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Atlas/Craftsman Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

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TH484BBB

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Hi Robert,

My friend is getting a Sears Roebuck 12" lathe with a 36" bed. The plate on the back side of the bed has model number 101 . 07401.
Any idea as to what year it might be or closed to?
I sent you a conversation also.

Thank you,

Bill Maguire
 

wa5cab

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The 101.07401 was made for about one year from late 1937 through most of 1938. After which it was replaced by the 101.07402 which was also made for about one year. The main difference between the 07401 and 07402 was the change in Change Gear hub length from 3/8" to 1/2". For rough dating, call it 1938.
 

TH484BBB

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Robert,

I checked with a mirror and light and removed front clamp. No casting number found but nice virgin gray paint. The on/off switch is a rectangular hole in the casting with 2 - 3/16" holes 1/4" down from the top lip at each boss. Below in the center is a recessed "B" cast in. The end of the back way has an "S" on its side stamped in. The bed casting has "948" behind the front way about in the middle of the bed.

I hope some of this is helpful for your data base.

Bill
 

wa5cab

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OK. Thanks. The "948" is the casting number and part of the part number, depending upon what lathe model it was to be used on. But it means that the overall length of the ways is 48". So the 101.07401 built with it would be a 12x30 and the finished bed part number would be 948C. If you find the serial number on top of the front way near the tailstock end, let me know what it is. I'm still trying to figure out whether each model's S/N started at 0001 or the numbers were cumulative over all four models.
 

TH484BBB

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Robert,

I'm sorry. The info I sent you belongs to my 10" TH48 lathe not the 12" 101 . 07401. The 12" has a 36" bed.
I got the PDF. Thank you. Wow, if you could get the drawings for the needed parts that would be a great help. If not I could improvise to get the same needed action. As for the spindle gear, I swung the gear guard out of the way to get a look. I had a set screwed collar threaded against it. Does part of the attachment thread to the spindle? I believe it would have to thus the counter bore into the back side of the gear. No big deal, once I see how it goes together.

Bill
 

wa5cab

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Bill,

OK. 10" and not 12".

Yes. You loosen the set screws. remove the threaded collar, and screw the 900B onto the spindle in its place. Instructions are in the PDF.
 

MTodd

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Howdy Y'all. I recently just acquired a Craftsman 101.07403 lathe and in the process of tearing it down for cleaning, repair and restoration (who knows how long it has sat unused). The bed is stamped "12702 S" on the far right side, front way. On the bearing housing nearest the chuck, the date "9-20-43" is stamped.

I haven't progressed far enough to see if the rear bearing is stamped. I received this lathe for free as a neighbor was closing his business (a family business that had been run since the 1910's) and this lathe had clearly been neglected and was destined for a landfill. It's not 100% complete and came with a small box of "parts" and "accessories." I've been able to research most of it and have a good idea of what I'm missing and what most of the pieces are . I'm sure I'll be posting a few topics asking for help with identification of a few things.

Thanks,

Matt
 

wa5cab

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Matt,

Welcome aboard. I entered it into the equipment database. What is the bed length (choices are 36, 42, 48 or 54 inches). From the serial number, I would have estimated it as dating to mid 1945. If you get a date off of the left bearing, please post it here.

What part of Houston are you in? I'm on the west side of Spring Branch, near BW8 and Hammerly Blvd.
 

MTodd

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Matt,

Welcome aboard. I entered it into the equipment database. What is the bed length (choices are 36, 42, 48 or 54 inches). From the serial number, I would have estimated it as dating to mid 1945. If you get a date off of the left bearing, please post it here.

What part of Houston are you in? I'm on the west side of Spring Branch, near BW8 and Hammerly Blvd.

Robert D (wa5cab),

The bed measures at 42". I should be able to get the other bearing date within a few days. The whole machine is being completely torn down to clean, then it'll get media blasted before getting powder coated. I'm doing it in stages (legs and chip pan, then bed, then headstock, etc.) so the process is a little time consuming.

