What is the quality of the Logan machine lathe brand? Made well enough to suffice for a novice metal worker?
15 years ago
What is the quality of the Logan machine lathe brand? Made well enough to suffice for a novice metal worker?
A Logan is right up there with South Bend, Sheldon, and others who made very high quality metal lathes far better than anything you could buy today. It will be one of the best investments you will buy.
The machines mentioned border on industrial rating. They are of decent quality, but hardly high quality. There are superior machines to be had---but they tend to be larger machines, and certainly were far more expensive. Machines mentioned would be excellent quality for home shop use, far better than lesser brands, assuming they are in good condition. Name alone isn't enough-------condition dictates.
Yes----Logan would be considered very good for the novice metal worker----but not really competitive with industrial machines.
There are better -- but heavier machines.
But the Logans have one *major* advantage to those of us in the hobby world. Scott Logan still keeps his company making repair parts for the machines -- and he is active in this newsgroup. (Look for the regular bi-weekly FAQ posting (by him) to find pointers to his site and to yahoo groups dedicated to the Logan lathes.
You'll have a lot of fun with that machine.
What are you trying to do, Harold, start a food fight?
I'll disagree slightly. First off, Logan, South Bend, and Sheldon WERE industrial machines. And they were made a hell of a lot better than most of the machines of comparable size and weight available from Asia today. However, they were light by today's standards and the South Bend, at least, was a little springy for use with carbide tooling in steel.
I used a Logan and two South Bends in a commercial machine shop in the '70s. They were very able machines although they were already out of date and not very productive by the standards of the day, and certainly not now. But they were capable of very good work and they were built to last under normal use. I have a SB 10L that's been in my family since 1945, and it's a very well made machine -- ideal for a typical hobby shop. I expect it to last at least another generation or two with normal use.
What you say about condition is, of course, the big factor. There aren't a lot of those machines still in use that haven't been through hell and back.
-- Ed Huntress
The more important question is what is the condition of the Logan that you are considering? The brand has a following that seems happy with it.
A Logan, SB or Sheldon would be my first choice for a novice. They're not as rigid or precise as industrial machines, but they are very forgiving of the mistakes every novice will make. They don't break, they just stall or the belt slips. They are far better machines than comparably-sized Chinese imports, and parts are available. In decent condition, any of them are capable of all the precision a novice metalworker will need or be capable of, and more.
They're not machines with which to make smoking blue chips with carbide tooling.
I learned a lot and made a lot of stuff on my 9" Logan, and I'm saving it for my son should he ever decide he might want it.
I would strongly recommend getting a decent toolpost, anything but the lantern type often associated with those lathes. It makes a huge difference. Watch for sales on Phase II or similar.
Somehow I sensed that could come about when I posted my comments. :-)
Need I say more?
When I discuss industrial machines, I mean it in the true sense of the word (discounting today's high speed CNC's, of course).
I fully realize that all of those machines have been used in industry---and all with mixed results. I was assigned to a Sheldon at a shop where I was employed briefly. Very nice machine, but woefully lacking in the ways of serious machining. For one, it was virtually impossible to take serious roughing cuts with the machine, but it had no issues with precision. I've also been assigned to a geared head South Bend, which left more than a lot to be desired as an industrial machine. I'd shudder to think how poorly a flat belt South Bend might perform when put to serious work. I spent more than one year running a small Clausing in a job shop. All suffered from a common problem------not enough horse power and rigidity to perform to production standards. That doesn't mean they were not good machines, but they had to be used within their design parameters in order to satisfy. I see nothing wrong with that. The Clausing, for sure, cost but a miniscule fraction of the price of an EE Monarch.
I have no quarrel with the quality of any of these machines. The problem they all have is that they simply can't compete with a machine that's built to move metal, which is why I am not keen on them. In spite of my prejudice, I endorse them highly for the novice, who isn't likely to ever need such a capability. A dear friend has a small lathe that is belt driven with a fractional horse power motor. He has regaled me with one experience whereby things went wrong and he stalled the spindle with his hands. In that case, having a less than adequate machine paid huge dividends, but as I type this, I harken back to one of the defense parts I ran on my Sag 12 Graziano. A steering pin for the main landing gear of the B-52 bomber. I had hundreds to run, and were made from annealed 4140, turned off center to allow for a boss that was milled after the lathe work. I wonder how long I'd have taken to rough that order had my machine not been capable of serious cuts. There is a distinct difference between industrially rated machines, and machines used in industrial circumstances. You might liken it to considering yourself a car because you're standing in the garage. Takes more than that to have the title.
Again, it isn't in anyone's best interest to compare an industrially rated machine with those of reasonably high quality, but intended for light duty work. There's absolutely nothing wrong with such machines as long as you don't have the same expectations that you might have from a 17" Axelson.
Logan, I believe, made a fairly narrow class of lathes. Definitely better than Atlas, but nothing like a LeBlond.
Sheldon, over the years, spanned a much wider class of machines. They made some lower-end machines that were pretty similar to the Logan, for instance. Near the end of their business, they upgraded their top end to somewhere between Cadillac and Rolls-Royce, to use an automotive metaphor. I have a 1968+ Sheldon R15-6, a 3500 Lb machine with D1-6 camlock spindle and a2.25" spindle through hole. Believe me, it can take a cut that leaves me slack-jawed! The toughest thing I tried was making a ball joint socket in 1018 steel with a quarter-round form tool. I bored the hole to 7/8", and then lined up the form tool and just plowed it in to see what would happen. Once it got to where the drill stopped, it was cutting along the entire face of the tool, making a 1" diameter concave hemisphere. There was not even the slightest HINT of a vibration developing, Just the soft crinkling of the chips. I did hear the gear noise from the gearbox get just a little louder. If I had tried this on the Atlas/Craftsman lathe I had before, it would have been a race to see if the spindle stalled or the vibration grew until the bed cracked! I also threaded the ball end with a 1"-20 TPI thread. Just to save my threading tool, I cut those in 3 passes, but the lathe could have done it in one, easy.
