Author Topic: Sears/Craftsman Tap and Die Sets  (Read 18847 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline Yadda

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1869
Re: Sears/Craftsman SAE Tap and Die Set
« Reply #45 on: September 13, 2022, 11:59:41 AM »
Neat!  Something to add to my list of items to look for.
You might say I have a tool collecting problem....

Offline Jim C.

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1070
Re: Sears/Craftsman SAE Tap and Die Set
« Reply #46 on: September 14, 2022, 04:41:22 AM »
Hey Todd,

Way to go!!  I can only imagine what that Whitworth set must have cost you.  It’s only the second set I’ve ever seen.  How did you track it down?  What’s the back story?

Jim C.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2022, 04:43:54 AM by Jim C. »
Our Go-To Type Study Member

Offline Todd F.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 75
Re: Sears/Craftsman SAE Tap and Die Set
« Reply #47 on: September 19, 2022, 02:55:53 PM »
Hey Jim
There's not much to it. It dropped on eBay as a "buy it now" for $650. Pretty sure it would have gone for over $1000 if it was an auction so I'm trying to convince myself that it was a good deal.

Todd F

PS I think my Metric set from that time period is as hard to find as the Whitworth.
remember - there's a fine line between collection and obsession

Offline Jim C.

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1070
Re: Sears/Craftsman SAE Tap and Die Set
« Reply #48 on: September 19, 2022, 07:22:30 PM »
Hey Todd,

Well, congratulations again!!  I know $650 is a lot of money, but I really think that’s the value of that set in that kind of condition.  I also think you’re right about its potential if it had gone down to bidding……$1,000+ probably wasn’t out of the question.  I think you did good.  You might never see that set again, and I totally agree with you regarding the metric set. It’s equally as difficult to find.  I’m still looking for that one.  I saw one a long while back but it was missing a few parts and the case was trashed.  I passed on it thinking I’d find another one.  Well, the only other one I’ve seen is your set. So, when you see it, buy it!!  You hit a home run my friend!! 

Jim C.
Our Go-To Type Study Member

Offline Todd F.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 75
Re: Sears/Craftsman SAE Tap and Die Set
« Reply #49 on: October 03, 2022, 10:52:40 PM »
Here is another one to chew on for a while. I thought I posted it in this thread but I guess not. Might have thought you would get upset that I keep posting metric stuff in your SAE thread.
Anyway, I’ve had this one for a while and came up with all kinds of theories on exactly what it is. It’s a Craftsman, 28 piece, METRIC Tap and Die Set. OK so far. But the first thing you notice is the green case with yellow printing. I’ve seen green before on the Whitworth set but printing is white. The next thing you notice is the part number, 5209. There was also another strange thing. The taps and the dies do not say “Craftsman” on them. Just U.S.A. and they are hexagonal.  I thought maybe it was an Army contract or something.
 Now the original 5209 was the first Kromedge, 40 piece, SAE set with round dies. It was in the catalog from ’59 to ’62. It was rereleased in 1974 with a 4-40 in place of the 4-36. The 52091 set filled in the gap between those dates.
Now on the metric side of things, there was the 5500, 28 piece metric set with round dies, also from 1959 to ’62. Then for 10 years, NO METRIC. In the 1972 Craftsman tool catalog the 52095 set is introduced.
Now enter my green set. Remember it’s a 5209 but metric, not SAE. Hex dies, not round. And it’s green. Then, the other day, I was doing some light reading in the 1971 Tap and Die Handbook. You know, the red and white little booklets that come with the Craftsman tap and die sets. (There are 7 different printings as far as I know) And there it was, ***NEW***, 5209 metric set, 28 piece with the exact description of my green set. It doesn’t show up in the regular 71 tool catalog (there are no metric sets at all). And in the 72 catalog there is the “first” metric set in 10 years, the 52095. I guess the handbook was printed later in the year then the catalog. Maybe Sears decided they needed a metric set and went to their manufacturer and said “We need a metric set”. And they said “Sure, but it will take some time for us to stamp the Craftsman logo on them. We have these generic ones”. And Sears said “give me what you’ve got”. So for a few months in late 1971 there was a Craftsman metric set before the 52095. In a green case. Curiosity got me and I looked in the Sears ’71 Fall and Winter Big Book and there it was again.
remember - there's a fine line between collection and obsession

Offline Jim C.