And I live a few blocks from Minutemaid Stadium on the east end of downtown.

Once I decide upon an image hosting site, I'll probably start a "build thread." This is my first lathe and first venture into machining (though I've been around them a little here and there) and I got a box of "parts" along with the machine. There's a few things that I've yet to identify and a few things that need replaced (such as a missing headstock cover and a missing bull gear pin). I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions along the way and I look forward to contributing to this forum in any way I can.
 
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wa5cab

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OK. That's probably 10 or 12 miles away. Not too bad except at rush hour. :)
 

Jtsmith0272

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I just purchased a Craftsman 6" with the model and serial #'s pictured. I don't know how old it is or when it was purchased. The guy I bought it from got it from a guy who got it from another guy, etc. The model and serial are 101 27440 and serial 12L 040548. At this point that is all I know. It only came with 2 jaws, guy said he took it apart to clean the chuck and lost it somehow and never found it. Its also missing the gear for the quick change gear box on the side so I still have a few parts to look for.
 

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wa5cab

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Thanks. I'll add it to the database. I answered your other post in some detail.
 

MTodd

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Robert,

I finally got a chance to resume work on my lathe restoration for a little bit today. I found the rear headstock bearing date.

Craftsman 101.07403, Serial #12702 S
Front/Right bearing date: 9/20/43
Rear/Left bearing date: 10/25/44

Also to note, there's a "3" engraved on the rear bearing in addition to the date. Does that bear any significance?

I was also happy that after about a total of 4 hours and roughly 1/2 can of PB Blaster, I finally managed to completely disassemble the tail stock. The quill was frozen in the bore. I'd wager to say that this lathe hasn't been used in 25-30 years.

Hopefully this information helps with the database.

-Matt
 

wa5cab

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Thanks. Looks like you are making progress.

We've known for a long time that Atlas made no particular attempt to practice FIFO (First In First Out) on their spindle bearing inventory. So for dating purposes, all that we can really say is that any particular lathe could not have been made any earlier than the later of the two bearing dates. And our sample of Atlas 10F and Craftsman 12" machines with known bearing dates is pretty slim. Only about 15% have the dates reported. But if one sorts the 12" list on serial number (which we have to assume they didn't play games with), both of your bearing dates are out of sequence. My guess is that your machine wasn't made until the Spring of 1945, and at that time someone had been told to look for and flush out old inventory.

On the "3", there have been a few other reports. One lathe was reported with a "3" engraved on both cups and both cones. The only guess that I can think of is that it referred to the ANSI-ABMA bearing class, which (for no known reason) from worst to best runs 4, 2, 3, 0, 00.

In ads (where anything like that was mentioned), Atlas and Sears always claimed 0.001" accuracy (whatever you take that to actually mean). Worst case would have to be +/- 0.001", but it could mean 0.001" TIR. In either case, it would require Class 3 or better bearings. The tolerance on the Assembled Bearing Radial Runout for Class 2 is 0.0015" and for Class 3 is 0.0003".
 

Diesel Doctor

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I would like to add two serial numbers to the database. My Atlas 10D model H54 is serial D3735S and was I told upon purchase that it was a 1936-37 vintage. This cannot be confirmed by any documentation. The second is my Atlas TH54 serial # 077023 with a date on the head stock bearings of 8/20/46. Thank you!
 

gdgears

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I’m new to the forum, as well as machining. I was looking through this post to determine how old my lathe is, and figured you could use my information as well.
I have an atlas 10x36 Th42 serial number 072501 I’m in the process of restoring. The casting mark on the bed is 942. I paid $700

It came with:

· A bunch of old HHS and brazed carbide tooling
· Original lantern tool post (I replaced with a wedge tool holder)
· The original steady rest
· Two face plates and some dogs
· A Jacobs chuck for the tail stock, and two centers
· The original 3 jaw chuck, and all the drive gears

It has the original 1/3 hp motor (though I’m pretty sure it needs a new capacitor). The spindle has roller bearings, and the hole behind the switch is square.
IMG_20170713_185005.jpg IMG_20170713_210404.jpg IMG_20170713_192445.jpg IMG_20170713_185032.jpg
 

wa5cab

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GD (please set up your signature),

Thanks. I'll add you and your machine to the machine database.

