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Open-End Wrenches

After our review of the Sears pre-Craftsman era in the previous section, it's now time to see some examples of Craftsman tools. We'll begin with open-end wrenches, as these were among the earliest mechanic's tools offered in the Craftsman brand.

Craftsman "Vanadium" Sub-Brand

During the 1930s Sears used the "Vanadium" mark as a sub-brand on many of its Craftsman tools, including open-end wrenches, box wrenches, and pliers. This use of Vanadium as a sub-brand was undoubtedly intended to draw attention to the alloy steel used for the tools. The tool-buying public of that time had learned to associate the common alloying elements -- vanadium, chromium, and molybdenum -- with the higher quality tools preferred by professional mechanics. References to the "Craftsman Vanadium" sub-brand began appearing in catalogs in 1931 or earlier.

In addition to the use of "Vanadium" as a brand, some Craftsman tools will be found with a "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" or "Chrome-Vanadium" marking. This type of usage is more of a descriptive term than a brand identification, and tools with these markings were likely produced before the "Craftsman Vanadium" brand became the standard. Currently we are assuming a 1930-1932 production range for open-end wrenches with these markings.


Early "Chrome-Vanadium" Wrenches

We'll begin this section with some examples believed to be among the earliest of the Craftsman open-end wrenches.


Craftsman Early "Chrome-Vanadium" C-1025 1/2x19/32 Open-End Wrench

[Craftsman Early Chrome-Vanadium C-1025 1/2x19/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 24. Craftsman Early "Chrome-Vanadium" C-1025 1/2x19/32 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1930.

Fig. 24 shows an early Craftsman "Chrome-Vanadium" C-1025 1/2x19/32 open-end wrench, marked with "Craftsman" forged into the shank, with "Chrome-Vanadium" forged into the reverse. The front faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, with "Craftsman Made in U.S.A." and the model number on the reverse faces.

The overall length is 5.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with a few traces of chrome or nickel plating.


Craftsman Early "Chrome-Vanadium" C-1729 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench

[Craftsman Early Chrome-Vanadium C-1729 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 25. Craftsman Early "Chrome-Vanadium" C-1731 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1930.

Fig. 25 shows an early Craftsman "Chrome-Vanadium" C-1729 5/8x3/4 open-end wrench, marked with "Craftsman" forged into the shank, with "Chrome-Vanadium" forged into the reverse.

The front faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, and the reverse faces are stamped with "Craftsman" and "Made in U.S.A." on the left, with the model number on the right.

The overall length is 7.7 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with extensive losses due to wear and rust.


Craftsman Early "Chrome-Vanadium" C-1731 3/4x13/16 Open-End Wrench

[Craftsman Early Chrome-Vanadium C-1731 3/4x13/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 26. Craftsman Early "Chrome-Vanadium" C-1731 3/4x13/16 Open-End Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1930.

Fig. 26 shows an early Craftsman "Chrome-Vanadium" C-1731 3/4x13/16 open-end wrench, marked with "Craftsman" forged into the shank, with "Chrome-Vanadium" forged into the reverse.

The front faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, and the reverse faces are stamped with "Craftsman" and "Made in U.S.A." on the left, with the model number on the right.

The overall length is 8.8 inches. The finish is chrome or nickel plating, with some losses due to wear and rust.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench. Note that the edges are slightly rough, with a few traces left from the trimming operation.


Craftsman Early "Chrome-Vanadium" C-1031 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench

[Craftsman Early Chrome-Vanadium C-1031 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 27. Craftsman Early "Chrome-Vanadium" C-1031 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1930.

Fig. 27 shows an early Craftsman "Chrome-Vanadium" C-1031 25/32x7/8 open-end wrench, stamped "Craftsman" and "Made in U.S.A." on the left face with the model number on the right face, and with "Chrome-Vanadium" forged into shank. The reverse faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, with "Craftsman" forged into the shank.

The overall length is 8.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with scattered traces of nickel plating.

Craftsman Early "Chrome-Vanadium" [C-1033C] 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench

[Craftsman Early Chrome-Vanadium C-1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 28. Craftsman Early "Chrome-Vanadium" C-1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1930.

Fig. 28 shows an early Craftsman "Chrome-Vanadium" [C-1033C] 15/16x1 open-end wrench, marked with "Craftsman" forged into the shank, with "Chrome-Vanadium" on the reverse.

The faces of this wrench appear to have been ground down, but probably would have been marked similarly to the previous figure. The opening sizes would correspond to a C-1033C model number.

The overall length is 10.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Early "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" Wrenches

This next group of figures will show wrenches marked with "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" stamped on the shank.


Early "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" C-1723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench

[Craftsman Vanadium Steel C-1723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 29. Craftsman "Vanadium Steel" C-1723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1931-1933.

Fig. 29 shows a Craftsman C-1723 3/8x7/16 open-end wrench, stamped with "Craftsman" in plain letters and "Made in U.S.A." on the face, with "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" on the shank.

The overall length is 4.2 inches, and the finish is nickel plating with polished faces.


Early "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" C-1725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench

[Craftsman Vanadium Steel C-1725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 30. Craftsman "Vanadium Steel" C-1725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1931-1933.

Fig. 30 shows an early Craftsman C-1725B 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench, stamped with "Craftsman" in plain letters and "Made in U.S.A." on the face, with "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" on the shank.

The overall length is 5.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with a few traces of nickel plating.


Early "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" 1727 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench

[Craftsman Vanadium Steel 1727 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 31. Craftsman "Vanadium Steel" 1727 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Marking Detail, ca. 1931-1933.

Fig. 31 shows a Craftsman 1727 9/16x5/8 open-end wrench, stamped with "Craftsman" in plain letters and "Made in U.S.A." on the face, with "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" on the shank.

The overall length is 6.5 inches. The original finish was nickel plating, but most has been lost due to extensive rust and pitting.

This wrench is unusual among the "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" examples in not having a "C" prefix to the model number.


Early "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" C-1027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench

[Craftsman Vanadium Steel C-1027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 32. Craftsman "Vanadium Steel" C-1027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1931-1933.

Fig. 32 shows a Craftsman C-1027 19/32x11/16 open-end wrench, stamped with "Craftsman" in plain letters and "Made in U.S.A." on the face, with "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" on the shank.

The overall length is 6.5 inches. The finish is nickel plating, with extensive losses due to wear and rust.


Early "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" C-1729 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench

[Craftsman Vanadium Steel C-1729 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 33. Craftsman "Vanadium Steel" C-1729 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench, ca. 1931-1933.

Fig. 33 shows a Craftsman C-1729 5/8x3/4 open-end wrench, stamped with "Craftsman" in plain letters and "Made in U.S.A." on the face, with "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" on the shank. The shank also has a forged-in code "V" visible at the left.

The overall length is 7.7 inches, and the finish is nickel plating with polished faces.


Early "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" C-1731 3/4x13/16 Open-End Wrench

[Craftsman Vanadium Steel C-1731 3/4x13/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 34. Craftsman "Vanadium Steel" C-1731 3/4x13/16 Open-End Wrench, ca. 1931-1933.

Fig. 34 shows a Craftsman C-1731 3/4x13/16 open-end wrench, stamped "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" on the shank, with "Made in U.S.A." on the face. The shank also has a forged-in code "V" visible at the left.

The overall length is 8.8 inches. The finish appears to be nickel plating, with extensive losses due to wear and rust.


Craftsman Early "Vanadium Steel" 1031 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench

[Craftsman Vanadium Steel 1031 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 35. Craftsman "Vanadium Steel" 1031 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench, ca. 1931-1933.

Fig. 35 shows a Craftsman 1031 25/32x7/8 open-end wrench, stamped "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" on the shank, with "Made in U.S.A." on the face.

The overall length is 8.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

This wrench is unusual among the "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" examples in not having a "C" prefix to the model number.


Early "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" [C-]1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrenches

The next two figures show examples of early Craftsman [C-]1033C wrenches.

[Craftsman Vanadium Steel 1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 36. Craftsman "Vanadium Steel" [C-]1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench, ca. 1931-1933.

Fig. 36 shows a Craftsman [C-]1033C 15/16x1 open-end wrench, stamped with "Craftsman" in plain letters and "Made in U.S.A." on the face (see middle inset), with "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" stamped on the shank.

The overall length is 10.1 inches. The finish is nickel plating, with losses due to rust and pitting.

This wrench is a bit unusual among the "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" examples in not having a "C" prefix to the model number.

[Craftsman Vanadium Steel C-1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 37. Craftsman "Vanadium Steel" C-1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench, ca. 1931-1933.

Fig. 37 shows a similar Craftsman C-1033C 15/16x1 open-end wrench, stamped "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" on the shank, with "Craftsman" and "Made in U.S.A." on the face.

The overall length is 10.3 inches. The finish is nickel plating, with losses due to rust and pitting.


"Craftsman Vanadium" Standard-Style Wrenches

This section will show examples of Craftsman Vanadium wrenches in the "standard" style, characterized by depressed panels with forged-in markings in the panels. Within this category there are still some variations in production characteristics and markings, as the following figures will clarify.

