The Garage Gazette

THE TOOL SHED => Tool History => Topic started by: lauver on August 09, 2010, 11:31:15 PM

Title: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 09, 2010, 11:31:15 PM
Gang,

Here's a preliminary list of MAC date codes  as developed by MattT for review.  These will be subject to later revision depending on feedback and/or new information. Please note, the "n" in the date code = the numbers 1 - 4 and are thought to represent the calendar or fiscal quarter of the year.

MAC OEM Tools:

An = 1974/1975

Bn = 1975/1976  Verified

Cn = 1976/1977  Verified

Dn = 1977/1978  Verified

En = 1978/1979  Verified

Fn = 1979/1980  Verified

Gn = 1980/1981  Verified

Hn = 1981/1982  Verified

In = 1982/1983  Verified

Jn = 1983/1984  Verified

Kn = 1984/1985  Verified

Ln = 1985/1986  Verified

Mn = 1986/1987 Verified

Nn = 1987/1988  Verified

On = 1988/1989  Verified

Pn = 1989/1990  Verified

Qn = 1990/1991 Verified

Rn = 1991/1992  Verified

Sn = 1992/1993  Verified

Tn = 1993/1994  Verified

Un = 1994/1995  Verified

Vn = 1995/1996  Verified

Wn = 1996/1997  Verified

Xn = 1997/1998  Verified

Yn = 1998/1999  Verified

Zn = 1999/2000  Verified

nA = 2000/2001  Verified

nB = 2001/2002  Verified

nC = 2002/2003  Verified

nD = 2003/2004  Verified

nE = 2004/2005   

nF = 2005/2006  Verified

nG = 2006/2007  Verified

nH = 2007/2008  Verified

nI = 2008/2009

nJ = 2009/2010 Verified

nK = 2010/2011 Verified

nL = 2011/2012 Verified


Known Outliers & Non Conforming codes:

C1 = found on ratchet model XR8PAZF with patent dates of 2000(filing) and 2001(issue).  Likely misstamped and should be 1C.

CKn = found on drift punch, purchase date between 1999 and 2002

PAn = found on punch, purchase date 2007

PJn = found on pin punches, purchase date between 2009 and 2010

PKn = found on punches, drifts, chisels, purchase date 2010

PNn = found on punch, purchase date 2007

PTn = found on punch, purchase date 2007
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 10, 2010, 12:25:24 AM
Gang,

Several of the members of GG have demonstrated interest and knowledge of MAC tools.  I thought it would be a good idea to have a dedicated thread where those who are interested could document the manufacturers and date ranges of these tools. The idea is to build a thread and body of evidence similar to the Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges thread that members and vistors can use as a reference source for MAC Tools.

I am by no means an expert on MAC tools. But, I am a MAC Tool enthusiast, I have research and organizational skills, and with your help, I think we can create an interesting and useful body of MAC Tool information here.  And the best news, Krusty has kindly offered to help with this endeavor. As most of you have probably deduced by now, Krusty has a wealth of tool knowledge in general, and Matco/MAC Tool knowledge in particular.

So, let me begin by sketching out a rough timeline for MAC Tools:

Mechanics Tool and Forge Co. was founded in 1938.

Mechanics Tool and Forge grew substantially with the help of government contracts between 1942 and 1945.

Clinton Tool Company was founded in 1944 as an associate of Mechanics Tool and Forge Co.

MAC Allied Tools Company was founded in 1946 as an asssociate of Mechanics Tool and Forge Co.

The MAC trademark was first registered in 1946 with a first use date of 1939.

The Clinton Tool Company name disappeared from catalogs by 1963.

Mechanics Tool and Forge Co. officially changed its name to MAC Tools Inc. in 1967 but it had been in use as early as 1963.

Matco was officially founded in 1979, when MAC Tools Inc. and MAC Allied Tools Split, but the Matco name was used as early as 1976.

MAC Tools Inc. was acquired by Stanley Works in 1980

MAC Tools operated independently through the 1980's under Stanley works.

At some point during the early 1990's (about 1992-1994) MAC Tools lost it's autonomy and was integrated into the Stanley Works empire.

The MAC Sabina OH plant was closed by Stanley Works in 2010.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lbgradwell on August 10, 2010, 06:45:19 AM
A most worthy endeavour, Gary.

Given the long history of MAC, the status it (once) enjoyed and the love of board members for tool-related minutiae, there seems to be a dearth of information regarding this brand.  shrugx
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Merkava_4 on August 10, 2010, 06:51:52 AM
That's good information - I appreciate your effort sir. (http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n284/MACDRIVE/GIFS/th_smile.gif?t=1279693278)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on August 10, 2010, 07:49:02 AM
I'm trying.  I've talked to my dealer about date codes on the tools and so far I've gotten nothing.  The word is my dealer is going to send another email to his district rep.  Maybe I'll have news by Friday.

 wavebeer
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Fins/413 on August 10, 2010, 08:53:09 AM
More tool infromation of any kind is good thanks.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 10, 2010, 03:49:03 PM
Here are a few observations on MAC tool markings and approximate date ranges:

The earliest tools were marked Mechanics Tool and Forge Co. and would presumably cover tools made between 1938 and 1951. There are rumors, however, that suggest the MAC name first started appearing on tools as early as 1945.  [note - this discrepancy in dates and tool markings needs further research.]

Intermediate tools were marked MAC Sabina Ohio and would presumably cover tools made between 1952 and 1979.  [note - subject to change if new and persuasive information is found.]

Recent tools are marked MAC USA and would presumably cover tools made between 1980 and Present. [note - subject to change if new and persuasive information is found.]

Feel free to comment if my observations don't square with yours.  I'm open to any and all suggestions.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 10, 2010, 05:10:46 PM
Gang,

Here's a few more observations on "Other Tool Markings":

Here's a catalog illustration of an Mechanics Tool and Forge S8 screwdriver; in addition to the Mechanics Tool and Forge marking, there is an "S8" two digit alpha/numeric model number or part number marked on the screwdriver:
(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACS8TappetAdjustingSdrewdriverca1950.jpg)

Here's a photo of a MAC Sabina Ohio screwdriver (lower, all yellow); in addition to the MAC Sabina Ohio marking, there is a 4 digit alpha numeric model/part number.  It appears that during this period, the Mechanics Tools and Forge model/part numbers have been expanded somewhat to accommodate a growing screwdriver line:
(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACUSAvsMACSabina.jpg)

In the same photo (above, top red & yellow) there is an example of a MAC USA screwdriver; in addition to the MAC USA marking there is a further expanded six digit alpha numeric model/part number and a second two digit code ("C2" barely visible to right of USA).  This secondary code, may be an OEM and/or date code, and is presumably an artifact of the Stanley Works system.

Here's two more examples from the wrench line. First, an example of a MAC Sabina combo wrench; in this example we see a  five digit alpha numeric model/part number.   
(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACComboWrench2.jpg)

Second, an example of a MAC USA combo wrench with a seven digit alpha numeric model/part number and a secondary code of "4A".  Again, presumably and artifact of the Stanley Works system, and possibly an OEM and/or date code.  There is also a third marking, a patent number "5381710" which was issued in 1995, but has no assignee.
 (http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACComboWrench.jpg)

I'm hopeful that these secondary codes on the MAC USA tools will lead to some sort of OEM and/or date code system.  Any ideas on how to approach these secondary codes?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 10, 2010, 06:14:34 PM
gary, i'm still digging but info is hard to find. i assume the two digit code is a date code but who know's at this time. if you need scans of the 52 catalog let me know what pages.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 10, 2010, 06:53:55 PM
ok now that i have had time to dig out the catalog........1952 they were using MAC TOOLS as the name for the collective companies and it appears that the tools were marked MAC as well not mechanics tool and forge. so we can move the date back from 1960 to at least 1952.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 10, 2010, 07:10:51 PM
maybe of some interest.......

http://assignments.uspto.gov/assignments/q?db=tm&qt=sno&reel=&frame=&sno=71656241 (http://assignments.uspto.gov/assignments/q?db=tm&qt=sno&reel=&frame=&sno=71656241)

http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=registration&entry=600993 (http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=registration&entry=600993)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 10, 2010, 07:31:56 PM
Intermediate tools were marked MAC Tools Sabina Ohio and would presumably cover tools made between 1961 and 1979.  [note - subject to change if new and persuasive information is found.]

The only Sabina marked piece I have is stamped "MAC V5R" on one side of the handle and "SABINA OHIO" on the other.

Quote
Recent tools are marked MAC Tools USA and would presumably cover tools made between 1980 and Present. [note - subject to change if new and persuasive information is found.]

I have a bunch of Mac USA and the only piece which has "Tools" on it is a pair of side cutters. Everything except the side cutters, a Mac branded Proto ratcheting adaptor, and a set of 25* offset ratcheting dogbones have either a LN or NL "code" on them.

Now for the thing that shocked me. The dogbone set all but 1 wrench has a 1982 SO code with the oddball 1983 headscratch
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 10, 2010, 07:36:29 PM


Now for the thing that shocked me. The dogbone set all but 1 wrench has a 1982 SO code with the oddball 1983 headscratch

pics please thumbsup2
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 10, 2010, 08:32:23 PM
pics please thumbsup2

Knew that was coming :)) Hope you can see the date codes OK. There's only so much you can do with a 10 year old camera.

Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on August 10, 2010, 08:47:43 PM
Those date codes are similar to the set of Mac's I have........also the set of Matco's as well.  A coworker has a few SK's with the same codes.  Food for thought. grinx
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 10, 2010, 09:02:25 PM
no big mystery there guy's. they are all made by kastar and i suspect they had to use snap on's date codes to satisfy thier contract with SO. they already had the stamps so.......
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 10, 2010, 09:14:38 PM
here is the original trademark for the use of MAC dated 1946

http://assignments.uspto.gov/assignments/q?db=tm&rno=439367 (http://assignments.uspto.gov/assignments/q?db=tm&rno=439367)

it also shows the date of 1967 for the change of name from mechanics tool and forge to mac tools inc.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Itzkwik on August 10, 2010, 10:01:57 PM
At some point during the early 1990's (about 1992-1994) MAC Tools lost it's autonomy and was fully integrated  into the Stanley Works empire.
And so began their journey in a handbasket straight to hell. :'(
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 10, 2010, 11:48:15 PM
Intermediate tools were marked MAC Tools Sabina Ohio and would presumably cover tools made between 1961 and 1979.  [note - subject to change if new and persuasive information is found.]

The only Sabina marked piece I have is stamped "MAC V5R" on one side of the handle and "SABINA OHIO" on the other.

Quote
Recent tools are marked MAC Tools USA and would presumably cover tools made between 1980 and Present. [note - subject to change if new and persuasive information is found.]

I have a bunch of Mac USA and the only piece which has "Tools" on it is a pair of side cutters. Everything except the side cutters, a Mac branded Proto ratcheting adaptor, and a set of 25* offset ratcheting dogbones have either a LN or NL "code" on them.


mattT -- Agreed, you are so right.  I will remove the word "Tools" from my post above.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 11, 2010, 12:04:15 AM
pics please thumbsup2

Knew that was coming :)) Hope you can see the date codes OK. There's only so much you can do with a 10 year old camera.

MattT -- These MAC ratcheting boxend wrenches were made by Kastar. Kastar produced similar wrenches for Snap-on and Craftsman brands as well.... probably Matco and SK brands too.

OOPS, krusty beat me to it.  Damn he's fast.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 11, 2010, 12:12:46 AM
Gang,

Here's a photo of a MAC USA XD6 spark plug socket, secondary code U2.  This should be an easy one to figure out who the OEM is.  Note the unique design with a round bolster around the square drive end. 
(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACSparkplugSocket3.jpg)
Anybody got a non-MAC spark plug socket with similar design? If so, what OEM/Brand? Can you post photo?

Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 11, 2010, 03:12:54 AM
Here's a photo of a MAC USA XD6 spark plug socket, secondary code U2.  This should be an easy one to figure out who the OEM is.  Note the unique design with a round bolster around the square drive end.

Are you sure that's a spark plug socket? It's common for Mac USA to reduce the drive end diameter. I've got a few Mac XD6 deepwell sockets and the 18mm looks real similar to the one you posted. Stamping is XD6 them Mac with USA underneath them 18MMR them 2C for the code. And the light knurl is typical Mac metric ID knurl. The one Mac spark plug socket I have has hex and a wider heavy knurl.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 11, 2010, 07:08:08 AM
Here's a photo of a MAC USA XD6 spark plug socket, secondary code U2.  This should be an easy one to figure out who the OEM is.  Note the unique design with a round bolster around the square drive end.

Are you sure that's a spark plug socket? It's common for Mac USA to reduce the drive end diameter. I've got a few Mac XD6 deepwell sockets and the 18mm looks real similar to the one you posted. Stamping is XD6 them Mac with USA underneath them 18MMR them 2C for the code. And the light knurl is typical Mac metric ID knurl. The one Mac spark plug socket I have has hex and a wider heavy knurl.

correct. it's a regualr socket. x=3/8dr d=deep 6=6pt 18mm r=? .

gary, i seriously doubt MAC or any other truck brand would have a mfr code on the tool like CMAN does. they (unlike sears) want everyone to think they make everything they sell.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 11, 2010, 09:23:09 AM
r=?

r appears to be Macs version of flank drive. That's the only difference I can find between R and non R sockets.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 11, 2010, 12:02:07 PM
r=?

r appears to be Macs version of flank drive. That's the only difference I can find between R and non R sockets.

it may be the deeper version too. i'm not sure. scratchhead
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 11, 2010, 02:09:05 PM
MattT & krusty,

Regarding my spark plug socket socket-- I have several 3/8 drive MAC deep well sockets and they are broached from top to bottom of the socket.  The one I referred to as a spark plug socket is only broached in the top 1/3 of the socket, and there was a rubber sleeve in the bottom 2/3rds of the socket.  Does that make it a spark plug socket? Not necessarily, the previous owner may have installed the rubber sleeve. I'm just going by the physical characteristics as I find them.  Also, MattT has the same socket as me (and same part number) but our two sockets have different sub-codes (mine=U2, MattT=2C).  Is this significant?  I don't know yet.

Regarding the sub-codes and possible link to OEM-- krusty you are probably right that these codes are unlikely to be OEM identifiers. But, being the optimist, I'm hoping we catch a break here and the code is in fact an OEM identifier.  Time and research will tell. We seem to be making progress... that's good!

Regarding the round bolster at the base of larger MAC sockets--   Is this a typical feature of MAC sockets?  Yes.  Does this mean that MAC is the OEM? Not necessarily; Stanley, Proto, and Wright sockets have this same design feature.  I think what it really means is that MAC is using one OEM for all their recent (i.e. MAC USA) sockets, whoever that OEM is.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 11, 2010, 02:23:04 PM
i'm guessing that your correct about someone "making" it a spark plug socket. MAC has always used the prefix SC for specialty sockets, including spark plug sockets. as far as the depth of the broach i'm guessing that the full broached sockets are older.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 11, 2010, 02:53:03 PM
i'm guessing that your correct about someone "making" it a spark plug socket. MAC has always used the prefix SC for specialty sockets, including spark plug sockets. As far as the depth of the broach, i'm guessing that the full broached sockets are older.

krusty,

Good to know...
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Merkava_4 on August 11, 2010, 05:33:12 PM
What's the U2 and U3 mean? I've got two identical 3/8" MAC extra long combination wrenches and one says U2 while the other one says U3. (http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n284/MACDRIVE/GIFS/th_dunno.gif?t=1279692438)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 11, 2010, 06:03:32 PM
What's the U2 and U3 mean?  I've got two identical 3/8" MAC extra long combination wrenches and one says U2 while the other one says U3. ([url]http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n284/MACDRIVE/GIFS/th_dunno.gif?t=1279692438[/url])


Merk,

That is the $64,000 question. No explanation at this point.  But, there are any number of possibilities:
1) OEM code,
2) Date code,
3) Production batch code,
4) Production facility code,
5) Enigma code (my attempt at humor).

Can you identify any difference (even cosmetic) between the U2 and U3 wrenches?

Did you buy them on different dates, assuming you bought them new?

Was one bought as part of a set and the other one bought individually?

Was one bought from the MAC website and the other from a MAC distributer?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 11, 2010, 07:00:50 PM
r=?

r appears to be Macs version of flank drive. That's the only difference I can find between R and non R sockets.

i just went and looked at some sockets. all of the sockets with the knurled band has the R. the ones without the knurled band do not. all of the sockets have the short broach and only the newest socket has the "flank drive". i feel comfortable witrh the assumption that the R indicates that it's a newer version with a knurled band.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 11, 2010, 09:09:22 PM
r=?

r appears to be Macs version of flank drive. That's the only difference I can find between R and non R sockets.

i just went and looked at some sockets. all of the sockets with the knurled band has the R. the ones without the knurled band do not. all of the sockets have the short broach and only the newest socket has the "flank drive". i feel comfortable witrh the assumption that the R indicates that it's a newer version with a knurled band.

krusty,


I have an entire set of MAC USA 3/8" drive metric sockets, complete with knurling. These socket, bought used, look new. Also, there is no R, but there is an S2 sub-code.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Merkava_4 on August 11, 2010, 09:39:59 PM

Can you identify any difference (even cosmetic) between the U2 and U3 wrenches?

Did you buy them on different dates, assuming you bought them new?

Was one bought as part of a set and the other one bought individually?

Was one bought from the MAC website and the other from a MAC distributer?

They are identical.

They were bought new on different dates.

They were bought individually.

They were bought off the truck from Tom Johnson.

Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Merkava_4 on August 11, 2010, 09:45:53 PM
Just some unrelated info: If you see an R and the end of a part number, that means "revised."

As in thin box wall with MACDRIVE.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 11, 2010, 09:51:25 PM
r=?

r appears to be Macs version of flank drive. That's the only difference I can find between R and non R sockets.

i just went and looked at some sockets. all of the sockets with the knurled band has the R. the ones without the knurled band do not. all of the sockets have the short broach and only the newest socket has the "flank drive". i feel comfortable witrh the assumption that the R indicates that it's a newer version with a knurled band.

krusty,


I have an entire set of MAC USA 3/8" drive metric sockets, complete with knurling. These socket, bought used, look new. Also, there is no R, but there is an S2 sub-code.

hmmmm........there goes my theory. red or yellow tray?


i think we are going to have to start collecting catlogs from the 70's to the 90's to solve this riddle.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on August 11, 2010, 10:06:41 PM

hmmmm........there goes my theory. red or yellow tray?


i think we are going to have to start collecting catlogs from the 70's to the 90's to solve this riddle.

I'll offer up my current #70 catalog and a 1992 catalog.

On another note, my father bought a set of 3/8" deeps brand new in ..........I'm guessing late '60's or early '70's.  They are, IIRC, full broached.  The two I've had warrantied are shallow broached like most modern sockets.  I'll try to snap some pics the next time I'm out at my mothers.

 sarcasmx  Do you guys think the "R" might stand for "reject"? hidex stirthepot th-wink lolx
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 11, 2010, 10:09:37 PM
can you scan the 3/8 socket page and post it?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 12, 2010, 01:29:34 AM
I have an entire set of MAC USA 3/8" drive metric sockets, complete with knurling. These socket, bought used, look new. Also, there is no R, but there is an S2 sub-code.

Are they Mac drive?

Regards the mystery code I don't think it's a OEM code. The "Mac" tools I own that I know are rebrands don't have it. My guess is it's a code on Mac made tools most likely date. Don't know for sure how back it goes but tools I bought off the truck in the late '90's have it.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Merkava_4 on August 12, 2010, 01:45:09 AM
My guess is it's a code on Mac made tools most likely date. Don't know for sure how back it goes but tools I bought off the truck in the late '90's have it.

Same here, all my MAC tools are from the '90's too.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: J.A.F.E. on August 12, 2010, 01:59:24 AM
Perhaps it's a production batch code.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 12, 2010, 03:25:55 PM
Just some unrelated info: If you see an R and the end of a part number, that means "revised."

As in thin box wall with MACDRIVE.

Thanks Merk. Good to know.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 12, 2010, 03:32:53 PM
r=?

r appears to be Macs version of flank drive. That's the only difference I can find between R and non R sockets.

i just went and looked at some sockets. all of the sockets with the knurled band has the R. the ones without the knurled band do not. all of the sockets have the short broach and only the newest socket has the "flank drive". i feel comfortable witrh the assumption that the R indicates that it's a newer version with a knurled band.

krusty,


I have an entire set of MAC USA 3/8" drive metric sockets, complete with knurling. These socket, bought used, look new. Also, there is no R, but there is an S2 sub-code.

hmmmm........there goes my theory. red or yellow tray?


i think we are going to have to start collecting catlogs from the 70's to the 90's to solve this riddle.

krusty,

Red tray with yellow trim.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 12, 2010, 04:55:42 PM
so they are from the late 80's or newer. prior to that meterics came in a yellow tray, sae in red.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 12, 2010, 05:36:25 PM
I have an entire set of MAC USA 3/8" drive metric sockets, complete with knurling. These socket, bought used, look new. Also, there is no R, but there is an S2 sub-code.

Are they Mac drive?

Regards the mystery code I don't think it's a OEM code. The "Mac" tools I own that I know are rebrands don't have it. My guess is it's a code on Mac made tools most likely date. Don't know for sure how back it goes but tools I bought off the truck in the late '90's have it.

MattT,

Tell me what to look for and I'll check. I'm not familier with "Mac drive".


Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 12, 2010, 05:47:04 PM
Tell me what to look for and I'll check. I'm not familier with "Mac drive".


It's Mac's version of flank drive and looks about the same. It's scalloped relief in the broach corners to clear the fasteners corners.

(http://www.apprenticezone.co.uk/media/upload/image/Snap-on/Flank-Drive(2).png)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 12, 2010, 06:55:23 PM
ok, so the MAC guy was in today and i asked him about the two digit code. he called his CSR and asked him (on speaker phone), he said it was a date code but he had no way of telling what the codes mean. so.......one mystery half solved th-wink

after talking with him he got interested in our project and promised to ask around for us. thumbsup2
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wrenchr on August 12, 2010, 08:58:22 PM
I have an old mac sabina yellow handle screwdriver, I will post pics!!
Other then that I can add no solid info on the years............. sctatcherhead
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on August 12, 2010, 09:07:56 PM
OK, it turns out I never learned how to scan stuff w/ my printer............but I do now. ;D  I'm not sure how well these are going to turn out hidex, so here goes.

This is the SAE page from 1992
(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/scan0003-2.jpg)

Current SAE & Metric Deeps
(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/scan0002.jpg)
(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/scan0001.jpg)

I'll see my Mac guy tomorrow.  Hopefully he has some news about the codes for me. th-bounce
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 14, 2010, 03:24:20 PM
Gang,

I checked my MAC USA Metric shallow sockets.  They appear to have a standard 6-point broach, not the MAC-drive feature.

So, if Merk is correct, that would explain why there is no "R" in the model numbers of these sockets.  That is to say, my sockets are the earlier models (i.e. pre MAC-drive).

Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 14, 2010, 04:12:52 PM
Gang,

I've been doing some socket research out in my garage.  I may have stumbled upon a possible OEM for the MAC USA sockets... and it's sorta obvious and makes sense too.

Let's look at some photo's... you guys are ok with photos right?

Photo 1 Socket Comparison, (L-R) MAC Sabina, MAC USA, STANLEY, HUSKY.
(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACSocketComparisonsideview.jpg)
Notice the similarity in the general design. The MAC Sabina is about 1/16" shorter than the MAC USA and the chrome finish is different, but otherwise they are pretty much the same. The Stanley and Husky sockets are both about 1/32" taller than the MAC USA, but otherwise strikingly similar.

Photo 2 Socket Comparison (same order but top view)
(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACSocketComparisontopview.jpg)
Notice the broach is identical between the MAC Sabina and MAC USA, both done in the older standard 6-point.  Also note the Stanley and Huskey have the newer (MAC drive) broach, but otherwise compare favorably to both MAC sockets.

Photo 3 Socket comparison (same order, bottom view)
(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACSocketComparisonbottomview.jpg)
Note the basic drive end design is identical with one major exception.  Both MAC sockets have a single drilled hole as a drive bit detent, while the Stanley/Husky sockets have rounded grooves on all 4 sides of the square drive.

To sum it all up, it looks like Stanley Works could well be the manufacturer of MAC sockets. And, it would make sense for Stanley Works to centralize socket production across their captive brands.  Lastly, to the best of my knowledge, Stanley Works still has socket production facilities in the USA, in addition to thier Chinese/Taiwanese facilities.

Comments, other theories?

EDIT: Just want to clarify this, I first compared the MAC sockets to those of other OEMs/Brands.  Only when I could not find reasonably comparable socket design with these other OEM/Brands, did it occur to me to explore Stanley Works as a possible OEM.

Also, the Stanley Works comparison extends to the Proto and Blackhawk brand sockets. I just didn't have room to show everything.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 14, 2010, 05:14:12 PM
MattT,

Do you have a MAC USA 19mm shallow socket with MAC drive?  If so, could you measure the heigth of this socket. I want to compare it to my Stanley and Husky brand sockets with the newer style 6-point broach.

Thanks
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 14, 2010, 07:02:24 PM
gary, i believe the newer sockets are made in the former national hand tool plant in dallas. the older sabina socket i'm not poitive about, but it's a possibility.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 14, 2010, 09:29:32 PM
Krusty,

That's exactly the facility I was thinking about.  I live about 2 hours south of this facility.  It's pretty nondescript when doing a drive-by.

Does my theory and evidence seem plausible to you?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wrenchr on August 14, 2010, 09:58:38 PM
Here is the old screwdriver.
(http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk173/wrenchr/DSCF6090.jpg)
(http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk173/wrenchr/DSCF6091.jpg)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 14, 2010, 10:18:55 PM
Krusty,

That's exactly the facility I was thinking about.  I live about 2 hours south of this facility.  It's pretty nondescript when doing a drive-by.

