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Atlas/Craftsman Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

Discussion in 'ATLAS, CRAFTSMAN & AA' started by wa5cab, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Up until the mid 1950's, all Atlas built lathes had the machine serial number stamped into the top of the right end of the front way. In the first few years, there was also a "V", "H", "TV" or "TH" prefix. "V" and "H" indicate that the machint was originally sold with a Vertical or a Horizontal countershaft. If that letter was preceded by a "T", the lathe had Timken spindle bearings. If not, it had babbit ones. In about the same period, both Atlas and Craftsman lathe serial numbers had or usually had an "S" suffix. No one still alive seems to know what the "S" means. Earlier, the prefix was "D" or "TD" or "E". And before that "A", "B". "C" or nothing. "Nothing" meant the complete 16-speed screw cutting lathe. "A", "B", "C" or "E" were models missing certain things. "D" was the 10D, which had replaced the "Nothing".

    Probably made late 1939 or 1940.

    I'll comment that I wouldn't attempt to cut threads with a DC motor driving the lead screw. They may look OK and may ever work with standard height nuts. But there is no practical way to guarantee the pitch.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
  2. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I've seen the hardwood cabinet in catalogs but I think this is the first lathe one that I've seen. I think that this is also the first 10F that I've seen with nameplate and serial number on the right end. Or at least the first reported. The hardwood cabinets were only in the 1943 and 1945 catalogs. Which agrees with the serial number which probably dates from 1945. None of the catalog photos of complete lathes are at a good angle for showing the right end of the bed. But none of those that are close seem to show any nameplate. I'll post a question in the regular section.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
  3. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    The immediate predecessor to this one came out in late 1957. There is no dating them from dates on the bearings because some time around 1955, Atlas (or Timken - we aren't actually certain who did it) quit engraving the dates. But in any case, although a lot of parts carried over from the 10F and 101.27430/440, a lot of parts are different. And even more so after 1967 when your model first appeared. On the first version of your 12", the lead screw and power cross feed actuator assembly was the same as on the 10F and equivalent Craftsmen 12". Including the right bearing. In 1967, the actuator was improved with the lever replacing the rotating knob. The right bearing was redesigned with ball thrust bearings and not intended to be the sacrificial piece in a crash. Because a slip clutch was added at the left end of the lead screw. If you ever decide that you can only keep one of the three, this is the one.

    The models beginning in late 1967 had serial numbers that began at 100000 (or maybe 100001). Yours was probably made in 1974.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  4. NCpatrol

    NCpatrol United States Iron Registered Member

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    I figured this one was the oldest of the 3 but hadn't narrowed down the dates yet. It is in remarkably good condition for a 70+ year-old machine. The PO did quite a bit of work restoring it.

    I can't imagine how someone would thread with motor driven screw, but I guess if you were going slow enough it would be possible. I just love it for the fact that I can use it for cutting and then engage the gears for threading. No need to mess with change gears when it's time to start threading. It's also great being able to change the feed speed on the fly. I can make one rough pass at higher speed and then turn the knob for a finishing pass without stopping the machine. It also saves wear on those delicate gears. I'm probably going to fit something similar on to the 12".

    In all my searches to date, I haven't found another picture of this cabinet. It appears to be maple. The side panels were pretty water damaged and I ended up replacing them, but it's otherwise solid. There's a little bit of water staining on the legs, but they're not rotten or anything. Obviously there was a front door panel that's mostly broken off. I'd be tempted to make a replacement if I had an idea of what it was supposed to look like. Any chance you have one of those catalog pics you can share.


    That matches up to the time frame the PO had it. The PO was in pretty rough shape health-wise and I bought it from his wife. She said he had bought it from the original owner about 30 years ago.

    I do plan to keep this one. I'll probably outfit it similar the the TH54 above with DROs and a drive motor on the lead screw.


    More than likely the TH48 is going to be sold once I get it fully operational. As much as I like the restoration and the table, I really don't need 3 of these things. Eventually I'll sell the TH54 too, but I've got too much money tied up in it and I feel like I need to run it for a while!
     
  5. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    OK. I didn't know that you also had the change gears for threading. You had mentioned earlier that you were threading when the drum switch failed and I assumed that you were driving the lead screw with the motor.

    I just uploaded the two page flyer on the hardwood cabinets to DOWNLOADS. It should be top of the list at the moment but as soon as someone uploads some more files, it will move down the list. It is actually in the Catalogs category/folder under Atlas/Craftsman/AA. Atlas obviously didn't know much about selling furniture. In none of the catalogs where the cabinet appears is there a photo of it with either drop-down door or pull-out drawer open. Yours is missing the drawer. Front of drawer is identical to door.
     
  6. NCpatrol

    NCpatrol United States Iron Registered Member

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    That's pretty cool. I have the remnants of what I guess was a fold-down door and apparently there was a drawer to the right. I'll have to look closer to see if any of the drawer slides remain for me to try to reproduce it. I believe it's all solid maple.