The first group of wrenches are marked with a forged-in "CI" manufacturer's code. Wrenches with this "CI" marking are the most common of the Craftsman open-end examples, and can be considered as the clearest definition of the "standard" style for Craftsman open-end wrenches. The "CI" wrenches are also the only type observed in later production from the 1940s, after the "Vanadium" marking was dropped, and with production changes mandated by wartime restrictions.

A second group of wrenches are marked with a stamped (or rarely forged-in) "AF" manufacturer's code. These wrenches are very similar to the "CI" group in production characteristics.

A third group of wrenches is characterized by wider, gently-sloped depressed panels. The appearance of this variant is sufficiently different from the others to allow them to be recognized in catalog illustrations, which have been noted from 1935 to 1938. This group is not marked with a manufacturer's code.

The fourth observed group is distinguished by a relatively flat shank with small depressed panels, often with traces of grinding remaining on the shank. These wrenches have a different marking convention in which the model number is stamped on the right face of the "Craftsman" side, rather than the left face of the "Forged in U.S.A." side observed in the other three groups. In addition, the markings for the opening sizes are often substantially larger than those in the other groups. These wrenches are also not marked with a manufacturer's code.

For convenience in referring to these observed groups, we will call them the "CI", "AF", "Gently Sloped", and "Flat Shank" groups, respectively.

Recently (November 2015) the manufacturer of the "AF" and "CI" coded wrenches has been identified as Billings & Spencer. Readers can find a discussion of this attribution in the Billings Case Study.

In addition, the maker of the "Gently Sloped" open-end wrenches has been identified as Hinsdale Manufacturing. Comparative examples of Hinsdale and Craftsman wrenches can be seen under Hinsdale and Craftsman Open-End Wrenches.


Craftsman Vanadium 1020 1/4x5/16 Open-End Wrenches

The next several figures show examples of Craftsman Vanadium model 1020 open-end wrenches, with small but significant differences in marking and construction.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1020 1/4x5/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 38. Craftsman Vanadium 1020 1/4x5/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. Mid 1930s.

Fig. 38 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1020 1/4x5/16 open-end wrench with depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the shank, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 3.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

This wrench has a relatively flat shank (excluding the panels) with square sides, and the edge retains some markings from the trimming process. Note also that "Craftsman" side has the model number marking on one face, rather than the fractional sizes.


[Craftsman Vanadium 1020 AF 1/4x5/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 39. Craftsman Vanadium 1020 "AF" 1/4x5/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 39 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1020 wrench with depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the shank, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse. The reverse shank is also stamped with an "AF" code.

The overall length is 3.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The shank of this wrench is more oval and rounded than the previous example, and the edges have been smoothly rounded after trimming. The differences in marking and construction suggest that these wrenches were made by different manufacturers.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1020 CI 1/4x5/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 40. Craftsman Vanadium 1020 "CI" 1/4x5/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 40 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1020 wrench with depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the shank, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 3.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

Craftsman 1020 1/4x5/16 Open-End Wrench

The next figure shows a later 1020 wrench without the Vanadium sub-brand.

[Craftsman 1020 CI 1/4x5/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 41. Craftsman 1020 "CI" 1/4x5/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 41 shows a later Craftsman 1020 wrench with depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and a "5" code forged into the shank, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 3.8 inches, and the finish is polished steel.


Craftsman Vanadium 1723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrenches

The next several figures show examples of the Craftsman 1723 wrench, all with the "Vanadium" sub-brand but differing in the manufacturer's code or production style.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 42. Craftsman Vanadium 1723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1935-1938.

Fig. 42 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1723 3/8x7/16 open-end wrench with gently-sloped depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the shank, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse. The faces are stamped with the fractional sizes on the front, with the industry-standard model number on the reverse.

The overall length is 4.3 inches. The finish is pitted due to rust, but with traces of chrome plating.

The production characteristics of this wrench are somewhat different from other Craftsman Vanadium examples. Note that the depressed panels are larger and more gradual in slope than the typical small oval panels. In addition, the stamped sizes are somewhat larger than typically found on these wrenches, and the model number is stamped on the righthand face of the reverse side. The wrench is not marked with a manufacturer's code.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 43. Craftsman Vanadium 1723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1933-1934.

Fig. 43 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1723 3/8x7/16 open-end wrench with depressed oval panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the shank, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse. The faces are stamped with the fractional sizes on the front, with the industry-standard model number on the reverse.

The overall length is 4.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

This wrench is not marked with a manufacturer's code, but closely resembles the style marked with the "AF" code. Currently we believe that the manufacturer's code markings began around 1934 to 1936, so that the absence of a code marking on this example probably indicates early production.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1723 AF 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 44. Craftsman Vanadium 1723 "AF" 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 44 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1723 3/8x7/16 open-end wrench with depressed oval panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the shank, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse. The reverse shank is also stamped with an "AF" code visible at the right. The faces are stamped with the fractional sizes on the front, with the industry-standard model number on the reverse.

The overall length is 4.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with minor pitting due to rust.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1723 CI 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 45. Craftsman Vanadium 1723 "CI" 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 45 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1723 3/8x7/16 open-end wrench with depressed oval panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the shank, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code forged into the reverse. The faces are stamped with the fractional sizes on the front, with the industry-standard model number on the reverse.

The overall length is 4.2 inches. The finish is chrome plating, with losses from the faces due to wear.


Craftsman Vanadium 1725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrenches

The next figures show several examples of the Craftsman 1725B wrench from the earlier Vanadium generation, with differences noted in the production characteristics and manufacturer's codes.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 46. Craftsman Vanadium 1725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Mid 1930s.

Fig. 46 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1725B 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench with depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 5.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with losses due to wear.

The production characteristics of this wrench are somewhat different from other Craftsman Vanadium examples. In particular, the shank has been ground flat instead of oval, and the surface of the shank shows fine grinding marks at right angles to the axis. In addition, the stamped sizes are on the reverse (non-Craftsman) side and are significantly larger than typically found on these wrenches. No manufacturer's code is marked.

The noted production differences suggest that this wrench may have been produced by a maker other than the ones associated with the "CI" and "AF" codes.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 47. Craftsman Vanadium 1725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1935-1938.

Fig. 47 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1725B 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench with gently-sloped depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 5.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with extensive losses due to wear.

The production characteristics of this wrench are somewhat different from other Craftsman Vanadium examples. Note that the depressed panels are larger and more gradual in slope than the typical small oval panels. In addition, the stamped sizes are somewhat larger than typically found on these wrenches, and the model number is stamped on the righthand face of the reverse side.

This example is not marked with a manufacturer's code.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 48. Craftsman Vanadium 1725B "AF" 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 48 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1725B 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench with depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse panel. An "AF" code similar to the previous example is stamped on the reverse.

The overall length is 5.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel with polished faces.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the thin profile of the shank.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1725B CI 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 49. Craftsman Vanadium 1725B "CI" 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 49 shows a similar Craftsman Vanadium 1725B 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench with depressed panels, but marked with the "CI" manufacturer's code. The shank is marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the front panel, with the "CI" code and "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 5.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

Craftsman 1725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrenches

The next two figures show later examples of Craftsman 1725B wrenches without the Vanadium sub-brand.

[Craftsman 1725B CI 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 50. Craftsman 1725B "CI" 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 50 shows a later Craftsman 1725B 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench with depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and a "5" code forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 5.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

[Craftsman 1725B CI 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 51. Craftsman 1725B "CI" 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 51 shows another later Craftsman 1725B open-end wrench, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and an "N4" code forged into the depressed panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 5.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The forged-in "N4" code appearing on this example is frequently observed on Craftsman wrenches of wartime era production.


Craftsman Vanadium 1027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrenches

The next several figures show examples of the Craftsman 1027 wrench from the earlier Vanadium generation, with differences noted in production characteristics and manufacturer's codes.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 52. Craftsman Vanadium 1027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Mid 1930s.

Fig. 52 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1027 19/32x11/16 open-end wrench with depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 6.4 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with losses due to wear.

The production characteristics of this wrench are somewhat different from other Craftsman Vanadium examples. In particular, the shank has been ground flat instead of oval, and the surface of the shank shows fine grinding marks at right angles to the axis. In addition, the stamped sizes on the reverse are significantly larger than typically found on these wrenches, and no manufacturer's code is marked.


[Craftsman Vanadium 1027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 53. Craftsman Vanadium 1027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1935-1938.

Fig. 53 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1027 19/32x11/16 open-end wrench with wide gently-sloped panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 6.5 inches, and the finish is chrome (or nickel) plating.

The production characteristics of this wrench are somewhat different from other Craftsman Vanadium examples. Note that the depressed panels are larger and more gradual in slope than the typical small oval panels. In addition, the stamped sizes are somewhat larger than typically found on these wrenches, and no manufacturer's code is marked.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1027 AF 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 54A. Craftsman Vanadium 1027 "AF" 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 54A shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1027 19/32x11/16 open-end wrench with depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse panel. The reverse shank is also stamped with an "AF" code visible at the right.

The overall length is 6.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with extensive losses due to wear.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1027 CI 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 54B. Craftsman Vanadium 1027 "CI" 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 54B shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1027 19/32x11/16 open-end wrench with depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 6.4 inches, and the finish is polished steel.

Craftsman 1027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrenches

The next two figures show later examples of Craftsman 1027 wrenches without the Vanadium sub-brand.

