Author Topic: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study  (Read 876 times)

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Offline mikeswrenches

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #45 on: August 07, 2018, 03:34:42 AM »
I ran into a friend at an estate sale today, and he showed me what he called "some little funny-looking 3/8" Craftsman ratchet thing".
This is what came out of a plastic bucket in the back of his pickup.

https://www.google.com/search?q=craftsman+3/8+v+series+speed+spinner+ratchet&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=doLkxiQm9ApDaM%253A%252CnhBRmUnqW_XclM%252C_&usg=AFrqEzc86fiIc4n1vBhzaoTor5-EIHJkaA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjtzvizrtTcAhVMR6wKHeRmD3AQ9QEwAnoECAEQCA#imgrc=doLkxiQm9ApDaM:



I immediately began to drool.  Offered him a price for it (he had sold me tools before) but he turned me down flat and refused to make a counteroffer, all the while saying he wanted to sell it.  He is not a ratchet guy.

I feel it is hopeless.

Sooooooo frustrating.

Hey Northwoods,

Hang in there, eventually you'll find a good one.  I looked for a while before I found the right one for my collection.  Shortly thereafter, I found a second one in slightly better condition.  They're out there.  Be patient and keep hunting!

Jim C.

I managed to pick one up at the MWTCA meet in Lansing this spring. It was the first one I had ever seen in the 'wild'. Condition was excellent. It was laying on a guys bed in one of the sales rooms.
I’ve only ever heard of the 3/8 size. Did they make a 1/4 or 1/2 drive?

Mike
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 03:38:53 AM by mikeswrenches »

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #46 on: August 07, 2018, 05:02:48 AM »
Hey Mike,

I think the speeder was only offered in the 3/8” drive size. 

Jim C.

Offline gibsontool

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #47 on: August 07, 2018, 10:25:13 AM »
I have a 3/8" and that's the only size I've ever seen.

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #48 on: August 09, 2018, 12:16:03 PM »
As I mentioned in the last Type Study post, for a long time, I thought the ratchets depicted below were initially Type 3 and then later, after I got more information, Type 4.  Well, I ultimately discovered that they’re Type 5 ratchets.  Yes, that’s my final answer!  I guess the presence of the quick release (QR) patent number (3208318) stamped on the handle threw me off.  Really, all that happened was that I took a half cocked guess and was wrong….twice.  Anyway, here's the Type 5 nomenclature:

Type 5: 1967 - 1969 (+/-), Pat. No. 3208318, TD, OH, LL, QR, PA, =V=, Non#
(represents 3/8", 1/2" drive sizes)

I’m sure you noticed there’s no ¼” drive depicted below, nor referenced in the nomenclature line.  While nothing I say in this entire Type Study is 100% iron clad, I honestly don’t believe it exists.  I’ve never seen one.  If it does exist, it would replace the Type 4 as most rare of the rare.  Just my opinion.

Based on my personal observations, and with so much happening to the Craftsman Teardrop ratchets during the late 1960s, I think the Type 4 and Type 5 ratchets were available for extremely short periods of time.  There’s just no hard set of rules for determining exactly when Types were manufactured and/or how long Sears had them on the shelves.  That was one of my primary objectives when I started this Type Study.  It turned out to be more difficult that I initially thought it would be.  Really being able to nail down the dates of manufacture gets a little more difficult going into the later Types, specifically when considering those with "patent pending" or "patent" stamps on their handles. In those instances, and in an attempt to sort things out chronologically, I mostly relied on other physical clues to try and determine which Type came before or after another Type. Often, it came down to older versus newer manufacturer's marks (like =V= versus -V-), the letter "A" in the word Craftsman, that is pointed "A" (PA) versus flat "A" (FA), and model numbers.  Confused?  Don't worry about it.  Just hang in there with me and I'll try to sort it out as we go. The next three Types (6, 7, and 8) all look VERY similar and include patent stamps on their handles. When we get there, I'll tell you how I sorted them out. I hope you'll agree with my assessments. If not, please tell me so. Remember, I'm really going for accuracy. Your input is most welcome.  If you think I made a mistake, tell me.

Finally, keep an eye out for a ¼” Type 5.  Like I said, I’m not too sure it even exists, but if you happen across one, please let me know!

