Author Topic: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges  (Read 203233 times)

Offline goodfellow

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #555 on: April 26, 2018, 02:40:52 PM »
Excellent DadsTools!! That explains a lot. I knew that BF Japan was before the Taiwan period, but never realized the quandary that prompted Sears to reach out to Japanese manufacturers that early in the 1960's. I had always thought the Japanese products were sourced towards the latter half of the 60s.

I have Sears Brand BF Japanese wrench sets and pliers that were purchased in the mid- to late 70's. Decent quality and they were very well priced at the time when compared to Craftsman.

Offline lauver

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #556 on: April 28, 2018, 02:18:06 PM »
Dads Tools,

Thanks for joining in on this thread.  I much appreciate your comments on Lectrolite history and likely connections to Sears/Dunlap/Craftsman toolage thumbsup2 thumbsup2 
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Offline DeadNutz

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #557 on: April 28, 2018, 03:20:56 PM »
Thank you DadsTools for the excellent post. That answered several questions I had related to this. It looks like your research was first rate and I appreciate the info. thumbsup2

Offline hickory n steel

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #558 on: May 02, 2018, 12:18:48 AM »
Lots of great information there Dad's Tools.

I've got a single True Fit wrench which has Just an L, any chance this L could have also been used on contract wrenches ?

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Offline DadsTools

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #559 on: May 02, 2018, 01:38:56 AM »
Lots of great information there Dad's Tools.

I've got a single True Fit wrench which has Just an L, any chance this L could have also been used on contract wrenches ?



Since the TruFit was an LC brand name, it was not a contract wrench itself, and therefore would not have the "LC" mfr code. The contract wrenches made in the TruFit design, like the Dunlap, SEARS and no-name clones are the ones you'll find the "LC" on.

However, this single letter is a forging code that shows up on all the TruFit style wrenches regardless to if it has the TruFit name, a contract name brand, or generic no-brand-name examples. Once thought to be a date code, they remain a mystery as to their purpose. For example, not too long ago I acquired a SEARS doe wrench set with holder that was made by LC and all the wrenches bore the "LC" marking. The Sears logo on the holder dated the set from 1958 to 1963. Each wrench had a different single letter forge code--if I remember correctly, they started at M forward, but were not sequential. Then the holder itself had a single letter stamped code that was the same letter as on one of the wrenches! I'm sure it's this single letter code on your wrench.

Once familiar with that TruFit wrench's recessed panel design, you can instantly pick them out from a box filled with old wrenches or on a flea market table ten feet away regardless to what name is on them. You'll find them everywhere, indicating they sold very many of them. You'll also find the later BF Japan SEARS counterfeits, which are identical. But be warned....it can be habit-forming.  wtw



Offline hickory n steel

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #560 on: May 02, 2018, 02:19:47 PM »
Lots of great information there Dad's Tools.

I've got a single True Fit wrench which has Just an L, any chance this L could have also been used on contract wrenches ?



Since the TruFit was an LC brand name, it was not a contract wrench itself, and therefore would not have the "LC" mfr code. The contract wrenches made in the TruFit design, like the Dunlap, SEARS and no-name clones are the ones you'll find the "LC" on.

However, this single letter is a forging code that shows up on all the TruFit style wrenches regardless to if it has the TruFit name, a contract name brand, or generic no-brand-name examples. Once thought to be a date code, they remain a mystery as to their purpose. For example, not too long ago I acquired a SEARS doe wrench set with holder that was made by LC and all the wrenches bore the "LC" marking. The Sears logo on the holder dated the set from 1958 to 1963. Each wrench had a different single letter forge code--if I remember correctly, they started at M forward, but were not sequential. Then the holder itself had a single letter stamped code that was the same letter as on one of the wrenches! I'm sure it's this single letter code on your wrench.

Once familiar with that TruFit wrench's recessed panel design, you can instantly pick them out from a box filled with old wrenches or on a flea market table ten feet away regardless to what name is on them. You'll find them everywhere, indicating they sold very many of them. You'll also find the later BF Japan SEARS counterfeits, which are identical. But be warned....it can be habit-forming.  wtw
Alright, thanks for that information.
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Offline hickory n steel

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #561 on: May 15, 2018, 04:17:53 PM »
Maybe it's a mistake but I see that WF11 is simply listed as ca.1969 , but WF 11 was in use at least into the mid 80's based on a pair of tongue and groove pliers that came in a Sears toolbox my dad bought at that time.

I just thought I'd throw that out there in case it wasn't already brought up.

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Offline lauver

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #562 on: May 17, 2018, 02:49:44 PM »
Hickory,

The WF codes were very numerous; my list above is probably missing many individual codes that simply have not been reported or observed by me.  Also, the dates listed are not complete; we simply don't have the missing dates yet.

Now, to your questions.  Why do I have 1969 listed for WFll?  This was based on a single observation by me from one WFll tool I owned with a known purchase date.  Are later dates possible?  Sure, but no one has reported them yet. 

You mention mid-1980's as a possible upper date range based on one WFll tool found in a mixed tool set purchased sometime in the 1980's. 

Do the other WF-made tools (i.e. screwdrivers, punches, chisels, prybars, picks, pliers, adjustable wrenches, etc.) in this same tool set have the same WF code?

What other codes are found on non-WF-made tools (i.e. sockets & drive tools, wrenches, Allen wrenches, locking pliers, & etc.) in this same mixed tool set?

I'm curious as to what you may find  :-\ :-\

 
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Offline hickory n steel

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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #563 on: May 17, 2018, 10:23:44 PM »
Hickory,

The WF codes were very numerous; my list above is probably missing many individual codes that simply have not been reported or observed by me.  Also, the dates listed are not complete; we simply don't have the missing dates yet.

Now, to your questions.  Why do I have 1969 listed for WFll?  This was based on a single observation by me from one WFll tool I owned with a known purchase date.  Are later dates possible?  Sure, but no one has reported them yet. 

You mention mid-1980's as a possible upper date range based on one WFll tool found in a mixed tool set purchased sometime in the 1980's. 

Do the other WF-made tools (i.e. screwdrivers, punches, chisels, prybars, picks, pliers, adjustable wrenches, etc.) in this same tool set have the same WF code?

What other codes are found on non-WF-made tools (i.e. sockets & drive tools, wrenches, Allen wrenches, locking pliers, & etc.) in this same mixed tool set?

I'm curious as to what you may find  :-\ :-\

 
All the old CRAFTSMAN screwdrivers in the garage are standard WF and one (v) spinner handle.

It was a cheap Sears set in a Vermont American box that I'm sure came with a minimal amount of Craftsman tools , but I was never able to find any ads...ect for it so I really don't know for certain what all came in it.
These tongue & grooves, a cheap USA hacksaw, and some Sears Taiwan sockets are the only tools I can positively trace to this.
With that (v) spinner handle dating to the era I'd suspect it to have come from the set as it has minimal use and all the drivers look road rashed, but it's just more speculation.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 10:29:57 PM by hickory n steel »
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Re: Craftsman Hand Tool Manufacturers & Date Ranges
« Reply #563 on: May 17, 2018, 10:23:44 PM »