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Atlas/Craftsman Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

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wa5cab

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OK. I didn't know whether you knew what a compound drive was. It is an Atlas 954, which is a 9x36. From the splayed feet, it dates from 1932 to 1934. I'll post a catalog photo and some text in the thread that you started.
 

ArborRing

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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.

I have just joined and trust a quick addition to your Atlas data will be appropriate. I have just found a H54 SN: 051391 has fallen into the back of my Van. Its history and condition are as yet to be determined. Only tidbit thus far suggests it was used for black powder rifle boring at some time in is life. I have not opened it up yet but suspect it has original Babbit bearings. Here is the Name Plate. I am looking forward to working with all of you in refurbishing this American Iron.
Thanks,
ArborRing
20160426_164548 Atlas H54 051391.jpg
 

RHD

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Atlas Data Plate UPRIGHT.JPG
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 recently received my grand father's lathe that he bought new in the late 40's.I was investigating a bump in the spindle, and decided to pull the spindle to replace a frayed belt. the rear bearing looked no worse for wear, but the front bearing had broken its cage in a couple of places and fell apart as it came out. The front bearing was marked 11/16/44 and the rear was marked 1/26/45. I have included a picture of the data plate, this is a 10" machine. I hope this info will help. I am new here and really enjoy the sharing of information, as it makes this place feel like home. Thanks for all you do.
Bob
Unfortunately the photo is upside down and i don't know how to change it.
View attachment 128586
 
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wa5cab

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Well, that worked - sorta. Just ignore the elephant in the room. :oops:

I think that yours may be the first post I've seen either here or on Yahoo (other than due to rust or corrosion) where the reported condition of either spindle bearing was such that it clearly needed to be replaced. Did any bits of metal come out with the bearing that might not have belonged to the cage?

The vertical countershaft is relatively rare on 10F models. And in fact was discontinued between the time your machine was built and when the 1947 catalog came out. Do you have the factory cast iron leg stand with it?
 

RHD

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Well, that worked - sorta. Just ignore the elephant in the room. :oops:

I think that yours may be the first post I've seen either here or on Yahoo (other than due to rust or corrosion) where the reported condition of either spindle bearing was such that it clearly needed to be replaced. Did any bits of metal come out with the bearing that might not have belonged to the cage?

The vertical countershaft is relatively rare on 10F models. And in fact was discontinued between the time your machine was built and when the 1947 catalog came out. Do you have the factory cast iron leg stand with it?
Well, that worked - sorta. Just ignore the elephant in the room. :oops:

I think that yours may be the first post I've seen either here or on Yahoo (other than due to rust or corrosion) where the reported condition of either spindle bearing was such that it clearly needed to be replaced. Did any bits of metal come out with the bearing that might not have belonged to the cage?

The vertical countershaft is relatively rare on 10F models. And in fact was discontinued between the time your machine was built and when the 1947 catalog came out. Do you have the factory cast iron leg stand with it?
The bearing looked in reasonably good shape. The cage had broken and released the rollers. I must admit I was tempted to TIG the cage back together and drive on but my OCD would not allow that. the spindle was clean and only had a few signs that the set screws had been tightened in one other position. I did not find anything that would lead me to believe the bearing was about to fail. When my Grand Father bought the machine as I understand money was tight and he built a stout work bench to set the machine on, so sadly he didn't purchasethe stand. Presently I have it set up on a large desk and am thinking of building a suitable stand. My Smithy Granite is Next to it on its Steel desk, so I have a wall of lathes in my small shop.
Bob
 

wa5cab

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OK. No telling why it broke, then. I agree with not trying to fix it. That I would consider false economy.

The reason (or at least one reason) that I asked about the factory stand is that I have wondered how the motor is mounted (officially) on a 10" with vertical countershaft. In all of the dozens of Atlas catalogs I have, I don't think there is even one photo of a rear view of a lathe. It was only this year that someone posted photos showing how it was done with the horizontal countershaft. The one and only drawing Clausing still has pertaining to the floor stands is of the wood top board.for the 10".
 

RHD

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I can post some pictures when i get a chance to go out to the shop. We have been working 12/14 hour days since the 20th of April and I haven't had the energy to go out there lately. I did order the new bearings from Motion Industries today, but I didn't spec a class 3 bearing as they are stupid expensive. I will try to get out there in the next few days as we are back up and running, and only working 10 hr days this week.
Bob
 

wa5cab

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So long as they are Timken, the consensus seems to be that unmarked should be fine today. Plus if you go to the Timken site and are able to locate what they say about bearing classes, you will see that they claim not to sell anything worse than Class 3, anyway. They actually use letters, C, B, A and AA, where C = ABMA Class 3. They don't list a C;ass equivalent to 2 or 4.
 

