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Atlas/Craftsman Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

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birdman1

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I have two Atlas lathes. The older one's serial no. is D1215 no s pat. date on guard and square house type on off switch is May 16 1933. It has the zamak cross slide the compound has been brazed back together. I'm going to retrofit to the newer post type cross slide way too much flex in the zamak one. the newer one is ser. V 11603 S. The history on it is my better half's grandfather purchased it new and used it in his auto repair shop in north Mo. until he closed it and went to work at Mac. in Stl. in the late 50's or early 60's. This is the lathe that I learned what not to do on! Will try to post picture's when I get the how too's of that figured out.
 

wa5cab

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Thanks. The serial number on the older one is the lowest number so far reported. Additional information needed is:
Bed Length.
Confirm that it has babbit spindle bearings.
Confirm that it has a Vertical countershaft like the newer one.
Confirm that it has a fabricated instead of cast change gear guard.
Confirm that name plate with model number is missing, or if present, give information printed thereon.

Confirm (or mention discrepancies) that it looks like the photo below from 1935 Catalog No. 15. Including shape of the tailstock (the top part is cylindrical instead of larger in the middle than at either end).

Atlas 1042 Circa 1935.jpg

FWIW, I would guess that it was made in 1935. According to catalog photos, the same switch box had been used on earlier machines, including the 9".

Also see next post.
 
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wa5cab

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Need the same information for Ser. V 11603 S. Except it is probably a 10F with ON-OFF switch mounted in headstock. So say whether the removable plate that the switch is actually mounted on is oval or rectangular.
 

birdman1

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Ok, Bed length is 42" babbit headstock vertical countershaft fabricated guard(missing the end plate) name plate not found on back of bed frame number cast into near inside bed frame is 942 it has the older round taiulstock and Zamak crossslide. The 11603 S has a oval switch plate. On the end of the near rail a square is stamped into it(not top or back it is on the end. It is a 10x54. I have 2 other craftsman lathes. the 1st one is a12x36 serial 9856 S craftsman 101 07383 tumbler reverser and one piece saddle with standard post on crossslide 3/4 lead screw. The switch hole is rectangular. The other one is in storage at a friends house I believe it's a 12x54 I don't recall all of the details Hopefully I can get it home in the near future. Thank You for all of your help and information. Otis
 
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wa5cab

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Thanks. 942 (for 24 inches between centers), 9-1 (18"), 948 (30") and 954 (36") were the bed casting part numbers apparently all the way from 1933 through 1957. The part numbers 942, 942A and 942B were the finished bed part numbers. The only difference appears to have been the holes drilled and tapped to attach the legs of which there were three styles on Atlas 9" and 10" plus one additional on Craftsman 9". So they must all have used the same casting.

FYI, conventionally, nnXmm is the shorthand way of describing the size of a lathe. "nn" would be the swing (6", 10", 12", etc.). For the Atlas and/or Atlas/Craftsman 9", 10" and early 12" lathes, mm would be 18, 24, 30 or 36. For whatever reason, Atlas used the bed length rather than the distance between centers in their 6" and 10" part numbers. With the 9". they actually did it both ways. Both the 918 and the 936 are 9X18 machines. So when you say that the 101.07383 is a 12X36 do you mean that it has a 54" bed? Or it is really a 12X18 and has a 36" bed? There isn't any 12X54. It would have had to have a 72" long bed.

Also, the 101.07383 originally shipped with a 5/8" diameter lead screw and a one piece carriage saddle and apron casting, same as on the 10D. The 10F and the 101.07403 had 3/4" lead screws and two-piece carriage castings. Could you re-check the lead screw diameter? A number of people have replaced the original 5/8" lead screws and one-piece carriages on 101.07383 with 3/4" and two-piece in order to get power cross feed. But I don't recall anyone reporting changing only the lead screw. I guess that it would work, so long as they also changed the half nuts and right lead screw bearing. The half nut guide is the same in both cases.

And do you mean that switch hole is rectangular or switch plate is rectangular?
 

Joncooey

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Hi Robert D., I have a 10" Atlas TH48 with a QuickChange Gearbox; S/N: 044495. I replaced the Timken Bearings when I got it but saved them because of the dates inscribed on them. The first is 12-11-42 and the second is 1-2-43. Seems to be a Chrismas/New Year's machine.
Jonathan.
 

wa5cab

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Thanks. We have a cluster of three machines with bearing dates between 23 DEC 42 and 02 JAN 43. Interesting thing is that just between those three is proof that Atlas did not practice FIFO (First In, First Out) control on their bearing inventory.
 