Does my theory and evidence seem plausible to you?

yes.......i think they have used several plants over the years though i think stanley consolidated socket mfg to dallas withing the last couple of years. rumor has it that they made sockets in wahington court house too.........i still believe that wright was the original socket mfr. at some point under stanley it was moved "in house".



jason, that screwdriver appears in my 52 catalog. not sure who the mfr was.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wrenchr on August 14, 2010, 10:26:30 PM
52 huh, I bought a very lond mechanics tool forge s/d which is mac today.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 15, 2010, 05:07:54 PM
krusty,

Does the cover of your 1952 catalog say Mechanics Tool and Forge Co, MAC Tool Inc, or just simply MAC Tools? 
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 15, 2010, 08:56:10 PM
a picture is worth a thousand words.........
(http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd154/matco01/mac1952.jpg)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 15, 2010, 10:42:46 PM
Krusty,

Thanks, you've answered my question, with a bullet.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 16, 2010, 05:35:46 AM
Do you have a MAC USA 19mm shallow socket with MAC drive?  If so, could you measure the heigth of this socket. I want to compare it to my Stanley and Husky brand sockets with the newer style 6-point broach.

I have 12 point Mac and 6 point Proto with new broach. The Mac has the same sharp cornered drive end reduction as your older Mac sockets and the Proto has no reduction. They're close enough dimensionally that they could be made on the same line from the same steel which wouldn't surprise me. Mac 1.001" dia x 1.183" high. Proto 1.002" dia x 1.188" high.

What diameter are your Stanree and Husky sockets? IME cheap sockets are larger diameter than premium brands presumably because they're made from lower grade steel.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 16, 2010, 01:17:53 PM
Do you have a MAC USA 19mm shallow socket with MAC drive?  If so, could you measure the heigth of this socket. I want to compare it to my Stanley and Husky brand sockets with the newer style 6-point broach.

I have 12 point Mac and 6 point Proto with new broach. The Mac has the same sharp cornered drive end reduction as your older Mac sockets and the Proto has no reduction. They're close enough dimensionally that they could be made on the same line from the same steel which wouldn't surprise me. Mac 1.001" dia x 1.183" high. Proto 1.002" dia x 1.188" high.

What diameter are your Stanree and Husky sockets? IME cheap sockets are larger diameter than premium brands presumably because they're made from lower grade steel.


MattT,

My socket dimensions are as follows:

MAC Sabina XM 19-6 1.025" Dia, 1.008" Ht

MAC USA X6 19MM 1.017" Dia, 1.098" Ht

Stanley 88-132 (19MM) 1.016" Dia, 1.132" Ht

Husky 22022 (11/16") Dia not comparable b/c smaller fractional socket, 1.145" Ht

Your analysis?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 16, 2010, 10:06:19 PM
Stanley 88-132 (19MM) 1.016" Dia, 1.132" Ht

Your analysis?

The Stanley socket isn't close enough dimensionally for me to say it's related to my Mac and Proto sockets which I suspect are twins based on measurements and knowing for a fact some crossover between Mac and Proto exists. Not knowing the production date of the sockets also clouds the issue. I know Mac drive has been around since the late '90's so we're dealing with a >10 year window at least with Mac.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 17, 2010, 05:59:45 PM
Gang,

I Stumbled onto a new piece of evidence regarding the time-line for MAC Sabina and MAC USA tools.  Goodfellow posted the following photo on his Craftsman Socket thread. Note, GF listed the purchase date of this MAC USA socket as 1975.  I double checked this date with GF; he's sure of the date.
(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACUSApurchased1975byGoodfellow.jpg)

This finding pushes the begining date for MAC USA tools back 5 years, to 1975.  It also pushes the ending date for MAC Sabina tools back 5 years.

Does this seem reasonable? Can anybody varify this date via MAC catalogs? Or move the date even earlier?  
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 18, 2010, 11:03:20 PM
Gang,

Here's an old MAC ratchet I found on a thread over on the GJ.  Krusty ventured that this ratchet was likely made by Herbrand based on the "slide-shift button" feature, which Herbrand was known to use.  I did some checking on the Alloy Artifacts site, and have to agree with Krustys attribution. The ratchet most closely resembling the MAC ratchet shown below was a varient of the Herbrand S-10 made roughly between 1940 and 1942.  This Herbrand ratchet had a pear shaped head, a flat handle with a hang hole, and the slide-shift button marked with concentric circles.  This date range would suggest the MAC X2R ratchet could have been made during the Mechanics Tool and Forge company days.
(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACRatchetpossibleHerbrandOEM.jpg)

Any thoughts, observations, agreement, disagreement, or alternate theories?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Caper on August 19, 2010, 04:04:13 PM
That one is one of mine Gary.Here's the other side of it.Not much else on it except Pat Pending.

(http://i367.photobucket.com/albums/oo120/caper_04/Ratchets/three%20eighths%20drives/P1120666.jpg)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 19, 2010, 05:57:14 PM
Here's an old MAC ratchet I found on a thread over on the GJ.  Krusty ventured that this ratchet was likely made by Herbrand based on the "slide-shift button" feature, which Herbrand was known to use.  I did some checking on the Alloy Artifacts site, and have to agree with Krustys attribution. The ratchet most closely resembling the MAC ratchet shown below was a varient of the Herbrand S-10 made roughly between 1940 and 1942.  This Herbrand ratchet had a pear shaped head, a flat handle with a hang hole, and the slide-shift button marked with concentric circles.  This date range would suggest the MAC X2R ratchet could have been made during the Mechanics Tool and Forge company days.


This http://home.comcast.net/~alloy-artifacts/herbrand-van-chrome-p3.html (http://home.comcast.net/~alloy-artifacts/herbrand-van-chrome-p3.html) states Herbrand made the slider ratchets up until "around 1960" so the date isn't that easy to peg even if it is a Herbrand which I doubt. Cover plate is on the opposite side and it also has "Pat pending" on it. The Herbrand ratchets don't have a patent #, or pending, on them and this http://home.comcast.net/~alloy-artifacts/herbrand-van-chrome.html (http://home.comcast.net/~alloy-artifacts/herbrand-van-chrome.html) makes no mention of a ratchet patent though the table may not be complete.

Interesting that it doesn't have "Sabina" or "USA" on it. Could it be an import?

One other strange thing is it looks to have a pin retainer. That or Caper's camera is playing tricks on me grinx

Since we've drifted to ratchets I've attached pictures of my Mac V5R which appears to be a twin to the Artisan ratchets posted here. http://www.thegaragegazette.com/index.php?topic=178.msg9879#msg9879 (http://www.thegaragegazette.com/index.php?topic=178.msg9879#msg9879) Apparently made by SK from the "late 1930s through mid 1940s". http://home.comcast.net/~alloy-artifacts/other-makers.html#artisan-set (http://home.comcast.net/~alloy-artifacts/other-makers.html#artisan-set)

Edit Alloy artifacts date info looks to be off based on catalog evidence. 1950 or 1951 appears to be the introduction date.

Link to post with catalog pages.
http://www.thegaragegazette.com/index.php?topic=1181.msg24162#msg24162 (http://www.thegaragegazette.com/index.php?topic=1181.msg24162#msg24162)

(http://files.myopera.com/matt38922/albums/4608042/DCP00358.JPG)

(http://files.myopera.com/matt38922/albums/4608042/DCP00356.JPG)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 19, 2010, 07:27:14 PM
here is the original trademark assignment....[url]http://assignments.uspto.gov/assignments/q?db=tm&rno=439367[/url] ([url]http://assignments.uspto.gov/assignments/q?db=tm&rno=439367[/url])


From there I linked to here http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=71506678 (http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=71506678) then on to this download page. http://tmportal.uspto.gov/external/portal/tow?SRCH=Y&isSubmitted=true&details=&SELECT=US+Serial+No&TEXT=71506678 (http://tmportal.uspto.gov/external/portal/tow?SRCH=Y&isSubmitted=true&details=&SELECT=US+Serial+No&TEXT=71506678) Select the bottom document to download the Registration Certificate.

Summary for those who don't want to do any clicking is the document states "MAC" has been in use since January 1939. The company was formed in 1938 but it's possible they didn't sell anything in 1938. IMO the question now is has anything other than MAC ever been stamped on a Mechanics Tool and Forge tool?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 19, 2010, 07:40:44 PM
IMO the question now is has anything other than MAC ever been stamped on a Mechanics Tool and Forge tool?

yes........IIRC the sc8 tappet adjuster gary posted above was from a thread it GJ and was stamped "mechanics tool and forge"
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 19, 2010, 07:55:39 PM
IMO the question now is has anything other than MAC ever been stamped on a Mechanics Tool and Forge tool?


yes........IIRC the sc8 tappet adjuster gary posted above was from a thread it GJ and was stamped "mechanics tool and forge"


I can't make out any markings on the tool in that catalog page. Image reposted below to save folks hunting for it. Hope you don't mind Gary hidex

(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACS8TappetAdjustingSdrewdriverca1950.jpg)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 19, 2010, 08:00:06 PM
your right.......there was one posted at the GJ that did though.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 19, 2010, 08:26:39 PM
your right.......there was one posted at the GJ that did though.


Found the thread. Not sure about posting the link?

(http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg198/xjwagoneer/driver.jpg)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 20, 2010, 02:04:07 AM
MattT,

I opted not to show the photos from the GJ thread because the quality was really bad. The catalog illustration showed the tool in question but didn't show the markings.  That's the problem with illustrations... they just show what they want and leave out details that only "tool nuts" would want to see.

The trademark registration info is interesting... in use since 1939.  I wonder if MAC was consistant in the use of their trademark and other markings.

Also, thanks for posting the V5R ratchet.  At last we have one tool with a known OEM and approximate date range.  It's a start...
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 20, 2010, 02:46:33 PM
Caper, MattT, & krusty,

The design and finish of the MAC X2R ratchet suggests two things to me.

1) Special application and/or,

2) Government contract.

Kind of like the Snap-on FV71, known to be a government contract tool, at least according to Snap-on gurus. And recall from our time line that MAC was awarded several government contracts between 1942 and 1945. Here's a photo comparison of the MAC and Snap-on ratchets for your review.

MAC X2R Ratchet, ca. 1940's?:
(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACRatchetpossibleHerbrandOEM.jpg)

Snapon FV71 Ratchet, ca. 1970's - 1980's:
(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/SnaponFV71ratchet.jpg)

Your thoughts or observations?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Mickey O on August 20, 2010, 07:09:39 PM
Mac ratchets (bottom to top, left to right)

MAC MR5 1/4" pear head
MAC M3R 1/4" long flex head  (New Britain type)
MAC M2R 1/4" (New Britain type)
MAC XR8 3/8" pear head
MAC XR8 3/8" pear head
MAC XR11-A 3/8" long pear head
MAC XR11FSPA 3/8" hard handle, bent handle flex head spar plug ratchet, pear head

Full image: http://i891.photobucket.com/albums/ac114/garagegazette/mac-rats1.jpg (http://i891.photobucket.com/albums/ac114/garagegazette/mac-rats1.jpg)

(http://i891.photobucket.com/albums/ac114/garagegazette/mac-rats1.jpg)

Full image: http://i891.photobucket.com/albums/ac114/garagegazette/mac-rats2.jpg (http://i891.photobucket.com/albums/ac114/garagegazette/mac-rats2.jpg)

(http://i891.photobucket.com/albums/ac114/garagegazette/mac-rats2.jpg)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 20, 2010, 08:52:17 PM
Mickey O,

You been holding out dude.  That is one pretty picture; nothing but gleaming MAC ratchets!

Ok, down to business.

1) Do you know the original purchase dates of any of these ratchets?  If so, which ratchet/what date?

2) Do you know any other history on any of these ratchets? If so, please spill. 
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Mickey O on August 20, 2010, 10:14:25 PM
Mickey O,

You been holding out dude.  That is one pretty picture; nothing but gleaming MAC ratchets!

Ok, down to business.

1) Do you know the original purchase dates of any of these ratchets?  If so, which ratchet/what date?

2) Do you know any other history on any of these ratchets? If so, please spill.

I don't know a whole lot about them, I bought a fair amount of MAC tools back in the early 80's, most everything I got was used from another mechanic at the shop. I still have some of the original stuff I bought mostly sockets and a few New Britain style ratchets (although the last MAC New Britain styles I turned in I received Blackhawks :angry smiley:). The newer XR8 I just bought off ebay (has torx screws) to fill a kit I have of new NOS MAC sockets. About a year ago I went to a sale at a retired MAC sealers home and bought a crap load and replaced most of my used MAC tools with NOS stuff and sold the old stuff but I have no idea of the age. I'll post pics of the MAC wrenches and sockets (eventually).
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 21, 2010, 10:44:41 PM
The design and finish of the MAC X2R ratchet suggests two things to me.

1) Special application and/or,

2) Government contract.

Kind of like the Snap-on FV71, known to be a government contract tool, at least according to Snap-on gurus. And recall from our time line that MAC was awarded several government contracts between 1942 and 1945. Here's a photo comparison of the MAC and Snap-on ratchets for your review.


The FV71 is a gov't version of an older design. I guess the military wanted to keep the old style when SO changed over to the modern style. I have a SO No 71 N with 1939 date code and patent # 1854513 http://www.google.com/patents?id=i3tgAAAAEBAJ&printsec=abstract&zoom=4#v=onepage&q&f=false (http://www.google.com/patents?id=i3tgAAAAEBAJ&printsec=abstract&zoom=4#v=onepage&q&f=false)

The MAC has a normal part # but could still be gov't contract or special application especially if it has a pin retainer. Caper could you please confirm whether it is pin or ball.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 21, 2010, 11:04:24 PM
I don't know a whole lot about them, I bought a fair amount of MAC tools back in the early 80's, most everything I got was used from another mechanic at the shop. I still have some of the original stuff I bought mostly sockets and a few New Britain style ratchets (although the last MAC New Britain styles I turned in I received Blackhawks :angry smiley:). The newer XR8 I just bought off ebay (has torx screws) to fill a kit I have of new NOS MAC sockets. About a year ago I went to a sale at a retired MAC sealers home and bought a crap load and replaced most of my used MAC tools with NOS stuff and sold the old stuff but I have no idea of the age. I'll post pics of the MAC wrenches and sockets (eventually).


Found this on ebay. http://cgi.ebay.com/MAC-TOOLS-VINTAGE-1961-1-2-DR-RATCHET-V8RI-/130380524840?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0 (http://cgi.ebay.com/MAC-TOOLS-VINTAGE-1961-1-2-DR-RATCHET-V8RI-/130380524840?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0) Listing includes patent #s 2554990 and 2981389. Both from the same inventor and the latter patent is assigned to New Britain. Not conclusive because someone else could've made it under license.

http://www.google.com/patents?id=HXlpAAAAEBAJ&pg=PA3&dq=patent+2554990&hl=en&ei=04ZwTPqKKoKB8gadjdnqDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=patent%202554990&f=false (http://www.google.com/patents?id=HXlpAAAAEBAJ&pg=PA3&dq=patent+2554990&hl=en&ei=04ZwTPqKKoKB8gadjdnqDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=patent%202554990&f=false)
http://www.google.com/patents?id=kjlrAAAAEBAJ&pg=PP3&dq=patent+2981389&hl=en&ei=VIdwTOX7IcT48Abb0sHhCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=patent%202981389&f=false (http://www.google.com/patents?id=kjlrAAAAEBAJ&pg=PP3&dq=patent+2981389&hl=en&ei=VIdwTOX7IcT48Abb0sHhCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=patent%202981389&f=false)

I bought a used Mac XR ratchet used 5 or 6 years ago with torx screws.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 21, 2010, 11:21:38 PM
Mickey O,

You been holding out dude.  That is one pretty picture; nothing but gleaming MAC ratchets!

Ok, down to business.

1) Do you know the original purchase dates of any of these ratchets?  If so, which ratchet/what date?

2) Do you know any other history on any of these ratchets? If so, please spill.

I don't know a whole lot about them, I bought a fair amount of MAC tools back in the early 80's, most everything I got was used from another mechanic at the shop. I still have some of the original stuff I bought mostly sockets and a few New Britain style ratchets (although the last MAC New Britain styles I turned in I received Blackhawks :angry smiley:). The newer XR8 I just bought off ebay (has torx screws) to fill a kit I have of new NOS MAC sockets. About a year ago I went to a sale at a retired MAC sealers home and bought a crap load and replaced most of my used MAC tools with NOS stuff and sold the old stuff but I have no idea of the age. I'll post pics of the MAC wrenches and sockets (eventually).

Micky,

Did any of your NOS tools have packaging or instruction sheets that may have printing dates on them?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 21, 2010, 11:39:24 PM
MattT,

Great digging.  If the date of the MAC USA V8Rl ratchet date is correct, you've pushed the beginning date for MAC USA tools all the way back to 1961.

Regarding the patents, I've seen the Kilness name before in ratchet patents.  He is/was some kind of ratchet guru. The second patent was issued in 1961.  I'm wondering if that is how the seller came up with the ratchet date, or if it is just coincidental.

Regarding your MAC XR ratchet with Torx screws... is that a datable feature?  What about hard handles and soft handles... are these datable features?

Also, I'm not familier with MAC model numbers, is your XR ratchet one of the pear head or round head gearless ratchets?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 22, 2010, 12:13:54 AM
Did a bit of trademark and patent digging and found the following. Not a complete list just the ones I found interesting. For more go here http://www.google.com/patents?tbs=bks%3A1&tbo=1&q=%22mac%20tools%22&btnG=Search%20Patents&scoring=2 (http://www.google.com/patents?tbs=bks%3A1&tbo=1&q=%22mac%20tools%22&btnG=Search%20Patents&scoring=2)

First up MAC screwdriver handle patent filed in 1947. This is the only Mechanics tool and forge patent I've found. http://www.google.com/patents?id=dx5wAAAAEBAJ&printsec=claims&zoom=4#v=onepage&q&f=false (http://www.google.com/patents?id=dx5wAAAAEBAJ&printsec=claims&zoom=4#v=onepage&q&f=false)

A 1967 attempt to copy flank drive. This is the earliest Mac Tools Inc patent I've found. Anyone know if it ever made it to production? I've never seen one and suspect the sharp edged corner relief would be too weak. http://www.google.com/patents?id=5350AAAAEBAJ&printsec=drawing&zoom=4#v=onepage&q&f=false (http://www.google.com/patents?id=5350AAAAEBAJ&printsec=drawing&zoom=4#v=onepage&q&f=false)

Registration for the Matco trademark for use on tool storage. First used Dec 13th 1976. http://tmportal.uspto.gov/external/portal/tow?SRCH=Y&isSubmitted=true&details=&SELECT=US+Serial+No&TEXT=73134948# (http://tmportal.uspto.gov/external/portal/tow?SRCH=Y&isSubmitted=true&details=&SELECT=US+Serial+No&TEXT=73134948#)

Spinflex patent filed in 1990 by Mac Tools. If anyone has a Proto spinflex please check it for a Mac datecode. http://www.google.com/patents?id=IW8lAAAAEBAJ&printsec=drawing&zoom=4#v=onepage&q&f=false (http://www.google.com/patents?id=IW8lAAAAEBAJ&printsec=drawing&zoom=4#v=onepage&q&f=false)

Chisel design filed in 1992. These chisels are shown in the 60th anniversary (1998) catalog. Part #s C12PD, C16PD, C20PD, C24PD, C28PD and C32PD. http://www.google.com/patents?id=CN0mAAAAEBAJ&printsec=drawing&zoom=4#v=onepage&q&f=false (http://www.google.com/patents?id=CN0mAAAAEBAJ&printsec=drawing&zoom=4#v=onepage&q&f=false)

Spark plug boot plier filed in 1995. These tools are also featured in the 60th Aniv catalog. Part #s SP400M and SP500M. http://www.google.com/patents?id=yYseAAAAEBAJ&printsec=abstract&zoom=4#v=onepage&q&f=false (http://www.google.com/patents?id=yYseAAAAEBAJ&printsec=abstract&zoom=4#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 22, 2010, 01:22:12 AM
Great digging.  If the date of the MAC USA V8Rl ratchet date is correct, you've pushed the beginning date for MAC USA tools all the way back to 1961.

Regarding the patents, I've seen the Kilness name before in ratchet patents.  He is/was some kind of ratchet guru. The second patent was issued in 1961.  I'm wondering if that is how the seller came up with the with the ratchet date, or if it is just coincidental.


My guess is seller has used the patent to "date" the ratchet unless he knows what the "48" means. Just had a look at New Britain on alloy artifacts and one of the ratchets has "29" on it. And a Husky with the latter patent pending with "18" on it. So "48" might be a New Britain code shrugx

http://home.comcast.net/~alloy-artifacts/newbritain-nonebetter.html#nh44 (http://home.comcast.net/~alloy-artifacts/newbritain-nonebetter.html#nh44)
http://home.comcast.net/~alloy-artifacts/newbritain-nonebetter-p2.html#husky-cs42 (http://home.comcast.net/~alloy-artifacts/newbritain-nonebetter-p2.html#husky-cs42)

Quote
Regarding your MAC XR ratchet with Torx screws... is that a datable feature?  What about hard handles and soft handles... are these datable features?


I posted that to show Torx isn't a brand new feature. Using screws to date ratchets is iffy at best because they may have been rebuilt. The only ratchet in my 1998 catalog pictured large enough to tell has slotted screws.

The handle styles can probably be pinned down to a date range. Most everything in my 1998 catalog has the hard handles like Mickey's XR11FSPA. Exceptions are pry bars and nut drivers which have 6 fluted acetate handles. I'm also fairly certain I bought some hard handles in the early '90's.

Quote
Also, I'm not familier with MAC model numbers, is your XR ratchet one of the pear head or round head gearless ratchets?


Modern Mac USA numbering first letter is drive size then a single R is pear head and RR is geared round head. Not sure what they put on the gearless.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 22, 2010, 01:38:03 PM
Gang,

I've got two of the gearless round head rats.  Here's a photo of the pair, 1/4" MR7PAZ (subcode 4A) and 3/8" XR8PAZF (subcode C1):
(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACGearlessRatchets.jpg)

The Patent # stamped on both ratchets is 6,055,888, filed 2000 and issued 2001, with no assignee.  So I guess we could tentatively date these ratchets as 2001 and later. I checked the MAC website and found these ratchets are no longer available.  And, the year they were discontinued is unknown.  Can anyone with recent catalogs varify the date range for these ratchets?

Also, if the subcodes "C1" and "4A" are indeed date codes, could anyone hazard a guess how they might be interpreted?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 27, 2010, 08:28:52 PM
I've got two of the gearless round head rats.  Here's a photo of the pair, 1/4" MR7PAZ (subcode 4A) and 3/8" XR8PAZF (subcode C1):
The Patent # stamped on both ratchets is 6,055,888, filed 2000 and issued 2001, with no assignee.  So I guess we could tetatively date these ratchets as 2001 and later.


Those are the ratchets stanree got busted for by the ftc. Complaint says the mislabeled ratchets were made between "approximately January 2003 through November 2004". If they have USA on them they're certainly no later than June 2006 when the judgement was entered.

http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/c3876/Stanley_Complaint_1.PDF (http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/c3876/Stanley_Complaint_1.PDF)

Also interesting that they labeled the soft handle "Made in UK".
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Caper on August 27, 2010, 09:08:35 PM

The MAC has a normal part # but could still be gov't contract or special application especially if it has a pin retainer. Caper could you please confirm whether it is pin or ball.
[/quote]

Sorry Matt I forgot about this Mac thread.That ratchet does have a pin style socket retainer.On another note it's one of the biggest pain in the ass ratchets to reassemble that I've taken apart.It's also one of the smoothest ratchets I own.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 30, 2010, 09:03:03 AM
Bit of an update on ratchets.

First I found a 3/8" version of my V5R on feebay. Part # X3R.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280551969809&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280551969809&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT)

The 1961 New Britain patent ratchets are showing as "New" in the 1963 catalog. 1/4" M2R ($4.50), 3/8" X8R ($5.75) regular, X9R ($7.95) long handle flex and M1RX ($3.65)1/4" body, 1/2" V8R ($7.85) and V9R ($8.85) long handle, 3/4" Z3R ($18.75) and 1" W3R ($29.25) ratchet head. They also show 20 tooth pear head ratchets. 1/4" M1R ($3.65), 3/8" X7R ($4.80), 1/2" V6R ($6.25) and V7R ($5.75) ratchet head with interchangeable handles, 3/4" Z2R ($12.50) and 1" W1R ($19.20) ratchet head.

I'm beginning to think the earlier Mac ratchet numbering is, at least loosely, chronological. Thoughts?

Also found a picture of a M1R and a M2R that rickster sold to wrenchr.
(http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/3212/4661/8029830355_large.jpg)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Caper on August 30, 2010, 06:54:01 PM
So we know M=1/4"dr,X=3/8"dr,V=1/2"dr,Z=3/4"dr and W=1"dr?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 30, 2010, 07:19:00 PM
So we know M=1/4"dr,X=3/8"dr,V=1/2"dr,Z=3/4"dr and W=1"dr?

correct
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 30, 2010, 10:50:12 PM
And we know that the R=revision of an earlier model.  Correct?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 30, 2010, 11:04:05 PM
And we know that the R=revision of an earlier model.  Correct?

possibly, it stands to reason
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 31, 2010, 12:33:06 AM
krusty,

Merk originally posted the idea of R=revised.  He's got way more MAC tools than me and has been buying them longer than me.  It seemed plausible to me.  I was just trying to see if there was concensus on this or if other folks had other theories. 

I think cracking the MAC model numbering system is interesting, but I don't think it's going to lead us to OEMs or production dates.  I think the 2-digit sub codes on the MAC USA tools could be more promising.  Your thoughts.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 31, 2010, 07:05:05 AM
krusty,

Merk originally posted the idea of R=revised.  He's got way more MAC tools than me and has been buying them longer than me.  It seemed plausible to me.  I was just trying to see if there was concensus on this or if other folks had other theories.
it makes sense, but i don't think it's written in stone. 

