View Full Version : Logan or South Bend?
07-13-2009, 10:18 AM
I am looking at two lathes right now, a Logan powermatic 14 inch swing with chuck and steady rest and a South Bend heavy 10 with a pretty fair amount of tooling. Either one is big enough for most of the stuff I do. The Logan is one of the last ones, with the green paint and racing stripe and is 3 phase. The SB is single phase. Both seem to be tight enough for what I do, which is make valves for steam whistles and, simple turning and threading for parts for whistles and steam gauges. The Logan was originally delivered with a turret and now it has the regular tail stock. Any opinion about which one to choose?
07-13-2009, 11:00 AM
after you have been doing this stuff for a while, BOTH!
some not very useful points
3 phase is preferable- use a vfd
tight is not a very good indicatorof quality, you need to do some checks with indicators , levels , test bars ect
take off some bits to see what lies under neath, are the ways scored ect ?
does the logan tailstock line up if it is a replacement- is the turret still available?
the turret might be very usefull to you
My personal choice would probably be the SB, being large enough but smaller than the Logan and therefore easier to move. But, both are good lathes.
The SB heavy 10 probably has an extended-range QC gearbox that lets you cut 27tpi, 30tpi, and a few others, the Logan may not, but that's not likely to be of huge significance.
07-13-2009, 12:51 PM
Assuming condition and capacity of both are satisfactory for your needs:
On a well known auction site I tried searching for "logan lathe 14" and "south bend lathe 10" - many more parts and tooling for the SB.
Also a lot of online expertise for SB. One popular site has forums for both, Logan with about 600 members, SB with over 5,000.
If you have SB tooling you know you won't need you should be able to sell it fairly easily and for a good price. I suppose the flip side is that if you find something you need for the Logan in the larger size the price might not be too bad due to relative lack of demand.
I saw a Logan 14" steady rest listed as 35 lbs, vs probably around 12 for the SB 10".
Motors aren't too expensive if you need to swap.
Some comparison info here. (http://www.lathes.co.uk/page21.html)
07-13-2009, 01:58 PM
I can't tell you which to buy, but I can tell you that Logan Lathes are still supported by the Logan Actuator Company. My friend literally found a 9" logan lathe tipped over in a junk pile. He has restored it and, in the process, we found http://www.loganact.com/ . If you click on the "go to our lathe department" link, you will find that they still sell parts and tooling for their machines.
On the other hand, SB is very popular, as others have noted. Plus, Grizzly has bought the SB name, I believe, and there is talk about re-releasing the heavy 10 with many of the same castings as before. I've used a heavy 10 on several occasions and it is a pretty nice light-duty lathe. Some aspects are frusterating, like the knob to engage feeds instead of a cam-action lever, but otherwise a pretty pleasent machine to use. (edit: the logan won't be any better in that respect - just a product of smaller lathes in general)
More importantly, WELCOME to the forum! There are a good number of steam enthusiasts here, and I think we will all enjoy hearing more from you!
07-13-2009, 02:34 PM
I have one of each; a SB 9" and a Logan 10". Both are good machines and I would hate to have to decide on one if it ever came to that.
07-13-2009, 03:21 PM
I can tell you that Logan Lathes are still supported by the Logan Actuator Company. My friend literally found a 9" logan lathe tipped over in a junk pile. He has restored it and, in the process, we found http://www.loganact.com/ . If you click on the "go to our lathe department" link, you will find that they still sell parts and tooling for their machines.
You'd best be sitting down when Scott tells you how much those replacement parts cost :)
I've seen the green "Powermatic" Logans -- were they still made by Logan? In other words, are they Logan lathes that Powermatic applied their nauseating metallic green color and racing stripes to?
07-13-2009, 03:46 PM
You'd best be sitting down when Scott tells you how much those replacement parts cost :)
This is true, but at least they are available. The way I see it, my machines are a bit like collector cars. I love to use them, but I want to keep them in good condition and I'm happy to buy replacement parts if they need them. It just may take me a while to save up enough green to do it :D But some of that cost you can recover if your making money with your machines. I make a little doing agricultural type repair (darn farmers always need something fixed... :D ) and I had an idea that SteamWhistle might make some special parts for railway museums and such.
