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Atlas/Craftsman Serial Numbers and Bearing Dates

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Mrcushman

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My lathe ECA61BD5-9310-4FE1-8A3E-ACFB082B18B9.png is labeled TH54 S/N 081669.
 

Mrcushman

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Also, my lathe is 10”, with power cross feed. I do not any info on the bearing numbers. It still has cosmoline on a good part of it. I am using WD40 to clean it. It indicates zero end play and a little over .001 runout on the register.
 

wa5cab

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Paul,

The Craftsman 101.20140 is a bolt-on replacement. It was made from around 1950 up through about 1965 or 70. The model number of the 101.07403 with QCGB is either 101.27430 (24" between centers) or 101.27440 (36" between centers). I understand that the 101.20145 and 101.201451 can be adapted but I have no details. The latter two fit the 1/2 " bed 12" Commercial machines. Your machine has a 3/8" bed so you might have to start with a 1/8" spacer. The two models built to fit the Atlas 10" might be made to fit, although I've no idea what would be involved other than that you would probably have to make a new change gear bracket (banjo). However, it appears that more of the 101.20140 were made than of the two models for the 10". And more of the 2nd and 3rd variant of the 12" QCGB's were made as they were in production for about 25 years versus about 9 years for the 10" and 7 for the 1st variant 12".

Your machine was probably made in late 1951 or early 1952.
Please post the bed length or the nominal distance between centers of your lathe. Unfortunately, although the Sears catalog number is unique for each bed length, the model number isn't.

You will find the parts manual on the 101.07403 in the Atlas/Craftsman section of Downloads, as well as the installation instructions and parts list of the 101.20140
 

wa5cab

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Amsoilman,

Yes, your QC42 is a 10F Series, is a 10X24, and has Timken roller bearings on the spindle. It was probably made in October or November of 1950.
 
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M14Shooter

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Paul,

The Craftsman 101.20140 is a bolt-on replacement. It was made from around 1950 up through about 1965 or 70. The model number of the 101.07403 with QCGB is either 101.27430 (24" between centers) or 101.27440 (36" between centers). I understand that the 101.20145 and 101.201451 can be adapted but I have no details. The latter two fit the 1/2 " bed 12" Commercial machines. Your machine has a 3/8" bed so you might have to start with a 1/8" spacer. The two models built to fit the Atlas 10" might be made to fit, although I've no idea what would be involved other than that you would probably have to make a new change gear bracket (banjo). However, it appears that more of the 101.20140 were made than of the two models for the 10". And more of the 2nd and 3rd variant of the 12" QCGB's were made as they were in production for about 25 years versus about 9 years for the 10" and 7 for the 1st variant 12".

Your machine was probably made in late 1951 or early 1952.
Please post the bed length or the nominal distance between centers of your lathe. Unfortunately, although the Sears catalog number is unique for each bed length, the model number isn't.

You will find the parts manual on the 101.07403 in the Atlas/Craftsman section of Downloads, as well as the installation instructions and parts list of the 101.20140
Robert, Thank you for the information. The bed is 42 inches and 24 inches between centers.
 
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wa5cab

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Your machine has a 3/8" bed so you might have to start with a 1/8" spacer.
After re-reading my post, I decided that I had better make clear that the above sentence only applies to the 101.20145 and 101.201451. The 101.20140 is a bolt-on replacement for the change-gear bearing and change gear banjo.
 

off center

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Hello all I have a 101 28990 serial no. 105307 Would some one be so kind as to give me an age?
 

wa5cab

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Current best guess is made mid-1969.
 

off center

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thank you. This one seems to be in great shape but sure is dirty. Pictures etc. to follow.
 

wa5cab

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Yep, most of them are.
 

Billeh13

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Hey folks! New here but thank you for the approval into the forums :) here is my baby, just got it in maybe January, came with a whole bunch of other goodies as well :) I think you guys will really like a certain other picture that will follow
 

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Billeh13

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Now I have not gone through every post in this thread to see but anyone have some dates for this guy? Looks to me like it's the lowest serial number out of all of us
 

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wa5cab

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Bill,

I can't make out all of the digits after 001 plus I think a 2 on the end. But I can explain this. When the QCGB and the QC models first appeared sometime in the latter half of 1947, Atlas did what as far as I can determine they didn't do with the major revisions from 10 to 10D and then to 10F. Which was to start the serial numbers over at probably 000001. The lowest serial number we have of this early group or QC models is 000423, belonging to Jerry H Freeman in Coventry, CN. Then around 1949 at or above 004882, they changed back to the old way and the serial numbers jumped back up to coming out of the same pool as the change gear 10F. Lowest number that we have in that group is 082925. And the highest 10" serial number that we have is 091054.