Jim C.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 04:28:58 PM by Jim C. »

Offline Northwoods

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #49 on: August 09, 2018, 07:10:26 PM »
I ran into a friend at an estate sale today, and he showed me what he called "some little funny-looking 3/8" Craftsman ratchet thing".
This is what came out of a plastic bucket in the back of his pickup.

https://www.google.com/search?q=craftsman+3/8+v+series+speed+spinner+ratchet&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=doLkxiQm9ApDaM%253A%252CnhBRmUnqW_XclM%252C_&usg=AFrqEzc86fiIc4n1vBhzaoTor5-EIHJkaA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjtzvizrtTcAhVMR6wKHeRmD3AQ9QEwAnoECAEQCA#imgrc=doLkxiQm9ApDaM:

I immediately began to drool.  Offered him a price for it (he had sold me tools before) but he turned me down flat and refused to make a counteroffer, all the while saying he wanted to sell it.  He is not a ratchet guy.

I feel it is hopeless.

Sooooooo frustrating.


It got worse today. 
Ran into my buddy at an estate sale and asked him about the Speed Spinner.  He was all smiles.  He had found its worth and was overjoyed.  Then he explained that he took an abrasive wheel to it on his drill press.  Something he bought at Harbor Freight. 
Aaaarrrggghhh!
The ORIGINAL Northwoods.

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #50 on: August 09, 2018, 07:14:09 PM »
Well, whatever it was worth, it’s worth a lot less now.  Too bad.

Jim C.

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #51 on: August 11, 2018, 09:04:02 AM »
The next two Craftsman TD ratchet Types (6 which is depicted below and 7 which is coming next) in the Study have one very subtle difference that separate them from each other, and that's the letter "A" in the word Craftsman. Earlier in the thread, I mentioned that one of the evaluation criteria I used to categorize TD ratchets was the letter "A." Older versions of the ratchet (and most other Craftsman tools I believe) were stamped with a pointed "A" (PA), while subsequent later versions were stamped with a flat top "A" (FA). Here's the Type 6 nomenclature:

Type 6: 1968 (+/-) - 1970 (+/-), 1US & 1Can Pat. - 1967, TD, OH, LL, QR, PA, -V-, Non#
(represents 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" drive sizes)

The Type 6 handle includes the U.S. (QR mechanism) patent number as first seen on the Type 5 TD ratchet, but also added a Canadian patent number, again referencing the QR mechanism. In terms of nomenclature, I designated that patent information with "1US & 1Can Pat. - 1967." The reason for the number 1 before US and Can is simple....when we get to Type 8 versions, there are two US patents and one Canadian patent. The nomenclature for the Type 8 will read, "2US & 1Can - 1967......" It should be noted that the Type 6 is also the first time the single bar V manufacturer's mark (-V-) was stamped on the handle.  As mentioned above, this will be the last ratchet in the Type Study to feature the pointed “A” (PA), which I believe was replaced by a flat top “A” in the early 1970s.

Throughout the course of putting together this Craftsman TD ratchet Type Study, I referred to Lauver's manufacturer code Type Study MANY, MANY times. As a matter of fact, I did credit him in my initial post.  It's a great resource. The biggest problem I'm having with this TD ratchet Study isn't exactly the years associated with the use of a particular manufacturer code, but more with the patent info on the handles. Although I can easily research the date a patent was filed and issued, that only gives me a very general time frame that such patent information was actually stamped onto the handle of a ratchet. The Craftsman catalogs don't really go into that detail, and neither does Lauver's Study. The ratchets with the patent info stamped on them (Types 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8) were all made within a few short years of each other, or in some instances, maybe within just a few months of each other. I think I can reasonably determine when they were chronologically produced, but exactly when and for how long is really just conjecture on my part. Basically, the patent stamps are an enigma to me. 

A little later in this Study, I relied heavily on Lauver's Study to more accurately determine dates of manufacture because such codes were changing, particularly when the –VV-, -VE-, -VF- and -VG- manufacturer’s marks are introduced into the mix. The addition of model numbers to the handles also helped tremendously since I was then able to review Craftsman catalogs to see when a particular model number first appeared and last appeared.