Just pointing out that at least with the Sheldon brand, there was a wide range of machine class under that label.
And yours would certainly qualify for industrial use, at least judging by the description you provided. I've never encountered one of them, but that's damned impressive! I'm particularly impressed with the D spindle. Every decent machine I've ever operated, aside from a LeBlond, has had such a spindle, although of various sizes.
One of my complaints with South Bend was that they stayed with old technology far too long. I have no doubts about their quality--but they'd have done themselves a world of good to have moved up, away from threaded spindles and flat belt drives much sooner than they did. I was always underwhelmed with those damned knob clutch feed mechanisms on the carriage, too.
I really enjoyed running the small Sheldon I spoke of, but always wished it had more power. I get the distinct impression that wouldn't be an issue with yours.
The one Logan that Im rather anamored of..is the Logal 11".
With a QC gearbox..and in decent condition, its a Great hsm lathe. Id rather have a Logan 11, than a SB etc etc.
This of course..coming from a guy with Hardinge, Gorton, KO Lee etc etc....in his shop....
"[L]iberals are afraid to state what they truly believe in, for to do so would result in even less votes than they currently receive. Their methodology is to lie about their real agenda in the hopes of regaining power, at which point they will do whatever they damn well please. The problem is they have concealed and obfuscated for so long that, as a group, they themselves are no longer sure of their goals. They are a collection of wild-eyed splinter groups, all holding a grab-bag of dreams and wishes. Some want a Socialist, secular-humanist state, others the repeal of the Second Amendment. Some want same sex/different species marriage, others want voting rights for trees, fish, coal and bugs. Some want cradle to grave care and complete subservience to the government nanny state, others want a culture that walks in lockstep and speaks only with intonations of political correctness. I view the American liberals in much the same way I view the competing factions of Islamic fundamentalists. The latter hate each other to the core, and only join forces to attack the US or Israel. The former hate themselves to the core, and only join forces to attack George Bush and conservatives." --Ron Marr
The late Sheldon R15-6 is the most advanced lathe I've ever poked around the insides of. It has all sorts of ingenious mechanisms to deal with all sorts of things. Like, the main speed reducer gearbox is on the motor, not in the headstock, so as to keep vibrations away from the spindle. The spindle is driven by a matched set of 3 huge power-Vee belts. The input pulley for that belt runs on a set of bearings in the headstock, whereas similar input shafts often run on bearings that ride directly on the spindle. Again, to reduce vibrations to the spindle. The direct drive clutch has two dogs that are matched to provide torque without any radial thrust to the spindle.
There are all sorts of little details in the threading and feed drive, too. The power feeds are done with adjustable metal plate clutches, not gears, so you don't break things if you crash. The threading leadscrew has a U-joint at the QC gearbox end so it can't cause the leadscrew to exert any radial force against the carriage. The QC is a total marvel, 80 threads and80 different feeds. It must have over 200 ball and needle roller bearings in it, probably even more.
I'm probably missing even more great innovations they put in there. Also, the thing is just MASSIVE, I have to take the tailstock off in two pieces, otherwise it is too heavy for me. The bare carriage is over 120 Lbs and 25" wide across the bed. The apron needs a hoist. The headstock is the size of a big-block V8 shortblock.
I don't know about the South Bend clutches, but the ones on the Sheldon are designed to be easily adjusted by the machinist, there are nuts in the middle of the handwheels. So, you can tighten them up for a heavy cut, or loosen them for light cuts when you might be expecting a crash.
It is only 7.5 Hp, and I'm sure I've never loaded it past about2 Hp. I'm just chicken. No problem making blue chips, though, and filling the chip tray in an hour.
Seefor some pics and a story about getting the thing moved in to my shop.
Interesting story on the lathe. Sounds like you went to a great deal of trouble to get the machine back to good condition.
I'm duly impressed with the machine, and your system of regrinding the ways.
My Graziano is only 3 horse, and will take monster cuts compared to those you've mentioned. I have no doubt you could pull a .400" depth of cut @ .015" feed with negative rake carbide on yours. It's poetry in motion when you see chips coming off like that.
One more comment----
The dial size on the cross slide is to die for. Anyone that's ever done tight tolerance work in a lathe appreciates a large dial. That's one of the complaints I have with my Graziano. The dial is quite small, and it's hard to sort the lines now that I've gotten older. Does yours feed .200" per revolution? (That would be .400" off the diameter).
I regularly make blue chips with my Logan 10X31 ... with 5% cobalt tooling in a lantern toolpost . But it still chatters like a mutha when parting off .
I also have a 9" Logan. It was the first lathe I acquired about 10 years ago. since then other lathes have come and gone. Right now I only have the Logan and a 10" Enco. the Logan's the keeper, but the Enco gets the dirty work.
...and babbit headstock bearings
Bronze, actually, in mine. And still within tolerance after 63 years. And quiet as a mouse. d8-)
-- Ed Huntress
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