Sometime in the mid 1930's, either Atlas or Timken started engraving an inspection date on the spindle bearing cups and sometimes the cones. This sets the earliest date that the machine could have been made. We know that Atlas did not practice FIFO with their bearing stock. The largest difference between dates engraved in the two bearings is about a year. We only have two reported examples where the dates on the two bearings are the same. The practice of dating the bearings ceased some time after 08/14/1951 and serial number088726 . If you ever for some other reason pull the spindle, record and report the dates. Absent you finding the original invoice on the machine, that is as good a fix as you are going to find on the actual production date.
 

Billeh13

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Sorry but of a really bad pic lol

Its 001517 that's awesome though how much variety there is throughout them would be really cool to track down the life they have had and what all they have been a part of
 

Billeh13

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Unfortunately though the quick change gear box seized must have gotten a chip inside or something and that ate a tooth or two off the main gear for the gearbox so now I have to source that and get my gear box running properly again so I can do threads
 

wa5cab

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Hmmm. That's bad. You do know that you have to go through the lubrication procedure for the oiling points daily or before every use? The only exceptions are the gearbox if the tumbler is left in neutral, and the spindle pulley bushings and back gear bushings are before every use of back gears or every 30 days, whichever comes first. All Atlas machines use a total loss lubrication system.
 

fkrel

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Hi all I am new on this site, Just got a atlas aka craftsman lathe 10 " has QC42 and a ser number 086888 it also has 942 cast into the ways so i'm guessing 9/42 10F lathe it has the 3/4" lead screw, it also has a quick change gearbox on it, and timken bearings and uses v belts it has a square hole for a switch but the motor has been changed to one that is reverseable and has a three position switch up foward, middle is off, and down is reverse, the switch also stops at each position so you cant go from foward to reverse without stopping and is mounted under the lathe. It had a bad bull gear when I got it and was sitting for 20 years so it was very dirty, so after cleaning it up painting it and replacing the bull gear it works very good so far. If I would of known of the date being marked on the bearing cups I would of knocked one out and saved the date when I replaced the bull gear. It also has the power cross feed,
 
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wa5cab

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fkrel,

Weldome to H-M and the Atlas/Craftsman forum. "942" is the Atlas part number for a 42" bed. Some beds do have a casting date cast in but (a) the date is often either missing or illegible, (b) it is typically in the format mm/dd/yy, and (c) the date will typically be about two years older than the lathe. The raw castings are allowed to "season" for a year or two before being machined.

From your serial number, your machine was made late 1950 or 1951. However, it is a 10F.

Also, the 10F and QC 42 is an Atlas, not a Craftsman. Up until 1957, Atlas made and sold 9". 10" and 6". And Atlas made and Sears sold, under the Craftsman badge, 9". 12" and 6". After 1957, Atlas made and both Atlas and Sears sold 6" and 12", up until early 1981.
 

fkrel

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Thanks for the welcome, I have been wanting a lathe for alot of years and just could'nt see buying a harbor frieght one. I have looked at several lathes and and figured it was going to be an atlas or a south bend or a logan and found this one with alot of tooling including a quick rest but still am looking for a steady rest and a milling attachment but they dont give them away and I am a little cheap or should I say frugal.
 

Tinkertoy1941

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We have the 7B Shapers pictured below how do we get the Serial Numbers in the data base

1530064739230.png
1530064763814.png
1530064828407.png
 

wa5cab

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Tinkertoy,

I moved your post to the Serial Number thread in the Sticky area. I added the three serial numbers to the master database, but please confirm that the first two numbers are 005324 and 008953. Also, please sent me the owner's name or H-M User ID and the location (country/state/city). And confirm that none of them also have the serial number stamped into the top of the left or right knee way.
 