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1070
Re: Sears/Craftsman SAE Tap and Die Set
« Reply #50 on: October 04, 2022, 05:35:37 AM »
Hey Todd,

VERY COOL set and nice write up!  That set is unusual and unique….. and probably scarce too.  Don’t worry about posting your Cman tap and die sets here. As a vintage Cman tool user and collector, I really appreciate seeing them. Maybe I can change the thread title.

Jim C.
Our Go-To Type Study Member

Offline Jim C.

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1070
Re: Sears/Craftsman Tap and Die Sets
« Reply #51 on: October 04, 2022, 05:38:18 AM »
 Thread title changed.  :grin:

Jim C.
Our Go-To Type Study Member

Offline Todd F.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 75
Re: Sears/Craftsman Tap and Die Sets
« Reply #52 on: October 04, 2022, 10:19:50 AM »
Jim
That's great. I don't feel so bad posting to it now :)
Todd F
remember - there's a fine line between collection and obsession

Offline Todd F.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 75
Re: Sears/Craftsman Tap and Die Sets
« Reply #53 on: October 04, 2022, 11:40:36 AM »
Funny thing about the case for the metric sets. The case for the 1959 black metric set, the 1959 green Whitworth set and the 1971 green metric set all have the information molded into the lid for both metric and Whitworth tap drill sizes. They were all made from the same mold. When the 52095 metric set came out in '72, it's grey case had the tap drill information for SAE threads. Totally worthless information for the taps in the set. This "wrong" case was sold for years. The picture of the grey case below is from the 52095, metric set. I guess they had molded too many grey cases for the SAE sets (5209, 52091, 5200, 5213...) and decided to use them up. Or maybe they just screwed up.
Todd F
remember - there's a fine line between collection and obsession

Offline Yadda

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1869
Re: Sears/Craftsman Tap and Die Sets
« Reply #54 on: October 04, 2022, 04:33:04 PM »
Great info.  Killer research!
You might say I have a tool collecting problem....

Offline Jim C.

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1070
Re: Sears/Craftsman Tap and Die Sets
« Reply #55 on: October 04, 2022, 07:43:05 PM »
Hey Todd,

I’m really enjoying the thread and the information.  I can’t really add much to the knowledge base, but I’m certainly reading along.  If you have more, go ahead and post them here!  Good stuff!

Jim C.
Our Go-To Type Study Member

Offline Todd F.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 75
Re: Sears/Craftsman Tap and Die Sets
« Reply #56 on: October 17, 2022, 01:08:03 PM »
Here’s a rare find.  This is a Craftsman Power Tapper Threader. It is made to perform power tapping (and threading) with a hand power drill. I suppose you could also use it with a drill press. It drives and extracts the tap without having to reverse the drill. As most power drills back in the day did not have a reverse setting, this could come in quite handy. Older hand drills had no variable speed control either. This Tapper Threader has a 7:1 gear reduction in forward and 6:1 in reverse. Direction is changed by pushing or pulling on the drill and gripping the front or back ring on the tapper. The power drill continues run forward the entire time. It sounds a little cumbersome but I tried it out on some 1/4" aluminum plate and it only takes a few seconds to get the hang of it. You can even switch direction without ever releasing the trigger on the drill.
The set comes with 4 collets for #8, #10, 1/4" and 5/16” taps. It also comes with taps and dies sized 8-32, 10-24 and 1/4-20. There is also space for two drill bits but they are missing from my set.
I looked up the patent number and discovered it was issued in 1957. I found some similar items with screwdriver attachments in the Craftsman catalog but never found this exact item.  I later realized the front cover of the instruction booklet has a ZIP code in the address. The U.S. started using ZIP codes in mid-1963 so this thing was sold sometime after that.  The outside of the storage box has seen better days but I feel anything I might do to clean it up would probably make it worse, I opted to just leave it alone.

