How to Decode a Craftsman Lathe Serial Number

Decoding a Craftsman lathe serial number can be challenging to get exactly right. Most people who are trying to find out how to decode a Craftsman serial number are looking for the month and year the lathe was manufactured in order to find replacement parts.

Sears is the exclusive retailer of Craftsman brand products, including lathes. They have published lots of information that make the job of decoding Craftsman lathe serial numbers easier – as well as ordering replacing parts.

Craftsman lathes have been sold to DIY woodworkers for decades.

Step 1

Locate the serial number on the lathe. You will usually find it under the belt guard or on the foot of the bed, but it could also appear elsewhere on the lathe depending on the year of manufacture.

Step 2

Attempt to recognize a month and year after the period in the serial number. For example, in the serial number 1173.M0368, the "0368" refers to a manufacture date of March, 1968. Similarly, the serial number of 8104.M0789 represents a manufacture date of July, 1989.

Step 3

Locate the first digits of the serial number before the period and letter. These numbers usually indicate where in the manufacturing queue a particular Craftsman lathe was finished. This provides the uniqueness to the Craftsman Lathe serial number but is otherwise unimportant.

Step 4

Locate the model number on the lathe. This is usually in the format of XXX.XXXXX.

Step 5

In a web browser, navigate to the Sears Parts Direct website if you are searching for a part for your lathe.

Step 6

Search for your model number and click on the parts diagram for your Craftsman lathe to find the part number you need to order.


  • Serial numbers are not all in the same format because many manufacturers have produced Craftsman lathes for Sears.
  • If you can't find your model of Craftsman lathe online, take it into a Sears store and find an employee or manager who might be able to provide additional information.


  • Be careful when disassembling your lathe to search for the model or serial numbers; older materials can be extremely brittle.

About the Author

John Mack began his writing career in 2003 by authoring Web content for eBay and other companies. He has contributed articles for numerous blogs across a wide range of subject matter including cooking, travel, education and technology. Mack holds his Master of Business Administration from the University of Montana with emphases in marketing, entrepreneurship and information systems.

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