Your lathe from what I can see in the three photos looks pretty good. FYI, it is a 10x24, not 10x36. The "42" in the TH42 model number and in the 942 bed casting and part number means 42" bed length. The headstock takes up about 12" and the tailstock about 6" so on an Atlas 9", 10" or 12" lathe, bed length minus 18 is the approximate distance between centers. In the rest of the model number, "T" means Timken bearings on the spindle (blank or no letter would mean Babbit bearings). "H" means Horizontal countershaft ("V" would mean Vertical). The only thing that I see wrong is the link belt on the spindle. The correct V-belt Industry standard number is 4L410.

If your motor is slow to start but does eventually, the culprit is probably the Start capacitor. If it won't start at all without manually pulling or twisting, it could be the capacitor and it could be the centrifugal switch.

In DOWNLOADS (read instructions for use in the Sticky area at the top of this Forum), you will find the latest version of the Parts Manual, the Atlas Technical Bulletin on the 10" Timken headstock, and some other useful information.

You should also acquire a copy of the Atlas "Manual of Lathe Operation and Machinists Tables". Published from 1937 through today (but the last Edition number was , there were 33 editions, the first 15 of which aren't numbered, but say just say "Copyright 1937" on the copyright page. The one that you want will have plastic binding. Chapter 7 will be bound in (not a loose supplement) and cover the Atlas F-Series 10". There will be no price on the Copyright page. And the lubrication photograph on page 6 (un-numbered, it follows page 5) shows a 10F with horizontal countershaft and rectangular switch plate. Unless someone here has an extra, best source will be eBay. But most eBay sellers don't know anything about what they are selling and seldom show photos of the important pages. You will have to write them and ask.
 

wa5cab

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I would like to add two serial numbers to the database. My Atlas 10D model H54 is serial D3735S and was I told upon purchase that it was a 1936-37 vintage. This cannot be confirmed by any documentation. The second is my Atlas TH54 serial # 077023 with a date on the head stock bearings of 8/20/46. Thank you!
DD, sorry that this reply is late. Thanks for the two serial numbers. 003735 is the earliest 10" serial number yet reported.

However, there seems to be a couple of discrepancies with the 10D. The model number using one or two letters plus two digits came out with the 10F. For a 54" bed 10D, the model number would be 1054. And at least according to catalogs of the period, the horizontal countershaft came out with the first 10F's. If your 10D actually has a horizontal countershaft, it probably isn't original to the machine. According to catalogs and what other data we have, the horizontal countershaft didn't first appear for another two years and somewhere around 5800 machines.

Can you confirm that your 10D still has the stud mounted compound swivel instead of the pintle style?
 

wa5cab

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OK. Then assuming that it still has its original bed, it must have been updated. Several catalogs say that the pintle style compound and milling attachments started at serial number 3970. While we are at it, confirm that it has a 5/8" diameter lead screw and no power cross feed.
 

Diesel Doctor

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Yes, 5/8" lead screw and no power cross feed. I realize due to the age, there could have been many changes made from the as built options. Is the 1936-37 time frame correct age-wise?
 

wa5cab

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OK. Then all stock except cross slide and countershaft assembly. And both of those could have been bought within 2 or 3 years from Atlas.

I would guess 1936. Based on the pre-war Atlas catalogs, I have the 10F pegged for the latter part of 1938. The earliest reported 10F serial number is V 009552 S. And the currently last reported 10D serial number is D 008635 S. I forgot to ask one other question. Is your 10D's Change Gear Guard fabricated or cast? Probably the latter as the part number was 10-28A, so it replaced the fabricated one before the 10D appeared.
 