I think cracking the MAC model numbering system is interesting, but I don't think it's going to lead us to OEMs or production dates.  I think the 2-digit sub codes on the MAC USA tools could be more promising.  Your thoughts.
agreed.......
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 31, 2010, 10:50:25 AM
Merk originally posted the idea of R=revised.  He's got way more MAC tools than me and has been buying them longer than me.  It seemed plausible to me.  I was just trying to see if there was concensus on this or if other folks had other theories.


With sockets, and wrench box ends, the R suffix appears to be specific to the "MAC drive". Wasn't applied to earlier changes such as the transition to shallow broaching of deep sockets. 1963 catalog has shallow broach sockets with a B suffix along with deep broached regular part #s. At some point after that the B was dropped and shallow broach sockets became the regular part #. 1998 catalog majority is R but there's a few part #s without it and around that time most of the tools on the truck were "MAC drive".

I haven't seen an R suffix on any other tools which suggests it's something MAC consistently uses to denote a revision.

Quote
I think cracking the MAC model numbering system is interesting, but I don't think it's going to lead us to OEMs or production dates.  I think the 2-digit sub codes on the MAC USA tools could be more promising.  Your thoughts.


I've found a news article which implies MAC were manufacturing at least some of their hard line up until this year. That may be why we can't find another OEM.

Quote
The people losing jobs include tool-and-die makers, wrench-forging operators, socket-press operators, material-press operators and screw-machine operators, among other job titles.


http://www.wnewsj.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=181669&SectionID=49&SubSectionID=&S=1 (http://www.wnewsj.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=181669&SectionID=49&SubSectionID=&S=1)

I think the 2 digit "date code" was originally used by MAC on their own production probably starting after the switch from Sabina to USA marking. My "MAC" tools that I know have been made by an OEM don't have it. No telling what stanree has done with the code in the meantime.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on September 17, 2010, 09:38:14 PM
For those that still think MAC made all their tools I submit the following photo (originally posted by MAD on the GH & GJ):

(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACandNBlinewrenchoneinthesame.jpg)

Any questions?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Arkangel06 on September 17, 2010, 10:34:09 PM
Why do they look so different?  stirthepot
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on September 17, 2010, 11:05:37 PM
Oh!  Oh!  Me too!!! stirthepot
(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/junk028.jpg)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on September 17, 2010, 11:13:28 PM
For those that still think MAC made all their tools I submit the following photo (originally posted by MAD on the GH & GJ):


Gary,

I don't reckon anyone with an IQ above room temperature believes any truck brand made all their own tools. I don't even trust SO 100% and damn sure don't trust the other 3.

That wrench is featured in the '63 catalog along with a 1/2"x9/16". Part #s OB1214 and OB1618. That's the same time they introduced the New Britain ratchets so NB might be the OEM for that wrench. Or maybe MAC was the OEM for NB or maybe another company made the wrench for MAC and NB. Just because the same tool has been found with 2 "manufacturers" names stamped on it isn't conclusive proof either one made it.

Something else which might be significant is MAC changed the part # of those flarenut wrenches between '63 and '98 from OB**** to FB****R whilst they've kept CW** part numbers for combination wrenches the same from '51 to '98 other than adding an R suffix. Could be a change of manufacturer, different part # because of the change in warranty or just the change in terminology from obstruction to flarenut.

And Oh Sh1t Ark's found the thread. This was fun while it lasted.

(http://files.myopera.com/matt38922/albums/4608042/DCP00347.JPG)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on September 18, 2010, 03:01:45 PM
For those that still think MAC made all their tools I submit the following photo (originally posted by MAD on the GH & GJ):

Gary,

I don't reckon anyone with an IQ above room temperature believes any truck brand made all their own tools. I don't even trust SO 100% and damn sure don't trust the other 3.

That wrench is featured in the '63 catalog along with a 1/2"x9/16". Part #s OB1214 and OB1618. That's the same time they introduced the New Britain ratchets so NB might be the OEM for that wrench. Or maybe MAC was the OEM for NB or maybe another company made the wrench for MAC and NB. Just because the same tool has been found with 2 "manufacturers" names stamped on it isn't conclusive proof either one made it.

Something else which might be significant is MAC changed the part # of those flarenut wrenches between '63 and '98 from OB**** to FB****R whilst they've kept CW** part numbers for combination wrenches the same from '51 to '98 other than adding an R suffix. Could be a change of manufacturer, different part # because of the change in warranty or just the change in terminology from obstruction to flarenut.

And Oh Sh1t Ark's found the thread. This was fun while it lasted.

MattT,

Points taken and I agree in principal with most of what you are saying.  But, if we insist on an absolute zero chance of error standard for the attribution of OEM's and date ranges, we will never get anywhere.  I think we need to lower our standard to a reasonable level, based on likelyhood and plausibility, with the understanding that if newer, more compelling information becomes available, we update our entries.  Think of it as "moving best guess".

I'd like to know how you, and others on this tread, feel about this idea of absolute vs reasonable proof, and how we should approach it in this thread.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on September 21, 2010, 08:30:31 PM
Mechanics Tool and Forge Co. officially changed its name to MAC Tools Inc. in 1961 or 1967, depending on the source.


The 1963 catalog shows MAC Tools Inc and MAC Allied. Clinton tool has also disappeared so it's possible MAC Tools Inc was a merger of Mechanics and Clinton rather than just a straight rename of Mechanics.

1949. 1951 is the same.
(http://files.myopera.com/matt38922/albums/4608042/DCP00349.JPG)

1963.
(http://files.myopera.com/matt38922/albums/4608042/DCP00348.JPG)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on September 21, 2010, 09:57:57 PM
MattT,

Good to know, that definately argues against the 1967 date from one source I posted earlier.  The 1961 date is looking more likely based on your catalog evidence. We're at least in the ballpark now.

PS- I modified the MAC Tool timeline above to reflect your catalog evidence. Listed the name change date as 1961, until we get more catalog evidence between 1952 and 1962.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on September 23, 2010, 06:44:31 PM
Points taken and I agree in principal with most of what you are saying.  But, if we insist on an absolute zero chance of error standard for the attribution of OEM's and date ranges, we will never get anywhere.  I think we need to lower our standard to a reasonable level, based on likelyhood and plausibility, with the understanding that if newer, more compelling information becomes available, we update our entries.  Think of it as "moving best guess".

I'd like to know how you, and others on this tread, feel about this idea of absolute vs reasonable proof, and how we should approach it in this thread.


Gary I agree it'll be difficult to conclusively pin down the manufacturer of some tools because Mechanics/Clinton/MAC Tools Inc were manufacturers and may have OEM'd for other companies. We'll have to hope catalog evidence from MAC and other possible OEMs comes available. Whoever introduced the tool first is probably the OEM.

About the only tools in the Mechanics/Clinton/MAC Tools Inc part of the catalogs I'm willing to assign an definite OEM to at this point are the ratchets we've discussed earlier. They made no attempt to hide the OEMs in the MAC Allied part of the catalog. 1963 states the catalog is deliberately split "For inter-office convenience" and 1949 and 1951 follow the same format. One interesting thing about this split is that 3/4" drive sockets moved to the Mechanics/Clinton part between '49 and '51 and were given MAC part #s. 1/4" drive was moved sometime between '51 and '63.

The catalog split in '63 is as follows:

MAC Tools Inc Screwdrivers, Punches and Chisels, Wrenches, Brake tools, Pry Bars, Sockets/drive tools plus a few other bits and pieces I'm too lazy to list.

MAC Allied begins at Pliers which are also the start of the MAC Allied portion in the '49 and '51 catalogs.

And excellent point about needing to update our entries. I got some work to do on the ratchets hidex

Couple other things I don't think I've gotten around to posting yet.

Sales listing for the Sabina facility located at 197 Jefferson Street N, Sabina, OH 45169. http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/16655622/197-Jefferson-Street-N-Sabina-OH/ (http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/16655622/197-Jefferson-Street-N-Sabina-OH/)

Official history from MAC website. http://www.mactools.com/AboutMacTools/OurHistory/tabid/62/Default.aspx (http://www.mactools.com/AboutMacTools/OurHistory/tabid/62/Default.aspx)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on September 23, 2010, 07:21:59 PM
Update on Ratchets. The flat forged S-K's appear to have been introduced to the MAC line-up in either 1950 or 1951. The 3/8" definitely was anyways but I'm missing the 1/2" drive 1949 pages.

1949 3/8" catalog page.
(http://files.myopera.com/matt38922/albums/4608042/DCP00353.JPG)

1951 3/8" catalog page.
(http://files.myopera.com/matt38922/albums/4608042/DCP00354.JPG)

1951 1/2" catalog page.
(http://files.myopera.com/matt38922/albums/4608042/DCP00355.JPG)

Link to my original post which I'll edit after I post this.
http://www.thegaragegazette.com/index.php?topic=1181.msg16974#msg16974 (http://www.thegaragegazette.com/index.php?topic=1181.msg16974#msg16974)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on September 24, 2010, 02:39:28 PM
MattT,

The MAC history page (Official history from MAC website. http://www.mactools.com/AboutMacTools/OurHistory/tabid/62/Default.aspx (http://www.mactools.com/AboutMacTools/OurHistory/tabid/62/Default.aspx)) is not clear on the date of the name change... they mention both 1961 and 1963 in the same sentence. I'm leaning towards 1963. Is that your take?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on September 24, 2010, 04:29:37 PM
Gary,

That badly worded sentence does sound like they mean 1963. And we do have hard evidence MAC Tools Inc had replaced Mechanics in '63.

Makes me wonder what happened in '61 to start MACs "modern era". I don't see any radical difference between the '51 and '63 catalogs.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on October 16, 2010, 09:00:54 PM
I've been wondering  scratchhead if it might be possible to work backwards on the date codes.  Recently, I've bought some new stuff from Mac, namely a 1/4" drive extension set, and a 3/8" set too.  Both carry the same codes on the tools, but the 1/4" set was bought in late August and the 3/8" set has been back ordered since then and just showed up October 8, 2010.  The codes are "2J" and "3J".  Both sets had a mixture of the two codes but the 1/4" set also had one extension that was uncoded as well.  Just a thought.......

(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/10-8-10012.jpg)
(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/10-8-10013.jpg)
The 3/8" set
(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/junk9-14-10014.jpg)
The 1/4"
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on October 17, 2010, 11:03:12 AM
Thanks for the post wrecker. Not a bad idea, working backwords.  The only problem is we are not sure that the codes are date codes.  They could be facility codes, OEM codes, production run codes, or something else yet.  But, if we can link the codes to the same tools in the annual catalogs we might be able to varify the date code theory.

Do you have any MAC catalogs?  If so, what years? 
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on October 17, 2010, 12:38:05 PM
Thanks for the post wrecker. Not a bad idea, working backwords.  The only problem is we are not sure that the codes are date codes.  They could be facility codes, OEM codes, production run codes, or something else yet.  But, if we can link the codes to the same tools in the annual catalogs we might be able to verify the date code theory.

Do you have any MAC catalogs?  If so, what years?

Yeah, the thought had crossed my mind as to if these codes were actually date codes or plant/vendor numbers or something else (which would still be interesting to know).  They have to mean something.  As I sit here thinking about it, Mac has stonewalled me on any information (through my dealer and his contacts) and the fact that there is little if anything out there already makes me wonder if these are not vendor codes.  Think about it.......Snap-on doesn't appear to care about who is able to figure out their date codes.  Why would they?  They make nearly all of their own hardline,  Mac, on the other hand, might suffer if people knew where those tools came from.  An example would be the two ratchets I have, X8R & X9R.  We all know who made those so if I know who makes something and can buy it cheaper from the OEM or from another brand, why buy Mac?

By the way, both of those NB made ratchets carry a different style code.  "81" & "29" .  Also the patent #'s 2554990 (issued 1951) & 2981389 (issued 1961).

Here's what I'll do:  I'll check the extensions I bought in the '90's and also the ones my father bought in the '70's & '80's.  Maybe we can finally make some progress.......

I currently have catalog #70 (the current catalog) and a 1992 cat.   hidex  I threw away several years ago before I cared about these things.  Hell, they were just old tool catalogs.......right?  right? hidex runforhills
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on October 17, 2010, 02:55:57 PM
wrecker,

Join the club... about 15 years ago I threw away all my old Craftsman tool catalogs from 1970-1995. Then about 3 years ago I got interested in tracking the OEM's and date ranges of Crafty tools.  I can't tell you how many times I've needed those old catalogs and have cursed myself for tossing them. 
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on October 18, 2010, 03:21:00 PM
The only problem is we are not sure that the codes are date codes.

Gary,

I thought someone had their dealer call MAC and they confirmed the codes were date codes. Krusty maybe?

By the way, both of those NB made ratchets carry a different style code.  "81" & "29" .  Also the patent #'s 2554990 (issued 1951) & 2981389 (issued 1961).

Those codes are New Britain codes.

Quote
I've been wondering   if it might be possible to work backwards on the date codes.  Recently, I've bought some new stuff from Mac, namely a 1/4" drive extension set, and a 3/8" set too.  Both carry the same codes on the tools, but the 1/4" set was bought in late August and the 3/8" set has been back ordered since then and just showed up October 8, 2010.  The codes are "2J" and "3J".

I've got a W1 socket I know I bought new in '98. If your extensions are Sabina production they were probably made in '09.

W>J x 0>9 is 130.

'98>'09 x 12 months is 132 months.

So it's possible the date code started as An around 1970* and switched to nA around 2001. Anniversary tools would probably be the best source of known date of manufacture tools to confirm, or rule out, date codes.

*If anyone has a letter zero or zero letter coded tool I'd like to hear about it. I've used 0>9 for my guesstimates but haven't actually seen a zero coded tool. If MAC only used 1>9 that would push the introduction forward to around 1972.

Quote
Both sets had a mixture of the two codes but the 1/4" set also had one extension that was uncoded as well.

Is there anything noticeably different about the uncoded extension? My gut feeling at this point is that the code was only applied to Sabina production. I've seen plenty of known OEM tools without the code but have never seen one with the code.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on October 19, 2010, 01:06:21 PM
MattT,

I went back through the thread and you are correct... krusty did confirm the date code theory with his MAC distributor and his upline manager via phone conversation. 

So, now that that is settled, and we are all on the same page, let's attempt to demistify these codes.

MattT-- you seem to have a working theory on how these codes might work. Good!

MattT & Merk-- you two both have MAC tools known to have been purchased in the 1990's.  Can you two inventory the date codes on your MAC tools and post them here?

Krusty-- can you get with your MAC distributor and ask to see any new tools (introduced in 2010) he has on the truck, and obtain the date code()s on these tools?  This would give us a known and current date code(s)  to work backward from.

Does this seem like a reasonable approach?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on October 19, 2010, 03:22:13 PM
i'll ask.......but i'm not sure that we can be assured that a tool that was shipped in 2010 was made in 2010.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on October 19, 2010, 05:25:37 PM
i'll ask.......but i'm not sure that we can be assured that a tool that was shipped in 2010 was made in 2010.

Well, this late in the year should be the best chance that it was made in 2010.  It's a shot, but probably the best shot we've got at the moment.  And, you may find several different date codes or run into new products that don't have date codes (i.e. outsourced products). We'll just have to see and do the best we can with what we are dealt.  I take your point though about the possibility that tools sold in one year may have been manufactured in an earlier year.  We ran into this on the Craftsman thread.  The date ranges that were collected are really purchase dates as apposed to manufacturing dates.  But, what other practical way is there to approximate manufacturing dates, unless someone finds and leaks the MAC Rosetta Stone.

Also, if anybody else has regular contact with a MAC man, they could do the same thing.  This would expand the sample size and perhaps give us broader insight into the date coding scheme.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on October 19, 2010, 06:04:03 PM
Gang,

I was just nosing around the PROTO 100th Anniversary site.  I noticed they claimed to introduce the TorquePlus socket design in 1994.  Does this roughly correspond to the introduction of MACDRIVE? I realize that MAC and PROTO are separate brands, but I'm thinking it would be logical for Stanley to standardize across brands since they own the patent(s) and production facilities.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on October 20, 2010, 09:54:09 AM
MattT-- you seem to have a working theory on how these codes might work. Good!

After a bit more digging I'm gonna scrap that theory ;D Looking thru' my stash I haven't been able to find any numbers outside of 1 thru' 4. My new theory is letter is year and number is quarter with nJ being '09.

MattT & Merk-- you two both have MAC tools known to have been purchased in the 1990's.  Can you two inventory the date codes on your MAC tools and post them here?

I'll have another look thru' to see if I can find anything noteworthy. Will definitely post up my earliest "MACdrive" and list what letters I have because it's possible some were skipped. The one socket I mentioned is the only one I have left I can be sure of purchase date and I've got quite a lot of used tools in my stash which are probably <'90 or '00s production.

i'll ask.......but i'm not sure that we can be assured that a tool that was shipped in 2010 was made in 2010.

Agreed. A tool sitting on the truck today doesn't mean it was manufactured this year. I'd be most interested in knowing if there's anything on there with a K, or higher letter, code or anything non USA, or obviously OEM'd, bearing a code.

But, what other practical way is there to approximate manufacturing dates, unless someone finds and leaks the MAC Rosetta Stone.

IMO Anniversary pieces will be the best source of firm data points. These will almost certainly be manufactured in either the anniversary year or the year before.

I noticed they claimed to introduce the TorquePlus socket design in 1994.  Does this roughly correspond to the introduction of MACDRIVE?

Possibly. Transition is mostly complete in the '98 catalog.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on October 23, 2010, 10:06:24 PM
MattT & others,

I recontacted goodfellow concerning his MAC USA sockets purchased in 1975 and their date code(s). goodfellow indicated that his sockets do not have date codes on them. After thinking about this for a bit, it occured to me that goodfellows sockets are pre-Stanley acquisition.  It also occured to me that the date coding system may have started on or after the the Stanley acquisition.  Is this consistant with your observations?  Is this common knowledge?  I realize there could be other explanations, but the coincidence of the two events is intriguing.


MattT-- I like your idea of using anniversary tools to establish some reliable date points.  Assuming 1938 as the official start of Mechanics Tool & Forge Co., here are some of the later anniversary dates:

1980-- beginning of Stanley ownership
1983-- 45th anniv.
1988-- 50th anniv.
1993-- 55th anniv.
1998-- 60th anniv.
2003-- 65th anniv.
2008-- 70th anniv.
2013-- 75th anniv.
2018-- 80th anniv.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on October 23, 2010, 10:58:56 PM
I've been dragging lately, but tomorrow I'll get all of the date codes on tools I know I bought new and then I'll try to match them to the recipts (yes, I have every single one ever).  That'll take some time and will only go back to the 90's.  I wish my dad was still around.  His memory was impecable and would have been able to tell me when he bought what.

The idea of using anniversary tools as a basis is a good one.  Seems those gold plated tools might be good for something afterall.

On another note, Friday when I was on the truck I noticed that the Mac "Edge" tools also have a code.  Not that this matters, I just found it interesting that they would date their import tools too.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on October 24, 2010, 01:07:35 AM
MattT-- I like your idea of using anniversary tools to establish some reliable date points.  Assuming 1938 as the official start of Mechanics Tool & Forge Co., here are some of the later anniversary dates:

1980-- beginning of Stanley ownership
1983-- 45th anniv.
1988-- 50th anniv.
1993-- 55th anniv.
1998-- 60th anniv.
2003-- 65th anniv.
2008-- 70th anniv.
2013-- 75th anniv.
2018-- 80th anniv.

Using 1938 as the start date for anniversaries appears to be correct. My 1998 catalog has "60th Anniversary" on the front cover.

On another note, Friday when I was on the truck I noticed that the Mac "Edge" tools also have a code.  Not that this matters, I just found it interesting that they would date their import tools too.

That does matter. It's confirmation the code is being used on tools that definitely weren't made by MAC.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on October 24, 2010, 05:56:00 PM
MattT & wrecker-- Glad the anniversarys worked out and at least some import tools have date codes.

All-- Found these MAC tool patents on some obscure website the other day. Maybe they'll be usefull somewhere along the line:

3,466,956 Sep. 16, 1969. C.W. Bowers, Wrench Socket with Multi-Sided and Special Shaped Driving Faces socket wrenches.

4,936,701 Jun. 26, 1990. J.S. Amtmann, K.D. Allen, Universal Joint with Rotating Holder Sleeve socket wrenches.

5,150,610 Sep. 29, 1992. D.E. Myers, Auxiliary Starter Switch with Illuminated Guard.

5,280,740 Jan. 25, 1994. M.L. Ernst, Flexible Head Socket Wrench.

5,335,586 Aug. 09, 1994. R.J. Mathieu, J.A. Batten, M.R. Casto, Handle Linkage tool.

D360,813 Aug. 01, 1995. C.C. Augustine, J.D. Wiedemann, Pliers.

5,593,197 Jan. 14, 1997. D.E. Myers, J.F. Mellott, R.J. Mathieu, Spark Plug Wire Puller.

Note the first patent issued in 1969.  Some type of improved broach developed way before MAC-DRIVE.
 
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on November 01, 2010, 12:58:17 AM
Well........this will get harder before it's all over and done with.  I came across several codes that are different.  They are a three digit code, and so far have been restricted to punches, chisels, and drifts.  Here are a few examples:
(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/10-31-10006.jpg)
(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/10-31-10007.jpg)
(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/10-31-10008.jpg)

At some point, I have misplaced several years worth of recipts.  I'm a little miffed at this but I can still give rough timelines for when the tools were bought based on where I was working at the time.  But before i get into that, I'll start with my fathers tools and what I remember him telling me.  Also, I'll only list one code for a set if that is all I found. 

SVDP136TR  1/2" drive deep impact 6pt. socket set.  Bought in 1969.  These have the Mac "half circle" logo.  No codes.
SXD126TR  3/8" drive deep chrome 6 pt socket set.  Bought in 1969 or after.  These have the Mac "half circle" logo.  No codes.
There are other tools as well, but they are wrenches, extensions, adaptors, screwdrivers, ect...... without codes, without being marked "Sabina" and with a non-polished chrome finish (wrenches only) and with the "half circle" logo.

Tools I have purchased between 4/1996 and 10/1997.

SBP3PT  Brass punch set.  Codes U1  T3
SVP156TR  1/2" drive shallow impact socket set.  Codes U2  U3  U4  These are also Mac drive.
SVE5PT  1/2" drive extension set.  Codes T2  T3  T4
Sliding T  1/2" drive sliding T.  Code U2  (forgot to grab the part # :-[
SV108TR  1/2" drive 8 pt. socket set.  Codes U3  U4
C50PDPT  5pc.  Chisel set.  Codes V2  V3

Tools I have purchased between 6/1999 and 2002ish.

SX07T  3/8" drive weatherhead socket set.  Codes X1  X2  W2  W4  At the same time I bought these, I ordered the next three biggest in 1/2" drive from Snap-on (mac didn't offer them).  The Snap-ons are date coded 1999.
SV8PT  1/2" drive Drain Plug socket set.  Code X2
VDP486R  1/2" drive 1 1/2" deep impact socket.  Code V4
VDP446R  1/2" drive 1 3/8" deep impact socket.  Code W4
VDP426R  1/2" drive 1 5/16" deep impact socket.  Code V4
DPL16SS  1/2" dia.  drift punch, long.  Code CK1 similar to above photos^^^
DPL12SS  3/8" dia.  drift punch, long.  Code CK1  similar to above photos^^^
CP3SS  Center punch.  Code W4
SLF3  3pc. Lady Foot line-up bar set.  Code X1  V2  W4 
RPP10SS  Roll pin punch set.  Codes X3  W3 
VH24  1/2" drive 3/4" hex driver.  Code X4
VH20  1/2" drive 5/8" hex driver.  Code X3
VH18  1/2" drive 9/16" hex driver.  Code X3
VH16  1/2" drive 1/2" hex driver.  Code U4.  * I believe this one was warrantied IIRC *
VH14  1/2" drive 7/16" hex driver.  Code X1

The rest will have purchase dates

SMP60KSS  Starter/Machine punch set 6pc.  10/2007  Codes 1B  PA1  PT4 PN3  see above photos^^^
XB242  3/8" drive 3/4" torque adaptor.  3/2008Code 1F
DA44  1 3/8" double angle open end wrench.  8/2008Code 3F
DA46  1 7/16" double angle open end wrench.  8/2008Code 3F
DA42 1 5/16" double angle open end wrench.  9/2008Code 3G
VP612MMR  1/2" drive 12mm shallow impact socket 6pt.  10/2008Code2E
VP616MMR  1/2" drive 16mm shallow impact socket 6pt.  10/2008 Code X1
PP60KSS  short pin punch set 6pc.  3/2009  Code  PJ2  PJ4  PJ1^^^
FB61012MMR  10 X 12 mm flare wrench.  10/2009  Code 3H
FB61314MMR  13 X 14 mm flare wrench.  10/2009  Code 3H
FB61517MMR  15 X 17 mm flare wrench.  11/2009  Code4H
C16PD  1/2" chisel.  1/2010  Code PK1^^^
PPL8SS  long pin punch.  2/2010  Code V4^^^
PPL10SS  long pin punch.  2/2010  Code PJ3^^^
VP620MMR  1/2" drive shallow impact socket 20 mm.  4/2010  Code 1J
VP623MMR  1/2" drive shallow impact socket 23 mm.  4/2010  Code 2J
SMEK5PT  1/4" drive chrome extension set 5pc.  9/2010  Codes 2J  3J
SXEK5PT  3/8" drive chrome extension set 5pc.  10/2010  Codes 2J  3J
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on November 01, 2010, 01:09:51 PM
Gary,

That attempt to copy Flank Drive is the earliest MAC Tools Inc patent I've found too. Did find one Mechanics Tool and Forge patent filed in 1947.
http://www.thegaragegazette.com/index.php?topic=1181.msg17715#msg17715 (http://www.thegaragegazette.com/index.php?topic=1181.msg17715#msg17715)

Wrecker,

Great work. Thanks for taking the time to do it thumbsup2

Sets the end of Sabina stamping back into the '60's.