Thanks for reading
Todd F.
remember - there's a fine line between collection and obsession

Offline Yadda

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1869
Re: Sears/Craftsman Tap and Die Sets
« Reply #57 on: October 17, 2022, 06:37:17 PM »
Very gizmotic!
You might say I have a tool collecting problem....

Offline Todd F.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 75
Re: Sears/Craftsman Tap and Die Sets
« Reply #58 on: October 31, 2022, 07:39:54 PM »
Here’s another good one for you. I bought this a few weeks ago and spent some time making it presentable. This is the Craftsman 59-piece, High Speed Steel, Class II, SAE, 9-52311, Tap and Die Set. “What makes this set so special?”, you might ask. It’s the Class II part.
Quick lesson for those who may not know. There are three classes of screw threads. They are….. you guessed it. Class 1, 2 and 3. Class 1 is common hardware like you get in your favorite big box store. Go to the bins and screw a big nut onto a big bolt and give it a shake. Chances are it will rattle a bit. This is because of the allowance between the internal and external thread. A class 1 thread by ASME or ISO standards allows this much “play” between the nut and bolt. This is fine for bolting the front bumper on your old Chevy. There is nothing wrong with it. However, you might not want to use something like that on your connecting rod bolts in your engine. That’s where class 2 hardware comes in. The tolerances for the internal and external thread are much tighter. There is a narrow range for the minimum and maximum pitch diameter of the threads. All aircraft hardware is class 2 as well as most engine hardware. The down side is cost. Class 2 hardware is much more expensive manufacture and hold within the tight tolerances. There is also a class 3. This would be used for something like the screw inside your micrometer. The allowance between the internal and external Class 3 thread is zero. 
All Tap and die sets sold by Craftsman cut class 1 threads with the exception of this 52311 and the metric 52001. The 52311 SAE set was introduced in 1974 and the 52001 metric set came out a year later in 1975. Both appeared continuously in the Craftsman catalogs until 2008. These are by far the longest running tap and die sets Craftsman has sold. These sets blasted right through the end of the Kromedge era in 1986 and kept on going.  Despite the longevity of these sets, they are some of the hardest to find. There are two reasons for this.  The first is price. You can see on the 1974 catalog page posted below, when the 52311 was introduced, the price was $199 while the price of the exact same 59-piece Kromedge, class 1 set was $84.99. If you didn’t need anything bigger than 1/2 inch, you could get the 5201 set for $42. Bottom line is, they probably didn’t fly off the selves. The other thing that makes them hard to find (in good condition) is that these were bought by people who were going to use the crap out of them. This is only the second set I have seen. The first one was in really bad shape and I passed on it. This one was also in poor shape when I got it. Five of the taps and one of the dies were missing and 3 more of the taps were not original Craftsman. Since these were the only class 2 HSS sets Craftsman has ever sold and single pieces were never sold in the catalog or the stores, replacement pieces are non-existent. I replaced the missing taps with similar class 2 HSS taps that match pretty close. I couldn’t find a class 2 die so I used a Craftsman Kromedge die and blackened the edge to match. See if you can spot which one.

Thanks for reading
Todd F.

« Last Edit: October 31, 2022, 07:46:26 PM by Todd F. »
remember - there's a fine line between collection and obsession

Offline Jim C.

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1070
Re: Sears/Craftsman Tap and Die Sets
« Reply #59 on: October 31, 2022, 09:35:32 PM »
Wow!  That’s a cool set, Todd!  I didn’t know that set even existed. Nice find!

Jim C.
Our Go-To Type Study Member