Jim C.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2018, 12:53:37 PM by Jim C. »

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #52 on: August 15, 2018, 11:17:13 AM »
As I mentioned in the last Type Study post, the only real difference between the Type 6 and Type 7 is the letter "A" in the word Craftsman.  The Type 6 was the last Craftsman Teardrop ratchet to feature a pointed "A" (PA) on the Craftsman handle stamp.  Going forward, starting with the Type 7 ratchets depicted below, the letter "A" in the word Craftsman has a flat top, which for nomenclature purposes, I designated "FA."  Now that may not seem like much and unworthy of its own Type, but the transition between the pointed "A' and the flat top "A" occurred somewhere in the early 1970s right around 1972 to 1974, providing a point of reference that allows me to fine tune dates of manufacture just a little more closely.  The Type 7 is also the last ratchet that will be manufactured without a part/model number.  All later versions of the Craftsman Teardrop ratchet will be stamped with a part/model number.  Here's the Type 7 nomenclature:

Type 7:  1968 (+/-)  -  1970 (+/-), 1US & 1Can Pat. - 1967, TD, OH, LL, FA, -V-, Non#
(represents 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" drive sizes)

Take a close look at the last photo below.  Notice that the Type 6 ratchet handle is on top in the photo, while the Type 7 is on the bottom.  See the difference between the PA and FA?  Again, I know it's not a significant change between the two Types, but it is a tangible milestone that adds some detail in determining approximately when various ratchets were being manufactured.  It also helps to solidify the chronology of the pre-part/model number section of the Type Study.  Things got a little easier once part/model numbers were stamped on the ratchet handles.  Then it was a matter of searching old catalogs to see when a model number first appeared and last appeared.  Although the addition of part/model numbers helped me tremendously, keep in mind that the dates of manufacture, for purposes of this Type Study, are soft and somewhat flexible.  As for the chronology regarding which ratchets came before or after others, well, I think I got that part right.

Jim C.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2018, 12:54:03 PM by Jim C. »

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #53 on: August 17, 2018, 10:07:23 AM »
Okay, so we’re starting the second half of the Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet Type Study.  Here comes Type 8.  I’ll start off by saying that I think this particular Type may be one of the more difficult to find. In an effort to see all the potential variations of the Craftsman TD ratchets that may exist, I turned to eBay early on in my research. At the very least, eBay provides a great venue to locate and see what's really out there. Almost all of my observations thus far have been ratchets I've observed on eBay. Many of those I'm depicting in this thread were purchased by me from eBay auctions. I search eBay once or twice per day for purposes of seeing/bidding on Craftsman TD ratchets to add to my collection.  It’s also not much of a Type Study if I don’t have the ratchets to show you.  I've looked at A LOT of ratchets and spent a few bucks getting them.

Anyway, getting back to the Type 8.... Since I started seriously looking at ratchets for purposes of constructing this Type Study, I've only seen a few Type 8 ratchets, leading me to think they weren’t available for too long.  They’re not very common in any of the three drive sizes, and it took me a while to collect them.  The major changes from the Type 7 to the Type 8 include the addition of a second U.S. patent number stamped on the handle, and the ratchet model numbers finally make their debut and are stamped on their respective ratchet’s handle as well.  The three different model numbers (correlating to drive size) created the need for three nomenclature lines. Here they are:

Type 8: 1970 (+/-) – 1972 (+/-), 2US & 1Can Pat. - 1967, TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 43175
(represents 1/4" drive size)

Type 8: 1970 (+/-) – 1972 (+/-), 2US & 1Can Pat. - 1967, TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 43785
(represents 3/8" drive size)

Type 8: 1970 (+/-) – 1972 (+/-), 2US & 1Can Pat. - 1967, TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 44975
(represents 1/2" drive size)

Jim C.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2018, 01:51:47 PM by Jim C. »