    And yeah, the TH54 came with the full set of change gears. Interesting too, it also came with this "80% complete" homemade QCGB. I haven't had time to try to assemble it and see what's left to complete, but I know the PO had a friend with the same machine and actually did complete the QCGB and has it operational. I have a binder that came with the lathe that has a bunch of documentation and with it was the magazine article from waaay back that had the plans for the gear box.
     

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  7. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    The catalog entries all say that the stands were maple. But as I said, not even the two-page flyer on only the hardwood stands showed any details. The single photo that's in the L43 and 1945 catalogs is the same as the one in the brochure that I uploaded. So no help there.

    The QCGB looks interesting. Does the magazine article show a cover over it?
     
  8. NCpatrol

    NCpatrol United States Iron Registered Member

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    Yeah, the po actually had already made the cover. I'll have to take some more pics this weekend. He did a great job on it...all engraved on his cnc mill. Has all the thread and feed info like an original gear box cover plate. I may try to scan the article and plans for it.
     
  9. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    OK. While you still have it, you might sorta compare using the home-brew box with using the one on the Craftsman. Does the home brew one have a tumbler for reversing the feed or does it continue to use the original reverse box. The Craftsman (and all of the other Atlas built boxes, of which there were a total of six counting the Pic-O-Matic) have a tumbler.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
  10. NCpatrol

    NCpatrol United States Iron Registered Member

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    I'm fairly certain it uses the original reversing box. I actually found the article on another site. I'm positive this is the same exact file that the hard copy that came with my machine was printed from.
    http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/51/7158.pdf

    It appears that you actually use the full set of original Atlas change gears on a new lead screw shaft extension. All the changing is done through the 7 added 32-tooth gears.
     
  11. NCpatrol

    NCpatrol United States Iron Registered Member

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    Well, this is interesting...
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Atlas-Craft...d3e23b851:g:46wAAOSw3h1ZP-xw&autorefresh=true

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. NCpatrol

    NCpatrol United States Iron Registered Member

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  13. rkowolik

    rkowolik United States Swarf Registered Member

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    I just re-acquired my 10D from my uncle at least I'm pretty sure is a D, no cross feed drive. The Serial Number is: D7913S
     
  14. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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  15. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    RK,

    What is the length of your bed (choices are 36", 42". 48" or 54").

    No power cross feed is a necessary but not sufficient criteria. However, the "D" prefix to the serial number is definitive. If you can find it inside the headstock, you'll also find that the casting number begins with "10D".
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
  16. NCpatrol

    NCpatrol United States Iron Registered Member

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    I've reached out to him to see if he'll take some more pictures so i can try to reproduce the drawer and door, though I can probably get very close from what info I already have. I suspect the back end of the drawer is slightly taller than the opening to catch the "lip" at the top of the opening and prevent it from sliding all the way out.

    He's also got a horizontal mill on a much more beat up version of the same cabinet.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Yes. There were three models sold. The small one with drop door and no drawer was sold for use under either the mill or the shaper. And two lengths of the lathe one were offered. One for the 36" and 42" length beds and one for the 48" and 54" ones. I've never seen even a photo of the shorter lathe one and can only assume that it had both door and drawer as the catalog ads don't say that it doesn't.

    I'm sure that the drawer would have had something on the rear panel to prevent accidentally pulling it all of the way out. And a taller rear panel would have been the simplest.
     
  18. RMTool

    RMTool United States Iron Registered Member

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    I just acquired a 12" Craftsman 101.07403 metal lathe with a 42" bed. It is the "Deluxe" model. I am in the tear down/cleaning/inspection process now. What I have learned so far:
    Both timken bearings engraved with 5/30/46 dates and class 3. Serial number on the ways is 15616. I am assuming it is a 1946 model, but maybe the serial number suggests later?

    The lathe is in excellent shape. I bought it extremely dirty, but all the pre-inspection pointed to a good machine. As I disassemble and clean, it appears that the lathe was not used very much at all!
     
  19. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I meant to comment yesterday about the standard gear set and the reversing. A complete gear set for 10" or 12" from the 10F and 101.07403 on was 15. Plus 3 more if it has a tumbler. If you look at photos 3, 4 and 6 just below the spindle gear, you will see the two tumbler gears and the hex head of the shoulder bolts that attach them to the tumbler. Below them if you know what you are looking for, you can see the stud gear. The lathe in the MI photos is a babbit bearing 12". From the belt cover, most likely a 101.07383. To the left of the belt cover in some of the photos you can see the forked bracket that the belt tension rod (missing) sits in. I think that the belt tension rod has been moved to the right end of the countershaft. The knob and rod in that location is too long to be the back gear engagement lever.