[Craftsman 1027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 55. Craftsman 1027 "CI" 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 55 shows a later Craftsman 1027 19/32x11/16 open-end wrench with depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 6.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel with polished faces.

[Craftsman 1027 CI 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 56. Craftsman 1027 "CI" 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 56 shows another later Craftsman 1027 open-end wrench with depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and an "N" code forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 6.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel with roughly surfaced faces.

This wrench has only roughly finished faces and edges, in contrast to the finely ground and polished finish normally found on these Craftsman tools. The rough finish suggests production during the 1942-1945 wartime years.


Craftsman Vanadium 1729 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrenches

The next several figures show examples of the Craftsman 1729 open-end wrench, all with the "Vanadium" sub-brand but with different (or no) manufacturer codes.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1729 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 57. Craftsman Vanadium 1729 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Mid 1930s.

Fig. 57 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1729 5/8x3/4 open-end wrench with depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 7.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The production characteristics of this wrench are somewhat different from other Craftsman Vanadium examples. In particular, the shank has been ground flat instead of oval, and the surface of the shank shows fine grinding marks at right angles to the axis. In addition, the stamped sizes on the reverse are significantly larger than typically found on these wrenches, and no manufacturer's code is marked.

The noted production differences suggest that this wrench may have been produced by a maker other than the ones associated with the "CI" and "AF" codes.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1729 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 58. Craftsman Vanadium 1729 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1935-1938.

Fig. 58 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1729 5/8x3/4 open-end wrench with wide, gently-sloped depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the front panel, and with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 7.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with traces of the original chrome plating.

The production characteristics of this wrench are somewhat different from other Craftsman Vanadium examples. Note that the depressed panels are larger and more gradual in slope than the typical small oval panels. In addition, the stamped sizes are somewhat larger than typically found on these wrenches, and the model number is stamped on the righthand face of the reverse side.

This example is not marked with a manufacturer's code, but has been recently (December 2015) identified as production by Hinsdale, based on the close similarity to the "Hinsdale Vanadium" wrenches. A comparison of Craftsman and Hinsdale examples can be seen as the Hinsdale and Craftsman 1729 Wrenches.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1729 AF 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 59. Craftsman Vanadium 1729 "AF" 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 59 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1729 5/8x3/4 open-end wrench with depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the front panel, and with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse panel. The reverse is also stamped with an "AF" manufacturer's code.

The overall length is 7.6 inches, and the finish is polished steel.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1729 CI 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 60. Craftsman Vanadium 1729 "CI" 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 60 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1729 5/8x3/4 open-end wrench with depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 7.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Craftsman Vanadium 1731 3/4x13/16 Open-End Wrenches

The next several figures show examples of the Craftsman 1731 wrench from the earlier Vanadium generation, with differences noted in the production characteristics and manufacturer's code.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1731 3/4x13/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 61. Craftsman Vanadium 1731 3/4x13/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1935-1938.

Fig. 61 shows an earlier Craftsman Vanadium 1731 3/4x13/16 open-end wrench with wide gently-sloped depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the front, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 8.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with losses due to wear.

The production characteristics of this wrench are somewhat different from other Craftsman Vanadium examples. Note that the depressed panels are larger and more gradual in slope than the typical small oval panels. In addition, the stamped sizes are somewhat larger than typically found on these wrenches, and the model number is stamped on the righthand face of the reverse side.

This example is not marked with a manufacturer's code.


[Craftsman Vanadium 1731 CI 3/4x13/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 62. Craftsman Vanadium 1731 "CI" 3/4x13/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 62 shows a earlier Craftsman Vanadium 1731 3/4x13/16 open-end wrench with depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 8.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

Craftsman 1731 3/4x13/16 Open-End Wrench

The next figure shows a later 1731 wrench without the Vanadium sub-brand.

[Craftsman 1731 CI 3/4x13/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 63. Craftsman 1731 "CI" 3/4x13/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 63 shows a later Craftsman 1731 3/4x13/16 open-end wrench with depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and an "N4" code forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 8.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The "N4" code is frequently observed on later (non-Vanadium) Craftsman wrenches with plain finishes, suggesting that it may be an indication of wartime production changes.


Craftsman Vanadium 1031 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrenches

The next several figures show examples of the Craftsman 1031 wrench from the earlier Vanadium generation, with noted differences in production characteristics and manufacturer's codes.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1031 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 64A. Craftsman Vanadium 1031 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Mid 1930s.

Fig. 64A shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1031 25/32x7/8 open-end wrench with depressed oval panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse.

In addition to the forged-in markings, the front markings on this wrench have been overstamped with "Chrome-Vanadium", making them more difficult to read.

The overall length is 8.7 inches. The finish appears to be plain steel, although it has a more lustre than expected for plain steel.

The wrench is not marked with a manufacturer's code.

The production characteristics of this wrench are somewhat different from other Craftsman Vanadium examples. Note that the shank is relatively flat and shows fine grinding marks at right angles to the axis, and that the faces have a finely ground but not polished surface texture, with the grinding marks parallel to the axis.

Another minor difference can be noted in the placement of the stamped markings, with the model number placed on the "Craftsman" side and the fractional sizes on the "Forged in U.S.A." side. This is opposite from the marking convention on the more common examples. These production differences and lack of a forged-in manufacturer's code suggest that this wrench was produced by a maker other than the ones associated with the "CI" and "AF" codes.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1031 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 64B. Craftsman Vanadium 1031 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Mid 1930s.

Fig. 64B shows another example of a Craftsman Vanadium 1031 25/32x7/8 open-end wrench with a flat shank and depressed oval panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 8.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel with traces of chrome plating.

The wrench is not marked with a manufacturer's code. The characteristics noted in the previous figure apply to this example as well, making this a typical example of the "flat shank" variant of Craftsman open-end wrenches.


[Craftsman Vanadium 1031 AF 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 65. Craftsman Vanadium 1031 "AF" 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 65 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1031 25/32x7/8 open-end wrench with depressed oval panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse panel. The reverse is also stamped with an "AF" code at the right.

The overall length is 8.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with losses due to wear.


[Craftsman Vanadium 1031 CI 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 66. Craftsman Vanadium 1031 "CI" 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 66 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1031 25/32x7/8 open-end wrench with depressed oval panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 8.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

Craftsman 1031 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrenches

The next two figures show examples of Craftsman 1031 wrenches from the later non-Vanadium generation.

[Craftsman 1031 CI 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 67. Craftsman 1031 "CI" 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Early 1940s.

Fig. 67 shows a later Craftsman 1031 25/32x7/8 open-end wrench with depressed oval panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 8.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

This wrench is somewhat unusual in that it has a chrome-plated finish but is not marked with the "Vanadium" sub-brand. This suggests that Sears may have discontinued the Vanadium sub-brand marking before the advent of the war, when material shortages limited the use of chrome finishes and alloy steel.

[Craftsman 1031 CI 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 68. Craftsman 1031 "CI" 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 68 shows a later Craftsman 1031 25/32x7/8 open-end wrench with depressed oval panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and an "N4" code forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 8.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel with polished faces.

The "N4" code is frequently observed on later (non-Vanadium) Craftsman wrenches with plain finishes, suggesting that it may be an indication of wartime production changes. If any of our readers have information on this code, please send us an email and describe your findings.


Craftsman Vanadium 1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrenches

The next several figures show examples of the Craftsman 1033C wrench from the earlier Vanadium generation, with differences noted in the production characteristics and manufacturer's codes.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 69. Craftsman Vanadium 1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Mid 1930s.

Fig. 69 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1033C 15/16x1 open-end wrench with shallow depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 10.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with losses due to wear.

The production characteristics of this wrench are somewhat different from other Craftsman Vanadium examples. In particular, the shank has been ground flat instead of oval, and the surface of the shank shows fine grinding marks at right angles to the axis. In addition, the stamped sizes on the reverse are significantly larger than typically found on these wrenches, and no manufacturer's code is marked.

Another minor difference can be noted in the placement of the stamped markings, with the model number placed on the "Craftsman" side and the fractional sizes on the "Forged in U.S.A." side. This is opposite from the marking convention on the more common examples. These production differences and lack of a forged-in manufacturer's code suggest that this wrench was produced by a maker other than the ones associated with the "CI" and "AF" codes.


[Craftsman Vanadium 1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 70. Craftsman Vanadium 1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1935-1938.

Fig. 70 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1033C 15/16x1 open-end wrench with wide, gently-sloped depressed panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 10.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The production characteristics of this wrench are somewhat different from other Craftsman Vanadium examples. Note that the depressed panels are larger and more gradual in slope than the typical small oval panels. In addition, the stamped sizes are somewhat larger than typically found on these wrenches, and the model number is stamped on the righthand face of the reverse side.

This example is not marked with a manufacturer's code, but has been recently (December 2015) identified as production by Hinsdale, based on the close similarity to the "Hinsdale Vanadium" wrenches. A comparison of Craftsman and Hinsdale examples can be seen as the Hinsdale and Craftsman 1033C Wrenches.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 71. Craftsman Vanadium 1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1934.

Fig. 71 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1033C open-end wrench with depressed oval panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 9.9 inches. The finish is chrome plating, but with extensive losses due to rust.