07-13-2009, 11:50 PM
The Logan will often be cheaper, the S-B is "known" and often is marked up as 'extra good" because everyone knows the name. parts ditto.
If you think Logan is expensive, try Cincinnatti....... IIRC I saw a bolt for $600, and a crossfeed screw for well over 2 grand, as examples of THEIR pricing (via a 3rd party who bought the rights).
I've used both brands, both work. Logan has ball bearings, S-B usually plain journals (heavy 10 same??).
The Logan will probably be heavier, and mass counts for a lot sometimes.
07-14-2009, 01:00 AM
Thanks to everyone for the great advice. I was at a railroad museum turning 2 inch bushings on a big Axelson today. I could take off however much I needed to in one pass because the machine had a lot of "grunt." The parting tool went through the 2 1/2 inch steel like a hot knife through butter. It reminded me of what a lot of machinists say, "bigger is sometimes better." So if the lathes are in the same condition, think I'll go with the the dog-ugly 14 in. Logan. I should see it this week.
07-14-2009, 06:55 PM
An axelson is the last lathe on my list of lathes that I'd like to run someday. I've been lucky enough to check off all the others that were on the list :)
Be aware, however, that bigger is not neccessarily more rigid in this case. I do not know much about these smaller lathes, but I know people here have mentioned that some of the larger swing lathes are basically the same small lathe with a spacer under the headstock. This actually causes the large lathes to be less rigid than the smaller version and what you really want is the rigidity.
Oop - I guess I spoke too soon. Looks like the 14 is considerably heavier, like JT said.
07-14-2009, 07:01 PM
For whatever it's worth, I have a logan and love it.
Never have had or run an SB.
07-14-2009, 09:19 PM
Looks like the 14 is considerably heavier, like JT said.
That answers my question about the Powermatic Logans -- that's the 14" Powermatic they have at the Austin Community College. 1850 lbs -- it's a nice industrial machine.
07-15-2009, 06:43 PM
In term of rigidity, when comparing SB to another lathe with a similar swing (an exception: Atlas), the other lathe (Logan, Sheldon, Monarch, Cinci, etc.) will always come out on top. Yes, South Bend is America's (most popular?)lathe and found in most schools, many shops, etc.. Why?? Must of had a lot to do with marketing strategy and price. South Bend must have just about given their lathes away to get them into so many Vocation School shops. Why was SB still making lathes with flat belts and manual speed changes when Sheldon and others already had machines with a multi-speed gearbox in the base?
07-15-2009, 07:52 PM
If at all possible get both. Either one though is fine for home shop use. The heavy ten being the more industrial machine. if I was going to put one or the other in my garage right now I'd choose the logan because of its capacity.I don't agree with fasttrack as to Logans though. They are great machine for what they were meant for; a lathe for a shop that just needs the basics and does not run production.They aren't designed to take heavy cuts. Logans just don't hold up well in a production environment.
07-15-2009, 11:34 PM
I don't agree with fasttrack as to Logans though. They are great machine for what they were meant for; a lathe for a shop that just needs the basics and does not run production.They aren't designed to take heavy cuts. Logans just don't hold up well in a production environment.
That's pretty general and sweeping, and probably wrong as well.
Logan turret lathes are still used in production...... I know a guy who used them for years running production in his commercial shop.... And they are the same basic lathe as the standard, with the turret and a different crosslide setup.
Plus, the 14" is a completely different animal to the 10" etc. hardened bed, taper spindle mount, much heavier, better drive system etc. It's a production machine, but obviously not a Springfield or Monarch, nor is the average S-B in that class.
As for heavy cuts...... my little 10" Logan will take DOC of 0.187" if needed. I routinely take very deep cuts for certain purposes, and so long as the power can get through the flatbelt it does the job. The nearly ton weight of the 14" machine should take any reasonable cut you'd want. If you need more, you want Monarch, Springfield, etc.
Sheldon is usually heavier for the same size machine, as is Rockwell, but neither of those is officially supported at all.
07-16-2009, 12:41 AM
Having used both, I would take the Logan if it is in good shape. Nothing wrong with the SB if that is what you like, but I have never been overly impressed with them.