Loosely supports the year code rolling over around the millenium, give or take a year, which is what I'm expecting. Few oddballs in there which may just be old stock. Nothing in there too new for it's purchase date.

All your tools being 1-4 too makes number being quarter more likely.

Wonder what happened with the punches headscratch Appears to have happened in the late '90's and my guess is they were outsourced. Are there any noticeable differences between the two digit and 3 digit coded tools?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on November 01, 2010, 08:02:28 PM
If I remember correctly, krusty seems to think the striking tools are Mayhew sourced, and I have no reason to argue that.  So, I wonder if contacting Mayhew would do any good.  Heck, going and looking at some new Mayhew stuff may end up locating parallel codes on their branded tools.  Probably a long shot on that.  I seem to recall krusty having issues with their customer service as well......... :(

Also, does anyone know if Stanley branded tools are marked in this way?  Proto?  Blackhawk?  Brand new Facom?  Speaking of Facom, and I'm making an assumption here, I looked over the New Mac euro style combo wrenches last week on the truck.  They look just like a Facom to me and I did not find a code on them.  I'll have to check out their ratcheting combo wrenches as well. I suspect they will not have a code either.  I realize this is a side note to the general idea of the thread, but it may help somewhere.

In my journey through the Mac catalog this past week, I happened on another fact.  All of the Mac "Edge" sockets and socket sets carry a "G" in the part number, in addition to the "leaf knurl".  Just an FYI for those looking at Mac stuff on Ebay.

As for the accuracy of the codes in my previous post, there may be a few of those like you said, Matt, that are oddballs.  It is entirely possible that a few have been exchanged and I don't remember.  The ones that you can trust for sure would be the weatherheads, the plug sockets, the 8 points, 1/2" drive extension set, the lady foot line up bar set, and all of the newer stuff with a purchase date.  I am certain non of those have been lost or broken.  The impact sockets are my bread and butter and they take it on the chin so I tried to leave out the codes on those I found that I knew to be replacements, but I may have missed a few.  At any rate, when you warranty a socket with Snap-on these days, it shows up on your receipt.  Not with Mac........you just get a replacement without any record......at least in flyover country. :D

An off the wall idea popped into my head today at work about these codes.  I picked up a new socket from the Cornwell man and while inspecting it, I found a two digit code quite similar to what Mac uses.  After checking the rest of my Cornwell sockets, I found they all had a code (forgot to look at the wrenches :-[).  I'm going to hit him up about it next week and see if I can get any information.  If I can, that may help shed some light here as well.

 wavebeer
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on November 01, 2010, 09:05:59 PM
Wrecker,

I checked all my striking tools and didn't find a 3 digit code on any of them. My stash includes Matco, Mayhew, Old Forge, Proto, SO, and Craftsman WF but I don't know what vintage any of them are. Only interesting thing the search turned up is what appears to be a 1988 SO date code on an Old Forge center punch. And it's after the safety glasses warning same as my SO punches.

I've never seen a MAC code on anything but MAC. Never seen any kind of code on Proto or Facom. Also have MAC badged Proto which doesn't have a code.

Your earlier code list it's all good and easily explained by old stock at this point since they're all older than purchase date. If you'd have posted a 1J you thought was purchased in 1999 that would've blown everything apart.

Regards the Cornwell codes that might be interesting enough to start another thread.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on November 02, 2010, 02:11:28 AM
wrecker-- Thanks for posting up all the tool date codes and purchase dates.  A lotta work there. But the good news, it gives us plenty to chew on for a while.

MattT-- So the 1-4 are quarters and the letters are years, right?  And you're thinking it's roughly working out (with a few outliers like the 3-digit stuff and no digit stuff)? Also, if the purchase dates and date codes don't line up perfectly, but are off consistantly at the beginings and endings of years, it could be that MAC is using fiscal years instead of calendar years.  Just a thought...
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on November 02, 2010, 04:06:21 AM
Gary,

Haven't seen anything so far that makes me reconsider the letter=year and number=quarter theory. The purchase date data Wrecker posted doesn't line up close to perfect but I'm willing to call the outliers old stock for now. One set consisted of three different letters/years so I don't reckon MAC were running a J.I.T operation. So long as nobody posts up a code that's newer than I expect I'm pretty confident. Still need a lot more data to pin the codes down to firm dates though. And still a couple of total unknowns. Is the rollover around the millenium a co-incidence or deliberate? Which leads to did the codes start at A or some other letter? Were any letters skipped?

Excellent point that 1 thru' 4 might be MAC's financial quarters rather than calendar quarters.

I'm calling no code tools obviously outsourced based on what I've seen thus far. I suspect the tools that switched from 2 to 3 digit codes are related to either outsourcing or a change of OEM and my gut says outsourcing.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on November 03, 2010, 09:22:04 PM
Had a dig thru' my stash looking at the date codes then re-read the thread. Between the two only the following letters are missing:

A*, B*, C*, J*, K*, O*, Q*, *E, *H and *I.
Edit: Struck out codes which have been found since original post.

Quote
These socket, bought used, look new. Also, there is no R, but there is an S2 sub-code.


My earliest "R" tool is a T*. My guess at this point is T* is '93 or '94.

Quote
i'm guessing that your correct about someone "making" it a spark plug socket. MAC has always used the prefix SC for specialty sockets, including spark plug sockets. as far as the depth of the broach i'm guessing that the full broached sockets are older.


Older spark plug sockets have deep socket part #s with a P suffix. I found 2. '63 catalog shows 13/16" and 7/8". My 5/8" has a D* code.
(http://files.myopera.com/matt38922/albums/4608042/DCP00361.JPG)
(http://files.myopera.com/matt38922/albums/4608042/DCP00364.JPG)

Noticed something with the hard handles. I have three which are different and older judging by both their appearance and their G*, I* and L* codes. Different shade of red and a smooth finish instead of the newer brushed finish. Using my code theory the L* is '85 or '86. Maybe MAC revised their handles around the time SO brought out their 2nd gen hard handle?
(http://files.myopera.com/matt38922/albums/4608042/DCP00367.JPG)

Quote
I've got two of the gearless round head rats.  Here's a photo of the pair, 1/4" MR7PAZ (subcode 4A) and 3/8" XR8PAZF (subcode C1):


 :eek: panicx  frustratedx Gary please double check that code.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on November 04, 2010, 12:06:17 AM
MattT,

The codes are correct as posted; I double checked.  Since these ratchets have a patent number on them we can approximate the dates based on the filling date of 2000 and issue date of 2001.  So I'm guessing the 4A code is a manufacturing date of 4th quarter of 2000 with a likely sales date of sometime 2001.  The C1 code is perplexing and problematic, but I'm guessing it means a manufacturing date pre-2000, perhaps 1st quarter of 1999.  This predates the patent number filing date.  I'm guessing the C1 is the reason you were questioning my codes. Is it possible that we're off a year and that the letter codes flipped positions in 2001, or even later?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on November 04, 2010, 01:02:34 AM
Gary,

C1 would be '76 or '77 if my guesstimates are correct. Your C1 is the only code that is a totally inexplicable flier thus far. Everything else is tracking close enough. The patent number on your ratchet rules out pre '01 manufacture. Maybe someone screwed up and put the C and 1 punches in in the wrong order. At least I hope they did.

The exact code turnover year isn't really relevant to a total outlier like your C1 which should have 1C instead. Right now I suspect Z* is '99 or '00 and *A is '00 or '01. Obviously that is subject to revision.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on November 04, 2010, 09:36:38 AM
MattT,

Agreed, my C1 coded ratchet looks like an outlier, for whatever reason.  Everything about these two ratchets suggest they are of similar vintage. The 4A code looks to be reasonable timewise.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on November 11, 2010, 06:35:43 PM
Got 3 more date codes for the list in the mail from MAC today. 4H, 2J and 3J.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on November 30, 2010, 01:07:09 PM
I picked up a used MAC USA 3/8" drive x 13/16" sparkplug socket XD266P with a J2 date code last week. The broach on this socket is similar (i.e. pre-MAC Drive) to my 3/8" socket set with date codes of S2.

Hope this adds to the body of knowledge...
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on November 30, 2010, 02:30:03 PM
I picked up a used MAC USA 3/8" drive x 13/16" sparkplug socket XD266P with a J2 date code last week. The broach on this socket is similar (i.e. pre-MAC Drive) to my 3/8" socket set with date codes of S2.

Hope this adds to the body of knowledge...

That helps Gary thumbsup2 J* was one of the letters I hadn't found yet. Also extends the use of the old plug socket codes to 1984 give or take a year.

A*, B*, C*, J*, K*, O*, Q*, *E, *H and *I.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on December 05, 2010, 12:06:29 PM
Bought this one Friday the third of December.  Code is 4D.
(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/12-05-2010015.jpg)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on December 05, 2010, 05:06:52 PM
wrecker,

Thanks for posting your new socket/date code.  The 4D code is interesting... if the current thinking is correct that socket was made 2003 or 2004.  This would suggest that MAC does large production runs and maintains large inventories (at least with their impact sockets).  It also argues that MAC is not using any kind of JIT production scheme (again, at least with their impact sockets).
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on December 05, 2010, 05:30:51 PM
Got 3 more date codes for the list in the mail from MAC today. 4H, 2J and 3J.

Matt,

Those codes on your new sockets are fairly "fresh" if the current thinking is correct: 4H = 2007/2008,  2J & 3J = 2009/2010.  This suggests a short lag between production and sales.  Very different than the socket wrecker posted.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on December 05, 2010, 06:28:48 PM
Gary,

Certainly doesn't look like MAC is running a JIT operation. Regarding Wreckers 4D IIRC he's buying off the truck not directly from MAC. MAC appears to have switched manufacturing to MAC drive around '94 but there were still some regular broach tools on the truck I was buying from in '99. I checked everything and if the MAC guy only had regular broach I bought SO instead. IME it takes several years for tools to clear out of truck inventory.

Another thing with trucks is they'll buy out collections. I suspect anything they buy which appears unused will be sold as new product.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on December 05, 2010, 08:35:21 PM
Matt,

Good point.  I wasn't thinking about different sales channels and how that might affect the age of tools. 
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on December 05, 2010, 09:17:46 PM
I would tend to agree with both of you.  My dealer has open sets on the truck that he warranties/sells ones and twos out of and then orders replacements to refill, so this socket very well could be several years old.  If you buy a new set of anything from him, it's usually a week or two before you see it, because he never has a full set due to the reason above.  We'll see in a week or two as I have another socket on order that he didn't have.

There's two sides to look at on the manufacturing date.  1)  It would be cheaper per piece to make a boat load all at once but you accumulate a helluva lot of overhead doing that.  2)  JIT keeps you people busy doing smaller production runs and cuts overhead but wastes time doing setups.  that was probably more true years ago with manual machinery.  In the age of CNC, it's probably no longer much of an issue.

 wavebeer
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on December 05, 2010, 09:58:58 PM
There's two sides to look at on the manufacturing date.  1)  It would be cheaper per piece to make a boat load all at once but you accumulate a helluva lot of overhead doing that.  2)  JIT keeps you people busy doing smaller production runs and cuts overhead but wastes time doing setups.  that was probably more true years ago with manual machinery.  In the age of CNC, it's probably no longer much of an issue.

CNC wouldn't help much with forged then broached tools. You've got to do a physical tooling change. Most all manufacturers work at reducing the impact of changeovers with either speeding it up or scheduling changes for off shifts but you can only do so much. Mostly boils down to how the bean counters assess the relative costs of lost production vs. carrying finished product in inventory.

Another thought. I wonder what happens to a failed dealers inventory if MAC repo it? Would it sit until they find another victim or be returned to corporate?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on December 05, 2010, 10:14:44 PM
It might depend on how they make them.  Cold forming might not require a lathe operation.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on December 06, 2010, 10:45:37 AM
wrecker,

Be sure to post your results of the next socket you get from your dealer.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on December 18, 2010, 11:53:55 AM
4G is the newest socket code.  I've got a few more ordered, but I doubt I'll see 'em before the new year starts.

The ignition wrench that I had warrantied had a newer, updated part # as well as the newer style "continuous arc" open end as opposed the the traditional Mac four sided open end.  Neither old or new was stamped USA or had a date code.  Also, both old and new used a block style "Mac" logo, and not the half circle Mac logo.  I sincerely doubt these ignition wrenches currently are, or ever were actually made by Mac........JMO grinx
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on December 18, 2010, 05:21:04 PM
The ignition wrench that I had warrantied had a newer, updated part # as well as the newer style "continuous arc" open end as opposed the the traditional Mac four sided open end.  Neither old or new was stamped USA or had a date code.  Also, both old and new used a block style "Mac" logo, and not the half circle Mac logo.  I sincerely doubt these ignition wrenches currently are, or ever were actually made by Mac........JMO grinx

Ignition wrenches are in the MAC Allied part of the catalogs up to at least 1963. So they were definitely not made by MAC up 'til then. I suspect your older wrenches aren't MAC manufactured even though they may pre date rounding the logo and/or date codes. They're definitely newer than 1963 and MAC switched from V cut to arced ends, and current part #s, by 1998.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on December 18, 2010, 07:21:25 PM
The ignition wrench that I had warrantied had a newer, updated part # as well as the newer style "continuous arc" open end as opposed the the traditional Mac four sided open end.  Neither old or new was stamped USA or had a date code.  Also, both old and new used a block style "Mac" logo, and not the half circle Mac logo.  I sincerely doubt these ignition wrenches currently are, or ever were actually made by Mac........JMO grinx

Ignition wrenches are in the MAC Allied part of the catalogs up to at least 1963. So they were definitely not made by MAC up 'til then. I suspect your older wrenches aren't MAC manufactured even though they may pre date rounding the logo and/or date codes. They're definitely newer than 1963 and MAC switched from V cut to arced ends, and current part #s, by 1998.

Thanks for the info, Matt.  My Mac catalog collection is sorely lacking.  I bought the ignition wrenches in the late '90's at an auction of a deceased former auto mechanic.  Most of his tools and tool boxes were of late '60's through '80's era so what you are saying fits in.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on December 19, 2010, 05:33:13 PM
4G is the newest socket code.  I've got a few more ordered, but I doubt I'll see 'em before the new year starts.

wrecker,

A 4G code would be 2006/2007.  Making your replacement socket  3 - 4 year old stock.  This was direct from MAC or from your MAC distributer?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on December 19, 2010, 06:21:58 PM
4G is the newest socket code.  I've got a few more ordered, but I doubt I'll see 'em before the new year starts.

wrecker,

A 4G code would be 2006/2007.  Making your replacement socket  3 - 4 year old stock.  This was direct from MAC or from your MAC distributer?

Ordered a few weeks ago and my dealer delivered it Friday the tenth. 

It is certainly beginning to look like you guys are right about Mac making large production runs.  I'm surprised by that in this day and age.  I just figured that JIT was the way things got done these days.

At any rate, this socket buying project will take me well into next year.  I'm building a set of Deep Metric impacts for home after getting a steal on a Ebay set at $56.00. grinx  10mm through 22mm, missing the 11mm and 20mm.  I already had a 27mm and 30mm, and these two recent purchases have been the 20mm and 24mm.  A 11mm and 23mm are on order, but the dealer, who stops by on Fridays obviously won't be seen for a good two weeks at least.

The plan is to build a consecitive set from 10mm through 36mm.   bananax
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on December 20, 2010, 02:20:04 PM
Wrecker,

Thanks for all the info.  Keep feeding us the date codes on your new socket acquisitions as they come in from your MAC dealer.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on December 20, 2010, 05:07:16 PM

Another thought. I wonder what happens to a failed dealers inventory if MAC repo it? Would it sit until they find another victim or be returned to corporate?


if it was repo'ed it would be returned to the DC and sent back out to other dealers.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on December 20, 2010, 05:33:14 PM
Hey krusty,

It's been a while. Good to have you back.  Hope all is well at your end.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on December 20, 2010, 06:09:08 PM
Hey krusty,

It's been a while. Good to have you back.  Hope all is well at your end.

thanks.....everything is as good as it can be th-wink
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on December 20, 2010, 06:29:13 PM
if it was repo'ed it would be returned to the DC and sent back out to other dealers.

Krusty,

Thanks for confirming that thumbsup2 and good to have you back thumbsup2 thumbsup2

Have you had a chance to review the whole thread yet or just the last page?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on December 20, 2010, 07:47:39 PM
if it was repo'ed it would be returned to the DC and sent back out to other dealers.

Krusty,

Thanks for confirming that thumbsup2 and good to have you back thumbsup2 thumbsup2

Have you had a chance to review the whole thread yet or just the last page?

i have been checking it from time to time. most of the info posted has been trying to pin down the date code and i simply don't have enough info to be of any help. most of the MAC tools i have were purchased around 80-82 and have been warranteed so many times i couldn't tell you what time frame they are from.  thats why i call them "crack a mac" :POKIE: of the snappy's from the same time frame only one or two have been replaced th-spit :hooked:
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on January 09, 2011, 11:31:05 AM
Newest codes are 4G & 4J, so not too much new there.

A 25mm & 26mm are on order.........they're starting to get expensive runforhills but I did snag a 36mm on Ebay cheap! grinx
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on January 09, 2011, 02:01:11 PM
wrecker,

Thanks for posting up your recent date codes.  That 4J is is fresh and hot out of the oven.  Were these from your MAC dealer or direct from MAC?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on January 09, 2011, 02:34:40 PM
They were ordered before Christmas and delivered by my dealer Friday, January 7.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on January 09, 2011, 04:09:33 PM
wrecker,

Now that's interesting.  These were fresh stock from your dealer.  Previous posts indicated older stock from the dealer compared to direct from MAC.  I guess strange things can happen.  Perhaps your dealer had depleted his truck inventory and had very recently restocked.

In any event, continue keep us posted of your new purchases.   
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on January 11, 2011, 01:03:16 PM
MAC Gang,

Check out the 1st post of this thread.  I compiled a list of the date codes and what we know or think we know at this time.

Please review the list and let me know if any corrections are required. 

Also, here's what I think the next steps are:

1) The Holy Grail--- find an "anniversary tool" with a date code.  This should help us benchmark and validate the entire date code scheme.

2) Continue to verify all the codes and/or determine which codes were not used by MAC.

3) Continue to identify MAC tools with outlier date codes.

4) Continue to identify MAC tools that were made by other OEMs and identify the likely OEMs and approximate date ranges if possible.

5) Continue to identify MAC made tools that predate the date code scheme and approximate date ranges if possible.

Sound like a plan? If not, what are your thoughts on the best angle of attack?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on January 11, 2011, 05:50:52 PM
wrecker,

Regarding your chisels and punches with 3-digit codes from an earlier post you did...  any chance these were MAC or Mayhew model numbers and not date codes? 

Also, I have several Mayhew made Craftsman tools (punches, pry bars, etc) and they have assorted stampings (alpha & numeric) all over them in addition to the usual Crafty codes on the handle.  Just throwing this out as another possibility.

Give them another look and let me know what you think.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on January 11, 2011, 06:28:35 PM
Regarding your chisels and punches with 3-digit codes from an earlier post you did...  any chance these were MAC or Mayhew model numbers and not date codes?

They're very unlikely to be part #s. Two different punches bear the exact same 3 digit code.

DPL16SS  1/2" dia.  drift punch, long.  Code CK1 similar to above photos^^^
DPL12SS  3/8" dia.  drift punch, long.  Code CK1  similar to above photos^^^
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on January 11, 2011, 07:05:16 PM
Gary,

Current list of unverified codes. A*, B*, C*, K*, O*, Q*, *E, and *I

A few suggested edits in red.

The MAC trademark was first registered in 1946 with a first use date of Jan 1939.

Mechanics Tool and Forge Co. officially changed its name to MAC Tools Inc. in 1967. My 1963 catalog is MAC Tools Inc. Clinton Tool had also disappeared by 1963.

Matco was founded in 1979, when MAC Tools Inc. and MAC Allied Tools Split. Matco name was first used Dec 13th 1976 on tool storage.

At some point during the early 1990's (about 1992-1994) MAC Tools lost it's autonomy and was integrated into the Stanley Works empire. SHF

2010 MAC Sabina plant closed by the evil empire pukey
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on January 11, 2011, 08:04:06 PM
wrecker,

Regarding your chisels and punches with 3-digit codes from an earlier post you did...  any chance these were MAC or Mayhew model numbers and not date codes? 




Well, that is certainly possible at this point, but I have other "nonstriking" tools with the same style code.  I didn't list these originally, because I didn't buy them new........smokin' cheap deal off of Ebay, but the codes match the font found on the punches.
(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/11-13-10001-1.jpg)




They're very unlikely to be part #s. Two different punches bear the exact same 3 digit code.


I would tend to agree with this based on this style of code showing up on other tools.  So far, I've only seen this style of code on the punches and the tappet wrenches.


At some point during the early 1990's (about 1992-1994) MAC Tools lost it's autonomy and was integrated into the Stanley Works empire. SHF


Just an opinion I'm throwing out here..........

The same can be said for Proto.  I noticed in the late '90's at a local tool store (since closed) that some of the Proto line was identical to the Mac line.  I remember in particular the four way open end wrenches changed from the rough forged finish with continuous arc open ends over to the full polished Mac style of wrench with sharp corners on the beam and a four sided open end.

FYI.  I recently picked up a 1971 Mac catalog on Ebay.  In addition to there being no pear head ratchets ( a surprise to me.....still a youngster at 35), none of the sockets listed have a "R" tacked on to the end of the part #.  Not a surprise really, as I would guess that showed up in the late '80's or early '90's after Snappy let go of the Flank Drive patent.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on January 11, 2011, 09:12:20 PM
I would tend to agree with this based on this style of code showing up on other tools.  So far, I've only seen this style of code on the punches and the tappet wrenches.

Now you mention it my MAC swivel impacts have 2 digit alpha* and beta* codes headscratch

Just an opinion I'm throwing out here..........

The same can be said for Proto.  I noticed in the late '90's at a local tool store (since closed) that some of the Proto line was identical to the Mac line.  I remember in particular the four way open end wrenches changed from the rough forged finish with continuous arc open ends over to the full polished Mac style of wrench with sharp corners on the beam and a four sided open end.

There's quite a bit of crossover between the MAC and Proto brands which went both ways. Proto badged MAC Spinflex and Indexable ratchets. MAC badged ratchet adaptors.

FYI.  I recently picked up a 1971 Mac catalog on Ebay.  In addition to there being no pear head ratchets ( a surprise to me.....still a youngster at 35), none of the sockets listed have a "R" tacked on to the end of the part #.  Not a surprise really, as I would guess that showed up in the late '80's or early '90's after Snappy let go of the Flank Drive patent.

Quit bidding against me 1boxing Kidding aside if you're looking to pick up MAC catalogs too we probably ought to let each other know what we're fixin' to bid on so we don't bid against each other. I'm waiting on the brown Santa delivering '81, '85, '88, '89, '92, '94, and '95 catalogs.

Based on what we've found thus far T appears to be the introduction of R drive box ends. Probably 1994 give or take a year.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on January 11, 2011, 09:59:30 PM
MattT & wrecker,

Thanks for the updates and other comments.  I'll do some updates Wednesday and we'll let the other obscurities percolate for a while.  I'm sure at some point we'll all look back at this and have a good laugh.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on January 12, 2011, 12:40:33 PM
Gary,

Current list of unverified codes. A*, B*, C*, K*, O*, Q*, *E, and *I

[/quote]

MattT,

If you look at reply#7 of this thread, you will note I posted a photo of a MAC red/yellow screwdriver handle with the C2 date code. So C* on your list is/was verified.

For the record:

 (http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACScrewdriver.jpg)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on January 12, 2011, 01:08:18 PM
If you look at reply#7 of this thread, you will note I posted a photo of a MAC red/yellow screwdriver handle with the C2 date code. So C* on your list is/was verified.

Thanks Gary. Not sure whether I reviewed the thread that far back when I made the verified code list. That or I missed it because it isn't clear in the picture.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on January 13, 2011, 01:03:15 AM
I'm waiting on the brown Santa delivering '81, '85, '88, '89, '92, '94, and '95 catalogs.

Got 'em in today. What the hell was I thinkin' smackmyself It's gonna take forever to go thru' all of this. The thinnest, '81, catalog is 261 pages.

At some point during the early 1990's (about 1992-1994) MAC Tools lost it's autonomy and was integrated into the Stanley Works empire.

The catalogs support something (bad) happening between '92 and '94. Back page of '92 lists Washington Court House as Corporate HQ and Manufacturing Plant. Also mentions "American Pneumatic Technologies, Division of MAC Tools Inc., O'Fallon, MO" and "Toolbox Manufacturing Facility and Warehouse, Georgetown, OH" aside from the Sabina "Forging Plant". '94 shows Columbus as HQ and there isn't any mention of the manufacturing facilities.

Couple quick highlights from '81.

Wood handle screwdrivers were still available.

The modern *R pearhead ratchets were available.

They were still using the old P suffix for spark plug sockets.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on January 13, 2011, 06:11:21 AM
the air tool plant in ofallon, mo was also known as air tool co of america (ATCOA) yhey were the mfrs of atcoa-viking air tools.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on January 13, 2011, 10:30:26 AM
MattT,

Congrats on the catalog acquisition.  We'll be expecting daily "discovery reports" from you as you dig into these catalogs. 

Also, if all these catalogs become a burden, I can help you out... PM sent with my mailing address.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on January 13, 2011, 10:50:58 AM
MattT & wrecker,

How do you guys want to handle these non conforming codes (3 digit and 2 digit with lower case alpha characters)?  Should we start a Non Conforming code list?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on January 14, 2011, 09:54:31 PM
MattT & wrecker,

How do you guys want to handle these non conforming codes (3 digit and 2 digit with lower case alpha characters)?  Should we start a Non Conforming code list?

Well, I consider myself a dummy/idiot/novice/youngster on this stuff so I'm for whatever the majority is for.  Just trying to fit in and be one of the cool kids here. ;D

I picked up a few more new sockets today.  These were ordered last Friday and delivered today via Jim, the friendly local Mac tools franchisee.

