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.
What are you trying to do, Harold, start a food fight? <g>
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They were very able machines although they were already out of date and not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.
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 a
2.25" 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,
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
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 and
80 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 about
2 Hp. I'm just chicken. No problem making blue chips, though,
and filling the chip tray in an hour.
See http://jelinux.pico-systems.com/sheldon.html for 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.
Well, I don't usually do heavy stock removal on big projects.
Maybe I'm ruined for life by starting out on an Atlas 10" with
blitzed babbit bearings. After taking a cut with a radiused
cutter making a 1/8" wide chip and having the lathe dance acros
the floor with a noise that could have been heard literally a
block away, you get timid!
And, maybe, with time, I'll learn to take more advantage of the
capabilities of this lathe. Much of the stuff I do is cutting
down small spacers, threading little adaptors and such. I
looked for a long time for a larger lathe that had higher speeds
and a good spindle bore, so it could do everything on one machine.
And, I AIN'T complaining. But, if I had known at the beginning
it was going to take 22 months on an off, I would have found a
different way to do it. But, once I started, I pretty much had
I have a lot of positive-rake tooling that I got comfortable
with on the Atlas. I will have to try out some neg rake tooling
Negative rake is the key to moving material. Unless you get involved with
some very strange, large chip breakers in carbide, positive rake usually
won't come close to taking a cut like I described, and even then you'll
suffer a short tool life. Roughing with positive rake is generally an
invitation to failure---in general due to chips damaging the cutting edge.
That's almost non-existent in negative rake.
If you haven't experienced negative rake tooling, the next time you have
some material to remove, give it some thought. Be certain that you match
the grade of carbide to the job at hand. That can be a serious issue when
you put the tool to work.
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).
.250" on the diameter, it is an 8 TPI screw, so .125" actual
feed! But, I rarely look at the dial, as the machine came with
a Mitutoyo DRO. I took the scales apart, and was glad I did,
they had a LOT of crud in them, but it hadn't done any damage
yet. Anyway, I haven't had too much chance to do precision
bearing fits with the toolpost grinder since I got the Sheldon
running, but I'm sure it will be a lot less tense to make
precise interference fits than on the Atlas. I did some shaft
couplings in the last couple weeks and some of them came out
with air-bearing class of fits over the full length, so it is
really working great.
Everything on this machine is "to die for", except maybe moving
it. The carriage feed handle has a bit of a heavy feel to it,
maybe the Moglice on the carriage slide has too much area or
something, or maybe I'm using too heavy an oil since it now has
the Moglice. Sometimes that is a slight annoyance, but the
handle is huge, and despite a fair bit of drag, you can still
move it quite precisely. I was really worried I wouldn't get
the carriage properly aligned when it all went back together,
but it really came out as dead on as I could possibly measure.
About the only drawback to owning a tool like this is I'm afraid
to let my kids touch it! They couldn't get into too much
trouble with an Atlas, but this thing could KILL! Also, I
wouldn't want to risk them having a major crash and seriously
That's really the best of all worlds! I would be inclined to ditch the
DRO-----but that's me. I see no need, and can do .0002" work on a lathe, as
long as the lathe is willing. Sounds like yours is.
As long as you can position the carriage as required, that can be a good
feature. I've run a lathe that was too loose, and caused a drunken thread
by the carriage handle traversing across center at the apex of the curve.
I should have known better, but I'd never experienced anything like it. It
was a great way to learn a lesson, however. The returned part, a coarse
Acme threaded shaft for the aero-space industry, was embarrassment enough
for me to last a lifetime.
That's the price you pay for owning an industrially rated machine. They
are, indeed, easy to damage, and can be killers-----that's why machinists
aren't found on every corner------and why a guy that has played on a machine
in his garage, making a few pounds of chips, shouldn't see himself as a
machinist. Those of us that have worked in the trade have spent a lot of
time learning to operate the machines in a safe and sane manner, with the
hopes of turning out good work in the process. None of that comes easily,
nor does quality *and speed* come without considerable experience.
