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Lathe Advice... Ref. Logan or South Bend or Atlas; Recommend the Best for the $ Buck

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  • Lathe Advice... Ref. Logan or South Bend or Atlas; Recommend the Best for the $ Buck

    Hello All,

    I'm new here and need a little advice.

    I have 2 lathes that are in storage, but 1400 miles away. I have a nice 10 inch HD South Bend, with lots of tooling. My 2nd lathe is a 16 in. South Bend with lot's of tooling. It's a older lathe and has some issues -- flat belt needs replaced, the back gears are very noisy, carriage clutch is shaky, has had lot's of usage in it's day.

    Currently, I'm in the market for another lathe and leaning towards a mid size lathe. My 16 inch South Bend (above) requires repair and not functional and 1400 miles away.

    I'm buying this lathe to make -- replacement bushings for heavy duty equipment buckets & arms.

    Choice of Lathes with Prices:

    1st Choice, Logan 14 inch with 40 inch bed length.

    Model No# 6560 H

    Specs. -- Spindle nose 2 1/4 8 thread; Spindle bore - 1 3/8; variable speed 50 to 1400; Hardened Bed,

    Equipment with Lathe -- has taper attachment, (1) 3 jaw chuck, tool post, a chuck in the tail stock, a few bits, most has a (3) axis digital (2 axis hooked up) read out display; it's not a china, I forgot USA name brand.

    Lathe Condition -- Good, reported to have a funky engagement lever when threading or engaging 1/2 nuts, perhaps an adjustment or wear. The On/ Off/ Forward / Reverse Switch is a little bit touchy, needs replacement. It's 3 phase motor and I need to buy a static converter, another $ 150.00. The bed and overall condition of the lathe is clean and not banged up, it shows care over the years. Reported to be a late 50's or early 60's year model.

    Price of Lathe -- $ 2,000.00 with 3 jaw chuck, working digital read out and small amount of tooling.

    Other Tooling -- $ 500.00, 4 jaw chuck, set of collets but no draw bar, some more tooling -- boring bars, more bits, etc. .

    So, basically, the lathe price is --- $ 2,500.00, includes digital read out, a 425 mile trip, one way.

    Question -- Was this Logan, Model 6550 H Lathe a good lathe in it's day ???

    __________________________________________________ _________________________________________________

    2nd Choice, South Bend, 16 inch

    Model No# 117 E (8 foot bed)

    Equipment with Lathe -- has taper attachment, (1) 3 jaw chuck, one (4) jaw, lots of bits, lathe tools -- calibers and like tooling

    Lathe Condition -- Fair, reported to be in good condition mechanically and low wear for it's age. This lathe has a cracked stand under the headstock. It has been rough handled to get in place, this happened years ago. It's 220 v, single phase. The lathe is very dirty. I have this same lathe in PA but my lathe is basically worn out.

    Price of Lathe -- $ 1,000.00 but it will be a full days work to get out & loaded on my trailer. I have to strip it done to the bed and take it out piece by piece.

    So, basically, the lathe price is --- $ 1,000.00 with a lot of work for (2) men to break it down and 350 mile trip, one way.

    Question -- I already own a 16 inch South Bend, but my lathe requires several different repair(s). I have a lot tooling already. my belt would slip when doing heavy turning.

    I leaning towards the Logan lathe... what are your thought's... buy the Logan or stay with the South Bend ?

    __________________________________________________ ____________________________________________

    3rd Choice, Atlas, 10 inch (42 inch bed)

    Model No# TV 42

    Equipment with Lathe -- (2) 3 jaw chuck(s), one (4) jaw, (2) face plates, lot's & lot's bits & related lathe tools.

    Lathe Condition -- Good, mechanically sound, kept under cover and loved over the years. It's 110 V, single phase. it has the Quick Change Gearbox and Timken bearings in the headstock.

    Price of Lathe -- $ 800.00, and it's easy to load on my trailer.

    So, basically, the lathe price is --- $ 800.00, well equipped, and 250 mile trip, one way.

    Question -- This Atlas 10 inch lathe is a equal in size to my South Bend 10 HD in PA. I read about the issues (here) with the not so great (Zmark) gearing to save cost. I need a more powerful motor than a 1/2 HP to take heavier cuts. The OD of the largest bushing that I'm making is about 2 1/2 inches. Also, I may be turning the barrels of hydraulic cylinders in the lathe I another reason to stay with the 14 or 16 inch lathe choice.

    I'm considering the 10 inch Atlas because it closer to me, it's only $ 800.00, in nice shape and well equipped. Once I have these bushing's made, the lathe will set until the next project.

    Please, let me know your thought's ?!>. I forgot to ask, if I needed 1/2 nut parts for the Logan 6560 H, are their parts available ? Was the variable speed control in the Logan 6560 H OK.. or NOT, did it have faults ?

    I live in Bonifay, FL 32425. If you have, or know of lathe that would fit my needs.. let me know. Two of the lathes I'm looking at are over 325 + miles away.

