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The serial number is stamped on the tailstock end of the bed between the flat- and v-ways.   It is used to determine the size and type of lathe, plus any special features or attachments.  The earliest records show that lathes were numbered sequentially, beginning with 700, in July, 1910, and ending with 186,514 March, 1947.

After that date, a new numbering system added a three letter code to indicate 1) the swing, 2) the gear and apron combination and the location of the drive, and 3) the spindle hole size, type of swing, and special features.

For example: "2345"   "RKL" "7"

is the 2,345th 10" lathe built.  It has quick change gears, friction feed apron, and underneath motor drive, a large spindle hole, and standard swing.  The number 7 is the model number, which is changed when modifications are made to the machine that do not change its overall characteristics.   Each swing size begins a new numerical series, starting with the number one.

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Swing Gear, Apron, and Drive Spindle and Swing Type
N= 9 inch K= Quick Change Gear (QCG), Friction Feed Apron,
Underneath Motor Drive (UMD
R= Regular Spindle Hole,
Standard Swing
R= 10 inch P= Standard Change Gear,
Friction Feed Apron, UMD
L= Large Spindle Hole,
Standard Swing
T= 13 inch A= Quick Change Gear (QCG), Friction Feed Apron,
Overhead Countershaft Drive (CS)
E= Regular Spindle Hole,
Raised Swing
F= 14 1/2 inch B= Standard Change Gear (SCG),
Friction Feed Apron, CS
D= Large Spindle Hole,
Raised Swing
H= 16 and 16/24 C= Standard Change Gear (SCG),
Screw Feed Gear, CS
T= Turret
Y= Standard Change Gear (SCG),
Screw Feed Gear, UMD
X= Special
C= Cam Lock Spindle
K= Taper Key Lock Spindle

The following factors about the lathe are conveyed in the catalog number because of the infrequency of repaired part orders:

Length of bed The only repair parts affected by this feature are the lead screw, rack, and chip pan.
Type of drive The only repair affected by this feature are the cone cradle or horizontal drive, leg, motor and motor pulleys and belts.
Types of legs Are not shown
Type of headstock cone pulley Is infrequently ordered as a replacement.  This applies to 9" model A, B, and C lathes when furnished with V groove cone pulley and also to the 16" lathe when supplied with 3-step cone pulley. 

Although the code number of the headstock changes when supplied with a V groove pulley on a 9 inch lathe, or a 3-step cone pulley on the 16 inch lathe, the letter symbol designating the size and type of lathe stays the same, and is made in the model number as shown.  Only the unit code stamped on the headstock changes:

Cat. No. Description Unit Code No. Model No.
444Y 9" Model A Flat-Belt (6-speed) OH112 NKR7
544Y 9" Model A V-Belt (8-speed) OH112V NKR7