Author Topic: CRAFTSMAN RHFT RATCHET TYPE STUDY 1968-2009  (Read 13974 times)

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Offline DadsTools

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Re: CRAFTSMAN RHFT RATCHET TYPE STUDY 1968-2009
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2020, 09:58:53 PM »
Do we have any photos of the RHFT with this variation on them? I'd like to add this variation in the Type Study footnotes.

The second picture in the above post shows both versions of the type7.
Todd F.

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Offline DadsTools

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Re: CRAFTSMAN RHFT RATCHET TYPE STUDY 1968-2009
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2020, 12:42:20 PM »
Based on the information provided by Todd F. (thank you!), we have two additional footnotes to add to the Type List:

--some Types 1 and 2 are found with a double-spaced P A T E N T P E N D I N G mark as opposed to the typical single-spaced PATENT PENDING

--early Type 7 have a small model number on the first text line above the pending marks; later Type 7 has a full-height model number at the right of the panel

Neither of these variations alter the fundamental description and date range for any of the Types, and so the List is still perfectly accurate and usable as it was (the patent information and associated dates are still king!). These variations are being added as footnotes for the sake of thoroughness. Thanks again!
« Last Edit: June 08, 2020, 12:44:23 PM by DadsTools »

Offline Todd F.

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Re: CRAFTSMAN RHFT RATCHET TYPE STUDY 1968-2009
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2020, 07:13:34 PM »
Looks like after the -VH- forge mark is when the deletion of the phrase "FORGED IN" took place on the type 9.
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Offline DadsTools

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Re: CRAFTSMAN RHFT RATCHET TYPE STUDY 1968-2009
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2020, 10:59:34 PM »
Looks like after the -VH- forge mark is when the deletion of the phrase "FORGED IN" took place on the type 9.

Sure looks like it. I chose to end the Type 8 at the end of the -V- era primarily because the single-V code has long been a focal point for Craftsman collectors and those who buy the vintage Cman as users. But the FORGED IN mark persists after 1986, changing only by the introduction of different mfr codes with two letters. Once again, Todd, this was one of those judgement calls. One could have argued that Type 8 should have continued through until the FORGED IN was dropped, making Type 9 those that only have the USA. But I felt that most Cman enthusiasts would feel that the end of -V- to be the more important delineator, especially since vintage collectors don't seem to have much interest in the post-V tools.

Sure would be nice to have some idea around what year they dropped the FORGED IN mark, if there is such a distinct point in the timeline. I'd love to at least footnote it. Lauver places VG as Danaher 1994-95, VH as Danaher 1994-97, and VJ as Danaher 1994-2008. So according to Lauver, all three of these codes cross overlap.  So the year could be a toss-up. And of course, the catalogs NEVER show the descriptive side of the handle. Yet another dice throw in the floating craps game of The Craftsman Dating Lottery.

As always, Todd, thanks a million for the great photos! I feel they're a big help to everybody.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2020, 11:22:08 PM by DadsTools »

Offline Jim C.

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Re: CRAFTSMAN RHFT RATCHET TYPE STUDY 1968-2009
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2020, 06:07:16 AM »
No doubt I relied on the Lauver manufacturer’s code study throughout the Teardrop study.  It’s a great reference!  I ended the TD study at 1993 when the configuration of the ratchets changed.  Specifically, the directional selector and quick release button went from being made of metal to plastic.  I know the Cman catalogs can be less than accurate, but using that as a reference, the change occurred around 1993.  I have a photo of a ratchet with the plastic selector and quick release button that has a -VG- code.  The last ratchet (which I believe was 1993) in the TD study also has a -VG- mark.  So there was overlap between the two styles of ratchets in terms of manufacturer’s codes (-VG- in this instance) and I think that started as early as 1993.  Lauver lists the -VG- code as 1994 - 1995.  During the course of the TD study, it was my opinion that of the Type 14 codes, those being -V-, -VE-, -VF-, VF, and -VG-, the two VF codes were the most common.  Lauver listed the VF codes as early 1990s.  The VF codes may well have extended into the early 1990s, however, I clearly recall having seen the VF code on TD ratchets in 1988.  Lauver does not list a time frame for the -VE- code.  That was one of the hardest to find, so I believe it wasn’t around too long.  The point I’m making is that after the well known single line (-V-) code ended (1986), the dates associated with the codes that followed may be up for some debate.

