Logan or Atlas for first lathe purchase?

I have found a couple of lathes for sale locally, and would like to hear your opinions and/or recomendations.

I am looking for a small lathe to do various things icluding gunsmithing. I have a very small shop(ok its a storage shed) so a small footprint is a must. I have 110v power available and 220v might be possible, Ill have to ask my elect. I have found so far:

Atlas/Craftsman 6 X 36 in great condition with 3 & 4 jaw chuck

4 hours away $500

Logan 9"? X ? (he thinks it 36-40 inches) 3 & 4 jaw chuck, quick change tool holder,owner thinks it has 3/4 horse motor, and was sure it has V shaped ways. He thinks 3 or 4 guys could load it. 110v $1200 I am hoping it is actually a 10 inch but plan to be disappointed when I go look at it. Sorry for the lack of info, I will post more details after I go look at the logan.

I did a google search and found a page about logan lathes that seemed to know what they were about, but you never know. on that page the 9" logan is 28 inch max between ctrs. and the

10" model seems to be a much better machine.

I havent seen either machine, but my thinking is going like this so far.

if the machine is actually a 10" logan lathe, is it worth $1200? would it be worth twice what an atlas costs? I have to consider mileage on such a heavy machine (400+ lbs). the logan is relatively close. BTW, when I say "worth" I guess I mean is machine "A" $xxx amount more capable than machine "B"? (worth more)

If it is a 9 inch logan how does it compare to the Atlas capability wise?

I believe the Atlas units are fairly light and could be shipped cross country. they are going on ebay for $300 and up depending on condition, plus shipping.

Sorry for the long post and scattered thoughts, It is past my bedtime. Thanks for your time pc

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The working size of that is 6x18. The overall length is about 36". Those are nice little lathes, with emphasis on "little". Threading is by change gears, no QC available. Note there is a Mk1 and a Mk2 model. The Mk2 has a very square head. All the gears, pulleys, and small castings on either are Zamac, i.e. pot metal. This is a lathe sold by Sears. A good Mk1 will bring ~$450, a Mk2 ~$650 on ebay

I have a 9x17 Logan, with QC box. I used an engine hoist to unload it. Everything is either cast iron or steel. A very nice machine, and much more than any Atlas or Craftsman metal lathe.

Only if it's pristine and well tooled. At that price it should LOOK like it's been well-cared for, and I don't mean "nice paint". it should also come with everything you need, 3-jaw, 4-jaw, faceplate, drive dogs, centers, steady rest, follow rest.

If you were comparing 10" to 10", no. But a 9" Logan is in a different league than a 6" Atlas. I have seen the 9" lathes go for more money than the 10" on a number of occasions. I think the smaller lathes are rarely in a production environment, but rather are cared for by an individual hobbyist who paid a goodly price for a precision machine. I see nice 10" and larger Logans go in the $800 range. I would not part with mine for $1000, but I'd be tempted at $1200.

I just sold a 10x36 Atlas, because the Logan was better made by far, and I have yet to run into anything that required the extra size.

I shipped a MK2 from TX to CO, in 3 boxes, for $35 via UPS.

The Atlas will get you started and help you learn what you really want, but you will likely upgrade once you get up to speed. The Logan could suit your needs indefinitely. Also, Scott Logan maintains parts and support for the products his Granddad built. I'd try to negotiate the price on the Logan. But if it's local and like-new, and you can afford it....

Reply to
Rex B

9" Logans have the model number on the QC box brass plate. A 9" w/ QC will be 9B-17-1 or 9B-28-1. The 17 or 28 is the length between centers. Other models may not have the model number. Get the serial number from the Logan, and email Scott Logan


He can tell you the model number, the specifications, when it was first sold, and who bought it. He can also sell you a manual and parts list for a fair price.

Reply to
Rex B

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Have had an older (built in 1946) 10" Logan for several years and am very happy with it. I've found parts support to be very good. The machine will still hold .001. It came with a roll-around full of tooling, some of which needed some cleaning up and/or missing parts made/bought. I gave $700 for it, but that was a few years ago.


Reply to
Jerry Foster

The Atlas is for the mass market, the Logan is a real, abeit junior, machine. I have the very plain Logan 200 vintage mid '40s. Loose change gears, 10" x24", 1/2 hp, cast iron legs. I haven't really done the some tight accuracy testing but I think it will hold .001", faces a 10" steel disk with ease.

Whole thing weighs about 425 pounds, breaks down so the biggest piece weighs 210 pounds. A couple of husky guys can crank it out of a basement via the stairs.

