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How to Decode a Craftsman Lathe Serial Number

John Mack

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.