Codes 2J & 4J
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on January 15, 2011, 06:26:20 PM
MattT & wrecker,

How do you guys want to handle these non conforming codes (3 digit and 2 digit with lower case alpha characters)?  Should we start a Non Conforming code list?

Well, I consider myself a dummy/idiot/novice/youngster on this stuff so I'm for whatever the majority is for.  Just trying to fit in and be one of the cool kids here. ;D

I picked up a few more new sockets today.  These were ordered last Friday and delivered today via Jim, the friendly local Mac tools franchisee.

Codes 2J & 4J

Wrecker,

Let's wait and see what MattT has to say on these sticky housekeeping issues.

I see you got more sockets fresh from the MAC oven; keep em coming.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on January 15, 2011, 07:40:21 PM
How do you guys want to handle these non conforming codes (3 digit and 2 digit with lower case alpha characters)?  Should we start a Non Conforming code list?

Well, I consider myself a dummy/idiot/novice/youngster on this stuff so I'm for whatever the majority is for.  Just trying to fit in and be one of the cool kids here. ;D

Wrecker,

Let's wait and see what MattT has to say on these sticky housekeeping issues.

Well I'm no ex-spurt neither th-wink I figure for now just add the greek codes to the outliers list until we get more data.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on January 29, 2011, 01:53:59 PM
MAC Gang,

I've added wreckers 3-digit non conforming codes found on punches, chisels, and drifts.  Does anybody else have a tool(s) with a non comforming date code?  Please review these (see post 1 above) and let me know if I got them all and have the correct purchase dates.

Thanks

Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on January 29, 2011, 02:30:00 PM
MattT-- In a previous post you mentioned you have the MAC 1998 "60th Anniversary" catalog.  Are any of the tools in that catalog specifically marked "60th Anniversary" or gold plated  or have a unique handle or anything that would identify a tool as 60th anniversary?


Anyone-- Do you have a 2008 "70th Anniversary" catalog?  If so, are any of the tools in the catalog marked "70th Annivesrary"or gold plated  or have a unique handle or anything that would identify a tool as 60th anniversary?

Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on January 29, 2011, 02:40:34 PM
gary, i don't think any anniversary items were in any catalog. the ones i have seen were all gold plated.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on January 29, 2011, 05:22:50 PM
Yeah, I've been watching out for a cheap set of the anniversary tools, but everyone selling thinks they're really valuable th-spit.  Maybe they are, but not to me.  All I want them for is the codes............gold plated tools are lame myopinion lolx
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on January 29, 2011, 05:26:35 PM
Gary,

There aren't any anniversary tools in the 50th or 60th Anniversary catalogs. AFAIK they were all special limited runs that wouldn't be available for a full catalog year.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on January 29, 2011, 05:39:58 PM
Yeah, I've been watching out for a cheap set of the anniversary tools, but everyone selling thinks they're really valuable th-spit.  Maybe they are, but not to me.  All I want them for is the codes............gold plated tools are lame myopinion lolx


A lot of sellers on feebay think MAC catalogs and Anniversary tools are much more valuable than they really are. Anyone want a 1961 catalog for only $39.95 th-spit

http://cgi.ebay.com/MAC-TOOL-VINTAGE-GRAPHIC-AD-SALES-CATALOG-BOOK-/140499518031?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20b66c824f (http://cgi.ebay.com/MAC-TOOL-VINTAGE-GRAPHIC-AD-SALES-CATALOG-BOOK-/140499518031?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20b66c824f)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: airbuff101 on January 29, 2011, 07:14:56 PM
The Gold Plated collectibles were never mentioned in the catalogs, at least in the early years (85-90).
I think they started in 85 or 86 with 3) CW wrenches in wood box. Then maybe an MR5 ratchet etc.
It was 1 a year at first then later on they started with more than that per year.
I never was thrilled by them but they were quite popular the first few years.

I think I have the 1st 4 or 5 sets as I gave them to my dad back then. He still has them, I noticed the boxes the other day.
Rob
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on January 29, 2011, 08:15:59 PM
Yeah, I've been watching out for a cheap set of the anniversary tools, but everyone selling thinks they're really valuable th-spit.  Maybe they are, but not to me.  All I want them for is the codes............gold plated tools are lame myopinion lolx


A lot of sellers on feebay think MAC catalogs and Anniversary tools are much more valuable than they really are. Anyone want a 1961 catalog for only $39.95 th-spit

[url]http://cgi.ebay.com/MAC-TOOL-VINTAGE-GRAPHIC-AD-SALES-CATALOG-BOOK-/140499518031?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20b66c824f[/url] ([url]http://cgi.ebay.com/MAC-TOOL-VINTAGE-GRAPHIC-AD-SALES-CATALOG-BOOK-/140499518031?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20b66c824f[/url])


Yeah..........I was recently outbid on a set of 21 Mac catalogs on Ebay.  Various years, some with price sheets, all the way up to the current cat.  $80.00 was my max so the per piece price wasn't too bad, but I still wasn't going over $80.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on January 30, 2011, 03:29:30 PM
The Gold Plated collectibles were never mentioned in the catalogs, at least in the early years (85-90).
I think they started in 85 or 86 with 3) CW wrenches in wood box. Then maybe an MR5 ratchet etc.
It was 1 a year at first then later on they started with more than that per year.
I never was thrilled by them but they were quite popular the first few years.

I think I have the 1st 4 or 5 sets as I gave them to my dad back then. He still has them, I noticed the boxes the other day.
Rob

airbuff,

So these would be 45th and/or 50th anniversary tools?  Any chance you could check these tools for date codes and let me know what you find?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: airbuff101 on January 30, 2011, 05:55:27 PM
Sure thing. I'm going down to see him tuesday and will jot down the codes.
The early ones really weren't called "anniversary" but rather "Limited Edition" as far as I remember.
I imagine the 88 probably was 50th Anniversary as there was a lot of promotion of the 50th back then.
anywhoo,
I'll take a look.
Rob
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: tyreguy25 on January 30, 2011, 06:26:52 PM
Gary,

Haven't seen anything so far that makes me reconsider the letter=year and number=quarter theory. The purchase date data Wrecker posted doesn't line up close to perfect but I'm willing to call the outliers old stock for now. One set consisted of three different letters/years so I don't reckon MAC were running a J.I.T operation. So long as nobody posts up a code that's newer than I expect I'm pretty confident. Still need a lot more data to pin the codes down to firm dates though. And still a couple of total unknowns. Is the rollover around the millenium a co-incidence or deliberate? Which leads to did the codes start at A or some other letter? Were any letters skipped?

Excellent point that 1 thru' 4 might be MAC's financial quarters rather than calendar quarters.

I'm calling no code tools obviously outsourced based on what I've seen thus far. I suspect the tools that switched from 2 to 3 digit codes are related to either outsourcing or a change of OEM and my gut says outsourcing.

Would a code of X6 make you reconsider your quarter theory? I have a couple 3/8dr shallow metric sockets with X6 as the code on them. I will take some pictures for this thread of my meager Mac possessions.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on January 30, 2011, 06:45:54 PM
tyreguy,

By all means, post your photos.  Did you buy these new or used?  If new, about what year?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: tyreguy25 on January 30, 2011, 08:01:34 PM
I am pretty sure I got them used. I will get some pictures up tonight.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on January 31, 2011, 02:41:31 AM
Gary,

Haven't seen anything so far that makes me reconsider the letter=year and number=quarter theory.

Would a code of X6 make you reconsider your quarter theory? I have a couple 3/8dr shallow metric sockets with X6 as the code on them. I will take some pictures for this thread of my meager Mac possessions.

I think you're referring to the first part of the part # rather than the date code. Are your sockets stamped X6 MAC **MM or MMR with ** being the size in mm? X6 before MAC is a 3/8" drive shallow 6 point. The date code on sockets is the two much smaller characters after the socket part #.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: tyreguy25 on January 31, 2011, 05:25:01 AM
Yes, thank you for clarification Matt. I appreciate it. I will look much closer when I get time.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on January 31, 2011, 08:32:00 PM
I'm posting the codes to some recently aquired Mac tools as requested by Mr Lauver in this thread:  http://www.thegaragegazette.com/index.php?topic=2646.120 (http://www.thegaragegazette.com/index.php?topic=2646.120)

Bought used on the Ebays:

Double offset combo wrenches  5/8" CA202 L2, 11/16" CA222 M1, 3/4" CA242 L4.  These are the standard double hex and not Mac Drive/Flank Drive, fully polished so I would guess them to be older than 1994?

Combo flare wrench set  3/8" COB12 K4, 7/16" COB14 K4, 1/2" COB16 K4, 9/16" COB18 K3, 5/8" COB20 K4.  These are older with the thick jaws on the hex side, but with a fully polished finish.  No Mac drive either.

By the way, if anyone has a CA series wrench for sale, I'd certainly be interested. grinx
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on January 31, 2011, 10:00:34 PM
Double offset combo wrenches  5/8" CA202 L2, 11/16" CA222 M1, 3/4" CA242 L4.  These are the standard double hex and not Mac Drive/Flank Drive, fully polished so I would guess them to be older than 1994?

Combo flare wrench set  3/8" COB12 K4, 7/16" COB14 K4, 1/2" COB16 K4, 9/16" COB18 K3, 5/8" COB20 K4.  These are older with the thick jaws on the hex side, but with a fully polished finish.  No Mac drive either.

Good info there Wrecker thumbsup2

K* was one of the unverified letters. Gary, Please update the first post.

Current list of unverified codes. A*, B*, C*, K*, O*, Q*, *E, and *I

The CA**2 series entered the catalog between '85 and '88 which fits L and M which are most likely '86 and '87. Oddly enough the '63 catalog features CA** wrenches with a 25*, instead of 20*, offset. These CA** wrenches had disappeared by '81.

The COB** changed part #s to FC**6 between '89 and '92. A '85 K code fits with that.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on February 01, 2011, 12:33:52 PM
wrecker,

Thanks for posting the codes on your vintage wrenches.  Sorry to hound you on other threads, but when I saw those shiney old school wrenches of yours, I just had to ask about the date codes.

I'll update the list soon.  Thanks again.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on February 01, 2011, 06:29:07 PM
Gang-- List updated, Kn code now verified. Thanks to wrecker, a real MACadamia nut.

MattT-- The Cn code has previously been verified.  You can take that off your short list along with the Kn code.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on February 01, 2011, 07:14:25 PM

The COB** changed part #s to FC**6 between '89 and '92. A '85 K code fits with that.

Yeah, they also thinned out the hex end and added a starting chamfer, something the older wrenches lack :(

wrecker,

Thanks for posting the codes on your vintage wrenches.  Sorry to hound you on other threads, but when I saw those shiney old school wrenches of yours, I just had to ask about the date codes.

No problem.  It's my pleasure. thumbsup2
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on February 10, 2011, 01:20:20 PM
MAC Gang,

I picked up an old MAC USA X262 chrome socket the other day.  This socket has no date code on it and it has the old 12pt broach.  What is the likely date range of this socket?  I'm thinking it's pre-1974 since it has no date code, but what is the earliest it could be?  Your thoughts please.

Here's a quick photo:

(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACSocketX262b.jpg)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on February 10, 2011, 03:27:45 PM
I picked up an old MAC USA X262 chrome socket the other day.  This socket has no date code on it and it has the old 12pt broach.  What is the likely date range of this socket?  I'm thinking it's pre-1974 since it has no date code, but what is the earliest it could be?  Your thoughts please.

The part # dates back to 1949 or earlier and remained in use until the R suffix was added in the '90's. 1963 catalog illustrations all but 1 tool show MAC except 1 wrench which has the modern mAc script which suggests they were starting to migrate to mAc around that time. '63 illustrations are all Sabina though I can't recall seeing Sabina on a New Britain ratchet and they were introduced that year. Problem with the earlier catalog artwork is MAC don't appear to have re-done the illustrations for each catalog so the pictures might not be representative of that years production.

Best guess I can give at this point is early/mid '60's thru' mid '70's for your socket. I'm not going to say pre '74 due to the code rollover around the millenium and A* and B* not being confirmed yet.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on February 19, 2011, 03:12:19 PM
Picked up a couple more off the truck yesterday.  A 28MM and a 29MM, one ordered four weeks ago and one ordered two weeks ago.  Both carry the 4J code.  A 32MM is on order. >:D

I've been trolling Ebay looking for certain wrenches to fill out a few sets I'm working on and have a few little details to share:

A COB16 1/2" combo flare wrench I picked up ( :-[  Thought it was an older satin finish........bad photo) has a smooth polished finish, but not as good as the newer stuff.  You can clearly see belt sander marks under the chrome, however what made me take notice is it has a date code E3 but in the old style font like used on the unpolished, satin finish wrenches.  I had not seen one like that.

a CA162R 1/2" double offset combo wrench.  I did not realize Mac made this style of wrench that late.  It has the "Mac Drive" box end and carries a V1 code.

 wavebeer
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on February 20, 2011, 08:36:32 PM
Wrecker,

Thanks for posting the codes on your new/old tools.  Keep em coming!
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on February 21, 2011, 05:40:39 PM
A COB16 1/2" combo flare wrench I picked up ( :-[  Thought it was an older satin finish........bad photo) has a smooth polished finish, but not as good as the newer stuff.  You can clearly see belt sander marks under the chrome, however what made me take notice is it has a date code E3 but in the old style font like used on the unpolished, satin finish wrenches.  I had not seen one like that.

Do you mean it has MAC instead of mAc? 1981 catalog, which is only a few years past E*, shows the COB** wrenches with mAc script but the illustration appears to have had some other text erased.

a CA162R 1/2" double offset combo wrench.  I did not realize Mac made this style of wrench that late.  It has the "Mac Drive" box end and carries a V1 code.

That's likely a rare one. Those wrenches had disappeared by the 1998 catalog so they were probably only made for 4 years at most.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: tyreguy25 on February 21, 2011, 07:23:04 PM
I have ONE wrench with MAC rather than mAc on it. It is a rust covered 3/8-7/16 DOE that is begging me for some wire wheel time...gotta get a wire wheel first.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on February 21, 2011, 08:38:02 PM
A COB16 1/2" combo flare wrench I picked up ( :-[  Thought it was an older satin finish........bad photo) has a smooth polished finish, but not as good as the newer stuff.  You can clearly see belt sander marks under the chrome, however what made me take notice is it has a date code E3 but in the old style font like used on the unpolished, satin finish wrenches.  I had not seen one like that.

Do you mean it has MAC instead of mAc? 1981 catalog, which is only a few years past E*, shows the COB** wrenches with mAc script but the illustration appears to have had some other text erased.

a CA162R 1/2" double offset combo wrench.  I did not realize Mac made this style of wrench that late.  It has the "Mac Drive" box end and carries a V1 code.

That's likely a rare one. Those wrenches had disappeared by the 1998 catalog so they were probably only made for 4 years at most.

Sorry for the confusion.  I should have worded that better.  What I meant to say is the font of the letters on the wrench (part # and size) were of the old style, like on the satin finish wrenches, but the logo is the "mAc" half circle like we're used to seeing on the newer stuff.  Just seemed a little odd to me, not ever seeing one fully polished like that.

I would agree that the Mac Drive CA162R 1/2" combo is probably a rare one.  This style of wrench doesn't seem to have even been really all that popular.  They were in catalogs for years on end but don't show up for sale used very often.  Even the Snap-on OXA series don't come around that much.

 wavebeer
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on March 07, 2011, 06:27:46 PM
Wanted to look up this thread today so I tried to see if google could find it. This thread is top of the first page right above the journal lolx lolx lolx lolx lolx lolx

(http://files.myopera.com/matt38922/albums/4608042/0No1google.JPG)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on March 07, 2011, 06:46:30 PM
MattT,

Is that not the way it is supposed to be?  The good stuff, i.e. the most relevant, on top. 
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on March 07, 2011, 07:33:20 PM
MattT,

Is that not the way it is supposed to be?  The good stuff, i.e. the most relevant, on top.

Yeah I just thought it was funny considering the "bad blood". Even thought about giving the result it's own thread but figured it might descend into another bashfest.

FWIW based on searches I've done this thread was already the best MAC history resource on the web 10 pages ago and we weren't showing on google back then.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: airbuff101 on March 16, 2011, 03:51:23 PM
I just rec'd these 2 sockets back from Mac Warr. customer service this morning.Both USA marked.
XU166RA- 3J code.
MU615MMRA-2J code
I see that they have replaced the pivot screws with pins nowadays.
Both sockets look just as nice as ever.

(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y186/airbuff101/Toolstuff/Picture404.jpg)
(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y186/airbuff101/Toolstuff/Picture406.jpg)
(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y186/airbuff101/Toolstuff/Picture405.jpg)

(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y186/airbuff101/Toolstuff/Picture392.jpg)
(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y186/airbuff101/Toolstuff/Picture399.jpg)

I still have not gotten down to my Dad's to check those 80's Gold Limited Edition codes yet but will soon

airbuff
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on March 17, 2011, 12:50:46 AM
I just rec'd these 2 sockets back from Mac Warr. customer service this morning.Both USA marked.
XU166RA- 3J code.
MU615MMRA-2J code
I see that they have replaced the pivot screws with pins nowadays.
Both sockets look just as nice as ever.

Haven't seen the pins before. Maybe that's what the A suffix denotes shrugx Personally I'll miss the pivot screws. They made it real easy to fix sockets that'd gone floppy.

The finish does look good thumbsup2
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on March 19, 2011, 01:16:28 PM
New junk from Mac!  Codes are 2C and 1K.  The "1K" is sort of weird looking.  The chrome socket with the 2C code was ordered two weeks ago and delivered Friday (yesterday).  The Impact socket was ordered 4 weeks ago and finally showed up Friday.

(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/03192011003.jpg)
(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/03192011001.jpg)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on March 21, 2011, 11:27:29 AM
airbuff101 & wrecker,

Thanks for posting the recent date codes.  Keep em coming...

The nC and  nJ codes have previously been verified.  The nK code is new and has now been added to our list of verified codes.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on March 24, 2011, 11:22:59 PM
As Mr. Lauver requested in this thread:http://www.thegaragegazette.com/index.php?topic=3831.msg63479;boardseen#new

My photographic skills leave something to be desired, but this pic details that both Mac and Matco used the same OEM (New Britain in this case) for portions of their respective hardline tools in the past.  The Matco part# is AR5N while the Mac part# is M2R.  Neither is marked with a patent number and only the Mac carries the "PAT'D" stamp.
(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/03192011.jpg)

 wavebeer
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on March 25, 2011, 12:44:23 AM
My photographic skills leave something to be desired, but this pic details that both Mac and Matco used the same OEM (New Britain in this case) for portions of their respective hardline tools in the past.  The Matco part# is AR5N while the Mac part# is M2R.  Neither is marked with a patent number and only the Mac carries the "PAT'D" stamp.

The MAC M2R was introduced in 1963 along with NB ratchets in the other drive sizes.

The Matco version probably doesn't have anything related to the NB patent on it because the patent protection had likely expired when it was made. MAC first used the Matco name in 1977 on tool storage then sold it off, with MAC Allied, in 1979. I'd guess the Matco version is '79 or newer.

Shortly after Matco was sold off MAC had definitely dropped the NB round heads. 1981 catalog only shows the modern MAC pearheads.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: airbuff101 on April 30, 2011, 06:30:06 PM
Well, I finally got down to my Dad's to have a look at the 1/2 dozen Limited Ed. Gold sets from '85 to 90ish. None of the tools have any code stamp whatsoever.
Would have been a good reference if they had, but alas...........

airbuff
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on April 30, 2011, 06:53:28 PM
wrecker & MattT,

Thanks for posting those ratchets up and catalog dates. This is exactly the kind of stuff we need (ie the MAC tools made by other manfacturers).  There's probably a ton of them. And there's god knows how many MAC tools made before the date code scheme.  The more of these we can nail down with photos and catalog dates the better.  Keep em coming.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on April 30, 2011, 07:00:15 PM
Well, I finally got down to my Dad's to have a look at the 1/2 dozen Limited Ed. Gold sets from '85 to 90ish. None of the tools have any code stamp whatsoever.
Would have been a good reference if they had, but alas...........

airbuff

airbuff,

You tried.  That's what counts. And now we know the limited and special editions gold tools aren't going to help benchmark the date scheme. 
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on April 30, 2011, 08:19:32 PM

airbuff,

You tried.  That's what counts. And now we know the limited and special editions gold tools aren't going to help benchmark the date scheme.

Yes, and that sucks.  I have a 60th aniversary flare wrench in route............been waiting on it about three weeks now :mad: and after airbuff's post, it's all going to be a waste........ sadx  But, the upside is we now finally know those tools are a dead end. thumbsup2  Now I can clear the crap and junk out of my watch list th-wink

When I get some time, I'll post up some more pics of the items you requested in another thread.  I had been waiting until the flare wrench showed up but.........
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on May 01, 2011, 01:03:32 AM
wrecker,

Yeh it sucks. It's back to the drawing board.  But, if you got a 60th aniversary tool coming, at least check it over for a date code. Who knows, it just may be the "rosetta stone" of MAC tools.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on May 15, 2011, 04:23:16 PM
wrecker,

Yeh it sucks. It's back to the drawing board.  But, if you got a 60th aniversary tool coming, at least check it over for a date code. Who knows, it just may be the "rosetta stone" of MAC tools.


Nope.........no Rosetta Stone.  More like Sabina concrete. grinx

(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/05152011036.jpg)
(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/05152011037.jpg)
Those smucks didn't even stamp the size on it.  How's a guy supposed to use it with no sizes marked? th-spit

As lauver requested in another thread, I'm posting portions of a conversation as it relates to Mac tools, Clinton tools, and the M1R ratchet (picture of the M1R below):

(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/04032011008.jpg)
The ratchet in the middle of this picture is the M1R in question

MattTIs the MAC an M1R? That's what it looks like going by catalog illustrations.


wreckercologistYes sir, it is.  Also marked "SABINA".

MInteresting. That's the first one I've seen outside of catalog illustrations. Introduced sometime between '53 and '57. What's weird about that series is the M1R ratchet is in the Clinton part of the catalog but the majority of 1/4" drive is still in the MAC Allied part


WI've not personally seen this ratchet with another brand name on it, so I wonder if this series was "all Mac" and not a NB or something else....   I have no idea.  I just thought it would make a great addition to my ratchet collection.

It's a heavy little dude, and compared to a Snap-on TM-70 or even the later NB made M2R, it's quite bulky.  It's about a 1/4" thicker when viewed from the side.  It works well, and seems to be robust, but I can see hand fatigue being an issue.  The head is quite heavy and seems to want to fall out of your hand if you're not holding it tightly.  The upside to this one would be ease of service and simplicity in design.  One snap ring holds the guts in.

MI'm beginning to wonder if they might be MAC manufactured myself. Between their lack of an obvious OEM and the M1Rs place in the 1957 catalog. They were still in the catalog in '63 when the NB round heads were introduced but I don't know how long they lasted after that. Biggest gap in my catalog coverage right now is '63 > '81.

WI'm not familiar with "Clinton".  Is this another brand that the Mac shareholders also owned and was included in the catalog?

MThe Clinton Tool Co was formed in 1944 under the MAC umbrella. The official history on MAC website strongly suggests it was set up to manufacture sockets but doesn't actually state it. 1960 catalog states which pages relate to each of the 3 companies and the Clinton section is the sockets and accessories. Clinton had disappeared by '63 and the sockets are in the MAC Tools Inc part of the catalog so I suspect MAC Tools Inc was a merger of Mechanics Tool and Forge and Clinton rather than just a rename of Mechanics.


WI can tell you for sure they (M1R) are not in the 1971 catalog.  I'd be willing to guess that based on their rarity (maybe not the correct word to use) and the fact that the NB sourced ratchets are far more common to find, that these probably didn't sell very well or may have been complete POS's.  This one is used but in nice shape which always makes me wonder about a professional level tool of this age that was only sold through a select and limited dealership network, and that's in good shape..........might not have been used much due to not being very well liked or problematic.


MProbably just owned by someone who didn't use it much. I doubt they'd have stayed in the catalog as long as they did if they didn't sell.

One likely reason there's not a lot of the older ratchets out there is folks warrantying them for newer styles once repair kits were no longer available.

 wavebeer
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on May 15, 2011, 05:54:11 PM
wrecker,

Thanks for reposting this stuff.  Its got lots of interesting observations and theories. 

Too bad about the gold wrench not "panning out" any usable information.  Yet another dead end...
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on May 16, 2011, 09:45:29 AM
WI can tell you for sure they (M1R) are not in the 1971 catalog.

Did you ever post what ratchets are in the 1971 catalog? If you did I don't remember seeing it. AFAIK MAC went from NB round heads to MAC pearheads but don't know when. 1981 is all pearheads 1/2" and smaller.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on May 18, 2011, 06:54:17 PM
Gang,

Picked up an older MAC combo wrench today which presents some interesting dating issues.  It looks like a MAC Sabina, but it's stamped MAC USA with no date code.  It has the older part numbering scheme.  And it has a patent number which is tracable to MAC that was filed 1967 and issued in 1969.  So, would you date this about 1969-1973 because of the patent issue date and the absence of a date code?

Here's a few photos:

Top side...
(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACUSACW18Top.jpg)

And bottom side close up...
(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACUSACW18Bottom.jpg)

Does this represent an intermediate or transitional period, between MAC Sabina and MAC USA with date codes?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on May 18, 2011, 08:33:51 PM
I'm not convinced Mac stamped "Sabina" on the older stuff with any regularity, but I could be wrong.  I have my fathers SAE half moon wrench set which looks exactly like the one you posted.  They were from 1969 or maybe newer, but the same finish and font on the stampings.

