Author Topic: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges  (Read 203588 times)

Offline hickory n steel

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #540 on: February 06, 2018, 08:27:05 PM »
Hickory,

Ok mystery solved.

a) Your recollection was off about a decade or so, and

b) The GK entries at the top of this thread appear to be correct.

The "Magnetic Driver Light Set" 1st appeared in the 1999 catalog and consisted of a 10 piece set and a 20 piece set.  In the 2000 catalog, the set had morphed into one 39 piece set including 1/4 drive sockets and an adapter.  The 2001 catalog did not contain any type of Magnetic driver light set.   It was gone, but oddly enough a new tool was born, the "Illuminator Socket Light"  (a 3/8 drive extension with internal light, that when added between a 3/8 drive ratchet and socket lit the way to a bolt or nut).

So, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Hope this helps...
Thanks.
The light no longer works so I went to Sears a while back to get it replaced with an equivalent in the LED 4in1 they had at the time , but they didn't have those and said this screwdriver was from the 80's.
What the hell do they know they just work there .
« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 08:30:47 PM by hickory n steel »
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Offline Interceptor

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #541 on: February 07, 2018, 06:11:28 PM »
lauver, I have a few wrenches that don't fit your list. FORGED IN JAPAN -V-. See attached pics.

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #542 on: February 07, 2018, 06:20:53 PM »
lauver, I have a few wrenches that don't fit your list. FORGED IN JAPAN -V-. See attached pics.

Were they produced and sold for the Canadian market?

Offline Interceptor

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #543 on: February 07, 2018, 11:05:29 PM »
Were they produced and sold for the Canadian market?

I have no idea what market they were intended for or when they were made. I just bought them on Ebay from a seller in NY, and looking at his previous sales I see he also sold one in 1/2". I've not been able to find any other examples. They appear to be new or NOS. Besides that I don't know anything about them.

Offline lauver

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #544 on: February 08, 2018, 09:49:12 PM »
Interceptor,

That's a new one on me.  Never seen one before.  That's not to say that some SEARS/Craftsman tools were not sourced from Japan (See BF and DJ series codes for examples).

I'm kind of liking goodfellows idea that your example might have been made for the Canadian market.  I have seen numerous Canadian Craftsman tools with series codes that are/were not used in the US.
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Offline twertsy

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #545 on: February 09, 2018, 03:35:37 AM »
Just more evidence that they are not manufacturer codes..............or did Moore have a forge in Japan?  Lol
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Offline crankshaftdan II

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #546 on: February 21, 2018, 02:24:46 PM »
Just trying to add a little to this thread Gary--found this pair of Linesman pliers--stamped BF on reverse and England-Sears-Drop Forged on front.   I thought that BF was Japan sourced?   First and only set I have encountered ever!!

Offline Uncle Buck

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #547 on: February 21, 2018, 02:35:16 PM »
Interceptor,

That's a new one on me.  Never seen one before.  That's not to say that some SEARS/Craftsman tools were not sourced from Japan (See BF and DJ series codes for examples).

I'm kind of liking goodfellows idea that your example might have been made for the Canadian market.  I have seen numerous Canadian Craftsman tools with series codes that are/were not used in the US.

The Sears line of tools was always an import line from somewhere other than USA. Maybe at one point some Sears tools were USA made, but I have never seen any.
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Offline Interceptor

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #548 on: February 21, 2018, 05:58:02 PM »
I thought that BF was Japan sourced? 
All of the Sears and Craftsman tools I've seen that are marked BF Japan, the BF is always forged and not stamped like your pliers.
I took apart one of my Craftsman polished ratchets last week for cleaning and lube. I bought it new from Sears and I am certain it has never been repaired. It has USA stamped on the handle and BF on the pawl inside. I just figured it was not a manufacturer ID and just a coincidence.

Offline krusty the clown

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #549 on: February 21, 2018, 06:49:36 PM »
Odd.....every BF mark i recall was stamped.

Offline 07650

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #550 on: February 21, 2018, 10:35:17 PM »
Might not be an appropriate place for this, but I recently came across this Craftsman 9-40554 toolmaker's surface gage in the original cardboard box. I was curious who made it, but no codes to go by. It is the smallest surface gage I own at 2-1/8"×1-9/16"×3/4".

Some googling, and it looks like it was made by General Tool, based on similarities in packaging. It's hard to tell, but the 4 bullet points on both are verbatim. The illustration is the same as well. I found the image of the General online.

I'm not sure for the timeline on when these were made.

Offline 07650

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #551 on: February 21, 2018, 11:33:10 PM »
A couple pics...
In decent shape, a little rust. Has both spindles and scriber, missing the locating pins.
2nd pic, kind of crappy, but next to my B&S no. 622 (my largest, currently apart for resto) for size reference.

Offline Interceptor

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #552 on: February 22, 2018, 05:56:11 PM »
Odd.....every BF mark i recall was stamped.
I did a little looking.
The BF is forged on the Craftsman and Sears combination wrenches, adjustable wrenches, chrome-finished pliers, pipe wrenches.
The BF is stamped on ratchets, ground-finished pliers, hammers, hatchets, screwdrivers, and non-forged tools.