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #54 on: August 18, 2018, 03:40:11 PM »
Let's move on to the Type 9A Craftsman TD ratchets. I know, if you’ve been following the thread, then you’re probably thinking that “9A” is a typo or something.  It’s not.  There’s going to be a Type 9B, Type 10A and Type 10B too.  You see, I think two versions of the Type 9 were being manufactured at the same time.  I think the same is true of the Type 10 ratchets as well, hence 9A, 9B, 10A and 10B.  Now, just to make things even more confusing, while I believe there’s a Type 9A and 9B, and a Type 10A and 10B, that is only true for the ½” and 3/8” drive sizes.  I believe the ¼” drive ratchet stayed exactly the same for both the Type 9 and Type 10 periods.  So, I’ll provide the ¼” nomenclature line below only this one time as a Type 9 since it was introduced at the same point as the Type 9A ratchets were offered by Sears.  Going forward, I’ll just remind you that it exists and stayed exactly the same when we get to the Type 9B, 10A and 10B posts.  This also means there is no Type 10 ratchet in the ¼” size.  Finally, when we get to the Type 9B ratchet, I’ll explain the difference between it and the Type 9A.  I think it’ll make more sense that way.  For now, just focus on the Type 9A and recognize that the ¼” won’t change again until we get to the Type 11 ratchets.  The Type 9A (and Type 9 for ¼”) was the first version to prominently stamp the model number on the handles of the ratchets using large characters. If you look back at the Type 8 examples above, the model number is there on the handle, but it kind of gets lost in the midst of all the patent info, etc.  Anyway, here are the nomenclature lines for the Type 9A (1/2” & 3/8”) and Type 9 (1/4” only) Craftsman TD ratchets:

Type 9A: 1972 – 1976 (+/-), TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 44975
(represents 1/2" drive size)

Type 9A: 1972 – 1976 (+/-), TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 43785
(represents 3/8" drive size)

Type 9: 1972 - 1979, TD, OH, LL, QR, FA, -V-, 43175
(represents 1/4" drive size)

Stay with me.  The Type 9B post will hopefully clarify a few things.

Jim C.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2018, 03:36:57 PM by Jim C. »

Offline p_toad

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #55 on: August 18, 2018, 06:03:33 PM »
"even more confusing"

Lost - yes; confused - no.   :grin:

Offline Yadda

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #56 on: August 18, 2018, 07:20:02 PM »
Finally getting into a few I may have.  Great stuff.  I will be copying all of this for future reference.
You might say I have a tool collecting problem....

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #57 on: August 18, 2018, 07:40:29 PM »

Lost - yes; confused - no.   :grin:

Hi Peter,

I guess I’d rather that you were lost than confused.  You’re only lost because you don’t know where this is going.  That’s okay.  For a good while, I wasn’t sure where I was going either.  I had a collection of more than fifty different ratchets and I had to sort them out and put them into some kind of order.  It took some time to figure things out.  Much of what I’ve said so far, and will say, is the product of inference, speculation, and logical deduction.  As for the next few posts, well, it’s like I said, during the 1970s, I think ratchets with different manufacturer’s marks were being made and sold by Sears at the same time.  I have a theory regarding why that’s so, and I’ll lay it all out when I talk about the Type 9B.  Also during the 1970s, the 1/4” drive ratchet never changed, yet the 1/2” and 3/8” did.  Trying to present the facts (as I see them) created another set of issues.  I’m encouraged that you’re not confused.  That tells me what I’m writing makes sense.  That’s good!  If you’re lost, that’s only because you haven’t seen the map. 

Jim C.

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #58 on: August 18, 2018, 08:12:20 PM »
Finally getting into a few I may have.  Great stuff.  I will be copying all of this for future reference.

Hey Yadda,

Thanks for hanging in there.  Putting together this Type Study has been fun.  Presenting the information has also been fun, and challenging too.  I can honestly say that I had hoped this thread would become a resource people could come back to over and over.  I’m happy to hear that you’ll be saving the information I’ve presented.  I guess my only request is simple.  While I know this is a public forum and the content in this thread is pretty much unrestricted, I’d ask that if you quote it and/or refer to it somewhere in another thread or forum, that you give me a “shout out.”  Thanks in advance. 

Jim C.

Offline Yadda

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Re: Craftsman Teardrop Ratchet (1956-1993) Type Study
« Reply #59 on: August 18, 2018, 08:23:46 PM »
Finally getting into a few I may have.  Great stuff.  I will be copying all of this for future reference.

Hey Yadda,

Thanks for hanging in there.  Putting together this Type Study has been fun.  Presenting the information has also been fun, and challenging too.  I can honestly say that I had hoped this thread would become a resource people could come back to over and over.  I’m happy to hear that you’ll be saving the information I’ve presented.  I guess my only request is simple.  While I know this is a public forum and the content in this thread is pretty much unrestricted, I’d ask that if you quote it and/or refer to it somewhere in another thread or forum, that you give me a “shout out.”  Thanks in advance. 

Jim C.

Hi Jim,

Happy to oblige.  I don't expect to use it other than for personal reference, but if used otherwise I will definitely give you credit.
You might say I have a tool collecting problem....