I think your time frame is probably right on the money.  There's certainly no way that wrench could be newer than 1980.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on May 18, 2011, 10:08:21 PM
Thanks wrecker.  I have a few MAC wrenches stamped Sabina with the early model numbering.  They look just like this wrench.  When the date codes started, the wrenches took on a new, more polished look, and got longer more complex model numbers and the USA stamping.  At least, that's my take on the tool progression.  I could be wrong though.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on May 19, 2011, 03:36:19 AM
Picked up an older MAC combo wrench today which presents some interesting dating issues.  It looks like a MAC Sabina, but it's stamped MAC USA with no date code.  It has the older part numbering scheme.  And it has a patent number which is tracable to MAC and was filed 1667 and issued in 1969.  So, would you date this about 1969-1973 because of the patent issue date and the absence of a date code?

Does this represent an intermediate or transitional period, between MAC Sabina and MAC USA with date codes?

My guess would be that wrench was made shortly after the patent was issued. It's the first tool I've seen bearing that patent # so I reckon it was probably short lived. Pretty sure I've posted before that I didn't even think that broach ever made production because it looks too weak. Does the box end broach look like the patent?

There was definitely a gap between the end of Sabina marking and the introduction of date codes. Possibly 10 years or so give or take.

Don't read anything into the wrench having the old part #. Those ran until 1984 which is well into the date code period. In 1985 MAC added the 2 suffix to 12 point combos and renumbered and expanded the range of 6 points.

Thanks wrecker.  I have a few MAC wrenches stamped Sabina with the early model numbering.  They look just like this wrench.  When the date codes started, the wrenches took on a new, more polished look, and got longer more complex model numbers and the USA stamping.  At least, that's my take on the tool progression.  I could be wrong though.

MAC may have switched to full polish by the time they started date codes. Though I haven't seen an early date code full polish wrench to confirm that. Haven't seen a satin finish wrench with a date code either.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on May 19, 2011, 09:31:26 AM
MattT,

The patent does relate to the box end broach, and the wrench has the broach described in the patent.  There is a small relief in the corners that transfers the force away from the hex corners and onto the flats of the fasteners .  I guess it's an early attempt at flank or MAC drive.  If memory serves, Snap On had a similar patent about this same time.

I think the 1969 date, based on the patent issue date, is pretty solid.  The end date of 1973, based on the absence of a date code, seems reasonable too.  I think this is as close as we can get given the limited date clues.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Uncle Buck on May 19, 2011, 02:14:54 PM
Look at the top of this section for this thread from now on. I just stickied it as requested.  thumbsup2
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on May 19, 2011, 05:15:11 PM
UB,

Thanks for your support. I'm hoping the Sticky will help folks find this tread just a little easier.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on May 20, 2011, 07:42:35 PM
The patent does relate to the box end broach, and the wrench has the broach described in the patent.  There is a small relief in the corners that transfers the force away from the hex corners and onto the flats of the fasteners .  I guess it's an early attempt at flank or MAC drive.  If memory serves, Snap On had a similar patent about this same time.

I think the 1969 date, based on the patent issue date, is pretty solid.  The end date of 1973, based on the absence of a date code, seems reasonable too.  I think this is as close as we can get given the limited date clues.

The Snap-on flank drive patent was issued a year before the MAC one was filed. I suspect the MAC version was an attempt to catch up.

Your wrench is definitely 1969 or newer and likely no later than mid '70's due to the lack of date code. My guess is 1969 or close to it because I think that broach was a short lived flop. That or Snap ons legal department got involved........
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Hofferwood on June 18, 2011, 01:41:17 AM
You guys are doing a GREAT job, on a seemingly impossible venture thumbsup2
I've never owned any MAC tools, no reason why. Just never came across any shrugx
But I got this Wednesday, in a box of plumbing stuff.
M2R, Was gummed up BAD, like new now. Just thought I'd show the "Pat'd" Wrecker referred to
(http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab269/hofferwood/sparta%20ratchet/SD531283.jpg)
(http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab269/hofferwood/sparta%20ratchet/SD531286.jpg)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on June 18, 2011, 03:47:31 PM
Hoffer,

Thanks for the post.  If memory serves MattT and Wrecker ID'd this ratchet as New Britain made from roughly 1963 thru the 1970's, give or take a little.

Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on June 19, 2011, 12:07:25 PM
If memory serves MattT and Wrecker ID'd this ratchet as New Britain made from roughly 1963 thru the 1970's, give or take a little.

Was definitely introduced in 1963 and gone by 1981. MAC had switched to the modern pear head ratchets by then. I don't think we've established a definite date for the switch from NB to pear head yet though.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on June 26, 2011, 12:31:55 PM
I've bought several new sockets lately and all have carried 2010 or 2011 codes, so nothing new there. 

I did happen upon this ratchet and decided to post it here, even though it's not a Mac.  It's a Stanley, but was made by Mac and carries a G1 code.  The repair kit I used to rebuild it was direct off the Mac truck.  I know this isn't earth shattering news, as these ratchets are out there, but thought it might be nice to show a few pics for those that may not have been aware.  It's in nice shape too!  Also, I believe krusty has/had one of these and posted it in the ratchet thread over at GJ.
(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/05152011045.jpg)
(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/05152011047.jpg)

And just for giggles and grins, a pic of the 2011 Mac catalog.
(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/05152011048.jpg)

 wavebeer
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on June 26, 2011, 01:04:08 PM
Thanks for the photos wrecker.  I like that Stanley ratchet.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on June 28, 2011, 02:19:32 AM
I did happen upon this ratchet and decided to post it here, even though it's not a Mac.  It's a Stanley, but was made by Mac and carries a G1 code.  The repair kit I used to rebuild it was direct off the Mac truck.  I know this isn't earth shattering news, as these ratchets are out there, but thought it might be nice to show a few pics for those that may not have been aware.

Thanks for posting that one. I wasn't aware of the Stanley branded variants. Interesting that it has a date code. Haven't seen a code on a Proto version though the only Protos I've seen are later Spinflex and Indexable rats. That Stanley is a good bit older. G is a couple years after the borg bought MAC give or take a year.

Another strange thing about that ratchet is it has the newer style screws. I've an old style L2 code MR5 headscratch
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on June 28, 2011, 08:05:25 PM
There were some differences in the repair kit and what was originally in the ratchet.  The cover plate is thicker by about 1/64" and carries a warning about regular oiling and replacing all worn parts, where the old one was plain.  I was going to reuse the old direction selector and cover plate, but the new gear would not fit in the old cover plate, so I said screw it and replaced everything.  The new direction selector was also longer.  No big surprises there.

I suspect the old cover plate may have had a burr preventing it from working with the new parts. 
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on July 09, 2011, 08:11:15 PM
I just picked up a CA122 combo wrench with a O2 code which should put it in or around 1988/1989.  The wrench is pre "Mac Drive" as it lacks the "R" suffix.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on July 09, 2011, 08:23:24 PM
I just picked up a CA122 combo wrench with a O2 code which should put it in or around 1988/1989.  The wrench is pre "Mac Drive" as it lacks the "R" suffix.

It's in the 1988 catalog thumbsup2

IIRC "Mac Drive" started around T* though it's possible not all broaches were updated at the same time.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on July 09, 2011, 08:41:00 PM
I just picked up a CA122 combo wrench with a O2 code which should put it in or around 1988/1989.  The wrench is pre "Mac Drive" as it lacks the "R" suffix.

It's in the 1988 catalog thumbsup2

IIRC "Mac Drive" started around T* though it's possible not all broaches were updated at the same time.

MattT,

That's interesting.  Tn = 1993/1994 from what we know.  I don't know if you remember, but somewhere in one of our discussions, I mentioned that Proto claimed they introduced their Proto Drive, or whatever they called it, in 1994.  I think I found this tid bit in their company history page.  Coincidence? Or maybe Stanley rolled out their new drive across their professional tool brands all about the same time.  Just a thought...
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on July 09, 2011, 10:02:28 PM
Gary,

Not sure if was Stanree wide or just coincidental. IIRC Facom brought out OGV around the same time so I suspect a lot of the big names had some kind of off corner drive already developed waiting on the expiration of the Flank Drive patent. I don't know for sure but I'm guessing that's when Snap ons patent protection expired.

And FWIW we already know MAC attempted to work around Flank Drive in the late 1960s and still had active R&D into the mid '90s.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 28, 2011, 12:21:17 PM
Gang,

I picked up a MAC Sabina X8F flex handle/extension this week.  Here's a couple of photos:

(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACSabinaX8Fa.jpg)

(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACSabinaX8Fb.jpg)

MattT-- Can you tell me in which of your catalogs this tool was included?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 29, 2011, 05:39:03 AM
MattT-- Can you tell me in which of your catalogs this tool was included?

It's in all the 1949 thru' 1963 catalogs which is consistent with the Sabina marking. The part # is still in the 1981 catalog but the illustration shows knurling to the end of the handle and no female square drive in the end of the handle.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 29, 2011, 09:52:48 AM
MattT,

Thanks for the help on this.  Your MAC catalog collection is a gold mine of information. 
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on September 16, 2011, 08:22:45 PM

MAC OEM Tools:

Nn = 1987/1988  Verified

On = 1988/1989 

Pn = 1989/1990  Verified

Qn = 1990/1991

Rn = 1991/1992  Verified

Sn = 1992/1993  Verified

I can verify the "Q" code.  I received a VD616MM and a VD627MM this week and both carry "Q1".

 wavebeer
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: tyreguy25 on September 17, 2011, 09:43:44 AM
Guys, this thread is a wealth of information. Everyone knows how to decipher when SO tools were made, but mAc has been more of a mystery until now. Thank you!
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on September 17, 2011, 11:29:52 PM

MAC OEM Tools:

Nn = 1987/1988  Verified

On = 1988/1989 

Pn = 1989/1990  Verified

Qn = 1990/1991

Rn = 1991/1992  Verified

Sn = 1992/1993  Verified

I can verify the "Q" code.  I received a VD616MM and a VD627MM this week and both carry "Q1".

 wavebeer

wrecker,

Thanks for the update.  It's now part of the list.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on November 04, 2011, 08:40:09 PM
Forgive me.   hidex  I didn't have a camera on me but, I found a 50th aniversery Torx screwdriver with an M4 code while going through the toolbox of a former coworker that had passed away.  Also, and I did not notice this before, but Mac date codes their newer toolboxes FYI.

 wavebeer
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on November 05, 2011, 06:20:57 PM
Forgive me.   hidex  I didn't have a camera on me but, I found a 50th aniversery Torx screwdriver with an M4 code while going through the toolbox of a former coworker that had passed away.  Also, and I did not notice this before, but Mac date codes their newer toolboxes FYI.

 wavebeer

wrecker,

Awesome observation (i.e. M4 = 50th anniversery).  I'll check and see how this effects our list.  Bottom line, this is the benchmark we have been looking for.  I'll post the results and let folks comment on the revision.

Good eye on the toolbox date codes too.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on November 05, 2011, 07:14:58 PM
wrecker & Gang,

If you check post #1, our 1st estimate of the date code scheme shows M4 = 1986/1987.

wreckers discovery of the M4 50th anniversery torx driver would suggest m4 = 1988, assuming 1938 as the base year.

How does this sit with the old MAC gang?  I have no trouble with the idea of redoing the entire date code table now that we finally have a credible benchmark.

Your thoughts???
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on November 06, 2011, 12:34:49 AM
Wrecker,

Good work finding that M4 thumbsup2

How do MAC date the boxes? Do they use the 2 digit tool code or something else?

wrecker & Gang,

If you check post #1, our 1st estimate of the date code scheme shows M4 = 1986/1987.

wreckers discovery of the M4 50th anniversery torx driver would suggest m4 = 1988, assuming 1938 as the base year.

How does this sit with the old MAC gang?  I have no trouble with the idea of redoing the entire date code table now that we finally have a credible benchmark.

Your thoughts???

Gary,

MAC do use 1938 as their start year.

IMO M4 is most likely 4th quarter of 1987. They probably started production of Anniversary tools in advance. I also think it's unlikely they'd still be making them in the last quarter of an Anniversary year.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on November 06, 2011, 09:16:22 AM


#1How do MAC date the boxes? Do they use the 2 digit tool code or something else?

wrecker & Gang,

If you check post #1, our 1st estimate of the date code scheme shows M4 = 1986/1987.

#2wreckers discovery of the M4 50th anniversery torx driver would suggest m4 = 1988, assuming 1938 as the base year.


#3IMO M4 is most likely 4th quarter of 1987. They probably started production of Anniversary tools in advance. I also think it's unlikely they'd still be making them in the last quarter of an Anniversary year.

#1.  The light was bad in the shop, but the rollcab I was looking at was older and had the Mac logo, model # & serial # stamped in the back panel.  I didn't see a date code on that one, but the top chest and side cab had stickers instead of being stamped.  The date code (And I'm making an assumtion here, but I'm pretty sure) was after the serial # and was separate from it, and in the same code we're used to seeing on the hand tools.  By the way, these boxes were MB1700 rollcab, MB1720 chest, and MB1760 side cab.

#2 & #3.  I would tend to agree that Mac began making the anniversery tools well in advance, and that this particular screwdriver was most likely made in 1987.

I'll be on the lookout for more.  I would like to see a few more examples myself.

 wavebeer
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on November 14, 2011, 05:08:01 PM
MAC Gang,

Found a nice MAC (USA) Saltus wrench, CHLF-10, this weekend.  After cleaning it up a bit, I inspected it for any useful stampings.  And to my surprise, this wrench had a Bn date code, which has until now been unverified.  So here is the smoking gun:

(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACCHLF-10SaltusWrench1.jpg)

(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACCHLF-10SaltusWrench2.jpg)

That leaves only the An code at the beginning of our list to verify.  I think there are a few other unverified codes (On, nE, & nI) further down our list, but we are gradually getting there.

Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on November 14, 2011, 11:35:46 PM
That's an interesting wrench.  It's fully polished, but has the older font.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on November 15, 2011, 02:04:39 AM
That's an interesting wrench.  It's fully polished, but has the older font.

Maybe it's a transitional tool; somewhere between the old wrenches and the new wrenches.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on November 25, 2011, 11:08:20 PM
Nothing new to report really, but I did get an interesting code on a used socket the other day.  I've been collecting 1/2" drive metric hex drivers and came across this one:
(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/tools11252011005.jpg)
Kind of looks like "CL3" to me.

Also of interest, at least to me, is the similarities between these Craftsman 1/2" drive hex drivers and the Mac's.  This is sort of a  stirthepot comment, but given Mac's history of outsourcing, these very well may have come from the same vendor. 
(http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx344/wreckercologist/tools11252011006.jpg)

Lastly, and this is of no value to this thread other than comic relief, my dealer began to hand me a couple of sockets today that I've been waiting on, but before giving them to me, he stopped, looked, and then put one of them in the return pile as it was missing about half the chrome on one side.  Brand new, never used and already peeling........typical Mac billcat
 lolx
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on November 27, 2011, 10:19:52 PM
wrecker,

If that is a CL3, I'll add it to the list of non conforming codes along with your punch and chisel codes.

Can you recheck the code with a magnifying glass?  MattT has already suggested it might be an greek alpha or alpha-beta symbol followed by a 3.  Just let me know and we'll go from there.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on November 28, 2011, 12:47:45 AM
Kind of looks like "CL3" to me.


Might be a greek alpha. I've got a couple sets of MAC swivel impacts which are marked with what appear to be alpha and beta. Can't say for sure though because I can't see the markings real well. Think I need a lighted magnifier(http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll189/Cumminalong/Smileys/GeezerSmiley.gif)

Quote
Also of interest, at least to me, is the similarities between these Craftsman 1/2" drive hex drivers and the Mac's.  This is sort of a  stirthepot comment, but given Mac's history of outsourcing, these very well may have come from the same vendor.


According to the Craftsman list GK is a 2003> Danaher OEM code. Also I can see a pin hole on the MAC but don't see any on the Craftsman ones. If you'd shown Stanree mobx OEM drivers that were identical I might  :hooked:
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: john k on November 28, 2011, 01:15:24 AM
I just dug a Mac COE wrench from my pile.  Didn't even realize it was Mac.  1/2-9/16 V bottom opening.  Never polished, or chromed, still have coarse grinder marks on both sides, and a code of:  D 5.   6 inches long, and pretty crude looking, never been tampered with.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on November 28, 2011, 01:54:57 AM
I just dug a Mac COE wrench from my pile.  Didn't even realize it was Mac.  1/2-9/16 V bottom opening.  Never polished, or chromed, still have coarse grinder marks on both sides, and a code of:  D 5.   6 inches long, and pretty crude looking, never been tampered with.

That is the wrench part # not a code. It's an old one. They only used those part #s up to 1949 or 1950.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on November 28, 2011, 01:48:34 PM
wrecker,

I can't see if your Crafty GK hex bit sockets have a set screw or not.  I have a couple of older Crafty V hex bit sockets that have set screws.  I also have a bunch of Proto hex bit sockets (probably 1990 or later) with set screws. 

I'm with MattT on this one, and doubt that MAC/Proto would outsource to Danaher.  But stranger things have happened...
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: wreckercologist on November 28, 2011, 07:30:31 PM
The Mac's all have a through hole with a roll pin and the Craftsman's have a set screw on one side and not a through hole.  The look, feel, and everything else about them is very similar, but like I said it's probably mostly a  stirthepot comment.   hidex

I recall someone, perhaps Matt or Krusty, saying something about an ill-fated attempt by Mac at a "Flank Drive" style of socket not too long after Snap-on came out with theirs.  Well, it so happens that yesterday while looking up a part # in a 1971 Mac catalog, I found a page detailing the Mac "True Torque Drive".  I'll try to scan it and get it posted in a few days hopefully.

 wavebeer
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on November 28, 2011, 08:32:44 PM
I recall someone, perhaps Matt or Krusty, saying something about an ill-fated attempt by Mac at a "Flank Drive" style of socket not too long after Snap-on came out with theirs.  Well, it so happens that yesterday while looking up a part # in a 1971 Mac catalog, I found a page detailing the Mac "True Torque Drive".  I'll try to scan it and get it posted in a few days hopefully.

I found a patent for it which was filed after the flank drive patent was issued IIRC. So late '60's early '70's would be about right for it to be included in catalogs.

I also think Gary found a wrench with that drive and posted it. Least I think it was Gary headscratch
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: kxxr on January 28, 2012, 08:59:30 PM
Here's a couple of Mac ratchets and a Matco. I don't know if they will provide any more clues than what you already have figured out. I got these used, so no help there in terms of purchase date. First up is the oldest, I think.
I don't see anything on this 3/8 drive that might be a date code.
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn48/kxxr/tools/x3r.jpg)
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn48/kxxr/tools/sabina.jpg)
And, this one. Is the 02 a date code? XR1 and then just a bit smaller it says 1FS and then, smaller yet, USA   02. I can't decide if the 02 is a smaller font than the USA or not. Nothing on the back side but the MAC logo.
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn48/kxxr/tools/macback.jpg)
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn48/kxxr/tools/xr11fs.jpg)
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn48/kxxr/tools/xr1close.jpg)
And finally, not a MAC but a Matco AR3T with a little 'shopping cart' with legs instead of wheels kind of a little symbol. I need a jewelers loupe to see what it is. Maybe you guys recognize it?
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn48/kxxr/tools/matco.jpg)
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn48/kxxr/tools/2matco.jpg)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: kxxr on January 28, 2012, 10:01:06 PM
And, while I'm at it, the rest of my big MAC collection, just in case the markings reveal anything at all.
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn48/kxxr/tools/ms4.jpg)
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn48/kxxr/tools/ms7.jpg)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on January 28, 2012, 11:41:39 PM
kxxr,

Thanks  for posting your MAC gear.  Matcos are welcome too, especially older stuff from when they were part of MAC.  I think somewhere in this thread we have your oldest MAC ratchet (X3R), with approximate dates and OEM.  Don't know about the XR1FS ratchet 02 date code, not the usual format.  I'm sure one of the MAC experts can shed some light on this though.  And MAC wrenches, old or new, are always welcome... eye candy!
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on February 23, 2012, 01:46:39 AM
kxxr,

Your X3R is 1940s into early '50s made by S-K.

The XR11FS is XR= 3/8 drive ratchet, 11= 11" long and FS= fer sparkplugs*. The O2 is a date code which puts your ratchets production date around 1990 give or take.

The Matco is a newish ratchet made after Matco switched from Wright to Danaher production in the mid '90s.

*F is flex and S likely stands for sparkplug but I couldn't resist >:D
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Broncoman on February 25, 2012, 08:58:15 PM
Kind of looks like "CL3" to me.


Might be a greek alpha. I've got a couple sets of MAC swivel impacts which are marked with what appear to be alpha and beta. Can't say for sure though because I can't see the markings real well. Think I need a lighted magnifier(http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll189/Cumminalong/Smileys/GeezerSmiley.gif)


I have one of these "greek alpha" date stamps also....i had just always assumed it was a mis stamp or doumble stamp because I had never seen one before, it came with a complete set of knucle savers that were all X2 or X3 date range, it was a new set in the pouch but was a pawn find for 100 bucks.  I have another set just like it that is all X2 and X3 and it came from a different pawn, they are well used but was 35 bucks cash out the door!
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Broncoman on February 25, 2012, 09:03:21 PM
Dont know what i did wrong my text was included in the quote.....here it is again

I have one of these "greek alpha" date stamps also....i had just always assumed it was a mis stamp or doumble stamp because I had never seen one before, it came with a complete set of knucle savers that were all X2 or X3 date range, it was a new set in the pouch but was a pawn find for 100 bucks.  I have another set just like it that is all X2 and X3 and it came from a different pawn, they are well used but was 35 bucks cash out the door!

btw, excellent thread, i have wondered about mac date stamps for years...thanks! beerdude
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: JeremyManning on May 25, 2012, 01:08:35 PM
Does someone have an older catalogue with price list I have a 1/2 drive ratchet adapter model RA12 just wondering what it would be worth originally for insurance purposes?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: airbuff101 on May 25, 2012, 07:53:12 PM
The RA12 was 46.00 list in '91.

Insurance purposes ????

C'mon Jeremy, yer gonna flip it!  :))

(We won't hold that against you.:)
That number was around for decades.

airbuff
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Snaparxon on June 03, 2012, 01:09:04 PM
Here is a pic of my new Mac ZR26 ratchet received in the first quarter of 2012 I think in Feb/March. I had to wait for them to make a production run so it was fresh off the line. Date code is a 1L. Hope this helps to verify the 2012 date code.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on June 04, 2012, 10:48:06 AM
Here is a pic of my new Mac ZR26 ratchet received in the first quarter of 2012 I think in Feb/March. I had to wait for them to make a production run so it was fresh off the line. Date code is a 1L. Hope this helps to verify the 2012 date code.

Agmech,

Thanks for posting the new code, I'll add it to the list when I get a chance.

Also, if your second pic is the same MAC ZR26, it is a dead ringer for a Proto long handle
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Snaparxon on June 04, 2012, 08:55:38 PM
Here is a pic of my new Mac ZR26 ratchet received in the first quarter of 2012 I think in Feb/March. I had to wait for them to make a production run so it was fresh off the line. Date code is a 1L. Hope this helps to verify the 2012 date code.

Agmech,

Thanks for posting the new code, I'll add it to the list when I get a chance.

Also, if your second pic is the same MAC ZR26, it is a dead ringer for a Proto long handle.

Exactley like a Proto but it is longer. OAL 26"
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on June 04, 2012, 09:46:42 PM
agmech,

That is a long one...   billcat
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: JeremyManning on June 07, 2012, 10:02:51 AM
The RA12 was 46.00 list in '91.

Insurance purposes ????

C'mon Jeremy, yer gonna flip it!  :))

(We won't hold that against you.:)
That number was around for decades.

airbuff

I do flip a lot of stuff but this is a keeper I have a set of 1/2 Mac sockets that I keep it with, I will try to post a pic later it is a neat design.  I do keep an excel spreadsheet of my tools and their value for insurance purposes.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Snaparxon on July 27, 2012, 12:51:52 AM
This date code appears to be H7, is it a mis-stamp and should be H2? notice this ratchet has screws on the cover plate side and not on the top of the ratchet.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on July 27, 2012, 02:25:41 PM
agmech,

It sure looks like an H7 to me.  MAC seems to have to have many exceptions to their date code system.  broncoman posted an alpha2 code that doesn't seem to fit the date code scheme either.  wrecker posted some weird 3 digit codes on a batch of punches he bought.

It's possible that MAC is using nonstandard codes to indicate limited, test, prototype, or otherwise special production runs.  Just speculating here...
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 04, 2012, 04:36:35 AM
This date code appears to be H7, is it a mis-stamp and should be H2? notice this ratchet has screws on the cover plate side and not on the top of the ratchet.

Probably a mis-struck H2. The early MAC pear heads did have the screws cover plate side and best I can determine 1/4" drive was the last to change. They likely experienced the same problem Snap on have with their Dual 80s. I reckon it's either the shorter screws breaking because they don't have enough stretch or dealers being unable to extract sheared screws from the ratchet body. Possibly a combination of the two shrugx

FWIW if you ever need to rebuild that MR5 everything from the current rebuild kits will fit except the cover plate and its retaining screws.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 15, 2012, 04:23:05 PM
MAC Gang,

I ran across a Matco SP131 handled tool that I need some help identifying.  It looks like it could be a spark plug boot puller, but that's just a guess on my part.  And, based on the yellow/red handle, it appears it could be from the MAC/Matco era before the split or shortly after the split.

(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MatcoSP131Hook1.jpg)

(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MatcoSP131Hook2.jpg)

Does anybody know for sure what this tools is and approximately when it was made?  There appears to be what could be a date code on it (looks like a stylized Z or 2).

Any help appreciated.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 16, 2012, 03:28:11 AM
Gary,

It's a "Headlight Bulb Tool" for bulb retainer springs. It's gonna be fairly early but the one pictured in the '79 catalog has the MAC wood handle. It is the same SP131 part # though.