Jim C.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2020, 11:50:37 AM by Jim C. »
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Offline DadsTools

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Re: CRAFTSMAN RHFT RATCHET TYPE STUDY 1968-2009
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2020, 08:40:05 AM »
No doubt I relied on the Lauver manufacturer’s code study throughout the Teardrop study.  It a great reference!  I ended the TD study at 1993 when the configuration of the ratchets changed.  Specifically, the directional selector and quick release button went from being made of metal to plastic.  I know the Cman catalogs can be less than accurate, but using that as a reference, the change occurred around 1993.  I have a photo of a ratchet with the plastic selector and quick release button that has a -VG- code.  The last ratchet (which I believe was 1993) in the TD study also has a -VG- mark.  So there was overlap between the two styles of ratchets in terms of manufacturer’s codes (-VG- in this instance) and I think that started as early as 1993.  Lauver lists the -VG- code as 1994 - 1995.  During the course of the TD study, it was my opinion that of the Type 14 codes, those being -V-, -VE-, -VF-, VF, and -VG-, the two VF codes were the most common.  Lauver listed the VF codes as early 1990s.  The VF codes may well have extended into the early 1990s, however, I clearly recall having seen the VF code on TD ratchets in 1988.  Lauver does not list a time frame for the -VE- code.  That was one of the hardest to find, so I believe it wasn’t around too long.  The point I’m making is that after the well known single line (-V-) code ended (1986), the dates associated with the codes that followed may be up for some debate.

Jim C.

Good info. Makes perfect sense to end it when they introduced the plastic parts, not only from a Typing perspective, but also that the plastic was when most Cman enthusiasts seem to lose interest in the TD ratchets (for good reason!).

Within the scope of your study, did you observe any handles up to 1993 that did not have the FORGED IN mark, but just the USA?
« Last Edit: June 12, 2020, 08:42:08 AM by DadsTools »

Offline Jim C.

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Re: CRAFTSMAN RHFT RATCHET TYPE STUDY 1968-2009
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2020, 12:04:49 PM »
Hey Dad,

Every ratchet in the study was stamped with “FORGED IN U.S.A.”  I can’t say I recall ever seeing one that falls within the scope of the study, lacking that stamp on the handle. 

Jim C.
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Offline DadsTools

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Re: CRAFTSMAN RHFT RATCHET TYPE STUDY 1968-2009
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2020, 11:43:48 AM »
I've been giving much thought to both the findings of Jim C. in his TD Type Study and in the Todd F. RHFT collection. The issue revolves around the removal by Sears of the "FORGED IN" handle marking, leaving just the "U.S.A." mark. One of my criteria in the RHFT for defining what is a major Type as opposed to a variation within a Type is if the visible feature being considered represents a distinct delineator in the RHFT timeline, or in other words, a chronological distinction where one feature ends at such a time and another supersedes it.  I also had to consider whether the feature change was striking enough to merit its own Type classification. To put it another way, did the change effect the overall meaning of the artifact with respect to the RHFT history? Was the feature an important 'event' within the RHFT story? 

For example, in the Type List, we have a number of footnoted (f) variations for which I made certain judgement calls based on these criteria. The double spacing noted in f1 did not change the overall meaning of Type 1 markings in the timeline, and its dating uncertain. Based on the randomness of f2, it's impossible to date, nor does it affect the historical meaning of Types 3 through 6. The same can be said for the occasional -VV- in Type 6. We could determine that the f4 change from small to large model numbers happened sequentially in the timeline, but the date of the change is ambiguous while the distinguishing information on both are still the same (i.e., one could still accurately identify both the distinctness of Type 7 and its place within the RHFT history regardless to small or large model number). According to Lauver, most of the various mfr codes in Type 9 (noted by f5) ran concurrently so are impossible to sequentially date them, nor do they otherwise change the distinguishing information found on that Type.