This example is unusual in not having a discernable manufacturer's code, but the style of the wrench and the use of the double-quote mark with the 1 inch size suggests the "AF" manufacturer. Currently we believe that the manufacturer's code markings began around 1934 to 1936, so that the absence of a code marking on this example probably indicates early production.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1033C AF 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 72. Craftsman Vanadium 1033C "AF" 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 72 shows another similar Craftsman Vanadium 1033C 15/16x1 open-end wrench with depressed oval panels, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse panel. The shank is also marked with a forged-in "AF" code, visible at the left.

The overall length is 9.9 inches. The finish is chrome plating, with extensive losses due to wear and rust.

The forged-in "AF" code on this example is uncommon, as this code is more commonly stamped on the shank.

Note that the face on the 1 inch end is stamped with a double-quote mark to indicate inches.

[Craftsman Vanadium 1033C CI 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 73. Craftsman Vanadium 1033C "CI" 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 73 shows another Craftsman Vanadium 1033C 15/16x1 open-end wrench, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" forged into the depressed panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 10.0 inches.

Craftsman 1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench

The next figure shows an example of the Craftsman 1033C wrench from the later non-Vanadium generation.

[Craftsman 1033C CI 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 74. Craftsman 1033C "CI" 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 74 shows a later Craftsman 1033C 15/16x1 open-end wrench, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and an "N4" code forged into the depressed panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 10.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The "N4" code is frequently observed on later (non-Vanadium) Craftsman wrenches with plain finishes, suggesting that it may be an indication of wartime production changes. If any of our readers have information on this code, please send us an email and describe your findings.


Tappet Wrenches

Tappet wrenches are an important sub-class of open-end wrenches, with a thin profile required for adjusting the opposing lock nuts on valve tappets. Sears first offered Craftsman tappet wrenches in 1930 along with the introduction of Craftsman open-end wrenches.


Early Tappet Wrenches

The early Craftsman tappet wrenches show quite a bit of variation in design and production characteristics. By 1930 the style of tappet wrench with asymmetrical offsets pioneered by Bonney was losing favor to the 15 degree equal offset design. Sears is not known to have offered tappet wrenches with asymmetrical offsets, but their earliest models had an unusual design with equal 22.5 degree offsets. These early models were followed by wrenches with conventional 15 degree offsets, but with production differences that suggest several different manufacturers.


Early C-3006 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench

[Craftsman C-3006 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 75. Craftsman C-3006 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1930-1931.

Fig. 75 shows an early Craftsman C-3006 9/16x5/8 tappet wrench, stamped "Craftsman" and "Made in U.S.A" on the left face, with the model number on the right face and the fractional sizes on the reverse faces. The shank is marked with "Chrome-Vanadium" forged into the front, with "Craftsman" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 7.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel with traces of chrome or nickel plating.

This wrench has an unusual design (for a tappet wrench) with equal 22.5 degree offsets, a pattern more commonly associated with "textile wrenches" used for working on machinery with square nuts.

The model 3006 tappet wrench was first offered in the Sears 1930 spring catalog and is notable as being among the first wrenches (along with similarly marked open-end wrenches) to carry the Craftsman brand. The model 3006 remained available through 1931, but by 1932 had been superseded by a model 1092 tappet wrench with conventional 15 degree offsets.

The unusual design of this wrench allows us to trivially identify the maker as Billings & Spencer, the only company known to have produced this style of tappet wrench. Billings' own production of this wrench has a matching 3006 model number that confirms the identification, and an example of the Billings version can be seen as the Billings 3006 Tappet Wrench.


1090F 7/16x17/32 Tappet Wrench

[Craftsman 1090F 7/16x17/32 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 76A. Craftsman 1090F 7/16x17/32 Tappet Wrench, ca. Early 1930s.

Fig. 76A shows a Craftsman 1090F 7/16x17/32 tappet wrench, stamped "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" on the shank, with "Made in U.S.A." on the face.

The overall length is 8.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel with polished faces.


1090-D 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench

[Craftsman 1090-D 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 76B. Craftsman 1090-D 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. Early 1930s.

Fig. 76B shows a Craftsman 1090-D 1/2x9/16 tappet wrench, stamped "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" on the front, with "Chrome-Vanadium-Steel" and the model number on the reverse.

The overall length is 7.9 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.


1092-F 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench

[Craftsman 1092-F 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 77. Craftsman 1092-F 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench, ca. Early 1930s.

Fig. 77 shows a Craftsman 1092-F 5/8x1/16 tappet wrench, stamped "Craftsman Vanadium Steel" with the model number.

The overall length is 7.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Long-Format Tappet Wrenches

By the spring of 1935 Sears was offering "Extra Long" tappet wrenches with a 10 inch nominal length, substantially longer than the typical 8 or 9 inch length offered by most other makers. The long tappet wrenches proved to be popular and Sears retained the long design in later catalogs, even into the modern ("=Craftsman=") era from 1945 onward.


Craftsman "CI" No. 1 7/16x17/32 Tappet Wrench

The next two figures show examples of the Craftsman No. 1 tappet wrench from the Vanadium and post-Vanadium generations.

[Craftsman Vanadium CI No. 1 7/16x17/32 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 78. Craftsman Vanadium "CI" No. 1 7/16x17/32 Tappet Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Marking Detail, ca. 1935-1941.

Fig. 78 shows an earlier Craftsman Vanadium No. 1 7/16x17/32 tappet wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and model number on one face, with "Vanadium" and "Forged in U.S.A." on the other face. The reverse shank is stamped with a "CI" code visible at the left.

The overall length is 9.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

[Craftsman CI No. 1 7/16x17/32 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 79. Craftsman "CI" No. 1 7/16x17/32 Tappet Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Marking Detail, ca. 1941-1942.

Fig. 79 shows a later Craftsman "CI" No. 1 7/16x17/32 tappet wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and model number on one face, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the other face. The reverse shank is marked with a stamped "C" code at the left, presumed to be a "CI" manufacturer's code with the "I" missing.

The overall length is 9.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with losses due to wear.

The absence of the "Vanadium" sub-brand and the use of a chrome-plated finish suggests production around 1941 or 1942.

[Craftsman CI No. 1 7/16x17/32 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 80. Craftsman "CI" No. 1 7/16x17/32 Tappet Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Marking Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 80 shows a later Craftsman "CI" No. 1 7/16x17/32 tappet wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and model number on one face, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the other face. The reverse shank is marked with a stamped "CI" code at the left and a forged-in "3" code at the right.

The overall length is 9.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with some pitting due to rust.


Craftsman "V" No. 1 3/8x7/16 Tappet Wrench

This next figure shows a Craftsman No. 1 tappet wrench with an alternate 3/8x7/16 size.

[Craftsman V No. 1 3/8x7/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 81. Craftsman "V" No. 1 3/8x7/16 Tappet Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Marking Detail, ca. Early 1940s.

Fig. 81 shows a Craftsman No. 1 tappet wrench in the 3/8x7/16 size, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and model number on one face, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "V" code on the other face.

The overall length is 9.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with extensive losses due to rust.

This wrench has an unusual combination of the Craftsman underline logo with an unexpected 3/8x7/16 size for the No. 1 tappet model. The 3/8x7/16 tappet size was not listed in the catalogs until the late 1940s.


Craftsman Vanadium No. 2 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrenches

The next two figures show examples of the Craftsman No. 2 tappet wrench, both marked with the "Vanadium" sub-brand but with different manufacturer codes.

[Craftsman Vanadium AF No. 2 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 82. Craftsman Vanadium "AF" No. 2 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1935-1941.

Fig. 82 shows a Craftsman Vanadium "AF" No. 2 tappet wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and model on one face, with "Vanadium" and "Forged in U.S.A." on the other face. The reverse is stamped with an "AF" code, as seen in the inset.

The overall length is 10.0 inches. The finish is plain steel, with traces of the original plated finish.

[Craftsman Vanadium CI No. 2 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 83. Craftsman Vanadium "CI" No. 2 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1935-1941.

Fig. 83 shows a Craftsman Vanadium "CI" No. 2 1/2x9/16 tappet wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and model on one face, with "Vanadium" and "Forged in U.S.A." on the other face. The reverse is stamped with an "CI" code, as seen in the inset.

The overall length is 9.9 inches. The finish is chrome plating with highly polished faces.


Later Craftsman "CI" No. 2 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench

[Craftsman CI No. 2 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 84. Craftsman "CI" No. 2 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 84 shows a later version of the Craftsman "CI" No. 2 1/2x9/16 tappet wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and model on one face, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the other face. The shank has a forged-in code "N4" code visible at the left, and the reverse shank is stamped with a "CI" code (see inset).

The overall length is 9.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Craftsman Vanadium No. 3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrenches

For the Craftsman No. 3 tappet wrench we have an embarrassment of riches, with examples of both Vanadium and non-Vanadium generations, and with "AF", "CI" and "V" manufacturer's codes plus an additional manufacturer identifiable by a stylistic quirk.

[Craftsman Vanadium AF No. 3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 85. Craftsman Vanadium "AF" No. 3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1935-1941.

Fig. 85 shows an earlier Craftsman Vanadium "AF" No. 3 5/8x11/16 tappet wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and model number on the left face, with "Vanadium" and "Forged in U.S.A." on the right face. The reverse shank is stamped with a "AF" code visible at the left.