Tinkertoy1941

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Tinkertoy,

I moved your post to the Serial Number thread in the Sticky area. I added the three serial numbers to the master database, but please confirm that the first two numbers are 005324 and 008953. Also, please sent me the owner's name or H-M User ID and the location (country/state/city). And confirm that none of them also have the serial number stamped into the top of the left or right knee way.
The owners H-M Users ID is Tinkertoy1941 location Hillsdale, Michigan,
The shapers do not have any S/Ns stamp on the knee.
I also have MFC Mill 008199 with a Marvin Vertical Head
Two Atlas drill presses one with 1010S S/N 005283 and 64 S/N 05283
Also have many lathes Craftsman and Atlas one with W72 Cabinet and original Legs for several
008199 008199 005283 could pass for new very little wear.
Thanks Phil
 

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C-Bag

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So here's my 7b plate. So how old is it?
 

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wa5cab

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Atlas Drill Press Model 64 serial number looks like 058456. Please confirm.
 

wa5cab

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So here's my 7b plate. So how old is it?
Unfortunately, there is no accurate way in which to do that. With the Timken bearing equipped 10" and 12" lathes up through the early 1950's, you could, from the date engraved on the spindle bearings, safely state a date that the lathe couldn't possibly be older than, and from our having gathered bearing dates from several dozen machines, feel comfortable with saying that the lathe wasn't made more than about a year later than the later of the two bearing dates. But Atlas (or maybe Timken) didn't date the bearings in any of the other machines that they made.

At one time, I feel safe in saying that Atlas had records of when each serial number machine was made, or at least the high serial number for each month. But unfortunately, those records have all been either lost or destroyed. So the best that we can do is to guess at how many machines were made and at when the first and last one was made, and assume that over the production life of each machine, the same number were made each month or year (knowing that this isn't true because, given that the company is still in business, they don't still make the old machines).

So on the shapers, we know about when production started and when it ended. And we know that at least 13691 of them were made as someone has reported having the machine with that serial number. We only have 46 machines currently in the database master copy (and I do need to update the copy in Downloads). So to deal in round numbers, I arbitrarily guessed at 15,000 for the total production. We can be pretty sure that more were made during the War years than before or since. And that the number being sold in the late 1950's was less than the average, since they quit making them. But trying to guess as to how many were actually made each year between late 1937 and late 1959 would be a laborious exercise. So anyway, with all of those caveats (or weasel words), the straight line calculation has your machine being made on 09/11/1955. It was almost certainly made earlier than that but how much earlier it's impossible to say. My guess would be three to five years. If someone were to turn up an original invoice with serial number on one of the machines, that might help with the accuracy of the guesstimate.
 

C-Bag

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Thanks. I appreciate the background and hard work. I figured it to be somewhere in the 40's because of the motor. It's the original and has oiler caps. You just don't see 110v motors with oilers very often. I would have also thought it would have been early 40's too because of the low SN 2199. But SN's can be misleading because companies can start #'s over for various reasons. Some sort of disaster, fire, flood or war. My only exposure to the mysteries of SN's is the Gibson co also in Kalamazoo who made stringed instruments. Figuring out their SN's is crazy. There are weird gaps in the numbers and it took real dedication and true detective work to make some kind of sense. Gibson was totally disrupted because of WWII so I'm surprised to hear production of the 7b actually went up in the 40's. I thought it was a hobby machine and wouldn't have been part of the war effort.
 

wa5cab

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Atlas apparently sold a lot of machines to the British.

No, during the Great Depression, there wasn't any hobby market for the most part. Neither Atlas nor Logan were sold as a hobby machine in the years before WW-II. That's just BS promulgated by owners of a certain other brand. At the time that Atlas began making lathes, the country was in the depths of the Great Depression. Only the well-to-do who had not gone broke in 1929 could have afforded a hobby. What Sears intended is less certain but the 10" was pushed to the small shops and as second operation machines to larger shops. That didn't begin to change until after WW-II. During the early and mid 30's, Atlas & Sears also marketed stripped down versions where you could buy the basic lathe and later buy and bolt on the parts to enable threading, back gears, and other functions or operations. That didn't cease until about the time that the 10F came out.
 
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