    On a 10F without factory QCGB the stud gear is driven by the spindle gear instead of by the tumbler gears. On a 10D and earlier, there is no stud gear and you would need the 10-1273 Template in order to drill the hole for the stud. But on a 10", I think you're correct in saying that the lead screw direction is still controlled by the FWD-REV gear box.
     
  20. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Thanks. Your serial number and dates are consistent with several others with similar dates. So late 1946 is probable.

    You are only about the third one to report or show a photo with a "3" engraved.

    Is there a letter "S" engraved following the serial number digits? What about any prefix letters?
     
  21. RMTool

    RMTool United States Iron Registered Member

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    Sorry for the poor pictures, but hopefully you can see that both the cups and cones are all engraved with 5/30/46 and 3.

    There is not a prefix or suffix after the serial number.

    Thanks for the help in dating this lathe
     

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  22. RMTool

    RMTool United States Iron Registered Member

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    I have also restored a 6" 101.07301 craftsman lathe. It has the bronze bushing headstock, so no luck in having any dates engraved on them. It is a very nice little lathe. It would be really cool if both lathes were manufactured in the same year!
     
  23. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    OK. No "S" agrees with the database. Atlas apparently ceased putting them on the Craftsman lathes after the serial number in 1945.

    Your photos are fine. You should see some that we get.

    Dating any of the 6" (Atlas did not engrave dates on the 6" Timken bearings, either), like dating any of the babbit bearing 9" or 10" or 12", or the late 12", is difficult. About the only possibility is someone who knows when the lathe was bought. We do have a couple of that sort of case with the 101.07301. So post the serial number.
     
  24. RMTool

    RMTool United States Iron Registered Member

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    Serial number for the 6"is 25024. Thanks for looking into this for me!
     
  25. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    OK. Based on several assumptions including constant production rate, and accepting the owner's statement that his father bought his machine (s/n 022072) in mid 1947, I get 22 June 1950. However, you can take 1950 as being the earliest possible year and figure it was actually made one or two years later. The reason is the practical one that if sales hadn't fallen off after WW-II and apparently drasticaly in the early to mid 50's, Sears wouldn't have stopped production in mid 1957 and switched over to selling their version of the 618.
     
  26. RMTool

    RMTool United States Iron Registered Member

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    That's great information! Thank You for taking the time to research this for me!
     
  27. NCpatrol

    NCpatrol United States Iron Registered Member

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    I was hoping to pull out all the pieces of the QCGB last weekend and start to piece it together...but that never happened!

    This is a video from the PO where he's showing the DC drive and also gets in to the box a little. He didn't have it completed when he sold it and I'm still not sure how it's driven off the spindle, but supposedly all the gearing was done so I should have everything I need to make it work.
     
  28. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    As best I can figure, the Stud Gear Extension Shaft shown in the upper left corner of the MI blueprint on page 111 has a 32T gear pressed onto the large end, and this 32T gear would be driven by the 32T spindle gear on any 10". On the 12", it would be driven by the 32T tumbler gear, although I suspect that you would have to acquire the older single 32T gear if the lathe that you were converting was a later 12" one with a 32T/16T compound gear originally in that location.
     
  29. Atlasman1980

    Atlasman1980 United States Swarf Registered Member

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    Hello Robert,
    Im a new member and would like to give you the spec's from my lathe. I have a 10" Atlas TH48 with a pick-o-matic gearbox, the serial number is 054983. Also, the dates that were on the bearings are 6/19/44 & 10/24/44. If there is anything I'm missing please let me know.
    Thanks James A.
     
  30. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Thanks. The bearing dates are consistent with the serial number. And probably with it having the Pick-o-matic. The one parts manual that we have a copy or that includes the Pick-o-matic is Lathe Bulletin 10L-1A dated January 1946. So there must have been a 10L-1 in 1945 (which if it is illustrated will be the first illustrated one known). It would be interesting to know whether or not it included the Pick-o-matic when purchased or whether that was added. If you acquired a parts manual with the lathe, give me the date and number.

    Five questions, and some optionals:

    1) Do you recall which bearing had which date?
    2) Do you recall anything else being engraved on either bearing? Such as the numeral 3?
    3) Is the serial number on the right end of the front way or on the nameplate?
    4) Is the nameplate on the rear or on the right end of the bed?
    5) Is there anything else stamped on the bed near the serial number or engraved or stamped on the nameplate? Such as the letter P for Pick-o-matic?

    The database has places for:

    Where/From whom/When/How much paid?
    Accessories acquired with it.
    Accessories added later
    Comments on general condition as acquired.
    Current general condition and what you've done to it.
    Any other comments you wish to make,

    All of these are optional.

    I used to get out to San Antonio several times a year when my wife's parents were alive. Have you had any trouble out of Harvey? We've been lucky. Except for the test run Friday afternoon, I haven't had to run the generator. And so far no water in the house.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017

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