    Thanks in Advance,



  • #2
    Hi HighFly27
    Welcome to the forum. Since none of the more experienced members have responded, I'll share a few thoughts.
    Question -- This Atlas 10 inch lathe is a equal in size to my South Bend 10 HD in PA. I read about the issues (here) with the not so great (Zmark) gearing to save cost. I need a more powerful motor than a 1/2 HP to take heavier cuts.
    I have the 54" bed of that lathe and am very happy with it. That said, I suspect it's not the right lathe for what you want to do. I don't know how heavy a cut
    you are looking to take, but just putting a bigger motor on a lathe does not automatically increase its cutting capability.

    Lathe Condition -- Good, reported to have a funky engagement lever when threading or engaging 1/2 nuts, perhaps an adjustment or wear. The On/ Off/ Forward / Reverse Switch is a little bit touchy, needs replacement. It's 3 phase motor and I need to buy a static converter, another $ 150.00. The bed and overall condition of the lathe is clean and not banged up, it shows care over the years. Reported to be a late 50's or early 60's year model.
    Forget the static converter, $150 should be pretty close to the price of a VFD. The VFD can also take care of forward/reverse using a small switch plus allow
    you to tweak the RPMs if you encounter any chatter. Since you just looking to turn some bushings, you can deal with the threading lever at a later date and
    work the carriage manually.

    You only need to make the trip once, so I wouldn't make the extra 350 miles round trip too high on the priority list for this decision.
    Maybe someone else will chime in with some better advise.
    Location: Long Island, N.Y.


    • #3

      based on the linked thread, sounds like Logan parts for that model can be tough to find, expensive if available or you make your own

      knowing the size of the bushings you will be making (maximum anyway) is good since it gives an idea of the needed size of lathe in terms of dimensions but then you add in that bit about maybe turning barrels of hydraulic cylinders so that should be taken into consideration.

      The lathes under consideration and the prices given cover a wide range so, to me, it is difficult to figure out the determining factor of purchase. If $2000 is the limit, how much would shipping be for the 10" SB you already own?
      Got to take into account cost, time and hassle factor.

      How many more major population centers does a 425 mile driving radius include that a 250 mile radius does not?
      IF Atlanta is within that longer range, I would include the Pratt Whitney as example. But that is just Craig's, bbs members may know of many more nearer...
      Last edited by RussZHC; 01-28-2015, 10:42 PM.


      • #4
        I hesitated responding because I have no experience with the Logan or South Bend cited. I think price wise, the Atlas is a good deal if as described. The QCGB jumps price quite a bit, and perhaps rightly so. It would make your parts, but I assume you are buying the machine to make money. If that is the case, you might want to go with the Logan. From this description ( ), it is easy to tell it is a much heavier duty machine than the Atlas. If you are expecting day in and day out service, you might need the extra durability.
        That said, condition is everything. That is a 1950s machine. How much wear and tear will make a considerable difference in utility. If you have to do major work on the machine, do you have the tools that would allow that? If the jobs you will do with the machine will not pay for it, you might want to keep your expense down. You would be getting a lot of lathe for the money with the Atlas. If the bushing run is short, maybe 1/2 HP would be fine. I take roughing of .03 - .04 with my Atlas.


        • #5
          Either the Logan or the S-B will be a good light industrial machine, good for what you want.

          I have a 10" Logan, and it is a stout little machine, with all the sorts of features you want, except mine is change gear and doesn't have full power feeds (turning feed is by leadscrew, and not by pickoff from the leadscrew slot). The 14" should have full feeds.It has hardened bed, but not a modern taper mount spindle, which many would have had.

          I would have said too expensive, but the taper attachment and readouts make that up, I think, despite lack of tooling. 3 phase is good. Single phase is bad....

          S-B sounds like it has some issues, besides being single phase.

          The Atlas is a smaller, lighter-built, mainly hobby-oriented machine, which I would stay away from for your purposes.

          Among those, the Logan is my preferred unit. Followed by the SB, which you have tooling for.... that's an advantage, but the "issues" may be a problem, if not a minimal as it sounds.

          Atlas not in the running.

          For the Logan, if that is all he has for $500, let him keep it. A 4 jaw likely won't cost nearly that much..... and the rest you have... 5C collets are cheap if you want them.
          Last edited by J Tiers; 01-28-2015, 10:48 PM.

          Keep eye on ball.
          Hashim Khan


          • #6
            I've had or have all 3 except my Logan is 11" & the same head as the 14". This would be my choice. Mine has the 1-3/8" thru hole with a 5c collet closer, 3 & 4 jaw,etc. I'd also use a VFD.


            • #7
              If the cylinders you are considering boring are more than maybe 6 inches long, the steady rest will be a necessity whichever you are considering and length of the bed has to be considered for that job as well.


              • #8
                We have two long bed South Bends & and wouldnt trade or sell for anything. period both war babys


                • #9

                  ^^ Above ^^ is the EBay Link for the -- S. B. 16 inch Lathe. This lathe was/ is in a pool hall for over 30 years. The owner used it to recondition pool cues. The lathe has never been maintained or cleaned. They have built in & around this lathe over the years. This lathe will turn out to be ... " the lathe from hell, " to get it out of there (understatement) !!!!!!!!!!!!