Judging from what I've seen and read, you made some good choices, landing on
your feet. Said another way, you did good.
I remember those - what a trip at the time. I own a Sheldon 11x44.
Nice lathe - Dad and I bought it together in a Hardware store and had
it delivered. The tools..... we put into the car. Thank goodness for
the new fangled RED Station Wagon !!! wow color. And what is this storage
area for - fold down bench seat... Storage for tools!
Martin H. Eastburn
@ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net
TSRA, Life; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal.
NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder
IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member.
Jon Elson wrote:
I'm new to this site and new to running a lathe, I just picked up a
Logan 820 thats in excellent shape and I'm wondering after reading all
comments reguarding small lathes if this will be the right machine to
make Ferrules used in archery. I will make a broadhead with these
ferrules for traditional hunter that use's wood arrows and glue-on
heads. The ferrules I want to make will be from 1.25" to 1.60" in
lenght and have a taper of 5 degrees. 11/32" outside dia. with a 5
degree hole 1" into the end for the wood shaft. I will make custom
weights on these broadheads from 118 gr. to 225 gr.in steel. I
already have some Aluminum Ferrules made that I slot for the blades to
lock into that had came with the stamping press and dies to stamp out
the blades. I was going to look for a taper attachment for the Logan
but a guy told me I can use the compond to cut the taper thats only
that long...sound right? Well thanks for taking time to read this.
You mean "this newsgroup"? "Site" refers to a web site, where
there is a single system which hosts it -- or perhaps one or two backup
system as well.
A usenet newsgroup, however, (you may *think* that you posted to
a "Googlegroup", but you posted *through* Google's web-based interface t
a usenet newsgroup) is hosted on thousands of news servers around the
world -- and while Google gives you access to it, it is far from the
best way to access it. :-)
Will *all* be aluminum, or will you be making these in other
materials as well?
It can usually -- check the travel of your compound to make
sure, since I don't have access to a Logan of that size to check (and
1.6" sounds a bit long for that) -- but that is a reasonable way to go
only for a few at a time. It is a lot of cranking and your hand will
get tired quickly.
So -- if you can find a taper attachment, it will significantly
improve your productivity.
Also -- look for a collet closer system for your machine. Lever
style would be nicer, but you probably will only find a handwheel one.
The collets to fit this machine will probably be 3C collets, not the
larger 5C ones which my Clausing uses. But -- they should be adequate
for stock up to 1/2" diameter at least. With this, you could feed long
stock through the headstock to make a part, part it off (cut it off),
advance the stock after loosening the collet, and make another just as
the previous was made. You'll want some kind of guide to keep long
stock sticking out the headstock from starting to whip. PVC pipe in a
support will do quite well for this. If it *does* start to whip, it can
be quite dangerous.
I gather that both the OD and the ID will have the same 5 degree
taper. The ID could be done with a custom reamer (or maybe a standard
reamer, such as for taper pins might be the right taper -- you will need
to check on this). You could drill the hole, and turn the taper with a
boring bar in the toolpost and using the taper attachment, and then
switch to an external cutting tool to cut the taper towards the
headstock prior to parting off. This has the advantage that both
operations could be performed with the same setting on the taper
Do you need to then make a blunt cone on the small end of the
ferrule, or will it be cut square across?
If you make the OD taper first, and then part off before making
the ID taper, you will have to come up with some other way to hold the
now tapered workpiece prior to cutting the internal taper. (I would use
a chuck with two-piece jaws and mount soft jaws on the master ones and
turn the taper in the jaws to hold the tapered workpiece.)
Welcome, and good luck,
Email: < firstname.lastname@example.org> | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
(too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
Also, it can be difficult to keep a consistent feed (you need to crank
the handle at a consistent speed). When I used the compound to turn a
taper, I took off the compound crank handle and chucked the shaft with
my cordless drill. Much faster, less tiring, and more consistent than
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