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My old Craftsman did same. Battery was pretty old but would still turn the starter. Just wouldn't engage the flywheel every time, but it would spin. I removed the starter and cleaned the corroded starter shaft and put a little lube on it. Cured the problem.

Be sure all grounds are clean and tight, especially anything grounding the starter or solenoid.
Just to eliminate a possible key switch issue, try to power the solenoid directly, to see if it engages every time that way. Like the old Ford solenoids, just connect a jumper between the two large lugs and the starter should engage. I used a couple of screwdrivers one on each lug, then crossed them, like a switch.
If it does engage that way, there may be insufficient voltage reaching the solenoid's small terminals to close the switch and connect the battery voltage to the starter.
If it does the same thing when shorting the solenoid, there may be an issue with the starter.
All this is just basic stuff, maybe you've already tried. Can't think of anything else.
 
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