There's a needle nose pliers on Ebay right now that's stamped Sears England on one side and BF on the other, just like the one crankshaftdan posted. Interesting that the BF mark is in the same location and position as typically seen on the ones that are made in Japan, just missing the Japan beneath it. Maybe they were forged in Japan and finish ground in England, or vice versa.

Offline krusty the clown

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #553 on: February 22, 2018, 08:17:45 PM »
The sears yeah i recall them having BF forged in. I think the only BF tool i still have is a dist wrench, it's stamped. I know where a set of cman combos are. I'll test my memory.

Offline DadsTools

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #554 on: April 26, 2018, 01:48:01 PM »
First I wanted to compliment lauver for compiling what is to me a most remarkable work of this mfr code list. You have my gratitude, and my awe.

I wanted to comment on two mfr codes, the LC and the BF. I saw that in the original list, LC was assigned to Danielson, then later revised in an update to "Probably Lectrolite Corp., ca. ? - 1964." Folks frequenting the Vintage Tool section over at GJ know about my extensive research on Lectrolite Corp (LC) with added emphasis on both the Sears and the S-K connection. When I began this project, I discovered that few paid much attention to this mfr, being perceived almost as a poor ugly stepchild or 'also-ran' when compared with the big brands, or like "Oh yeah, then there were these guys with the weird name who also made some tools." I had my work cut out for me, especially in the face of almost no catalogs to reference. So I thought I should share what I discovered to perhaps help refine this LC entry with better dating and to eliminate the question mark. I don't have the time or space to reproduce all the photos and documentation I came across, so I'll stick with this written account. I also want to be as thorough as possible to back-up the integrity of my findings.

Lectrolite's main focus was on electric heaters and other electrical appliances and devices, hence the odd name. It got into the tool business through its 1932 merger with Milwaukee Tool & Forge. LC did not make a full line of tools, concentrating primarily on various end wrenches (the 1953 partnership with S-K gave them access to socket sets and the like). The LC-sourced tools were made in its Defiance OH plant. Before and during the war, LC produced a mish-mash of designs and branding having several shank and panel geometries, sometimes marking budget tools with its top-tier name and vice versa. Sometime after the war--I suspect 1947--LC consolidated its end wrenches into two distinct designs: the raised panel LECTROLITE as its flagship line and its recessed panel TruFit budget line, the design of each remaining consistent throughout its post-war production.

We all know that the Raised Panel premium wrenches became "S-K LECTROLITE" about 1953. The recessed panel TruFit remained as a 'pure' LC brand. What's important here is that LC began to make many, many contract wrenches for other brands in the TruFit design, some bearing another brand name, some having no brand name at all to be sold by any retailer that may or may not have added its own branded packaging. All these varieties can be compared side by side to a TruFit marked wrench and are found to be virtually identical.  Some of the contract wrenches can be found with a forged-in "LC" code. This and what follows is solid proof that the LC is a bona fide mfr code and not intended as something else.

Here's where the Sears connection emerges. Starting sometime during the late 1940s through the first half of the 1950s, LC began making TruFit design wrenches for Sears under the DUNLAP name. Many of these wrenches can be found to have the identcal "LC" forged mark as other contract wrenches. Around 1958, Sears, dropped the Dunlap name on these end wrenches and started having them marked with the plain SEARS name. The wrenches were otherwise identical to the Dunlap/TruFit, and still bore the LC code.

As an interesting sidebar, during this period LC was also making adjustable wrenches for Craftsman having the double line logo along with other makers like Williams and Danielson. Though much less common than its counterparts from other mfrs, they are identified by the forged LC initials. The design is virtually identical to the period S-K adjustable, which were also being made for S-K out of the LC Defiance plant.

In 1962, Symington-Wayne bought out both S-K and Lectrolite. The tools became marked as S-K WAYNE, including the end wrenches. To the best of my knowledge based on all the evidence I've been able to collect, the following took place:

Wayne killed the Lectrolite name and discontinued the production of the recessed panel TruFit design. Other contract tools were still being made out of the Defiance plant, but no longer bore any reference to Lectrolite, nor any more TruFit style wrenches. 

This left Sears in a spot. Around 1963-64, the first recessed panel SEARS branded wrenches bearing the BF JAPAN mark appeared. These wrenches are an exact counterfeit of the LC TruFit design.  I can only imagine that Wayne, in consideration of having pulled the rug out from under Sears on these wrenches, gave it the nod to bootleg them from whatever source it could fine, or perhaps had no legal recourse concerning a design that was not patented. I think this the 'official' beginning of the BF JAPAN era. The relationship apparently worked out well, for throughout the 1960s more and more Sears tools began to bear the BF JAPAN mark including some bench vises. To my knowledge, BF JAPAN persisted through to the early 1980s, after which Asian production moved to Taiwan, then ultimately China. 

Based on all this, here are my suggested amendments:

1. The LC code is definitely Lectrolite Corp
2. The LC mark began appearing on Sears tools, whether branded DUNLAP, SEARS, or CRAFTSMAN sometime between 1947 and the first half of the 1950s
3. The LC mark on Sears tools disappeared in 1962, perhaps persisting as long as 1964 to accommodate remaining NOS
4. The BF JAPAN mark started to appear around 1963-64, and continued to be used until the early 1980s.

If anyone has additional info or artifacts that can be assigned a precise dating, either that can help verify, amend or contradict these conclusions, please share it.

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #554 on: April 26, 2018, 01:48:01 PM »