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Any Logan shaper advice please?

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  • Any Logan shaper advice please?

    I'm considering buying a 7 inch Logan shaper with the "Vari-Drive" speed control.

    Haven't seen the inside of this shaper yet, just a pic or two on Kay Fishers shaper site.

    Does anyone have any advice on problems to look for with this "Vari-Drive" or other points to check out? Thanks much.

  • #2
    My Dad has a Porter Cable shaper which is exactly the same as the Logan. It's a stout machine and the variable speed drive works well. Probably the weakest point is that the three piece double pulley with movable center portion and allows the belt to drop to a smaller diameter on one side as the other side moves closer together forcing the belt on that side to follow a larger diameter is made of what appears to be plastic or Bakelite. You may find some stress cracks where the outer pieces join the shaft. They are attached as a tight press fit with set screws, if memory serves me. You may find cracks at the set screws. The center portion of the pulley that slides side to side has a small key in it's shaft that keeps the three pieces from rotating independently. If that key is too worn the center portion won't move freely. That was the case with Dad's machine and we repaired the key way and shaft. In any case it's a pretty simple setup and new pieces could be fabricated by a decent HSM. The rest of the machine is quite rigid for a machine of it's size. The table height adjustment is simpler but more crude than a South Bend (which I own) and the method of adjusting stroke is different from a SB as well, but both perform well. The stroke adjustment is easy once you understand how it works. The variable speed drive performs smoothly and is convenient. It should only be adjusted when the machine is running. I may be mistaken, but I believe it is the same system used on some larger Logan lathes.

    FYI, other comparisons to the South Bend machine are that the SB is gear driven the Logan/Porter Cable is chain drive. That may be a plus because sprockets and chain would be easier to come by than the SB gears. On the other hand the SB has an oil sump and pump whereas the Logan/PC requires manual lubrication. I prefer the Logan/PC dials as they are easily set to zero with no tools, not so with the SB. The Logan you are looking at may be different but the PC's stroke adjustment has no marked increments of feed so it must be estimated. Not a big deal really but different from the SB which is marked in thousandths. The Logan/PC requires a crank to adjust feed manually and to turn the machine through a stroke manually (the same crank is used to adjust stroke and auto feed), the SB has dedicated handles for manual and auto feed adjustment. Don't forget to remove the crank on the Logan/PC after manually running the machine through a complete stroke, it will scare you to death if you do and turn the machine on. Both of these situations could be easily corrected by adding dedicated pinned in place handles. The Logan/PC has the advantage of a clapper return spring and method to easily lock the clapper when necessary. The SB is lacking in this area.
    I hope this helps!


    • #3
      I don't have a Logan 7" but I do have a very good Australian-made 11" shaper. I took the single speed single phase motor off and installed a variable-speed motor (with a 3:1 ratio range).

      The only probelm I have is lack of "table space" for other than a vise - but with a bit of creativity (and more "making tools for making tools" - again!!) it works very well.

      A shaper - even a small one is a very powerful machine the more so at lower speeds.

      It is very easy to have a serious accident with any shaper as they are not very forgiving.

      They are ideal for "tough" material that requires power and slow speeds - which they do very well.

      They are capable of some quite impressive cuts - and if one of those chips "gets" you, you will remember to make a screen for them (and yourself).

      If you have a clutch or a handle on high-speed shaft (that's what I said) you can really appreciate the "creep/stop" ram feature.


      • #4
        I once read that the shaper may be the most dangerous shop machine.
        I believe that, and treat mine with respect.
        Which is to say, I sit about 6 feet away and watch it throw chips while I drink a beer.

        Mesmerizing machines, they are


        • #5
          Evan has a warning outline on the concrete floor just as a general reminder to stay out of his much larger shaper's maximum reach on the travels. It's not hard to reach in where you shouldn't be. Even a small 7" shaper could easily remove fingers or a hand with the gear reduction.



          • #6
            Went back today to look at this shaper again, got it moved out into the light, and took the side cover off, things appear to be in good shape, i found one of the missing crank handles also in the kaos of a mess in the garage were it has been for years. (Very limited surface rust , hardly any!)

            So i bought it.

            Does anyone know what the original colour was of these 7 inch shapers?? This one doesn't appear to have been painted by a previous owner, but it is a beige or tan colour???


            • #7
              I know just about nothing about the Logan shapers. Google images show mostly gray ones, a couple of green ones, and one cream colored model. Who knows if any of those were repainted in the original colors though. I did find out Ozark Woodworkers? sells a reproduction of the manual for it. But it's listed as a 8" model. I don't know enough to say that manual is for the variable speed model like yours is.

              Original Logan vices for it are or can be a bitch to find if your looking for one.



              • #8
                Thanks Pete, i was amazed and thrilled that this thing has the original vise!!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sasquatch View Post
                  Thanks Pete, i was amazed and thrilled that this thing has the original vise!!
                  If you need a manual I have a manual for a Logan 8" shaper that has the parts breakdown and operation, they are a good Mach. & simple to run & repair. I like my 8" Logan and would not sell it.
                  Bill in SE Idaho
                  With enough time & motivation anything can be fixed