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Atlas/Craftsman Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

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wa5cab

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OK on the date.

I'll look into the Conversations problem. Probably log in as you briefly.

I have $169.00 in in the Atlas 900B Collet Closer (according to my Accounting database). If you are still interested, I will get all of the pieces together and take some photos. A PDF of the 2-page owners manual and parts list is in Files under I think Atlas Lathe Accessories, or something close to that.
 

TH484BBB

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Hi Robert,
Can one still get 3AT collets? I don't have the 3C collet adaptor. Are the adaptors available any more?
Yes I am interested the price is fine. The photos and PDF would be great so I can see what I need to make for linkage.
If you want we could just use our email accounts to correspond.
I got the lathe mounted on its new bench with new belts. The head stock belt is a twist lock so I didn't have to pull the spindle and fired it up, works good.

Thank you,
Bill
 

wa5cab

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Bill,

The 3AT aren't as common anymore as 3C but can still be found pretty frequently used on eBay. Plus at least Bass Tool here in Houston still carries one (West German) brand new. New they average about $21 each. Batches of used ones on eBay are usually less expensive, except maybe square and hex. It took me a while but except for a 1/64" one, I finally accumulated a complete set from 1/32" to 1/2" by 64ths. In the course of doing that, I ended up with extras which I have been selling for $10 each.

I think that I ended up with two or three extra 3AT adapters as well. I'll have to check what I have in them but will let you have one at my cost, whatever it was. I don't have an extra 3C adapter. And I also do not have an extra spindle nose thread protector, which you definitely should use. Tomorrow, I'll try to gather up the 900B parts and send you a photo(s) and also the 2-page manual.

When I get time, I'm going to move our non-serial number related comments down into the main area. And maybe we'll get the PM's working as well. I just sent you a test message.
 

JerryHFreeman

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Here's another for your database. I have a QC54, serial number 000423. From what I can tell reading this board, it must have been made in late 1947. Does that make sense? (Lightly used, in excellent condition. I've had it about ten years.)
 

wa5cab

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Jerry,

Yes. The first catalog that the QCGB appeared in is dated 1947. As Atlas rarely dated anything any closer than that, I just assume, absent any other information on the subject, that anything that shows up in a catalog that just gives the year was available by January of that year. At a distance of 50 to 80 years, it doesn't introduce much potential error.
 

wa5cab

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Thanks. Did it come with any clues as to when it was made or bought?
 

JPMacG

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I wish I knew more. It appears in the 1953 Sears catalog but not in the 1951 catalog nor in the 1966 catalog. So, some time between 1952 and 1965. That's the best I can do.
 

wa5cab

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OK. I can do better than that. The QCGB first appeared in the 1951 Craftsman Power Tools catalog along with the 101.27430, 101.27440 and the older change gear 101.07403. They (those three models) last appeared in the 1957 catalog, after which they were replaced by the first version of the 1/2" bed 12" machines. Given the catalog print cycles, the catalogs were probably done the previous Summer or Fall so the QC box was probably in production by late 1950. The latest bearing date that anyone has reported is from 1951. If you ever have occasion to pull the spindle, please report any dates on the bearings or if there are no dates.

The highest 3/8" bed 12" serial number that we have is 041832. Making a few assumptions that may or may not be totally valid, I get early June, 1954.
 
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24th acr

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Hello,
This is my first post so I figured I should put my Lathe on the list. I just got this not long ago from a friend that had only used it as a wood lathe for about 40 years. Atlas H42 10F SN#025068
 

wa5cab

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Thanks. That puts it made around mid 1941 best guess. Unfortunately, the babbit bearings have no dates on them.
 

JPMacG

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Here is a tidbit of information, for whatever it is worth.

I disassembled and cleaned my 3-jaw scroll chuck today. I purchased the lathe from a neighbor 20 years ago and the chuck was included. The chuck may have come with the lathe when the lathe was new. Stamped on the rear surface of the chuck is "Atlas BB-435" and "12-51".
 
