving it to me recently, please send me the model number (which includes bed length), serial number (including any prefix or suffix letters), type (10F, 10D, etc.), and if it has Timken bearings, the bearing dates if you know them. If no bearing dates, then anything that would give the original purchase date (no guesses, please).

Thanks, Robert D.
Robert,
I have an atlas 10d with 48 inch ways serial number A3965S from what I can gather it is a 1936 model. the gear change chart inside the gear cover is different than anything I could fine on the internet. it is also very small print and hard to read. I have photographed it with a macro lens and enlarged it, if you need a copy let me know. I have the early style compound with two verticle studs and nuts that allow the compound to rotate. I need to know if the dovetails on the later model compound are the same as the dovetails on early model so I can update my 10d.
thanks,
Dennis
 

wa5cab

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#57
Dennis,

To answer your question first, yes. The later compound slide will fit the earlier stud type compound swivel. And the later cross slide and pintle style compound swivel will replace the earlier stud type. The follow rest is the same part number in the 1935, 1937 and 1945 catalogs. The part number for the cross feed stop changed from 9-425 to just 425 between 1935 and 1937 but they all say for 9" and 10" so the carriage dovetail did not change. Likewise, on the compound slide, the 918 parts list shows 9-301 cross slide, 9-302 compound swivel and 9-303 compound slide. The 10E and 10F parts lists shows 10-301 and 10-302 (the pintle version) but still the 9-303. So the compound dovetail did not change.

Does your compound have the little hand wheel or the two-handle crank on the compound feed screw? And are the legs more or less square are they significantly wider than they are deep, with a pronounced lean toward the center of the bed?

Yes, I would like to see the photo of the threading chart.

Incidentally, had your machine been made a day or two later, it would have the pintle style swivel. That occurred at S/N 3970.
 

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#58
Robert,
I'm not sure if my lathe was listed on yahoo groups or not, I do remember posting it some where but I don't remember where or when.
So here is the info again. I have an Atlas 10F with Timkin Bearing headstock ( it was originally a Babbit headstock which I still have )
the serial number is H 12768 S and it is located on the outboard way at the end. I have no info from the bearings as there is no need to change them.
could you please send or post a link to the data base that you are putting together for our viewing pleasure.
Thanks
Regards
Wally Gehricke
dgehricke
 

MBuechle

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#59
Hi Robert, new member here with a recently acquired Atlas 10F. It's a TH54, serial no. 075455. The previous owner had changed the bearings and retained the old ones so I was able to get dates from them. They are: 10-9-44 and 11-30-44. Hope this helps.

Mark Buechle
 

wa5cab

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#60
Wally,

I didn't have yours before. I have added it to the local database. Send me the bed length so that I can fill out the correct model number. All I can say about the MFG date is that it's one of the earliest 10F's, probably early 1939.

The database I referred to is on Yahoo in the Atlas_Craftsman Group's Database section. Files and Databases on Yahoo are only accessible to members. If you don't want to join that group, I will email you a .CSV or .DBF file (your choice). But first I will have to do an upload to add yours (after I get the bed length) and Mark's.

Mark,

Thanks. However, I have three entries in the database with supposedly later dates (all 1946) but slightly lower serial numbers. Could you recheck carefully the first two digits of the serial number and the year on the bearings. There are several possible explanations (two of the dates are purchase dates, not bearing dates, and we don't know how carefully Atlas adhered to a First-In First-Out practice on bearings). But as I have the chance to ask, I thought that I would do so (doesn't happen very often).
 
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