The overall length is 9.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

[Craftsman Vanadium CI No. 3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 86. Craftsman Vanadium "CI" No. 3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1935-1941.

Fig. 86 shows an earlier Craftsman Vanadium "CI" No. 3 5/8x11/16 tappet wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and model number on the left face, with "Vanadium" and "Forged in U.S.A." on the right face. The reverse shank is stamped with a "CI" code visible at the left.

The overall length is 9.9 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

[Craftsman Vanadium No. 3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 87. Craftsman Vanadium "Curved Arc" No. 3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1935-1941.

Fig. 87 shows an earlier Craftsman Vanadium No. 3 5/8x11/16 tappet wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and model number in a curved arc on the right face, with "Vanadium" and "Forged in U.S.A." in a curved arc on the left face.

The overall length is 10.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The wrench in Fig. 87 is not marked with a manufacturer's code, but the "Forged in U.S.A." marking along a curved arc is a stylistic trait that serves to identify Duro/Indestro production. (See the Duro-Chrome D-3 Tappet Wrench for an example.) In this case Duro/Indestro has extended the curved markings to include the Craftsman logo and "Vanadium" as well.

Craftsman No. 3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrenches

[Craftsman CI No. 3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 88. Craftsman "CI" No. 3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse and Marking Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 88 shows a later Craftsman "CI" No. 3 5/8x11/16 tappet wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and model on the left face, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the right face. The shank has a forged-in code "N4" code visible at the left, and the reverse shank is stamped with a "CI" code (see inset).

The overall length is 9.9 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating, with losses due to wear and rust.

[Craftsman V No. 3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 89. Craftsman "V" No. 3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Early 1940s.

Fig. 89 shows a Craftsman "V" No. 3 5/8x11/16 tappet wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "No. 3" on the left face, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "-V-" code on right face. The reverse faces are stamped with the fractional sizes.

The overall length is 9.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The "V" code on this wrench is the well-known code used on the later raised-panel wrenches with the "=Craftsman=" double-line logo (see our article Craftsman Maker "V"). Its use here with the Craftsman underline logo -- but without the Vanadium marking -- suggests that this example is early production by Moore Drop Forging, probably from the early 1940s. (Moore began producing tools for Sears in 1938.)


Craftsman No. 4 3/4x7/8 Tappet Wrench

[Craftsman No. 4 3/4x7/8 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 90. Craftsman No. 4 3/4x7/8 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Early 1940s.

Fig. 90 shows a Craftsman No. 4 3/4x7/8 tappet wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and model number on the left face, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the right face.

The overall length is 9.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The wrench was not marked with a manufacturer's code.

[Craftsman V No. 4 3/4x7/8 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 91. Craftsman "V" No. 4 3/4x7/8 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Early 1940s.

Fig. 91 shows a Craftsman "V" No. 4 3/4x7/8 tappet wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and model number on the left face, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "-V-" code on the right face.

The overall length is 9.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with losses due to rust.

The "V" code on this wrench is the well-known code used on the later raised-panel wrenches with the "=Craftsman=" double-line logo (see our article Craftsman Maker "V"). Its use here with the Craftsman underline logo -- but without the Vanadium marking -- suggests that this example is early production by Moore Drop Forging, probably from the early 1940s. (Moore began producing tools for Sears in 1938.)


Box-End Wrenches

The 1932 general catalog marked Sears' first listing of double-hex box-end wrenches, although not in the Craftsman brand. (These first box wrenches were probably made by Duro/Indestro.) Craftsman-branded box wrenches were introduced in the 1933 Sears Spring catalog, with two styles available: long angled and short offset wrenches. By 1934 the catalog listed all four of the popular style combinations, long angled, long offset, short angled, and short offset wrenches, and the illustrations showed the familiar raised oval panels with "Craftsman Vanadium" markings. (See the Catalog Review section for more detail on the catalog offerings.)

Box end wrench sizes for the high-volume retail markets had become "standardized" in the early 1930s, with six size combinations for standard (long) wrenches and three sizes for short wrenches. The standard-length wrench sizes were most commonly 3/8x7/16, 1/2x9/16, 5/8x11/16, 3/4x25/32, 13/16x7/8, and 15/16x1 inch, although some vendors offered size pairings 3/4x7/8 and 25/32x13/16. The short wrench sizes were 3/8x7/16, 1/2x9/16, and 5/8x11/16.

Catalog descriptions for the early box-end wrenches didn't always mention the finish. However, since Craftsman open-ended wrenches had featured nickel or chrome plated finishes from the early 1930s onward, it's reasonable to assume that the early box-end wrench models would be similarly finished.

As was the case with the open-end wrenches, the Craftsman box-end wrenches initially showed a number of different production and marking styles, indicating that several different vendors were involved in the early production. The observed manufacturer's codes are "AF" and "CI", with the latter being by far the most common.

Recently (November 2015) the manufacturer of the "AF" and "CI" coded wrenches has been identified as Billings & Spencer. Readers can find a discussion of this attribution in the Billings Case Study.

In the following sections we'll present the box wrenches in the same chronological order as the catalog listings, i.e. long angled (spring 1933), short offset (spring 1933), long offset (fall 1933), and short angled (fall 1934).


Angled Box Wrenches

The straight-shank angled box wrench style was actually one of the first styles of double-hex box wrenches to be offered in the Craftsman brand, along with the short offset box wrench style. The 1933 Sears (Spring) catalog offered a set of six Craftsman standard-length angled box wrenches, with opening sizes 3/8x7/16, 1/2x9/16, 5/8x11/16, 3/4x25/32, 13/16x7/8, and 15/16x1 inch.


Early Craftsman "X1" 3/8x7/16 Long Angled Box-End Wrench

[Craftsman X1 3/8x7/16 Angled Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 99. Craftsman "X1" 3/8x7/16 Angled Box-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1934.

Fig. 99 shows an early Craftsman "X1" 3/8x7/16 angled box-end wrench with a distinctive style. The reverse is stamped "Chrome Vanadium Steel" between an "X" and "1", presumed to be the model number.

The overall length is 7.3 inches, and the finish appears to be a thick cadmium plating.

This wrench has been identified as Hinsdale production for Craftsman, based on the very similar Hinsdale X4 Box Wrench.


Craftsman Vanadium 3/8x7/16 Long Angled Box-End Wrenches

The next figures show examples of Craftsman Vanadium 3/8x7/16 long angled box wrenches, one without a manufacturer's code.

[Craftsman Vanadium 3/8x7/16 Long Angled Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 100A. Craftsman Vanadium 3/8x7/16 Long Angled Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 100A shows a Craftsman Vanadium 3/8x7/16 long angled box wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the raised panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 6.9 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

Note that this example is not marked with a manufacturer's code, and in addition is significantly shorter than the two "CI" examples of this model.

[Craftsman Vanadium CI 3/8x7/16 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 100B. Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 3/8x7/16 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 100B shows a Craftsman Vanadium 3/8x7/16 long angled box wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and two "CI" codes on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 7.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

Craftsman 3/8x7/16 Long Angled Box-End Wrench

This next figure shows a later wrench from the post-Vanadium generation.

[Craftsman CI 3/8x7/16 Long Angled Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 101. Craftsman "CI" 3/8x7/16 Long Angled Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 101 shows a later Craftsman 3/8x7/16 long angled box wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and two "CI" codes on the reverse. The reverse shank also has a forged-in "N" code, faintly visible at the right.

The overall length is 7.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 1/2x9/16 Long Angled Box-End Wrench

[Craftsman Vanadium CI Long Angled 1/2x9/16 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 102. Craftsman Vanadium "CI" Long Angled 1/2x9/16 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 102 shows an earlier Craftsman Vanadium 1/2x9/16 long angled box-end wrench with raised panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" and the fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and two "CI" codes on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 8.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Craftsman "CI" 1/2x9/16 Long Angled Box-End Wrenches

The next two figures show later examples of the Craftsman 1/2x9/16 box wrench from the post-Vanadium generation.

[Craftsman 1/2x9/16 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 103A. Craftsman "CI" 1/2x9/16 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 103A shows a later Craftsman 1/2x9/16 box-end wrench with raised panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and two "CI" codes on the reverse. The shank also has a forged-in code "A" visible at the left.

The overall length is 8.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

[Craftsman 1/2x9/16 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 103B. Craftsman "CI" 1/2x9/16 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 103B shows another later Craftsman 1/2x9/16 box-end wrench with raised panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and two "CI" codes on the reverse panel. The reverse shank also has a forged-in code "4N" visible at the left.

The overall length is 8.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with pitting due to rust.

The "4N" or "N4" code is frequently noted on tools of apparent wartime production.


Craftsman Vanadium 5/8x3/4 Box-End Wrenches

The next two figures show examples of Craftsman 5/8x3/4 box wrenches, both marked with the "Vanadium" sub-brand but with different manufacturer's codes.

[Craftsman Vanadium AF 5/8x3/4 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 104. Craftsman Vanadium "AF" 5/8x3/4 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 104 shows a Craftsman Vanadium "AF" 5/8x3/4 box-end wrench with raised panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" and the fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes on the reverse panel. The reverse shank is also stamped with an "AF" code to the right of the panel.