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wa5cab

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That is relatively consistent with the serial number.
 

Rodney Young

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I have just acquired an Atlas lathe and milling machine in the last couple of months and am in the process of rebuilding them right now.
The lathe is a 612 with a 24 inch bed. serial number stamped in the bed is M295, no model plate on it. The milling machine is a model MF serial number 001699. Don't have any history on them but other than being extremely dirty when I got them both are in prettygood shape and will be operable with new bearings and a belt or two. With such low serial numbers I am expecting that they are both quite old as in 40s? Didn't get them from the same place so no history between them. Interesting thing is that I ordered new bearings for the lathe then when I pulled the ones from the mill they are the same! Pretty convienient that with the same MT2 taper lots of tooling will work in both.
Rodney
 

Rodney Young

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Hey Rodney , does your 618 lathe have bushings or roller bearings in the head stock ?
Also I think you will enjoy this .
http://www.lathes.co.uk/craftsman6inchmk1/
Hi westsailpat,
My machine is the Atlas 612 and has roller bearings. (haven't built anything with it yet but turned down some bolts to see how it works). The site you sent the link for has a lot of great info. I'm hoping to find the aproximate build dates for these machines so I know when to celebrate thier 100th birthday!
 

wa5cab

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Pat,

Even though it is a 6x18, it is never correct to refer to the 101.07301 as a 618. 618 is an Atlas model number - only. In the 1930's Atlas sometimes used the lathe size figures to generate their lathe model number (they also made a 918 for example). The two 6" lathes sold under the Atlas badge in the early years were 618 (which is a 6x18) and 612 (which is a 6x12).

Rodney,

Atlas started making the 6" (both 612 and 618) in 1937. The 618 remained in production until 1972, when it was replaced by the 3950. The last catalog that the 612 appears in is the 1941 General Catalog. They apparently did not print a catalog in 1942. And the 612 is missing from L43 (the 1943 catalog on lathes) and all subsequent catalogs. So I have tentatively set the production life of the 612 as 1937 to 1942.

In the Atlas database, we have 54 618's listed, of which we have serial numbers for 45. We have absolutely zero 612's. Until now. The bed lengths on the 10" and 12" don't appear to have affected serial number assignments (next machine off the line got the next serial number). So probably the length of the 6" didn't either. Unfortunately, the spindle bearings from the 6" don't ever appear to have been dated as the 9", 10" and 12" were up through about 1957. So dating the 6" is an iffy proposition. However, 618 serial number 004073 in the database has a note from the current owner saying that his Grandfather purchased it new from Atlas in 1941. So probably your 612 was made in 1937.

On your mill, according to the serial number, it is actually an MFA. Check and confirm that the spindle pulley has three steps instead of four. As far as I can tell from the catalogs, Atlas didn't start calling the 12-speed machines M1A, MFA and MHA until they came out with the 8-speed M1B, MFB and MHB. Based on the catalogs, I have the production years for the MFA as 1942 to 1944. The first MFA serial number is supposedly 001345 so yours was probably made in 1942.
 

Rodney Young

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Pat,

Even though it is a 6x18, it is never correct to refer to the 101.07301 as a 618. 618 is an Atlas model number - only. In the 1930's Atlas sometimes used the lathe size figures to generate their lathe model number (they also made a 918 for example). The two 6" lathes sold under the Atlas badge in the early years were 618 (which is a 6x18) and 612 (which is a 6x12).

Rodney,

Atlas started making the 6" (both 612 and 618) in 1937. The 618 remained in production until 1972, when it was replaced by the 3950. The last catalog that the 612 appears in is the 1941 General Catalog. They apparently did not print a catalog in 1942. And the 612 is missing from L43 (the 1943 catalog on lathes) and all subsequent catalogs. So I have tentatively set the production life of the 612 as 1937 to 1942.