birdman1

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Robert D. I'm sorry it's taken so long to get back to you. I listed the lathe's as bed length as that seemed to be the most prevalent way to identify atlas lathes. Ok the D1215 has babbit bearing's, vertical countershaft, steel fabricated change gear guard (painted black as are the two headstock spindle guards - original paint) No evidence that it ever had a name plate attached (no rivet holes, will look closer as I clean it. It looks exactly like the picture you posted.
Round tailstock (no oil dipper hole). Behind the switch box the hole is round. The paint on the bed is in remarkably good shape after cleaning with carb. cleaner spayed on a rag. I repainted the newer crosslide and tailstock Ford/Ferguson 9n-2n gray it is a really close match. I used Van Sickle brand paint, in my area it is available from Orschelns farm and home. It is available in rattle cans quarts and gallons also a hardener is available. the only drawback is the slow dry time so I use a automotive type medium reducer it works much better. On the V11603 S the plate and the boss are oval. Babbitt bearings, vertical countershaft, cast changegear guard. I've not found the nameplate not able to look for rivet holes due to location of lathe. Will be removing it from the bench in the near future. The 101.07383 has a 3/4 leadscew a one piece apron - saddle casting, the saddle lock is on the right side of the casting. The hole in the headstock is a rectangle. The previous owner installed a different saddle traverse control mounted to the left of the apron. Sad thing is he kept the gear and crank handle to operate it with. Will hopefully figure out my camera so I can post some pics. I sincerely thank you for all of your help and being on this site. Otis
 

wa5cab

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Thanks. The model number of the 10D was 1042. The nameplate was probably on the back of the bed, about 2/3 of the way down from the headstock. Rough guess on its year of manufacture is 1935.

The 10F (model # V42) was made before mid-1942 because of the oval switch plate. Best guess just going by the serial # is late 1938 or 1939.

I would guess that the 101.07383 was made in 1943. It's catalog number was 2071, which specifies the bed length. It wasn't until about 1950 with the 101.27430 and 27440 that the Sears model numbers also pinned down the bed length. As the machine was not made in a transition year, the lead screw was probably changed by a PO. Doesn't hurt anything. The right lead screw bearing carrier will also not be original.
 

ndnchf

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I'll add mine to the list. It's a 101.07403, Sn 18717. It is a 12"x24" (between centers). It has the original 1/3hp motor and iron leg stand. I recently added a QCGB to it. I've never needed to replace the spindle bearings, so don't know the dates. I bought it over 30 years ago from a very old machine shop that closed down. I've made 100s of parts on it over the years - it's like an old friend.
Hope this helps,
Steve
 
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wa5cab

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Thanks. Yours was probably made in 1946. S/N 018810 has the right spindle bearing dated 06/20/1946.
 

ndnchf

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Thank you, that's great to know. Are there any other details you'd like for the database?
 

wa5cab

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Well, for generic use, I think you've covered almost all of the bases. One question that does come up on the Craftsman models is original paint color, if the machine didn't appear to have been repainted before you acquired it. The only other thing that might be of any interest would have been the purchase price, and a list of significant accessories that came for that price (chucks, milling attachment, steady rest, etc.). But from 30 odd years ago, probably only of academic interest. You are free to add any other details that you wish. But the main use that the database serves is answering the perennial question of "when was my machine made?".
 

ndnchf

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Mine still has the original gray paint, although a bit grubby and probably darkened a bit over the years. It came with a r and 4 jaw chuck, milling attachment and a few dogs. Not much else. But I've acquired quite a few accessories over the years. Thanks.
 

wa5cab

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OK. That could be useful information. We knew that Craftsman lathes in the 1930's and maybe early 40's came in various shades of green and blue. And that in the 1950's, they were the same shade of gray as the Atlas 10" machines. Which except for the MK2 6" continued through end of production in 1981. But there was no real info as to when the color change occurred. So this pushes the date back to 1946 or earlier.
 

wa5cab

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OK. You were lucky to find one with all of the belt covers. More often than not, those along with the nameplates are missing.
 

mephits

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I'd be happy to add my late-model Craftsman 12" lathe, model # 101.28940 (Atlas 3981), sometimes called the "Commercial" line. Serial # is 008046. The code cast into the inner face of the bed is 058-016. I've got no reason to take the spindle out, so I don't know if it has any bearing codes. Unfortunately, I know very little of it's history. I bought it off Craigslist about a month ago. The previous owner bought it a couple of years ago at an estate auction intending to use it in automotive resoration, but never got around to it. It sat in his garage the whole time, gaining a light coating of rust and a rather odd rattle-can paint job. Beyond that, I know nothing else. I'm tearing it down a bit and making sure everything looks good right now, and intend to get it to it's final location and into use in the new year.

Oh, and it has all the belt covers, the horizontal shaft and everything else, I just have all that stripped off at the moment.
 

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wa5cab

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Thanks. Don't make any special effort on the bearings as current evidence indicates that the practice of engraving an inspection date on the spindle bearings ceased around 1957. No one has ever reported there being any dates on any of the 1/2" bed machines. Specifically, 101.28940 S/N 8012 does not have any.

058-016 is both the casting number and the finished part number of the late 12x36's 54" bed.

Your serial number is the highest yet reported of the first version of the 1/2" bed version. If I had to guess at the date made, I would guess 1966 or 1967 as we don't know exactly how many were made. However, we have 22 reported examples of the final version (with slip clutch and lever operator for the power cross feed) versus only seven of the first version like yours.
 

mephits

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Thanks. Don't make any special effort on the bearings as current evidence indicates that the practice of engraving an inspection date on the spindle bearings ceased around 1957. No one has ever reported there being any dates on any of the 1/2" bed machines. Specifically, 101.28940 S/N 8012 does not have any.