The overall length is 9.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

[Craftsman Vanadium CI 5/8x3/4 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 105. Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 5/8x3/4 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 105 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 5/8x3/4 offset box-end wrench with raised panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" and the fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and two "CI" codes on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 9.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 13/16x7/8 Box-End Wrench

[Craftsman Vanadium CI 13/16x7/8 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 106. Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 13/16x7/8 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 106 shows an earlier Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 13/16x7/8 box-end wrench with raised panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" and the fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and two "CI" codes on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 11.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

Craftsman "CI" 13/16x7/8 Box-End Wrench

The next figure shows a later example of the Craftsman 13/16x7/8 box wrench from the post-Vanadium generation.

[Craftsman 13/16x7/8 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 107. Craftsman "CI" 13/16x7/8 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 107 shows a later Craftsman "CI" 13/16x7/8 box wrench with raised panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and two "CI" codes on the reverse panel. The reverse shank also has a forged-in "N" code visible at the right.

The overall length is 11.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The "N" (or more commonly "N4") code is frequently noted on tools of apparent wartime production.


Short Offset Box Wrenches

Short offset box wrenches were one of the first styles of box wrenches available in the Craftsman brand, along with the long angled box wrenches shown in the previous section. The 1933 (Spring) catalog offered a set of three short offset box wrenches in sizes 3/8x7/16, 1/2x9/16, and 5/8x11/16.


Craftsman Vanadium 3/8x7/16 Short Offset Box-End Wrenches

The next two figures show examples of the smallest of the Craftsman Vanadium short offset box wrenches, with differences noted in the manufacturer's codes.

[Craftsman Vanadium AF 3/8x7/16 Short Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 108. Craftsman Vanadium "AF" 3/8x7/16 Short Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 108 shows a Craftsman Vanadium "AF" 3/8x7/16 short offset box wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Vanadium" and the fractional sizes on the reverse panel. The reverse shank is also stamped with an "AF" code, visible at the right in the lower inset.

The overall length is 4.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces and ends.

[Craftsman Vanadium 3/8x7/16 Short Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 109. Craftsman Vanadium 3/8x7/16 Short Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 109 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 3/8x7/16 short offset box wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Vanadium" and the fractional sizes on the reverse.

The overall length is 4.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces and ends.

This wrench does not have a visible manufacturer's code, but the style and construction closely resemble the examples marked with the "CI" code.

Craftsman 3/8x7/16 Short Offset Box-End Wrench

The next figure shows an example of the 3/8x7/16 short offset box wrench from the post-Vanadium generation.

[Craftsman 3/8x7/16 Short Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 110. Craftsman 3/8x7/16 Short Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 110 shows a later Craftsman 3/8x7/16 short offset box wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and fractional sizes on the front panel, with the same markings on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 4.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

This wrench does not have a visible manufacturer's code, but the style and construction closely resemble the examples marked with the "CI" code. The lack of a "Vanadium" marking indicates production in 1942-1945.


Early Craftsman Vanadium 1/2x9/16 Short Offset Box-End Wrench

[Early Craftsman Vanadium 1/2x9/16 Short Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 111A. Early Craftsman Vanadium 1/2x9/16 Short Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1934.

Fig. 111A shows an early Craftsman 1/2x9/16 short offset box wrench with depressed panels, marked with "Vanadium" and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Craftsman" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 5.3 inches, and the finish is polished chrome plating.


Craftsman Vanadium 1/2x9/16 Short Offset Box-End Wrench

[Craftsman Vanadium 1/2x9/16 Short Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 111B. Craftsman Vanadium 1/2x9/16 Short Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 111B shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1/2x9/16 short offset box wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Vanadium" and the fractional sizes on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 5.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with extensive losses due to wear.

Note that the offset shank of this wrench joins the box end near the middle of the box, so that the box end extends both above and below the junction. This is the type of junction usually observed for wrenches with the "AF" code; however, this particular wrench is not marked with a manufacturer's code.


Early Craftsman "X30" 5/8x11/16 Short Offset Box-End Wrench

[Craftsman X30 5/8x11/16 Short Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 112. Craftsman "X30" 5/8x11/16 Short Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1934.

Fig. 112 shows a rare early Craftsman "X30" 5/8x11/16 short offset box-end wrench, stamped with the Craftsman block logo and sizes on the shank, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" between an "X" and "30" on the reverse.

The overall length is 5.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with extensive losses due to rust.

This wrench can be identified as Hinsdale production by the "X30" marking, which is listed as a Hinsdale model number for this short offset box wrench. A similar model can be seen as the Hinsdale X20 Short Offset Box Wrench.


Craftsman Vanadium 5/8x11/16 Short Offset Box-End Wrenches

The next two figures show examples of the Craftsman Vanadium 5/8x11/16 short box wrench, with differences noted in the manufacturer's codes.

[Craftsman Vanadium AF 5/8x11/16 Short Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 113A. Craftsman Vanadium "AF" 5/8x11/16 Short Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 113A shows a Craftsman Vanadium "AF" 5/8x11/16 short offset box wrench with raised panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Vanadium" and the fractional sizes on the reverse panel. The reverse shank is also stamped with an "AF" code visible at the right.

The overall length is 6.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with some pitting due to rust.

This wrench is unusual (for an "AF" code) in that the offset shank joins the box end at the top, giving the box end a "flat top" appearance. This is the style of junction usually associated with the "CI" code, as the next figure shows.

[Craftsman Vanadium CI 5/8x11/16 Short Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 113B. Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 5/8x11/16 Short Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 113B shows a Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 5/8x11/16 short offset box wrench with raised panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Vanadium" and the fractional sizes on the reverse panel. The shank also has a forged-in "CI" code visible at the right.

The overall length is 6.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

Craftsman "CI" 5/8x11/16 Short Offset Box-End Wrench

The next figure shows a later example of the 5/8x11/16 short offset box wrench from the post-Vanadium generation.

[Craftsman CI 5/8x11/16 Short Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 113C. Craftsman "CI" 5/8x11/16 Short Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1941-1942.

Fig. 113C shows a later Craftsman 5/8x11/16 short offset box wrench with raised panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and fractional sizes on the front panel, with the same markings repeated on the reverse panel. The shank also has a forged-in "CI" code visible at the right.

The overall length is 6.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with minor losses due to rust or corrosion.

The presence of a chrome plated finish without the "Vanadium" marking suggests production in 1941-1942, before the advent of wartime rationing.


Offset Box Wrenches

Craftsman offset box wrenches in the standard (long) length were first offered in the 1933 (Fall) catalog. Six models were available in a set or as individual wrenches, with sizes 3/8x7/16, 1/2x9/16, 5/8x11/16, 3/4x25/32, 13/16x7/8, and 15/16x1 inch. (Note though that an alternate vendor paired the sizes as 3/4x7/8 and 25/32x13/16.)

Although not the earliest style of box wrench offered in the Craftsman brand, the long offset style became the most popular of the box wrenches.


Craftsman Vanadium 3/8x7/16 Offset Box-End Wrenches

The next two figures show examples of Craftsman 3/8x7/16 offset box wrenches, with differences noted in the manufacturer's code.

[Craftsman Vanadium 3/8x7/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 114A. Craftsman Vanadium 3/8x7/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 114A shows a Craftsman 3/8x7/16 offset box wrench with raised panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 7.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished ends and faces.

This wrench is not marked with a manufacturer's code, but the construction of the box ends is typical of the style commonly found on wrenches marked with the "AF" code.

[Craftsman Vanadium CI 3/8x7/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 114B. Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 3/8x7/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 114B shows a Craftsman 3/8x7/16 offset box wrench with raised panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and two "CI" codes on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 7.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished ends and faces.


Craftsman Vanadium 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrenches

The next several figures show examples of Craftsman Vanadium 1/2x9/16 offset box wrenches, representing both "AF" and "CI" manufacturer's codes, and with some minor differences in construction.

[Craftsman Vanadium AF 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 115. Craftsman Vanadium "AF" 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 115 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1/2x9/16 offset box wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse panel. The reverse shank also has an "AF" code stamped at the right.

The overall length is 8.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

Note that the offset shank of this wrench joins the box end near the middle of the box, so that the box end extends both above and below the junction. This is the type of junction usually observed for wrenches with the "AF" code.

[Craftsman Vanadium AF 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 116. Craftsman Vanadium "AF" 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 116 shows a similar Craftsman Vanadium 1/2x9/16 offset box wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse panel. The reverse shank also has an "AF" code stamped at the right.

The overall length is 8.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

This wrench is unusual (for an "AF" code) in that the offset shank joins the box end at the top, giving the box end a "flat top" appearance. This is the style of junction usually associated with the "CI" code, as the next figure shows.

[Craftsman Vanadium CI 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 117. Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 117 shows a Craftsman 1/2x9/16 offset box wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the raised panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and two "CI" codes on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 8.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

Note that the box ends of this wrench have a "flat top" appearance similar to the second of the "AF" examples. Further discussion of the significance of the box end junctions can be found with the Craftsman 15/16x1 Offset Box Wrenches.


Early Craftsman Vanadium 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Early Craftsman Vanadium 5/8x11/16 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 118. Early Craftsman Vanadium 5/8x11/16 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1934.

Fig. 118 shows an early Craftsman Vanadium 5/8x11/16 offset box wrench with depressed panels, marked with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Craftsman Vanadium" forged into the reverse. The fractional sizes are also forged into small depressed panels, with the "11/16" size on the front and "5/8" on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.8 inches. The finish is polished steel with light pitting, but the likely original plating is no longer present.