Bought m> I have found a couple of lathes for sale locally, and would

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Which version? There was one with bronze bearings (I have one of these) and one with Timken roller bearings. Mine was rather old and worn, and it also proved to be rather weak, when a parting tool got caught and broke off part of the T-slot on the compound.

I currently have a 12x24" Clausing -- made by the company which merged with Atlas, but made for industrial use, not for hobbyists.

I'm helping a friend with a 10 Logan "PowerMatic" -- made (not very long) after the line was bought from Logan. It turns to to be

*much* closer to the original Logans than the later ones with the "PowerMatic" name.

It is a *lot* more machine than either version of the 6x18 Atlas, and I would choose it over the Atlas in a heartbeat.

That quick-change toolpost is a very good thing, and I wonder whether it also happens to have a quick-change gearbox? The one which I am helping with does, along with both cross and longitudinal power feed separate from the threading feed (good for preserving the accuracy of the leadscrew for threading.)

If you found Scott Logan's site, that is the mother lode of information. He also sells parts for the old machines, as well as manuals and parts lists.

The main question is whether you know how to test for bed wear, as this could be a problem in either machine.

I'm not sure about that price. I paid not much more than that for my 12x24 Clausing, with a 3-Jaw chuck, and a bed turret (really nice for production runs.) And there have been a lot of shops closing recently, which should being the prices down. (But then again, a 9" or

10" machine is better suited if you need to get it down into a cellar.)

And my Clausing was closer to 900 pounds, IIRC. I had to pay to get it shipped from New York, after winning it on eBay (from a vendor who I trusted.)

I would spend the extra for the 9" or 10" over the 6" -- but I would personally prefer the 12" which I got.

*Much* better than a 6" Atlas. My 6" Atlas is pretty much in retirement.

Yes -- and they could be used for you to make your learning mistakes on, before you get a really *nice* machine.

Good Luck, DoN.

Reply to
DoN. Nichols

In particular, get the Model Number and Serial Number. The Model Number should be on a nameplate either on the front of the headstock, or on the Quick Change Gearbox, if so equipped. The Serial Number is a 5 digit number, stamped on top of the bed, right hand end, between the front V and flat ways.

Well, if the page you found is at

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yes, we probably know what it is about. My Grandfather founded the company.

The seller may have been referring to the overall length of the Lathe, or may have the wrong swing size. Capacities of Logan Lathes are listed at

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I'm a bit biased, but I would say that a comparable Logan is more rugged and capable than the same sized Atlas.

Well, if nothing else, according to your numbers, the Logan has 50% more swing capacity.

Youi're forgiven. Good night.

Reply to
Scott S. Logan

Hi all.... I really want to thank you for the well thought out responses.

The owner told me twice that it was a logan. I went to see it today , it is a South Bend...go figure. Model B5 , Cat # 677R bed length 4.5 s/n 178456 B101 mark on bed . $1200 It does have a 3 and 4 jaw chuck, some dogs, all the gears, and new paint, but I think for that money I can do a lot better. for instance there is a 13" X 30 Southbend on ebay now for $750 currently, only problem its in Nashville.

Another is close in KC area is an elgin collet lathe with about 30 collets the owner knows almost nothing about it . He thinks there is no power feed and I cant see from the pictures. auction # 7508201038. no bids at $50 with $400 BIN. cheap, close, but useful?

I forgot to state in my original post that Im in the Wichita, Ks area. If any one knows of a good machine in the $1000 range , 220v max, within say 500 miles of wichita please let me know.

thanks for your time pc

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There was an Atlas 12x36, QC box, auto apron for $700 Wichita Falls TX, which I believe is in your range.

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Check the national listings. Also, check the online classified for the OKC newspaper, and maybe Tulsa

Reply to
Rex B

That could explain the price. South Bend is better known as a desirable hobbist lathe (in the US), so the prices on those tend to be high.

Of course, you don't know what it will be when it closes -- and SouthBend machines tend tos start a "feeding frenzy" more than other (and often better) machines.

It depends. I would not consider it a good choice for a *first* lathe, as it has *no* longitudinal feed -- other than a second hand crank on the cross feed. The whole assembly is held by a hand nut run up from below the bed, and you lose any settings when you shift it. It is a "second-op" lathe, I think (that is -- it is used to perform second operations on a part which was started in another machine) -- and is sort of like an oversized jeweler's lathe. You can't single-point cut threads with it. If you could get a bed turret for it, you could use a Geometric die head (or something similar) for cutting common threads, but not for unusual ones.

A bit out of my reach (Northern VA -- too close to Washington DC), so I'll just wish you luck.

Enjoy, DoN.

Reply to
DoN. Nichols

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