RHD

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So long as they are Timken, the consensus seems to be that unmarked should be fine today. Plus if you go to the Timken site and are able to locate what they say about bearing classes, you will see that they claim not to sell anything worse than Class 3, anyway. They actually use letters, C, B, A and AA, where C = ABMA Class 3. They don't list a C;ass equivalent to 2 or 4.
The bearings made it in and I managed to escape today and tomorrow. after I cleaned up all the parts i reassembled the head stock, only to realize that the new belt was still laying with the counter shaft. After much nashing of teeth and words your mother spanked you for I took it back apart, and put the belt in its proper place. Other than that it went back very smoothly. Let it run in for a while and am pleased with the results. I took some photos of the motor mounts from different angles, if there is any thing else you would like to see, i'll try to get it.

IMG_0106.JPG IMG_0107.JPG IMG_0108.JPG IMG_0109.JPG
and as usual they are upside down....wont say what i'm thinking.
 

wa5cab

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Maybe your camera thinks that you live in Australia.:eek: Your initials do stand for Right Hand Drive, right?
 

RHD

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I don't think so more like Rabid Hunting Dog, when i saved them to my drive from my iphone, they are oriented correctly, so who knows. Anyway she is back together and quiet as a mouse.
 

wa5cab

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I don't know the details and I forgot to ever call Nikon and talk to them about it. But I discovered some incompatibility between a later piece of Nikon photo editing software and both Irfanview and most browsers at the time. A photo rotated by the newer Nikon software was still displayed unrotated by the other viewers. I solved the immediate problem by not using the newer software. Then my wife "retired" from eBay and our every Sunday afternoon photo-shoot sessions ceased and I never pursued the question. I did look into some online comparisons between JPEG and JPEG2000 but there was never any mention of a rotation problem. So I don't know what's causing it. All I can say is that if the JPG was created by a real camera, the problem doesn't seem to occur on this site. And that it doesn't always occur if the JPG was created by a not-so-smart-phone.
 

txpilgrim

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Hi Robert, I am John and I am a Toolaholic!
I am new to H-M and just bought an Atlas lathe.
I believe it's 10F H36 serial number 13211S babbitt bearings (took bright lights, loupe, magnifying glass, chalk and steel wool to Finally give you the proper serial number).
Please let me know if there is any additional info you would like. I like many am in the midst of cleanup/ overhauling my lathe.

John
 

wa5cab

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John,

Thanks. That is all of the information required for the record to be potentially useful. If you wish, you could add acquisition cost, what else you got with it for that money, and when, where and how you acquired it. Plus any other comments you care to make up to about 700 characters.
 

wa5cab

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Actually, there are two other bits of information that I'm starting to add to the database for Atlas 10" only. And these are if you remove the headstock from the bed, the part number cast into the bottom of the headstock. And whether the headstock is removed or not, information on how the motor switch is mounted and what the front of the headstock looks like. I just moved my recent post on that subject up into the Sticky area so I won't repeat it here.
 

Rob B

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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.
 

wa5cab

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Thanks. Probably made in late 1942.
 

txpilgrim

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Thanks. Probably made in late 1942.
Thanks Robert, I paid $500 (Craigslist) drove about 80 miles each way for it. Came with some indexable tooling, knurling tools, a nice live center, a good chuck, a couple of lathe dogs and some braze tips. The previous owner kept the gears well greased but the rest not much lubing. On the trip home, the lathe tipped over in the truck shattering gears. So, I'm slowly repairing it. I gotten a manual now just need to go to work on it.
Aside - I grew up in Spring Branch near Long Point and Wirt Rd.
Thanks
John
 

wa5cab

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John,

Sorry to hear about the accident on the way home.

Your old house is probably about 4 miles ESE of mine. I'm about 300 yards SE of the intersection of Hammerly and BW8. When you were here, that was where West Belt dead-ended into Hammerly.
 