Craftsman 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrenches

The next two figures show examples of Craftsman Vanadium 5/8x11/16 offset box wrenches, with differences noted in the manufacturer's codes.

[Craftsman Vanadium AF 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 119A. Craftsman Vanadium "AF" 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 119A shows an earlier Craftsman Vanadium 5/8x11/16 offset box wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the raised panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse panel. The reverse shank is also stamped with an "AF" code to the right of the panel, shown as a close-up in the middle inset.

The overall length is 10.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

This wrench is unusual (for an "AF" code) in that the offset shank joins the box end at the top, giving the box end a "flat top" appearance. This is the style of junction usually associated with the "CI" code, as the next figure shows. Further discussion of the significance of the box end junctions can be found with the Craftsman 15/16x1 Offset Box Wrenches.


[Craftsman Vanadium CI 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 119B. Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 119B shows an earlier Craftsman Vanadium 5/8x11/16 offset box wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and two "CI" codes on the reverse.

The overall length is 10.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Craftsman 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrenches

The next two figures show examples of Craftsman 5/8x11/16 offset box wrenches in the post-Vanadium generation.

[Craftsman CI 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 120. Craftsman "CI" 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1941-1942.

Fig. 120 shows a later Craftsman 5/8x11/16 offset box wrench with raised panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and two "CI" codes on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 10.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

This wrench lacks the "Vanadium" marking but has a chrome plated finish, suggesting a production date around 1941-1942.

[Craftsman CI 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 121. Craftsman "CI" 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 121 shows another later Craftsman 5/8x11/16 offset box wrench with raised panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and two "CI" codes on the reverse panel. The shank also has a forged-in code "N4" visible at the left.

The overall length is 10.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The plain finish and lack of the "Vanadium" marking suggest production during the 1942-1945 wartime years. The "N4" code is frequently observed on tools of apparent wartime production.


Early Craftsman "HD4" 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Craftsman HD4 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 122. Craftsman "HD4" 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1934.

Fig. 122 shows an early Craftsman "HD4" 3/4x25/32 offset box wrench with a round shank, stamped "Chrome Vanadium Steel" between an "HD" and "4", with "Craftsman" and the fractional sizes on the reverse. (The wrench is heavily pitted from rust, making the markings very difficult to read.)

The overall length is 10.6 inches. The original finish was chrome (or nickel) plating, although most of the finish has been lost due to rust.

This wrench has been identified as Hinsdale production for Craftsman by its close similarity to the Hinsdale HD series of offset box wrenches. The same model with the standard Hinsdale markings can be seen as the Hinsdale HD4 Offset Box Wrench.

Craftsman Vanadium 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrenches

The next two figures show examples of Craftsman Vanadium 3/4x25/32 offset box wrenches, with differences noted in the manufacturer's codes.

[Craftsman AF 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 123A. Craftsman Vanadium "AF" 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 123A shows an earlier Craftsman Vanadium 3/4x25/32 offset box wrench with raised panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" and the fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse panel. The reverse shank is also stamped with an "AF" code, visible to the right of the panel and shown as a close-up in the middle inset.

The overall length is 11.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with some pitting due to rust.

[Craftsman CI 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 123B. Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 123B shows an earlier Craftsman Vanadium 3/4x25/32 offset box wrench with raised panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" and the fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and two "CI" codes on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 11.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

Craftsman 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench

The next figure shows a later Craftsman 3/4x25/32 offset box wrench from the post-Vanadium generation.

[Craftsman CI 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 124. Craftsman "CI" 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 124 shows a later Craftsman 3/4x25/32 offset box wrench with raised panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and two "CI" codes on the reverse panel. The shank also has a forged-in code "N4" visible at the right.

The overall length is 11.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The chrome plating on this example is somewhat of an anomaly. More commonly tools with the "N4" mark are found with plain or cadmium finishes.


Early Craftsman Vanadium 3/4x7/8 Offset Box-End Wrench

The next two figures show Craftsman Vanadium long offset box wrenches from an alternate maker, with different size pairings than the standard "CI" or "AF" wrenches.

[Early Craftsman Vanadium 3/4x7/8 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 125A. Early Craftsman Vanadium 3/4x7/8 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1934.

Fig. 125A shows an early Craftsman Vanadium 3/4x7/8 offset box wrench with depressed panels, marked with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Craftsman Vanadium" forged into the reverse. The fractional sizes are also forged into small depressed panels, with the "7/8" size on the front and "3/4" on the reverse.

The overall length is 11.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with scattered losses due to wear.

This box wrench is unusual not only for its depressed panels, but also for pairing the 3/4 and 7/8 sizes. More typically the 3/4 size was paired with 25/32, and the 7/8 size with 13/16.


Early Craftsman Vanadium 25/32x13/16 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Early Craftsman Vanadium 25/32x13/16 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 125B. Early Craftsman Vanadium 25/32x13/16 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1934.

Fig. 125B shows an early Craftsman Vanadium 25/32x13/16 offset box wrench with depressed panels, marked with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Craftsman Vanadium" forged into the reverse. The fractional sizes are also forged into small depressed panels, with the "13/16" size on the front and "25/32" on the reverse.

The overall length is 10.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with scattered losses due to wear.

This box wrench is unusual not only for its depressed panels, but also for pairing the 25/32 and 13/16 sizes. More typically the 25/32 size was paired with 3/4, and the 13/16 size with 7/8.


Craftsman Vanadium 13/16x7/8 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Craftsman Vanadium CI 13/16x7/8 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 126A. Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 13/16x7/8 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 126A shows an earlier Craftsman Vanadium 13/16x7/8 offset box wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the raised panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and two "CI" codes on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 12.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished panels.

Craftsman 13/16x7/8 Offset Box-End Wrench

The next figure shows a later Craftsman 13/16x7/8 offset box wrench from the post-Vanadium generation.

[Craftsman 13/16x7/8 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 126B. Craftsman "CI" 13/16x7/8 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 126B shows a later Craftsman 13/16x7/8 offset box wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo on the raised panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and two "CI" codes on the reverse panel. The reverse shank also has a forged-in code "N4" visible at the left.

The overall length is 12.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel with polished panels.


Craftsman 15/16x1 Offset Box-End Wrenches

The next several figures show similar 15/16x1 offset box-end wrenches, representing both the Vanadium and non-Vanadium generations, and with differences in the manufacturing codes. The construction of the wrenches also differs in subtle but important details, as discussed below.

[Craftsman Vanadium 15/16x1 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 127. Craftsman Vanadium "AF" 15/16x1 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 127 shows an earlier Craftsman Vanadium 15/16x1 offset box wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the raised panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse. The reverse shank is also stamped with a small "AF" code (not shown).

The overall length is 14.4 inches.

An interesting detail to examine here is the design of the junction between the box end and the offset shank. Note that for this wrench the junction is close to the middle of the box, so that the box end extends both above and below the junction. This results in a raised lip on both sides of the junction.


[Craftsman Vanadium CI 15/16x1 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 128. Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 15/16x1 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1941.

Fig. 128 shows an earlier Craftsman Vanadium 15/16x1 offset box wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the raised panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and two "CI" codes on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 14.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

Once again we want to examine the junction between the box end and the offset shank. Note that the top of the box end is flat right up to the junction, but the bottom of the box projects below the junction, giving the box a "flat top" appearance.


[Craftsman CI 15/16x1 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 129. Craftsman "CI" 15/16x1 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 129 shows a later Craftsman 15/16x1 offset box wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo on the raised panel, with "Forged in U.S.A" and two "CI" codes on the reverse.

The overall length is 14.4 inches.

This wrench is basically identical to the previous "CI" model, except for the absence of the "Vanadium" sub-brand marking.

A careful look at the other offset box wrenches in this section shows that most of the "AF" examples have the shank joining the box near the center, and that all of the "CI" models have the "flat top" type of junction. These differences in the construction details of the "AF" and "CI" models suggest that either the forging dies for the wrenches were developed by different companies, or that the standard for die making changed over time. Tool companies generally have a distinct style to their forging dies, and differences like those seen here would not arise accidentally.

When this section was first written we were inclined to explain the differences in construction as the work of separate companies. However, the recent discovery of a Craftsman Vanadium "AF" Box Wrench with "flat-top" style box ends has opened the way for a different explanation: the change in box-end construction could represent the evolution of design within one company.


Craftsman "CI" 1-1/16x1-1/4 Offset Box-End Wrench

This next figure shows our largest example of the early Craftsman box wrenches.

[Craftsman CI 1-1/16x1-1/4 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 130. Craftsman "CI" 1-1/16x1-1/4 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 130 shows a Craftsman 1-1/16x1-1/4 offset box wrench with raised panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and two "CI" codes on the reverse. The reverse shank also has a forged-in "N" or "N4" code, faintly visible at the far left.

The overall length is 16.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

This wrench size is not listed in the Sears catalogs up through 1942, suggesting that it was introduced during the 1942-1945 wartime years.


Short Angled Box Wrenches

Craftsman box wrenches with short straight shanks and angled heads were first offered in the 1934 Fall and Winter catalog, with three models available in sizes 3/8x7/16, 1/2x9/16, and 5/8x11/16.