Now we come to the latest finding that there appears to be reasonably firm date range for the removal of the "FORGED IN" marking. It also presents a distinct change in the information markings on the handle. Moreover, it indeed appears sequential in that once the FORGED IN is dropped, it never appears again, making a major distinction between 'before' and 'after' examples with a correspondingly different date range. This seems to meet all my given criteria for a major Type.

Should I add a Type 10 for this change, or simply list it as a variation? Your thoughts?



     

Offline Jim C.

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Re: CRAFTSMAN RHFT RATCHET TYPE STUDY 1968-2009
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2020, 02:39:51 PM »
Hey Dad,

Since you asked, I’d give it its own Type.  It does meet your evaluation criteria and I think it does create a mile marker on the time line.  Lumping the non FORGED IN examples into Type 9 creates a lot of variation within that type, and may insinuate a careless ending to what is really a gem and well executed presentation of the information. As I struggled to get the date ranges as close as I could when writing the TD study, I was always glad to get a solid date or two because it allowed me to set a milestone for evaluating date ranges for other types.  If you think you generally know when the FORGED IN was eliminated from the handle stamp, I’d call that a mile stone worth recognizing with its own type.  When I set the evaluation criteria for the TD study, I considered the FORGED IN U.S.A. stamp but since EVERY ratchet had the stamp, I thought it was meaningless to include.  Your RHFT study has both, so I’d make the distinction.

Jim C.
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Offline Todd F.

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Re: CRAFTSMAN RHFT RATCHET TYPE STUDY 1968-2009
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2020, 10:14:08 PM »
I’m reluctant to even start this post but here goes. It has to do with the “double-line” and “no-line” logos. First, let me say that none of this alters any of the time line for the RHFT but just refines or clarifies some of the footnotes. I’ve been pouring over my own collection and looking at dozens of eBay posts to make verify the following information. I’m 99.9 percent certain it’s correct.

All type 1, 2, 3, 7 and 8 have “double-line” logos.
All type 4 and 5 have “no-line” logos.
Type 9 with “FORGED IN” (VG and VH) have “double-line” logos.
Type 9 without “FORGED IN” (VJ and up) have “no-line” logos.
Type 6 has both.   

After getting all my RHFT ratchets lined up in the toolbox drawer, I made another observation that has to do with the type 6 ratchet. There are two noticeably different size plungers on the 1/2” and 3/8” type 6 ratchets. Some of the plungers are the same size as the types 1 through 5 but some are much smaller. Then I figured out that all of the small size plungers are on the “double-line” ratchets and all of the large plungers are on the “no-line” ratchets. All ratchets before the type 6 have large plungers, lines or not. The only RHFT ratchet with the -VV- forge mark is the 3/8”, with “double-lines” and it too has the small plunger so the pattern holds true.   There seems to be no size difference in the plungers on the 1/4” models but my sample size is very small.

I checked the Teardrop ratchets and found the same thing.  The type 9a comes with and without the logo lines. The 9a with “no-lines” has the large plunger and the 9a with “double-lines” has the small plunger including the 1/4”. The 9b, 10a and 10b all have “double-lines” and all have small plungers. So again, the pattern holds. The type 11 teardrop, like the type 7 RHFT, is when the part numbers change and the plunger goes away.

So, besides the cosmetic variation between having lines or no-lines, there appears to be a mechanical difference as well, albeit a small one. Perhaps this was a failed attempt to change the quick release design to make it “differ significantly” enough to satisfy the terms of the Roberts lawsuit. Again, none of this helps with any of the dates. Just food for thought.
I should close my toolbox drawers and stop looking at them.
Todd F.

remember - there's a fine line between collection and obsession

Offline Jim C.