058-016 is both the casting number and the finished part number of the late 12x36's 54" bed.

Your serial number is the highest yet reported of the first version of the 1/2" bed version. If I had to guess at the date made, I would guess 1966 or 1967 as we don't know exactly how many were made. However, we have 22 reported examples of the final version (with slip clutch and lever operator for the power cross feed) versus only seven of the first version like yours.
Thanks for the info! Please let me know if there's anything else I can tell you about my lathe.
 

wa5cab

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What else people usually report, which is sometimes useful to someone, is price paid and besides the lathe itself, what else came with it of any significance (in other words, it isn't necessary to list in any detail things like end mills and drill bits or common lathe turning tools. But if a lot of new ones came with it, that's worth something so making it a better deal.
 

mephits

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OK, here goes! My lathe came with a 6" three-jaw chuck, a lightly rusted 8" four-jaw chuck, an Atlas cross-slide milling attachment (fairly rusted and sans jaw blocks, mounting bolts and dovetail pegs), a beat-up live center and tailstock jacob's chuck, the original lantern toolpost, one LH tool holder, a box with probably two dozen ground but largely unused HSS tools (probably pre-made sets sold by Sears), and a very nice, very heavily built welded steel table that was obviously custom made for the lathe. I think the table weighs nearly what the lathe does! Plus, the previous owner had installed a brand-new 1/3 HP reversing motor with all new wiring and switches, done by an actual electrician so it's not the dangerous nightmare you often find on old power tools. All together, I paid $1000.
 

wa5cab

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Thanks. I'll add that to the record. I guess that it's about time I did another update to the machine databases on Yahoo and here in Downloads.
 

mephits

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Apologies, I have one correction to my above list of equipment. The motor is a 1/2 HP, not a 1/3 HP.
 

O-brian

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I have an old 10-D that I have rebuilt the only number I can find is on the right end of the bed. DT 8549 S There are three other letters at an angle above this but not clearly readable. The bed is 54" long. I have a change gear set that runs from 96 tooth to 20 tooth. It looked pretty sad when I bought it for $300. It works ok but the operator needs help.

Dennis B.
 

wa5cab

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Hurley,

OK, thanks. I'll make the correction.

Dennis,

Your serial number is 8549. The presence of the 96T change gear confirms that it is earlier than the 10F (which had 64T as its largest gear) and also that it is not a 10A, B, C, or E (which has no lead screw or change gears (although for some strange reason it shipped with the half nuts installed). From what few examples that that we have, the "D" prefix means that is is a 10D.. The "T" probably means that it has Timken tapered roller bearings for the spindle instead of the more common babbit bearings. But please confirm that. The "S" suffix no one has come up with a theory on and most likely all of the people who knew what it meant are long since deceased. All that we know is that it first appeared between S/N 002107 and 002347. And that it was also stamped on Craftsman 12" machine beds from the same period.In any case, your model number is probably 1054T.
 

O-brian

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Hurley,

Thanks for the quick reply. I can confirm the 10D as all of the castings have 10D + a part #. Also noted the Timken bearings when I had it torn down to restore. It has been modified by addition of a Craftsman 1/2 hp motor with a forward/reverse switch. I have been a member for some time but have not posted before. when I figure out how to attach photos I will send a before and after photos.

Dennis B. WB7ALP
 

wa5cab

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OK. For the record, the presence of parts with part numbers beginning with 10D is a necessary but not sufficient requirement for a machine to be a 10D. My 12" Atlas 3996 still has a few 10D parts on it. The presence of a 5/8" diameter lead screw, the absence of power cross feed, the presence of two studs to lock the compound swivel, a one-piece carriage and a Serial Number below 3970 all together with the 10D parts would be sufficient. There were a few 10F parts that were backwards compatible and if any of those parts had to be replaced on any 10" after the change, that's what the factory would have shipped. So if you found a 10F part on it, that would just mean that someone had to replace it.

EDIT: Actually, your machine serial number is already well above 3970 so it will have come with the later part number cross slide and compound swivel (which have just 10- numbers). That change predated the 10D.
 
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lakebom184

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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 can find no model # on the lathe but the serial # is D5626S. It has a 5/8 lead screw, babbit brgs., vertical motor mount and a 54" bed.
Lake
 

wa5cab

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Thanks. It is a 10D, model number 1054, and Serial Number 005626. We've seen enough examples to confirm that the D stamped before the serial number does mean 10D. And as I've written before, no one seems to know what the "S" suffix means. It also appeared for a while on the Craftsman 12" machines. It wasn't on the first few thousand machines and seems to have disappeared around 1945,

All of the 10D and earlier 10" originally had vertical countershaft assemblies. The horizontal countershaft came out with the first 10F, although the vertical was for a while still available as a special order option.
 
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