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OK. So everything is consistent for a 10D of that S/N except that the cross slide and compound swivel have been updated. That apparently wasn't uncommon. Atlas may have done an update kit in the late 30's.
 

Diesel Doctor

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Thanks for the information Bob. It's interesting that my 10D is the oldest on your list so far. For being 80+ years old it's in fantastic shape. The ways on the bed are perfect without marks or gouges, and show no wear. There are no repaired castings or other signs of abuse. It must have been somebody's pride and joy for a long time and had excellent care. I plan to do the same!
 

wa5cab

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Yes, that little wear is quite unusual in a machine that old.
 

NCpatrol

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New member here. I picked up my 3rd Atlas/Craftsman lathe over the weekend and thought I'd post details of the collection.

My first machine I picked up about 5-6 months ago came from an auction. I'd owned a couple small lathes over the years but always sold them before moving to save the hassle. I wanted to get in to machining again and found this one at an online auction and fell in love with it. Admittedly, I got caught up in the auction and paid a little too much for it, but it was turnkey and ready to go and I don't regret it.

It's a TH54 and doesn't have the serial number on the end like my other machines. The only number I've found is "TH16274 S" stamped in to far end of the front way. I haven't had a reason to pull the spindle yet, so no dates at this point.

It's kind of a "resto-mod" machine. The PO owns a small shop near Atlanta and did a full restoration of it along with adding some goodies - like DROs on the X, Y and tailstock and DC drive and motor on the lead screw. Also came with a QC tool post a quite a few holders and extra tooling.

Sadly, I was using it last night cutting some threads and managed to let the smoke out of the drum switch. It had been a little finicky since I got it and it finally died on me. Upon disassembly I found two of the contact tabs were damaged and actually broke off as I opened it. The other points were a little rough but could be cleaned up. I'm hoping I can find or make replacement tabs to fix it. I quickly learned from searching ebay that these reversing drum switches are incredibly expensive!
 

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NCpatrol

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The same weekend that the above machine was arriving at the freight terminal, I found this TH48 on CL ans struck a deal. The PO had bought it 20+ years ago, moved it around several times but never set it up or run it. It came with a milling attachment and draw bar and some other goodies, which was the main reason I bought it. I also like that it had an original wood stand, which I have yet to find another one like it. It was pretty rusty and crusty and I decided to do a full strip down and restoration on it. I'm about 90% done and just need to install the counter shaft and motor and wire it up. The serial on this one is 059761. Sadly I didn't know to look for dates on the bearings when I had the spindle out. It is Timken bearing machine.
 

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NCpatrol

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And finally, this is the 12x54 101.28910 I picked up over the weekend. Serial number is 106558. I had to drive 8 hours round trip to Norfolk, VA to pick it up. The PO used to do machine work in one of the ship yards and this was his personal machine at home. It's in exceptionally good shape. Very tight and the ways are flawless. Only notable damage so far is a busted tooth on 16 side of the 16/32 banjo gear. It also looks like the counter shaft end bearing support was replaced with a homemade unit, but it actually looks better than the original! This one also came with a milling attachment (with original jaw plates!), quite a bit of tooling, a huge QC post, Starrrett and other domestic mics, a Starrett indicator, a whole pile of MT drill bits and reamers, a 60's era craftsman tap and die set and about 140+ lbs of brass and copper round stock, 150+ lbs of stainless, tool steel and other misc. steel stock.

I'm debating if I'm just going to set this one up and run it or if I want to do at least a partial tear-down and clean it up a bit. I did have to cover it in Fluid Film for the ride home as it started to rain and I was hauling it on an open trailer. But the goop did it's job and protected it...now I just need to clean it all off!

The reamer set that came with it has a 1939 date on it. Not sure if that's a good indication of the lathe's date or not.
 

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