The "date code" on it looks like the one Snap on used for 1982. Oddly enough that date would be about right shrugx
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 16, 2012, 08:07:53 AM
matco used that type of handle throught most of the 80's. they had them phased out by 90-91.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 16, 2012, 02:28:08 PM
MattT & Crusty,

Thanks for the ID and approximate date.  I would never have guessed it was a headlight bulb spring tool.  As always great info...
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 16, 2012, 03:17:42 PM
gary, here is a wodden handled MAC headlight spring tool, probably 60's
(http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd154/matco01/0816121413.jpg)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 16, 2012, 08:04:44 PM
krusty,

I like the older wooden handle version too.  When was the last time you used it on a headlight?  Have you found any new uses for it?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on August 17, 2012, 08:00:51 AM
krusty,

I like the older wooden handle version too.  When was the last time you used it on a headlight?  Have you found any new uses for it?

early 80's.........and thats the last time it's been out of the box
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 18, 2012, 01:05:30 PM
krusty,

I don't know about motorcycle headlights but auto headlights have dramatically changed in the last 20 years or so. 

That said, my fleet is so old I still have the old style sealed beam headlight assemblies to deal with.  Lucky me.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 18, 2012, 08:40:20 PM
MAC Gang,

I picked up a pair of MAC ratchets today and thought I would post them up for the record:

XR11F 3/8" drive, flex handle, 30-tooth boxhead, chrome/knurled, S4 date code (ca. 1992/1993)

XR8 3/8" drive, standard handle, 30-tooth boxhead, chrome/knurled, M2 date code (ca. 1986/1987)

Here's a couple of Pic's:

(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACXR11FXR8Ratchetsa.jpg)

(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACXR11FXR8Ratchetsb.jpg)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krc328ic on August 19, 2012, 09:43:53 AM
Guys, I would like to say the work that has gone into this thread is amazing!  I can't tell you how many times I stopped reading (the entire thread BTW) and ran to the tool box.  I found this site while searching for the slimest of chances of finding a rebuild kit for a M1R.  Guess I never will which is a bummer.  But, this brings me to my question.  I have a XR1 stubby 3/8 that I thought was fairly old but it has the odd greek/alpha like date code on it.  Can anyone tell me what it means?
(http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i274/krc328ic/xr1.jpg)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 19, 2012, 02:50:24 PM
krc,

That alpha code is the subject of some current discussion.  At this point we are not sure what it means as it does not fit the standard coding scheme as we currently understand it.  There are some theories and conjecture, but at this point there is no definative answer.  So for now, just hold tight...

And, it may be possible to approximate the date range of your XR1 by other means.  But, we'll have to wait for the guys with the MAC catalogs to shed some light on this subject.

Here's some food for thought... your XR1 looks to be the stubby equivalent of the two 3/8" ratchets I posted above (XR11F & XR8) who's dates are 1992 & 1986.  Call it mid-1980's to early 1990's; this should get you in the ballpark for now.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on August 19, 2012, 03:36:26 PM
I found this site while searching for the slimest of chances of finding a rebuild kit for a M1R.  Guess I never will which is a bummer.

MAC did offer a repair kit for the M1R, part # M1R-K, so you might find one if you look long enough. Chances are slim though since that ratchet was phased out about 50 years ago.

I have a XR1 stubby 3/8 that I thought was fairly old but it has the odd greek/alpha like date code on it.  Can anyone tell me what it means?

I think MAC used the greek codes for a couple years when the codes rolled over. 2000 to 2001 give or take a year. I've got alpha and beta codes tools myself. Also reviewing the outlier list there's a 2000s production "C1" which may be greek too.

Your ratchet also appears to have torx screws which suggests it's fairly new. Not conclusive because it may have had a kit thrown in it but the chances of a stubby rat being rebuilt are slim.

And, it may be possible to approximate the date range of your XR1 by other means.  But, we'll have to wait for the guys with the MAC catalogs to shed some light on this subject.

Here's some food for thought... your XR1 looks to be the stubby equivalent of the two 3/8" ratchets I posted above (XR11F & XR8) who's dates are 1992 & 1986.  Call it mid-1980's to early 1990's; this should get you in the ballpark for now.

Catalogs don't really help with the majority of pear head rats because it's such a long running series. Aside from, at least some of, the early ones having "concealed" cover plate screws the only change has been the screws heads.

I'm missing the catalog years when the pear head ratchets were introduced so all I can say right now is the series started somewhere between 1973 and 1977. The XR1, XR8, and XR11F were all cataloged by 1981 and remained in production thru' 2001.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krc328ic on August 19, 2012, 06:54:04 PM
Thanks guys.  the XR1 does have torx screws but I thought is was a rebuild at some point. 
I would love to get my hands on that M1R kit!  It is a sweet little rat!  Mine is missing the little locking ball.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Snaparxon on August 19, 2012, 07:39:19 PM
Thanks guys.  the XR1 does have torx screws but I thought is was a rebuild at some point. 
I would love to get my hands on that M1R kit!  It is a sweet little rat!  Mine is missing the little locking ball.

If all that is wrong is the ball is missing, measure the hole diameter and get a ball bearing that will fit in the hole.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krc328ic on August 26, 2012, 03:25:56 PM
Picked the one up last week.  Very nice little rat  thumbsup2
(http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i274/krc328ic/M2R.jpg)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: JeremyManning on November 13, 2012, 05:09:31 PM
Pics for reference

The RA12 was 46.00 list in '91.

Insurance purposes ????

C'mon Jeremy, yer gonna flip it!  :))

(We won't hold that against you.:)
That number was around for decades.

airbuff

I do flip a lot of stuff but this is a keeper I have a set of 1/2 Mac sockets that I keep it with, I will try to post a pic later it is a neat design.  I do keep an excel spreadsheet of my tools and their value for insurance purposes.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: airbuff101 on November 13, 2012, 05:14:27 PM
Jeremy,
Those Ratcheting Adapters were New Britain made. Pretty nice and very compact. I just gave my son a couple with both markings.
airbuff
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on November 14, 2012, 12:44:36 AM
That's a RA12A which replaced the original RA12. Introduced between 1960 and 1963 and cataloged until at least 1985. MAC had switched back to RA12 for the Proto version by 1988.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on May 24, 2013, 09:32:14 PM
MAC hounds,

I found a nice vintage MAC Sabina V206 1/2" drive x 5/8" 6-point socket.  It's got some wear, but the chromes pretty good.  Thought I would share it here and see if anyone could come up with preliminary date range; there are no date codes on this old veteran.

Here's a couple of photos:

(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACSocketV206a_zps04541cf8.jpg) (http://s366.photobucket.com/user/lauver_photos/media/MACSocketV206a_zps04541cf8.jpg.html)

(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACSocketV206b_zpsbe8f3fe8.jpg) (http://s366.photobucket.com/user/lauver_photos/media/MACSocketV206b_zpsbe8f3fe8.jpg.html)

(http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo109/lauver_photos/MACSocketV206c_zps56d87571.jpg) (http://s366.photobucket.com/user/lauver_photos/media/MACSocketV206c_zps56d87571.jpg.html)

A couple of features worth noting... old school 6-point broach (sharp corners) and detent hole in the drive end of the socket that accepts the ball bearing of the drive tool.

Anybody got older catalogs?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Centerpunch on September 14, 2013, 02:08:14 AM
Although when I spoke to Mac, they told me the Mac Tools TD3M was American made and manufactured in the year 2003, I am curious if that information, is 100% accurate and if there missing information.

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7346/9739565880_01bc286160_o.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/98927689@N08/9739565880/)
IMG_0034 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/98927689@N08/9739565880/#)

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7288/9737418877_536943978e_o.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/98927689@N08/9737418877/)
IMG_0035 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/98927689@N08/9737418877/#)

Apparently, this tool is still manufactured under the model number TD13MS and I have a link right here.  http://www.mactools.com/ShopOnline/Product/tabid/120/productid/320371/variantid/311130/Default.aspx (http://www.mactools.com/ShopOnline/Product/tabid/120/productid/320371/variantid/311130/Default.aspx)

I bought my TD3M at a pawn shop and on one end is a magnetic head and the other end would have held those bits.  Mine didn't come with any bits, but that is fine. 

Any product information would certainly be nice to know if possible please.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on September 16, 2013, 10:06:01 AM
CP,

There's three ways to date MAC tools:

1) Date code method-- this only works if the tool is date coded. I suspect your TD3M is not.

2) Catalog search method-- this only works if you have an extensive catalog collection. I don't.

3) MAC guru method-- this method only works if you got active gurus on the site.  Right now krusty is our only resident and active guru.

I have one MAC catalog, dating to 1952, and the TD3M or similar pin vise is not included in this catalog. The only other information I can tell you is that pin vises are not a modern invention.  Machinest have been using them for at least a half a century.

Hang tuff, perhaps someone else will chime in with some additional info on the TD3M.

Are there any other stampings on the tool?  Perhaps underneath the clip?  The date codes are usually very small font in the form of a letter & number or a number & letter.

Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Centerpunch on September 16, 2013, 11:03:39 AM
Lauver,  heh, under that clip is the first place I checked for any information, but all that is there is discolored metal.   I think this was made in 2003 as that is what the representative told me, but I could tell he wasn't 100% certain though.  This is not really a big deal, as I received good enough information, but I figured you gentlemen probably know more than just some guy who might be making up numbers and telling nonsense just to get me off the phone.

I don't really know much about pin vises, but I should note, that mine has a magnetic tip on the top as well.  From what I gather, the newer version of this product no longer does.

Thank you though for your help Lauver. 
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: platypus20 on September 27, 2013, 07:49:39 PM
Lauver,

Today I spent a while and read through this thread, then went and checked my Mac ratchet inventory, all of my ratchets are of the M1 through M4 codes, which according to the chart on page one is 1986/87 vintage tools.

The only Mac tools I ever bought new were from my ex-BIL. From 1980-1988 he was a Snap-On man, in July of 1988, I stripped all of the Snap-On logos off of the truck, scuffed it, repainted the top, GM #10 Icebox White and the bottom, Oscar Mayer yellow, then installed the Mac Tools logo kit. While all of this was done, my ex-BIL, revamped the insides and restocked the truck, with a new Mac inventory. In August of 1988, he went on the road as a Mac Tool salesman, in mid August, I went into the hospital, for a series of operations on my right elbow. It was in 1989, before I actually bought any tools.

Being that the ratchets are in the 1986/87 vintage (according to the chart) and I actually bought them after January 1989, makes me wonder. For the 5 years the ex-BIL was a Mac man, he was in the top 10 in sales in the Eastern division for 4 of those years, so he sold tons of stock.

So my question has to be on the inventory levels that Mac maintained during these times, could they have produced enough ratchets during the Mn series to still be selling them as new 2-3 years later? I could see one or maybe 2 slipping through, but all 9 of my Mac Ratchets, I bought through him have the same Mn series ratchets. As I was divorced from his sister in 1991, all of the Mac Tools I bought new, must fall within that time frame (1/89 to 4/91), after that it was easier to find another tool dealer (back to Snap-On). The only exception is the 2 Mac ratchets, I bought used within the last year or so and one of them is a Un and the other is a Wn.

I'm sorry, but I as I have had, 2 other divorces, I don't have any receipts to verify the actual dates, but they must fall within that time range.

So, Inventory levels?, vast quantity of made handles, finished (assembled) at a later date? Any other possible answer?


thanks for all of the hard work.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on September 28, 2013, 09:39:59 PM
Platy,

I hear what your are saying but cannot personally answer your question.  I'm going to wait for krusty the clown to chime in with his take on your question; krusty is a recovering MAC-Man and should have some real life observations on MACs 1980's inventory situation.

Fair enough?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Centerpunch on September 28, 2013, 09:47:56 PM
May I ask a general question about Mac Tools?  Every now and then I see Mac tool pouches on eBay and seeing as most of these don't have the country of origin listed, did Mac ever manufacture these in America or is this just another  product made by a third party vendor?

Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: platypus20 on October 04, 2013, 02:30:17 PM
CP,

What do you mean by tool pouches, actual small carry around tool bags, belt held small pouches or wrench rolls?

I would be surprised that Mac Tools ever made anything thing like them. Making hand tools is a drop forge, machining, chroming operation, sewing fabric and leather is a totally different type of company. I'd be surprised if Snap-On and Mac actually make their own screwdriver handles, probably molded by a sub-contractor, more cost effective that doing it themself.

I work in a NJ factory that made some of the blown plastic tool cases for power tools, next to that was Cool-Whip style plastic bowls for butter, dips and similar products, on the other side of the factory, they were making the plastic bottles for laundry detergent. Totally different end products, but a very similar molding operation. When companies start to deviate from their core business, the cost of equipment becomes a killer. Plastic molding equipment can be in the millions of dollars, molds can easily be in the $150,000+ range (each mold). As these cost go up, it much easier to out source the product you need, whether the source is American or foreign. Then there is the volume of pieces needed.

There are a few plastic molding operations local to me, they are extremely busy, to make that expensive equipment pay, they have to be. I have equipment is a couple of the plants. Both of those plants, make absolutely nothing with their name on it, they are solely a sub-contractor for the main equipment manufacturer, making pieces, parts and packaging.

I was looking at the empty wrench rolls from Snap-On, Mac Tools, Vise-Grip and a few others, gauging from the materials, the construction and the designs, I'd say it was a safe bet they are all made by the same company.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on October 04, 2013, 03:59:01 PM
Platy,

I hear what your are saying but cannot personally answer your question.  I'm going to wait for krusty the clown to chime in with his take on your question; krusty is a recovering MAC-Man and should have some real life observations on MACs 1980's inventory situation.

Fair enough?
gary........i was a matco dealer th-wink  so i cannot speak to MACs inventory levels. also i'm not positive that the date codes you are using are accurate (they could be AND i havent been paying much attention lately). it is my understanding from former MAC dealers that jumped to matco that low inventory levels in the DC's was thier main reason for jumping. soooo.........i find it unlikely that a ratchet made in 1987 would still be in the warehouse in 1988 let alone 1991.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on October 04, 2013, 08:48:10 PM
Platy,

I hear what your are saying but cannot personally answer your question.  I'm going to wait for krusty the clown to chime in with his take on your question; krusty is a recovering MAC-Man and should have some real life observations on MACs 1980's inventory situation.

Fair enough?
gary........i was a matco dealer th-wink  so i cannot speak to MACs inventory levels. also i'm not positive that the date codes you are using are accurate (they could be AND i havent been paying much attention lately). it is my understanding from former MAC dealers that jumped to matco that low inventory levels in the DC's was thier main reason for jumping. soooo.........i find it unlikely that a ratchet made in 1987 would still be in the warehouse in 1988 let alone 1991.

krusty,

I appologize for calling you a MAC-man; can you ever forgive me?  And thanks for weighing in on the inventory question.

I wish MattT and wrecker would chime in; I'm worried that we may have lost them. Where are those guys?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Centerpunch on October 04, 2013, 11:49:41 PM
CP,

What do you mean by tool pouches, actual small carry around tool bags, belt held small pouches or wrench rolls?

I would be surprised that Mac Tools ever made anything thing like them. Making hand tools is a drop forge, machining, chroming operation, sewing fabric and leather is a totally different type of company. I'd be surprised if Snap-On and Mac actually make their own screwdriver handles, probably molded by a sub-contractor, more cost effective that doing it themself.

I work in a NJ factory that made some of the blown plastic tool cases for power tools, next to that was Cool-Whip style plastic bowls for butter, dips and similar products, on the other side of the factory, they were making the plastic bottles for laundry detergent. Totally different end products, but a very similar molding operation. When companies start to deviate from their core business, the cost of equipment becomes a killer. Plastic molding equipment can be in the millions of dollars, molds can easily be in the $150,000+ range (each mold). As these cost go up, it much easier to out source the product you need, whether the source is American or foreign. Then there is the volume of pieces needed.

There are a few plastic molding operations local to me, they are extremely busy, to make that expensive equipment pay, they have to be. I have equipment is a couple of the plants. Both of those plants, make absolutely nothing with their name on it, they are solely a sub-contractor for the main equipment manufacturer, making pieces, parts and packaging.

I was looking at the empty wrench rolls from Snap-On, Mac Tools, Vise-Grip and a few others, gauging from the materials, the construction and the designs, I'd say it was a safe bet they are all made by the same company.


Platypus:  Not sure how I missed your reply, but essentially, you are correct.  I call them tool pouches,  but I suppose the proper name might be screwdriver pouch or vinyl roll.  I wasn't sure if they were re-branded or not, but all what you are telling me is news to me.

Although, actually what you are stating is critical, as I am thinking of buying another vintage Vise Grip tool roll, but if they weren't made by Petersen in this instance, then despite the fact I know mine is American made, this makes this less interesting to be blunt. 

Hope this isn't pushing any limits, but please check your PM box please.  I have a question for you. 
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Toolhunter on October 12, 2013, 03:54:24 PM
CM mfr code CI. Maybe = Cooper Industries? Probably too easy therefore unlikely? Just a thought. Happy Trails!
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on January 21, 2014, 05:31:02 PM
Lifted from another thread. Puts the introduction of other than red screwdriver handles at 1991/1992.

I am talking about the the red screwdrivers, but in this instance, the red screwdrivers with a hexagonal nut.  I don't remember the model number, but before I traded this, I had a USA made Mac slotted driver with a hexagonal nut that was red as well.  According to Mac, this model was discontinued in 1991.

MAC definitely didn't discontinue the hex bolsters in 1991. Sounds like you either had a tip size/length that got dropped or they changed their part #s in 1991. Will check the catalogs on the part # thing when I get a minute.

Just compared 1990 and 1992 catalogs. MAC have added a color suffix to the part # in the 1992 catalog. So using the red handled 1/4" by 4" as an example the number changed from PNRB4A to PNRB4AR.

The 1992 catalog doesn't list what the other color suffixes are. Just has a note saying ask your distributor about available colors.

Thanks Centerpunch. I reckon you've given us a firm date on the introduction of the other handle colors.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on February 23, 2014, 08:35:57 PM
Gang,

For the record, a long time ago, wrecker posted some strange (i.e.non-MAC) codes on MAC punches he had recently purchased. He also suggested they may have been OEM'd by Mahew, a known striking tool company.

I have three Mayhew branded brass punches, bought as a set, and they all have 3-digit codes of nnn format.  The codes on my three Mayhew punches are 100, 101, & 102.  Just throwing this out for discussion.

That is all.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on February 23, 2014, 10:07:23 PM
Gary,

The codes Wrecker posted were LLn. Here's the link to his original post.

http://www.thegaragegazette.com/index.php?topic=1181.msg31804#msg31804 (http://www.thegaragegazette.com/index.php?topic=1181.msg31804#msg31804)

Quick googling turned up this on a Mayhew 101 punch. And in related items there are 100 and 102 punches so I'm guessing those numbers are just short form part #s.

http://www.mytoolsforyou.com/automotive-tools/MAY-25076.html (http://www.mytoolsforyou.com/automotive-tools/MAY-25076.html)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on April 02, 2014, 10:20:45 PM
Just found this on CL. Ad claims box is 6 months old.......................
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on April 03, 2014, 10:47:25 AM
MattT,

Thanks for posting this date observation.  This certainly doesn't confirm our preliminary date code scheme.  What's your take on this?

a) the CL seller is confused,

b) the CL seller is lying,

c) the CL seller bought it when he said he bought it but he got older stock,

d) our date code scheme if off by a year or two.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: twertsy on February 25, 2015, 05:41:49 AM
Apologies if someone posted this before, I did not go through the entire thread because, well, I'm not a MAC guy.  I am however a Plomb/Proto guy and the brand manager at Proto sent me the attached date code list, which includes those for Proto made MAC.  Someone may have already posted it here because I posted it before over on GJ.  Enjoy!
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on February 27, 2015, 11:21:41 AM
twertsy,

Thanks for posting the date code chart. 

Now that there is a "smoking gun" thumbsup2 thumbsup2
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers &amp; Date Ranges
Post by: Muddy on April 04, 2015, 09:51:19 PM
Using that chart, it looks like the wrenches were made in the third quarter of 1991. Correct?


(http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/15/04/04/1498cbcc54c2b61a5f06734480d04f60.jpg)


(http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/15/04/04/9bf20941afde55ef83d41e1d8e0f8e73.jpg)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on April 04, 2015, 11:12:52 PM
Muddy,

Correct.  Anyways, that's how I interpret the table .

Good score by the way thumbsup2

Those are some handsome line wrenches.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers &amp; Date Ranges
Post by: skfarmer on April 06, 2015, 10:12:33 AM
Using that chart, it looks like the wrenches were made in the third quarter of 1991. Correct?


([url]http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/15/04/04/1498cbcc54c2b61a5f06734480d04f60.jpg[/url])


([url]http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/15/04/04/9bf20941afde55ef83d41e1d8e0f8e73.jpg[/url])

those are dang near older than you!
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers &amp; Date Ranges
Post by: Muddy on April 06, 2015, 12:12:59 PM
Almost!
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on April 07, 2015, 12:50:55 AM
muddy,

What's your date code?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: hickory n steel on July 04, 2015, 01:55:56 AM
does anyone know when they started using the stylized letters for their logo? cause I have a very early mac wrench  and the logo uses very plain letters.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on July 04, 2015, 02:38:27 PM
hickory,

krusty can probably get you in the ballpark for a date on the stylized logo.  Shoot him a PM.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: AmishFury on August 03, 2015, 12:09:37 AM
L7 or incomplete L2 stamp?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on August 03, 2015, 12:22:51 AM
Amish,

Welcome aboard.  What's your location?  Got more MAC?

Looks clearly L7 to me.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: AmishFury on August 03, 2015, 03:08:17 AM
just an old 13/16" 1/2" drive sabina o. marked socket (which mysteriously appeared in the case for a craftsman set along with an old snap-on extension (http://i.imgur.com/gNG7ezj.jpg))

and i have a XR8PA on it's way to me
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: hickory n steel on August 19, 2015, 02:33:01 AM
I might post a pic tomarrow if it's even needed,     anyway im wondering if anyone knows when they might've been making an aw4 4inch adjustable wrench? my dad gave it to me and It's been in my "pocket" for about a year now and I would just kinda like to know how common they are or at least something more about it ( to me it really doesn't  look older than 1980's as far as condition goes)      anyway every time I google it I come up with nothing.          fyi it has a very tiny ( so small it looks like a ding or something)  1 marked above MFG. USA. on one side but not on the other side.   also one side says   AW4-MAC-4"INCH, and the other side says AW4-MAC-100MM if that helps.   but all in all it's just a 4" inch MAC adjustable wrench and if someone has one or has seen one they'd know what I'm talking about without having to see it, but like I said I will post some pics if  have to.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: AmishFury on September 01, 2015, 12:32:58 AM
picked up a MR5 off ebay listed as "good working condition"

i'll let you be the judge http://imgur.com/a/iVooi (http://imgur.com/a/iVooi)

also i'm not entirely sure what letter is on the date code
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: bigjake22 on November 06, 2015, 09:25:48 AM
I stumbled upon this thread the other day, and noticed that the "On" date code was missing from your database. So, I got to checking my stuff to see if I had anything with that date code, knowing that most of the Mac stuff I have was purchased new around that time frame, and I found two screwdrivers with the "On" code.

Now, let's see if I can figure out how to attach a picture...
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on November 06, 2015, 11:16:25 PM
bigjake,

Thanks for the post.  I'll list the "On" date code as confirmed on the list.

I love those old yeller 'n red screwdriver handles.

Thanks again...
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Conductor562 on November 06, 2015, 11:35:29 PM
For the record Gary, I'm 500% sure that both Mac and Proto punches & chisels are Mayhew made. I can't swear to you when that began, but it isn't recent.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on November 08, 2015, 02:00:40 PM
Conductor,

Thanks for the Mayhew  heads up... good to know thumbsup2 thumbsup2
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on November 08, 2015, 10:48:41 PM
Conductor,

Thanks for the Mayhew  heads up... good to know thumbsup2 thumbsup2
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: twertsy on November 09, 2015, 04:46:35 AM
^^^^^^ Lauver's studdering?  th-bounce
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on November 09, 2015, 02:21:28 PM
twertsy,

Just making double sure Conductor got my message billcat
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: brslk on November 10, 2015, 02:17:26 AM
twertsy,

Just making double sure Conductor got my message billcat

 lolx
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: twertsy on November 15, 2015, 02:06:25 PM
Lauver,
I have a box with a "K1" code.  Any ideas?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on November 15, 2015, 02:42:15 PM
Twertsy,

Good question.

It looks like a MAC date code (i.e. 1st Qtr 1986), but I suppose it could be a model designation (i.e. K series, Top Chest). 

PM crusty for his thoughts and knowledge on MAC tool box labeling. 

Whatever you find out, post the results in this thread so we can all learn from it.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on November 15, 2015, 04:45:47 PM
Twertsy,

Good question.

It looks like a MAC date code (i.e. 1st Qtr 1986), but I suppose it could be a model designation (i.e. K series, Top Chest). 

PM crusty for his thoughts and knowledge on MAC tool box labeling. 

Whatever you find out, post the results in this thread so we can all learn from it.
gary, all MAC boxes used the MB prefix in the model number (it stands for "metal box")
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on November 15, 2015, 05:01:00 PM
krusty,

I can tell, you're poking fun at me :POKIE: 

The question regards the K1 code on twertsy's box.  Do the tool boxes use the same date code scheme as the hand tools?  If so, K1 = 1st Qtr 1986... case closed.

If not, what does K1 mean?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on November 15, 2015, 05:06:06 PM
krusty,

I can tell, you're poking fun at me :POKIE: 

The question regards the K1 code on twertsy's box.  Do the tool boxes use the same date code scheme as the hand tools?  If so, K1 = 1st Qtr 1986... case closed.

If not, what does K1 mean?
i assume its a date code and post matco made. Matco used the actual date.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on November 15, 2015, 05:24:47 PM
Thanks crusty.