In the Atlas database, we have 54 618's listed, of which we have serial numbers for 45. We have absolutely zero 612's. Until now. The bed lengths on the 10" and 12" don't appear to have affected serial number assignments (next machine off the line got the next serial number). So probably the length of the 6" didn't either. Unfortunately, the spindle bearings from the 6" don't ever appear to have been dated as the 9", 10" and 12" were up through about 1957. So dating the 6" is an iffy proposition. However, 618 serial number 004073 in the database has a note from the current owner saying that his Grandfather purchased it new from Atlas in 1941. So probably your 612 was made in 1937.

On your mill, according to the serial number, it is actually an MFA. Check and confirm that the spindle pulley has three steps instead of four. As far as I can tell from the catalogs, Atlas didn't start calling the 12-speed machines M1A, MFA and MHA until they came out with the 8-speed M1B, MFB and MHB. Based on the catalogs, I have the production years for the MFA as 1942 to 1944. The first MFA serial number is supposedly 001345 so yours was probably made in 1942.
Hi Robert,
Thanks for all the information, this is fantastic to be able to get some history on these things!!
My milling machine has the 3 step pulley.
Rodney
 

Steve Shannon

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Robert,
The other day I posted a picture of the data plate from my Atlas mill, SN 725, model MF. I have no idea when it was purchased new; I wish I did. I'll ask the person I got it from just in case he knows more , but he did tell me that he was not the original owner.
 

westsailpat

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My bad Rodney , yes 612 not 618 .
 
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wa5cab

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Steve,

We don't have many mills in the database. And although a few that were in the database when I took it over had dates (or at least a year), none of them are substantiated (they don't say where they got the date from). However, we do have a little information from which to guess a year. The first Atlas catalog to show the mill was No. 41 1941. The first to show the MFA was M43 1943. The first to show the MFB was No. 45 1945. And the first to show the MFC was M48 1948. There were AFAIK no catalogs printed in 1944, 1946 or 1947 (except for L47 Lathes). So there is a fair chance of an error here but until better data surfaces I am dating the first of each of the four models as 01 January of the year they first appeared in a catalog and the last of the previous model as 31 December of the previous year. In addition, Atlas Mill Bulletin MMB-5 gives the serial number ranges of the MF, MFA and MFB. From these two criteria we can roughly date the MF, MFA and MFB if we assume a constant production rate. From all of this, we can guess that your mill was made near the end of 1941.
 

Rodney Young

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My bad Rodney , yes 612 not 618 . Is this the one ? http://www.lathes.co.uk/atlas/page4.html
Hi Westsailpat,
IMG_20160224_080316.jpg
This is my lathe with the tooling that came with it. The one you linked to is a 12 inch swing, mine is the little guy, 6 inch swing. It appears to have been built/sold in 1936.
It also came with the atlas table/bench but the bench is for a larger model so the lathe only takes up about 2/3 of the bench

Rodney
 
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Reuben Bailey

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I have a 9x36 Atlas. Serial # is 2693. Nothing on dates.

It had been sitting for quite a few years in a friend's barn. They had been given it by a neighbor. everything moves as appropriate. A couple of the hand wheel knobs have broken off, and the gear teeth of the carriage hand wheel have stripped off.
 

wa5cab

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You're lucky (except that the parts are not cheap) in that the parts are mostly still available, mainly because the ones that you mention were carried over to the later machines. The cast gear case, however, is not plentiful as it was only used up through the 10D and 101.07402. Gear case for the later models has a different part number.

Is there a nameplate anywhere? It would probably be on the back of the bed behind where the tailstock usually sits. What is the length of the front way? Are there three V-belts running between the spindle and the shaft assembly above it? Or only one.
 

Reuben Bailey

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Hi Robert.
No name plate that I can see, and no apparent holes where one was attached.

Only one belt on the headstock, though it has the pulleys for 3 to set up the compound drive.

Inside of the back way has "954" cast into it.

Feet are the "splayed" type. Change gear cover is formed sheet metal.

I will post a link to some pictures as soon as I have enough posts on here. :)


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