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M3 New

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Ever since I was a small boy, I remember this lathe on a work bench in my Grandads shop in a small town in north east Colorado. My Uncle got it from him when he passed away, When my Uncle recently passed, he left it to me. I had not seen it in many years until I went to pick it up from my Aunt. When I was in trade school to learn to be a machinist, my Uncle had asked me to make a part for it, the cross slide, which is still on it some forty years later.
It is a Atlas 10 inch, 48 inch bed lathe. It has the plain head stock, with the babbitt spindle bearings. It has the square light switch type on / off switch. I have been looking for its serial number while taking it apart to clean it. I was finally able to locate its serial number, D2107 on the apron side of the bed and a date of 1-28-36 on the other way of the machine. My lathe has a POWER-KRAFT motor on it, similar in most respects to the photos of the Atlas motor I`ve seen pictures of. There is one tag the is missing and appears to have been a large decal
Is it possible that the date is the date of manufacture ? Did a chain of stores called Montgomery Wards sell Atlas Lathes ? POWER-KRAFT was their brand of tools. Also, Can any one tell me what a very lightly built 4 jaw chuck would be used for ? It is about half the weight of the other 4 jaw and has what looks very much like a starter ring gear on it on the back of the chuck. The teeth of the ring gear are above the OD of the chuck. I will post photos of the numbers on the bed of the lathe and of the chuck when I can get my iPad and iPhone to communicate again with each other again.
I hope that my lathe ID will help the data base.
 

wa5cab

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No, Wards sold the Logan 9" before Logan was Logan. And then later the 10". Your motor just came from Wards. Even right up to the end, Atlas didn't include a motor with any of their lathes. They sold motors but you bought them separately. Or used one off of Granny's old wringer washing machine. :tranquility:

I've got to get to bed. I'll get back to your lathe in the morning (later this morning). In the meantime, confirm that the ON/OFF switch is in a box attached to the front of the headstock. And that the lead screw diameter is 5/8" and there is no power cross feed.
 

wa5cab

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OK. Electricity came to my grandparent's house during WW-II. By the time that I was old enough to notice (maybe 1948), both of the washing machines in the wash house were electric.

Confirm that the upper compound swivel is attached to the cross slide with two studs. ON/OFF switch is mounted in commercial sheet metal outlet/switch box which is attached to the fabricated inner part of the change gear guard adjacent to the threading chart. This is the lowest serial number yet reported and the first reported to have a date stamped into the bed. Where is it stamped relative to the serial number? And the serial number does not have an "S" stamped to the right of the serial number. The next higher serial number (2373 S) does.

I don't know about the chuck. When you said "ring gear", I assumed either hypoid or spiral bevel. But it's a spur gear, like a flywheel ring gear. My only guess is that it was a part of a rotary table, maybe home-built or limited production.

Everything that you have described or shown is consistent with what we think that we know about the early 10D. The date could have been stamped on the assembly line. If so, it wasn't done with the same set of number stamps. But it wasn't done with the same set of stamps. Note the differences between the "1" and the "2". Maybe one person stamped the S/N and another one stamped the date.

I'll try to delete the extraneous photo.
 

M3 New

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image.jpeg The washer had long since been changed to electricity, but I was given the engine when I was in my early teens in the '70s. Mom tells stories of the engine though.
What you wrote about the switch box it correct and its mounting location. I had never found a lathe like it in any photo or sketch until I went to a Atlas site in the UK and scrolled through it reading. There was one there on that site very close to mine.
On the switch box decal, it says that the lathe was patented in 1933. Not until I was cleaning the ways did I find the numbers on the bed. Standing in front of the lathe, Looking straight down. The serial number is closest to the outside of the way toward you. The date is on the far side of the other way. The tail stock can slide basically between the two numbers
There is no other letter or number before the "D" stamped in the bed. The bed is very rough and have had to run a very fine honing stone on it to remove high spots and dings in the bed. So I am certain there is no other letter
In the photo is the cross slide and the compound are attached with studs. Don't know if it is the original compound but I made the cross slide in trade school. My uncle had said something broke and he had tried to find the parts to fix it. But he asked me to make them instead.
Sorry for showing only parts. But am cleaning it and making sure all of the oil holes are open. Most I have found are plugged
I love reading this thread and what you are doing piecing a history of Atlas products together.
 

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Sorry I nearly forgot, The gear on the chuck is a starter ring gear. On the jaw side of the chuck is the lead in for the starter pinion gear. I wasn't sure anyone would know what it was for. But was hopeful. Thought about indexing as you said or some obscure attachment for it. .
 

wa5cab

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MN,

I finally figured out that the weird looking whatsit behind most of what you have photographed is a bucket or something similar used to set the subject object on. Earlier, my mind kept trying to make it a part of the object!

Everything you have shown seems to be consistent with photographs in a 1936 catalog. So we finally appear to have one hard date on a 10D.

The letter "S", when it appears, is stamped to the right of the serial number, with a space between it and the number.
 

M3 New

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Went out and looked again. There is no "S" on the bed after the serial number.
Yeah , I had the parts on a milk can to photograph them
 

wa5cab

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Right. Your photograph showed no "S".
 
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