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Re: CRAFTSMAN RHFT RATCHET TYPE STUDY 1968-2009
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2020, 10:35:11 PM »
I noticed the different plunger sizes back when I was writing the TD Type Study.  I didn’t connect them to your Roberts patent theory.  I really didn’t give them much thought.  That’s an interesting argument Todd.  I’m going take another look at the lines too.

Jim C.
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Offline DadsTools

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Re: CRAFTSMAN RHFT RATCHET TYPE STUDY 1968-2009
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2020, 11:53:17 PM »
Todd F.--I'd like you to confirm something for me. I know you have a ton of these RHFT, and some having both large and small diameter plungers. With these plunger types, you can see the end of the plunger in the stud opening. Please confirm that when you turn the selector to change direction, that the visible end of the plunger does not rotate with the selector knob.

Offline Todd F.

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Re: CRAFTSMAN RHFT RATCHET TYPE STUDY 1968-2009
« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2020, 12:25:55 AM »
Neither the large or small plunger rotate with the selector. Their orientation remains fixed while the selector and quick release button are rotated.  Tomorrow I will disassemble both types as far as I can to see what makes them tic.
Todd F.
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Offline DadsTools

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Re: CRAFTSMAN RHFT RATCHET TYPE STUDY 1968-2009
« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2020, 01:15:21 AM »
I'm still backtracking the many images I looked at during the study. eBay current, eBay sold, plain quick release listings (not everyone knows RHFT or fine tooth), Terapeak and worthpoint showing listings eBay and elsewhere going way back, non-eBay images on the web, related posts in forums, related youtube videos. Very, very many, so it's going to take time.

I did find this so far, a 3/8 Type 6 having the double-line logo but also having the large plunger.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Craftsman-3-8-034-Drive-Round-Head-Ratchet-/153871038103?hash=item23d36db697%3Ag%3ARpEAAOSwq9ZedBiy&nma=true&si=8B4kIN14eif%252FgXkXXl7gHGz6uR4%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

Another, in 1/2, double line, large plunger

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Craftsman-v-Series-44978-1-2-034-Drive-Thumb-Wheel-Ratchet-Quick-Release-/333400974223?hash=item4da03f238f%3Ag%3Ao3cAAOSw6IJd0H8J&LH_ItemCondition=4&nma=true&si=8B4kIN14eif%252FgXkXXl7gHGz6uR4%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
« Last Edit: June 14, 2020, 02:02:58 AM by DadsTools »

Offline Todd F.

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Re: CRAFTSMAN RHFT RATCHET TYPE STUDY 1968-2009
« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2020, 09:34:38 AM »
Any of the three "heads" (QR1 large, QR1 small and QR2) will fit in any of the RHFT "bodies" (type 1 through 9) and can be swapped out in about 30 seconds with a pair of needle nose pliers. They still sell the rebuilt kits on eBay that may have any of the “head” types in them. And then there's the Craftsman Lifetime Warranty. When you take a broken ratchet back to Sears they hand you another one that may or may not say "REBUILT" on it. You could end up with any of the 9 "bodies" with any of the 3 "heads", but it was usually the latest "head" at the time. Sometimes the salesman would rebuild your broken ratchet right there in the store and hand it back to you. If the ratchet went back to the factory for rebuild it would be stamped as such. And if they installed a QR2 “head" into a type 4, 5 or 6, that made the part number invalid so they would strike over the part number so you couldn't read it. So finding a very small percentage "large plunger" QRs in a type 6 with " double-line" logo is not surprising. I’ve purchased many Frankenstein ratchets over the years, like a type 1 with a QR2 “head.  But the overwhelming majority of the of the ratchets I've seen support the pattern.
Todd F.

« Last Edit: June 14, 2020, 09:39:50 AM by Todd F. »
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