Those are both useful pieces of info
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers &amp; Date Ranges
Post by: twertsy on November 15, 2015, 07:34:16 PM
Awesome, 1986.  Any chance someone knows who made it?  Beach?  http://toolarchives.com/node/1373

Sent from my SM-P905V using Tapatalk

Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on November 15, 2015, 09:29:42 PM
Conductor,

Thanks for the Mayhew  heads up... good to know thumbsup2 thumbsup2
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: DeadNutz on December 01, 2015, 05:35:11 PM
I picked up some MAC wrenches at a pawn shop on Black Friday. I believe they are from 1969 to early 70's according to the patent date and stampings and info on here. The patent number is 3466956 which was filed on Dec. 4 1967 and granted on Sept. 16 1969. One CL24 3/4 combo is stamped Pat. Pending while the other combos are stamped with the patent number with the exception of a CW28 7/8 which is stamped with the wrong patent number. Somebody screwed up and the last two digits are 55 instead of 56. the broaching on the box end is the same on all the wrenches including the Pat. Pending marked one.

For some reason I'm getting the dang security message for the picture attachments. I'll have to try later.

Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on December 01, 2015, 10:53:02 PM
Nutz,

Please do post  photo's of your vintage MAC wrenches with classic V-gullet open ends  thumbsup2 thumbsup2

I seldom see these old school MAC wrenches in my area.  My favorites are the MAC CL wrenches.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: DeadNutz on December 02, 2015, 12:11:48 PM
Let's see if I can get some more pics up now. These are pics of the patent stampings and broaching.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: mrchuck on December 08, 2015, 10:32:47 AM
The "V" gullet in Mac and Cornwell vintage wrenches are m favorite to use.
Just "something" about them".
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on December 08, 2015, 12:08:17 PM
mrchuck,

I'm the same way; there is just something about the V-gullet OE's that's attractive.  And they work flawlessly.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: kwoswalt99 on December 08, 2015, 10:18:35 PM
In my opinion, they're more geometrically pleasing. I can't really tell a difference while working though.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: AmishFury on January 28, 2016, 01:37:41 AM
anyone have any ideas on this date code?

(http://i.imgur.com/MQKtjiC.jpg)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on January 28, 2016, 12:17:49 PM
Amish,

Strange as it looks, that is a 2000 date code.

Can you post a photo or two of the entire MR5 ratchet?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: twertsy on March 04, 2016, 04:49:47 AM
I'd be interested in hearing thoughts on dating this (so far, incomplete) set of MAC Combos.  In Mark's '52 cat, the pouch is slightly different, and doesn't have Mechanics Tool & Forge printed on it.  So, I'm thinking '40's?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on March 04, 2016, 06:36:06 AM
the pouch look's very similar to the one in the 52 catalog but the catalog illustration doesn't show the printing MECHANIC'S TOOL AND FORGE. but it is just an illustration not a photo. the other sets shown has the printing so that in itself isn't telling. the numbering system is though. your wrenches are numbered Cxx instead of CW (12pt) or CH (6pt). I can only assume that your wrenches were made before MAC offered both 6 and 12 point wrenches. if we could find more catalogs from the 40's we can narrow down the date range. but I think it's safe to assume 1940's.

very cool find! I would love to see those next to a cornwell of the same era.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on March 04, 2016, 07:56:05 AM
for comparison, a cornwell combo of the same era........thoughts?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on March 04, 2016, 10:38:13 AM
krusty,

Funny you should ask.   My 1st thought when looking at twertsy's MAC Sabina combos was Cornwell.  And they do look very similar in design and execution.  But that don't necessarily make it so. 

That said, I have no idea how we would go about making a bullet-proof attribution.  Perhaps if we could find some forging mark that was consistent between the two brands, that would be close enough....   

I don't have enough of either brand to make such a comparison.  Do you?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on March 04, 2016, 10:58:22 AM
krusty,

Funny you should ask.   My 1st thought when looking at twertsy's MAC Sabina combos was Cornwell.  And they do look very similar in design and execution.  But that don't necessarily make it so. 

That said, I have no idea how we would go about making a bullet-proof attribution.  Perhaps if we could find some forging mark that was consistent between the two brands, that would be close enough....   

I don't have enough of either brand to make such a comparison.  Do you?
I do not have enough of the same era to compare.


my purpose is to confirm or deny what I was told 25 years ago, that cornwell made MAC's wrenches in the beginning and then purchased the equipment from cornwell when they did start making their own.

I have never seen a forge mark on either MAC or cornwell so I don't know if we will ever prove or deny that theory.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on March 04, 2016, 11:25:09 AM
krusty,

I've heard the same rumors concerning the Cornwell/MAC collusion.  Perhaps from you.

I've also heard rumor that some of the Cornwell management migrated to MAC with the Cornwell equipment. 
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on March 04, 2016, 12:10:19 PM
krusty,

I've heard the same rumors concerning the Cornwell/MAC collusion.  Perhaps from you.

I've also heard rumor that some of the Cornwell management migrated to MAC with the Cornwell equipment.
that's the folklore.....

todd has turned up some fascinating new things. you should check out the MAC and cornwell blogs on his site.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: strik9 on March 04, 2016, 12:48:55 PM
There was enough information to tell me the Cornwell combo I didn't buy was mid 50's  so a base is set to work from.   Absence of markings can be used to identify also.   
    As I play with early car kit tools there are a few tricks learned along the way.    Start with a pool of pics of known like wrenches and then if helpful get measurements or compare profiles  until something points a clear direction.

       I accidentally built a full set of Fairmount DOE oldies but never realized it until the last one that bore the name.   Profile and color of the metal were the biggest factors.    It wasn't much to go on.   
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers &amp; Date Ranges
Post by: twertsy on March 04, 2016, 01:32:53 PM
What do you guys think about testing alloy composition?  I'm pretty sure I can get my hands on a hyperspectral analyzer for a couple weeks.  And I'm sure I have enough examples to get good samples.  What's the consensus on how different the alloys used by manufacturers may or may not have been?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: AmishFury on April 27, 2016, 04:10:03 AM
Amish,

Strange as it looks, that is a 2000 date code.

Can you post a photo or two of the entire MR5 ratchet?


(http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o149/SgtPnkks/purchases/2015/083115_zpsxuu9fd2h.jpg)

this is the pic i took when i got it... it's been rebuilt since (teeth were very much done for when i got it) so it now has parts that haven't seen nearly the use (dare i say abuse?) that the rest of it has
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Snaparxon on May 13, 2016, 10:48:21 PM
Can someone explain Mac's combination wrench model number as it relates to length. I understand 16= 1/2" 18= 9/16 and so on . CS is a short pattern and CH is 6 point on the box end. Extra long have an L after the number like CL18L. What is the length of a CW18 versus a CL182 versus a CL182R versus a CL18 versus a CL18L?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on May 13, 2016, 11:00:54 PM
Can someone explain Mac's combination wrench model number as it relates to length. I understand 16= 1/2" 18= 9/16 and so on . CS is a short pattern and CH is 6 point on the box end. Extra long have an L after the number like CL18L. What is the length of a CW18 versus a CL182 versus a CL182R versus a CL18 versus a CL18L?
i will dig out catalogs in the morning. Lengths are listed.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Snaparxon on May 13, 2016, 11:24:19 PM
Can someone explain Mac's combination wrench model number as it relates to length. I understand 16= 1/2" 18= 9/16 and so on . CS is a short pattern and CH is 6 point on the box end. Extra long have an L after the number like CL18L. What is the length of a CW18 versus a CL182 versus a CL182R versus a CL18 versus a CL18L?
i will dig out catalogs in the morning. Lengths are listed.

Would be interested in buying  an extra catalog or two if you have any???
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on May 14, 2016, 07:08:47 AM
ok jake, a standard combo is CH in 6pt, CW in 12pt. long is a CL (chl for 6pt and only available 1/4-7/16). extra long is a CL with an L suffix.

CW18 is 6 1/2" long
CL18 is 8" long
CL18L is 10" long

I do not have EXTRA catalogs but I believe todd has a few posted on his site. I would be happy to look up anything you need. I have 52, 60 and 74.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Snaparxon on May 14, 2016, 08:33:22 AM
Thanks Mark. So in order shortest to longest it would be CS, CW, CL, CL-L.

Is there a series of wrenches in your catalog with a 2 at the end, as in CL182, CL202, CL 222 and so on?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on May 14, 2016, 08:42:55 AM
Thanks Mark. So in order shortest to longest it would be CS, CW, CL, CL-L.

Is there a series of wrenches in your catalog with a 2 at the end, as in CL182, CL202, CL 222 and so on?
im not familiar with a CS series. It was matco that used the xx2 or xx6 to denote 12pt or 6pt.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on May 14, 2016, 08:49:10 AM
Thanks Mark. So in order shortest to longest it would be CS, CW, CL, CL-L.

Is there a series of wrenches in your catalog with a 2 at the end, as in CL182, CL202, CL 222 and so on?
im not familiar with a CS series. It was matco that used the xx2 or xx6 to denote 12pt or 6pt.
I got to thinking......so I dug out a 2006 catalog and sure enough the CS series was listed. the midget length wrenches. and I see the xx2 type numbering was used on the CL's then too. I might have changed for the knuckle saver series? I guess I haven't seen a MAC man in so long I haven't kept up lolx
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Snaparxon on May 14, 2016, 08:50:22 AM
I just bought a MAC wrench set that has the 2 at the end of the model number. I think they are from the early 90's.

The CS series I saw were midget wrenches from 3/8" - 3/4"
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on May 14, 2016, 08:54:44 AM
I just bought a MAC wrench set that has the 2 at the end of the model number. I think they are from the early 90's.

The CS series I saw were midget wrenches from 3/8" - 3/4"
yep, I edited my post above. I really haven't bought from a MAC truck since the early 80's and most of my study of MAC has been early stuff so I am a bit out of the loop on newer stuff smackmyself
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: DeadNutz on May 19, 2016, 01:19:57 AM
OK Mark and Jake, since you were discussing wrench lengths I want to show you these wrenches. In the pic the top wrench is a CL 26 13/16 that is 12-1/2" long. The middle is a CL 28 7/8 that is 12-3/8" long which makes it 1/8" shorter than the top CL 26. The bottom is a CL 26 13/16 that is 12" long. Did MAC wrenches of that era, early 70's, vary that much and what is the length supposed to be? Thanks.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on May 19, 2016, 07:43:20 AM
The 74 catalog lists CL26 as 11-1/2" and CL28 as 12-1/2". This was a strange time for MAC. A new plant in Washington courthouse and union problems. Forging was done in sabina and finishing in WCH so who know. What the patent (?) no stamped on them?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: mrchuck on May 19, 2016, 09:16:22 AM
I really like MAC Tools. But, since no truck is around here selling, what I find at garage sales or flea markets is very limited.
We have a Cornwell and Snap-On truck that I see on Main St.
When I have a problem with a tool, I mail it off, which I do periodically.
I sent 2 ratchets back to Matco for repair, and they are presently out of stock and will fix and send back when their supply comes in June 2016.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: DeadNutz on May 19, 2016, 10:13:03 AM
The 74 catalog lists CL26 as 11-1/2" and CL28 as 12-1/2". This was a strange time for MAC. A new plant in Washington courthouse and union problems. Forging was done in sabina and finishing in WCH so who know. What the patent (?) no stamped on them?

The patent number is 3466956. I bought a group of CL, CW and DR all at the same time last year. One is marked Pat. Pending and one is marked with the wrong patent number of 3466955.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on May 19, 2016, 10:30:27 AM
The 74 catalog lists CL26 as 11-1/2" and CL28 as 12-1/2". This was a strange time for MAC. A new plant in Washington courthouse and union problems. Forging was done in sabina and finishing in WCH so who know. What the patent (?) no stamped on them?

The patent number is 3466956. I bought a group of CL, CW and DR all at the same time last year. One is marked Pat. Pending and one is marked with the wrong patent number of 3466955.
patent issued in 67, looks like the claim is it doesn't mar the bolt/nut headscratch possibly an attempt to create a broach similar to SO's flank drive without infringing their patent headscratch

I have never seen reference to this patent in catalogs.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on May 19, 2016, 11:41:51 AM
krusty,

I'm guessing that this patent was challenged by Snap-on and that MAC got their "knuckles busted" fairly quickly.  Until about 1993, when the Snap-on patent expired, Snap-on pretty much owned the improved broach market.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on May 19, 2016, 11:43:59 AM
krusty,

I'm guessing that this patent was challenged by Snap-on and that MAC knuckled under fairly quickly.  Until about 1993, when the Snap-on patent expired, Snap-on pretty much owned the improved broach war.
what about bonney's loc-rite?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: twertsy on May 19, 2016, 11:46:43 AM
Speaking of patents, I think I found the original "Woodie" patent, by E. T. McPherson, founder of McPherson-Huff.  Look at the date...............could they have been making them that early?  For who?  Haven't we established that they don't show up in MAC cats until '47?

https://patents.google.com/patent/USD103245S/en?inventor=Elmer+T+Mcpherson
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on May 19, 2016, 11:58:15 AM
krusty,

I'm guessing that this patent was challenged by Snap-on and that MAC knuckled under fairly quickly.  Until about 1993, when the Snap-on patent expired, Snap-on pretty much owned the improved broach war.
what about bonney's loc-rite?

I believe the Kelsey-Hayes loc-rite patent predated the Snap-on patent and/or was considered substantially different. 

Snap-on could not touch them  :POKIE:

Let's hear it for the little guy :mr: :mr: :mr:
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on June 13, 2016, 11:05:03 PM
I have never seen reference to this patent in catalogs.

It's in the 1971 catalog and called "True Torque".
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: DeadNutz on June 14, 2016, 12:25:59 AM
I have never seen reference to this patent in catalogs.

It's in the 1971 catalog and called "True Torque".

Thanks for posting that. I had not heard it called that. thumbsup2
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on June 14, 2016, 12:34:20 AM
I have never seen reference to this patent in catalogs.

It's in the 1971 catalog and called "True Torque".

Thanks for posting that. I had not heard it called that. thumbsup2
yep, and welcome back. Any chance of posting scans of your cats?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on June 20, 2016, 03:53:34 PM
I grabbed a couple more cats.......I now have 52,54,60,69-70,73-74 and 74-75. I am looking to fill in some holes.

it looks like 1973 is the first catalog to show matco-allied equipment (the toolbox plant) so I feel comfortable with stating that 73 was the first year matco made boxes were sold. and it was only the 500 series, the 900 series isn't shown until the 74 catalog. this answers a question I have had for many years!
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Snaparxon on June 20, 2016, 08:54:14 PM
Hey Krusty, when you can, would you see what a X140D socket is for. It has a 3/8" female drive and a 5/16" square female on the opposite end. The 5/16" end also has a set screw. Guessing it had a bit in it at one time. shrugx

I'm guessing it is from the 80's approx, no date code
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on June 20, 2016, 09:16:44 PM
Hey Krusty, when you can, would you see what a X140D socket is for. It has a 3/8" female drive and a 5/16" square female on the opposite end. The 5/16" end also has a set screw. Guessing it had a bit in it at one time. shrugx

I'm guessing it is from the 80's approx, no date code
no date code means before 75. didn't find it but it sounds like a 3/8 drive screwdriver bit socket.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Snaparxon on June 20, 2016, 09:30:39 PM
Hey Krusty, when you can, would you see what a X140D socket is for. It has a 3/8" female drive and a 5/16" square female on the opposite end. The 5/16" end also has a set screw. Guessing it had a bit in it at one time. shrugx

I'm guessing it is from the 80's approx, no date code
no date code means before 75. didn't find it but it sounds like a 3/8 drive screwdriver bit socket.

My thought as well but the female square thows me off, should be a hex IMO
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on June 20, 2016, 09:39:22 PM
Early screwdriver bits were square.


found a X104d 3/8 socket driver for 5/16 straight screwdriver bit in the 1960 catlog list price $.65 th-spit
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Snaparxon on June 20, 2016, 10:03:05 PM
Early screwdriver bits were square.


found a X104d 3/8 socket driver for 5/16 straight screwdriver bit in the 1960 catlog list price $.65 th-spit

Crap! I paid twice that lolx
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Snaparxon on September 17, 2016, 07:56:53 PM
Had the wrenches out today so I took some pics to show different variations of the MAC wrench through the years. The third pic shows the difference in beams between an older CL series, Knuckle Saver CL series and the newer MB series which is a Proto ASD wrench branded MAC.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Dirty Diesels on September 18, 2016, 01:06:31 PM
I've got MAC shallow 6 point metric impact sockets in 1/2" drive with the R on them and VP6 with codes a3, a4 & Y1. Also metric knuckle Saver wrenches CWKS with the code 2A stamped, the U.S.Pat number 5381710 and I purchased all these tools back in 2003. Also a Facom (part of the MAC/Stanley tools group) 3/8"-1/2"Dr adaptor J232 with the date code h. I'll try to get some pics later.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Dirty Diesels on September 18, 2016, 05:22:24 PM
My metric Knuckle saver wrenches 10mm-19mm CWKS, these have code 2A stamped on them.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on September 19, 2016, 12:31:23 AM
DD,

Those are nice combo wrenches thumbsup2 thumbsup2  Very comfortable in the hand.

Manufacturing date (2A) is 2002; that's consistent with your purchase date of 2003.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Dirty Diesels on September 19, 2016, 03:23:11 AM
DD,

Those are nice combo wrenches thumbsup2 thumbsup2  Very comfortable in the hand.

Manufacturing date (2A) is 2002; that's consistent with your purchase date of 2003.

Thanks, yeah this set has been great to use over the years, I prefer using these compared to beefy flare nut/brake pipe wrenches, where I can get them in. I'm looking to buy a longer beam set next, gonna have to go the Ebay/Gumtree route though, because MAC tool trucks are hard to find these days.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Dirty Diesels on September 19, 2016, 08:06:55 AM
Apologies if someone posted this before, I did not go through the entire thread because, well, I'm not a MAC guy.  I am however a Plomb/Proto guy and the brand manager at Proto sent me the attached date code list, which includes those for Proto made MAC.  Someone may have already posted it here because I posted it before over on GJ.  Enjoy!

Cheers for sharing the date codes chart.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Dirty Diesels on September 19, 2016, 08:14:33 AM
So by using the Proto/MAC date codes chart, a3 & a4 alpha, codes are 2000 July-Aug-Sept & Oct-Nov-Dec & code Y1 is 2000 Jan-Feb-March. If I'm reading the chart correctly!
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: twertsy on September 26, 2016, 08:39:33 AM
Anyone have any similar, or seen the "0" after the model number?  Trying to figure out what they mean.  These are quite early wrenches and the model nomenclature style "B-###" predates any of the catalogs available ('52 is earliest I believe).
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Matt_T on September 26, 2016, 07:54:48 PM
Anyone have any similar, or seen the "0" after the model number?  Trying to figure out what they mean.  These are quite early wrenches and the model nomenclature style "B-###" predates any of the catalogs available ('52 is earliest I believe).

Those B-NNN part #s are in the 1949 catalog but changed to the newer ones by 1951. Haven't seen the extra "0" before so might not even be factory. Maybe an owners mark or something??
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: chopper1 on September 26, 2016, 08:18:19 PM
Anyone have any similar, or seen the "0" after the model number?  Trying to figure out what they mean.  These are quite early wrenches and the model nomenclature style "B-###" predates any of the catalogs available ('52 is earliest I believe).

I have a number of Mac wrenches with the 0 marking.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: twertsy on September 27, 2016, 04:08:28 AM
Anyone have any similar, or seen the "0" after the model number?  Trying to figure out what they mean.  These are quite early wrenches and the model nomenclature style "B-###" predates any of the catalogs available ('52 is earliest I believe).

I have a number of Mac wrenches with the 0 marking.

Mike, I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I'd love to see pics of those!  Thanks for chiming in!

Todd
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: chopper1 on September 27, 2016, 04:20:17 AM
I'll try and get some pix today.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: chopper1 on September 27, 2016, 01:12:14 PM
Here's a couple I grabbed.
B 101 0 is a 13/16 x 1" offset DBE  [like yours, Todd]
B 99 0 is a 3/4 x 7/8 offset DBE
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: twertsy on September 28, 2016, 04:33:56 AM
Here's a couple I grabbed.
B 101 0 is a 13/16 x 1" offset DBE  [like yours, Todd]
B 99 0 is a 3/4 x 7/8 offset DBE

Well, I think we can definitively rule out those being owners marks.  Now, what are they?  A one year only date code marking experiment for 1950? (really doubt they are '40 models)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: twertsy on September 28, 2016, 10:32:21 AM
Anyone have any similar, or seen the "0" after the model number?  Trying to figure out what they mean.  These are quite early wrenches and the model nomenclature style "B-###" predates any of the catalogs available ('52 is earliest I believe).

Those B-NNN part #s are in the 1949 catalog but changed to the newer ones by 1951. Haven't seen the extra "0" before so might not even be factory. Maybe an owners mark or something??

Matt,
Does the '49 catalog have normal offset DBEs?  Also, any possibility we can get a scan of the '49 catalog?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: twertsy on October 26, 2016, 10:40:32 AM
Another oddball.  First MAC wrench I've seen without a model number.

http://toolarchives.com/node/3417 (http://toolarchives.com/node/3417)
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: chopper1 on October 26, 2016, 11:32:27 AM
Never seen one either.  Isn't that a pretty short wrench for the size openings it has?  Though it isn't marked as such, could it be a 'special'?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: twertsy on October 26, 2016, 12:27:20 PM
Never seen one either.  Isn't that a pretty short wrench for the size openings it has?  Though it isn't marked as such, could it be a 'special'?
Mark says they made short and long pattern DOEs and didn't find the length strange.  I was with you on the length....

Sent from my VS990 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on October 26, 2016, 12:42:12 PM
What are the opening sizes?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: chopper1 on October 26, 2016, 12:46:53 PM
DOE 3/4 x 13/16.  About 6.5" long
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: krusty the clown on October 26, 2016, 12:51:22 PM
DOE 3/8 x 13/16.  About 6.5" long
it's not listed in any of my early catalogs so I agree it must be a special application. a 3/4-7/8 standard wrench is 10 1/2" long.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: chopper1 on October 26, 2016, 01:26:31 PM
The wrench we're discussing.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: mrchuck on October 27, 2016, 09:39:40 AM
So short for such a LARGE 13/16" nut/bolt. Must be for something that does NOT need to be really tightly secured!
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Dirty Diesels on November 25, 2016, 10:43:21 AM
The newest bunch of MAC tools I brought recently have date codes 1Q axis ratchet and 1N on the precision torque sockets must be 2015-2016 codes.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on November 25, 2016, 01:19:55 PM
Dirty,

You're close...
N=2014
Q=2016
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Dirty Diesels on November 25, 2016, 02:14:14 PM
Dirty,

You're close...
N=2014
Q=2016

OK so is the 1 for say 1st month or quarter of the year?
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on November 26, 2016, 01:10:05 PM
Dirty,

The 1 = 1st calendar quarter (i.e. Jan - Mar).
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Dirty Diesels on November 26, 2016, 01:28:12 PM
Dirty,

The 1 = 1st calendar quarter (i.e. Jan - Mar).

Ok thanks  thumbsup2
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: DeadNutz on July 09, 2017, 05:10:03 PM
I got some MAC wrenches yesterday. The CL20 9/16 combo is stamped with the earlier patent# 3242775 which was for how the open end flats contacted the nut and how the broach contacted it. This patent was issued Aug 1966 to a guy in Glendale CA. The patent 3466956 from Sept 1969 was for the different broach on the box end.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: lauver on July 10, 2017, 02:42:48 AM
DeadNutz,

Those MAC CL wrenches with those patent numbers are fairly rare.  About the time MAC rolled them out, Snap-on filed patent infringement proceedings against MAC; shortly thereafter MAC withdrew these wrenches.   SHF
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Snaparxon on July 22, 2017, 04:52:46 PM
From a 1971 Mac catalog

Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: DeadNutz on July 22, 2017, 05:27:17 PM
That was the 1969 patent. I have a CL stamped with the wrong patent number of 3466955.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: twertsy on July 23, 2017, 07:46:44 AM
I picked these up yesterday, full of machinists tools.  My guess is late 50s.  They are Huot made (roller has both MAC and Huot labels.(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170723/64ad952444262dfeca6fae1e8fed8917.jpg)

Sent from my VS990 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: john k on July 23, 2017, 03:53:03 PM
Good price?   Lets see the tools.   The boxes certainly the wear of lots of miles.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: twertsy on July 23, 2017, 04:48:23 PM
Good price?   Lets see the tools.   The boxes certainly the wear of lots of miles.
Price was $150 for all.  I'll take some pics this week.  Reamers, deburrers galore, files, end mills, and some stuff I'm not familiar with.

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Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: gben on September 18, 2017, 10:35:04 AM

  Here is a MAC 3/8" drive ratchet set I picked up at a garage-sale Saturday. Very plain with no plating at all. I guess I should find a case for it. I am guessing this is 50s? With no plating it must have been well cared for to not have gotten rusty.
 
   (https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/21552089_1477633468994195_2834401645588255347_o.jpg?oh=74a1fdf73efe39db0e8435f435a3cdc0&oe=5A445F68)
 
   (https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/21586587_1477633625660846_15760036822596713_o.jpg?oh=97a2773b5f88f89f9ff9efc3257b1f63&oe=5A3ECBCF)
 
  (https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/21587201_1477633555660853_5363665518927818170_o.jpg?oh=e588f6613c36f9ea0d416ca03c27ad96&oe=5A123DC4)
 
  (https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/21640731_1477633522327523_419408740085629106_o.jpg?oh=6d6000a4caf6b78908f043915261f00e&oe=5A13B0B2)
 
 
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Uncle Buck on September 18, 2017, 10:37:19 AM
Twertsy and gben. You boys found some really cool stuff. Thank you for sharing!  thumbsup2
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Muddy on September 18, 2017, 10:48:16 AM
That's a cool 3/8 set!

Sent from the twisted mind of the Mudman.

Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: DeadNutz on September 18, 2017, 11:11:21 AM
gben, those look like they could have cadmium on them. Be careful if you polish them up as you don't want to breathe that dust. That is a nice vintage score.
Title: Re: MAC Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
Post by: Uncle Buck on September 18, 2017, 12:25:06 PM
gben, those look like they could have cadmium on them. Be careful if you polish them up as you don't want to breathe that dust. That is a nice vintage score.

I totally agree with this caution statement! Those look like every old Cad plated tool I have ever seen!