The short angled box wrenches proved to be less popular than the other styles and were no longer listed in catalogs after 1938. However, examples have been found for the post-Vanadium generation, indicating that the tools were still being produced and sold through some channel.


Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 3/8x7/16 Short Box-End Wrench

[Craftsman Vanadium CI 3/8x7/16 Short Box Wrench]
Fig. 131. Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 3/8x7/16 Short Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1934-1941.

Fig. 131 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 3/8x7/16 short box wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo on the raised panel, with "Vanadium" on the reverse panel. The reverse shank also has a forged-in "CI" code visible at the left.

The overall length is 4.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Craftsman "CI" 1/2x9/16 Short Box-End Wrench

[Craftsman CI 1/2x9/16 Short Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 132. Craftsman "CI" 1/2x9/16 Short Box-End Wrench, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 132 shows a Craftsman 1/2x9/16 short box-end wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo on the raised panel.

The overall length is 4.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The wrench has a "CI" code forged into the shank.


Craftsman 5/8x11/16 Short Box-End Wrenches

The next figures show examples of the 5/8x11/16 short box-end wrench from both Vanadium and post-Vanadium generations, and with both "AF" and "CI" codes represented.

[Craftsman Vanadium AF 5/8x11/16 Short Box Wrench]
Fig. 133. Craftsman Vanadium "AF" 5/8x11/16 Short Box Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1934-1941.

Fig. 133 shows an earlier Craftsman Vanadium 5/8x11/16 short box wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Vanadium" and the fractional sizes on the reverse panel. The reverse shank is also marked with an "AF" code stamped at the left.

The overall length is 5.1 inches. The finish is plain steel with pitting due to rust, but with a few traces of the original chrome plating.

[Craftsman Vanadium CI 5/8x11/16 Short Box Wrench]
Fig. 134. Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 5/8x11/16 Short Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1934-1941.

Fig. 134 shows an earlier Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 5/8x11/16 short box wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo on the raised panel, with "Vanadium" on the reverse panel. The reverse shank also has a forged-in "CI" code visible at the left.

The overall length is 5.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

[Craftsman CI 5/8x11/16 Short Box Wrench]
Fig. 135. Craftsman "CI" 5/8x11/16 Short Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1941-1942.

Fig. 135 shows a later Craftsman "CI" 5/8x11/16 short box wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and fractional sizes on the raised panel, with the same markings on the reverse panel. The shank also has a forged-in "CI" code visible at the left.

The overall length is 5.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The presence of a chrome plated finish without the "Vanadium" marking suggests production in 1941-1942, before the advent of wartime rationing.


Combination Wrenches

The combination wrench style, with open-end and box-end openings of equal size, was first offered in 1933 by Plomb Tool and almost simultaneously by Bonney. The new style became very popular and was soon adopted by other tool makers.

The first Craftsman combination wrenches were probably offered in late 1937 or 1938. (We don't have the general catalog reference yet, but they were listed in the first Craftsman tools catalog of 1938 or 1939.) At this time Craftsman wrenches were being marked with the "Craftsman Vanadium" sub-brand and featured chrome plated finishes, and we can presume that the first combination wrenches would have been similarly marked and finished. Craftsman's early combination wrenches were available in six sizes: 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, and 3/4 inch.

In the late 1930s the Craftsman standard wrench style used raised oval panels for box wrenches, but depressed oval panels for the open-end wrenches. With both an open end and a box end, combination wrenches could have gone with either style, but the decision was made to use raised panels similar to the box wrench models.

As with other Craftsman wrenches, the "Vanadium" marking on combination wrenches was discontinued around late 1941 or early 1942, when Sears began to distance itself from specific alloy markings.

Based on the examples found so far, the combination wrenches were made with two manufacturer's code variants, "AF" and "CI". The wrenches for the "AF" and "CI" codes are very similar, but there are some minor differences in the markings. Both variants mark the front panel with "Craftsman Vanadium" and the fractional size, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse panel, and with the size repeated on the front face. The minor differences noted are that the "AF" code is stamped on the front shank, whereas the "CI" code is stamped on the reverse panel, along with a repeat of the size marking.

As has been noted in the sections for open-end and box wrenches, recently (November 2015) the manufacturer of the "AF" and "CI" coded wrenches has been identified as Billings & Spencer. Readers can find a discussion of this attribution in the Billings Case Study.


Craftsman Vanadium "AF" 7/16 Combination Wrench

[Craftsman Vanadium AF 7/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 136. Craftsman Vanadium "AF" 7/16 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1937-1941.

Fig. 136 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 7/16 combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse. The shank is also stamped with an "AF" code visible at the left.

The overall length is 5.3 inches. The current finish is plain steel with extensive pitting due to rust, but the original finish was probably chrome plating.


Craftsman Vanadium 1/2 Combination Wrenches

The next two figures show examples of the Craftsman Vanadium 1/2 combination wrench, in both "AF" and "CI" manufacturer's code variants.

[Craftsman Vanadium AF 1/2 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 137. Craftsman Vanadium "AF" 1/2 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1937-1941.

Fig. 137 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1/2 combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse. The shank is also stamped with an "AF" code visible at the left.

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with extensive losses due to wear.

[Craftsman Vanadium CI 1/2 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 138. Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 1/2 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1937-1941.

Fig. 138 shows a similar Craftsman Vanadium 1/2 combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with minor losses due to wear.


Craftsman 9/16 Combination Wrenches

The next several figures show examples of the Craftsman 9/16 combination wrench in both "AF" and "CI" variants.

[Craftsman Vanadium AF 9/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 139. Craftsman Vanadium "AF" 9/16 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1937-1941.

Fig. 139 shows an earlier Craftsman 9/16 combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse. The shank is also stamped with an "AF" code visible at the left.

The overall length is 6.7 inches. The finish is now plain steel with extensive pitting due to rust, but the original finish was probably chrome plating.

[Craftsman Vanadium CI 9/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 140. Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 9/16 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1937-1941.

Fig. 140 shows an earlier Craftsman 9/16 combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code on the reverse.

The overall length is 6.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

[Craftsman CI 9/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 141. Craftsman "CI" 9/16 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 141 shows a later Craftsman 9/16 combination wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo on the raised panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code stamped on the reverse.

The overall length is 6.7 inches. The finish is plain steel with polished panels and faces.

The plain finish and the absence of the "Vanadium" sub-brand suggest production during the 1942-1945 wartime era.


Craftsman 5/8 Combination Wrenches

The next several figures show examples of the Craftsman 5/8 combination wrench, with markings for two different manufacturer's codes.

[Craftsman Vanadium AF 5/8 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 142. Craftsman Vanadium "AF" 5/8 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1937-1941.

Fig. 142 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 5/8 combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse. The shank is also stamped with an "AF" code visible at the left.

The overall length is 7.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with extensive losses due to wear.

[Craftsman Vanadium CI 5/8 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 143. Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 5/8 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1937-1941.

Fig. 143 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 5/8 combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code on the reverse.

The overall length is 7.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

[Craftsman 5/8 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 144. Craftsman "CI" 5/8 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 144 shows a later Craftsman 5/8 combination wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo on the raised panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code stamped on the reverse. The shank is also marked with a forged-in code "N4" visible at the left.

The overall length is 7.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The plain finish and the absence of the "Vanadium" marking suggest production during the 1942-1945 wartime era. The "N4" code is frequently found on tools of apparent wartime production.


Craftsman 11/16 Combination Wrenches

The next figures show several examples of the Craftsman 11/16 combination wrench, in both "AF" and "CI" variants.

[Craftsman Vanadium AF 11/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 145. Craftsman Vanadium "AF" 11/16 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1937-1941.

Fig. 145 shows an earlier Craftsman 11/16 combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse panel. The shank is also stamped with an "AF" code visible at the left.

The overall length is 8.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with some losses due to wear.

[Craftsman Vanadium CI 11/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 146. Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 11/16 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1937-1941.

Fig. 146 shows an earlier Craftsman 11/16 combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

[Craftsman CI 11/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 147. Craftsman "CI" 11/16 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 147 shows a later Craftsman 11/16 combination wrench, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Craftsman "CI" 3/4 Combination Wrenches

The next figures show two generations of the 3/4 combination wrench.

[Craftsman Vanadium CI 3/4 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 148. Craftsman Vanadium "CI" 3/4 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1937-1941.

Fig. 148 shows a Craftsman 3/4 combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped "Craftsman Vanadium" on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code on the reverse.

The overall length is 9.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

[Craftsman CI 3/4 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 149. Craftsman "CI" 3/4 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Early 1940s.

Fig. 149 shows a later Craftsman 3/4 combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "CI" code on the reverse.

The overall length is 9.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with losses due to wear and rust.

This wrench is an uncommon example of a non-Vanadium branded tool with a chrome plated finish, suggesting that Sears might have discontinued the Vanadium sub-brand before the start of wartime rationing.

[Craftsman 3/4 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 150. Craftsman 3/4 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 150 shows a later Craftsman 3/4 combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse. (The stamping machine apparently had a glitch and double-struck the markings.)

The overall length is 9.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel with polished panels and faces.

Although not stamped with a "CI" code, the size markings on both sides indicate a likely "CI" origin.

The plain finish and the absence of the "Vanadium" sub-brand suggest production during the 1942-1945 wartime era.


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