                  However, I own this exact lathe, my lathe does not have the taper attachment. My lathe is worn out but is well equipped; it has the -- steady rest, follower rest, 3 or 4 chucks, 2 face plates, lots of tools and in good shape ref. supporting lathe equipment.

                  I have a feeling that this pool lathe is not worn out but has been neglected over the years. I'm concerned about how it was beat up to get it in there with the cracked case under the head stock. Since the pool hall has had more construction around it... it will be a nightmare to get it out and loaded up. I'm 66 and not in great health with diabetes issues at hand. I don't think I could handle the struggle of getting this S B Lathe (fully disassembled) out of the pool hall.. no matter what the price $$$.

                  However, I'm really a South Bend Kind of Guy. I learned on South Bend Lathes in high (1963 to 1966) school and loved it. I have a 10 inch S B in PA (1400 miles away) and it's in very nice condition. My 16 inch S B is the opposite. I bought it with known issues. The back gears were jammed in place, I was able to free them up. I think the back gear bearings are shot... very noisy. The carriage clutch knob is loose on the apron. It would engage but backed off as soon as you engaged it. The bed is well worn from use. This lathe has worked hard over the years & No doubt about it. It needs a new flat belt but I never got one. I used this lathe to polish large diesel crankshafts and it was fine for this job.

                  Comments about the Logan 6560 H Lathe:

                  1st of all, thanks for the heads up about poor parts availability on Logan Lathes. When I was talking to the seller, there was a long pause... when he responded to my question... " does it need anything, does it operate A Ok ?? " This is when he told me that it would not be... too good for threading and the like, the half nut lever is funky. Now, I take this half nut engagement problem to be a minor/ major issue. I don't want a lathe that I have problems getting parts for (period). However, I would have loved to had the digital readout from Accu/Rite {spelling) and it was reported to work A Ok.

                  I've done a internet search, I think I found 3 or 4 Logan 6560 H (currently) lathes on EBay or Craigslist. I was surprised to find that many lathes of the same model number for sale. However, none of the 6560 H's are close me. The parts availability issue is final straw when it comes to laying out $ 2,000 to $ 3,000.00 bucks for a lathe and no parts to repair it if it breaks.

                  Decisions... decisions, I'm going to look around some more and find a -- S. B. 16 inch lathe like I have. I thought about rebuilding mine too. If the lathe was not so worn in the bed area... I'd consider this rebuild option.

                  I mentioned the usage for buying a lathe. I have purchased some heavy equipment that needs repairs to the bushings in the buckets and loader arms. One machine will require oversize bushings and non standard to buy over the counter. This machine will require oversize bushing(s) to be made up, along with hydraulic cylinder repairs. The hyd. cyl. diameters are up to 5 inches and 3 ft. long. I should have larger swing lathe with a steady rest to do this work. The lathe will pay for it's self... if I can hone them up & repair them. The replacement cost for these larger hyd. cylinders is about $ 500.00 each.

                  I know I provided more information then needed. I wanted to give the reader a clearer picture of what my needs are (lathe wise). It would cost me (about) $ 700.00 each to have my two lathes delivered to me in FL. The 16 inch S. B. would be dead on arrival and not that brilliant to have it shipped to FL in the 1st place. Better to buy a 14 to 16 inch lathe that's operating A Ok.

                  Thanks' a lot,



                  • #10
                    I've been in the workshop of my local hydraulics shop and they have a really big (really old) lathe for the cylinder honing. I'm not sure any of the lathes you mention will be up to the cylinder work. You could do everything else on those lathes and send the cylinders out for reconditioning.
                    "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel"


                    • #11
                      If you are concerned about parts, I think you are worrying about the wrong thing.

                      THERE IS POOR PARTS AVAILABILITY ON EVERY SINGLE LATHE IN THE USA TODAY. Poor if you mean expensive and not off-the-shelf. Try buying a part for a Cincinnatti or LeBlond. You can get them, but the price is over the moon..... the supplier specializes in charging several hundred dollars for a bolt, and several thousand for a crossfeed screw. I had a price list at one time, and it has not gotten better since then.

                      If you discuss the imported chinese machines, they don't even CONSIDER parts when importing them... From china, "parts" are not a part of the deal unless you make it part of the order. You order "machines" and after that, the only way "parts" are available is if they go to the warehouse and strip it off a complete machine.

                      There is SOME improvement with that, but if the machine is very old, no parts.... Not unless someone "parts out" a machine of identical model and year.

                      For the imports, changes are made, and no records kept... you have zero idea if the "same" part will work or even fit. Although they often do, they may as easily NOT work or fit.

                      Honestly, if that's your issue, DO NOT BUY A LATHE. ANY LATHE. I've bought Logan parts, I have MADE Logan parts....What's the big issue? They don't just "break". And there is NO ZAMAK, so that's not an issue.

                      IN MY OPINION..... You will have the BEST CHANCE of parts with the Logan. Logan is still in business, actively supporting the machines. Slightly less is available for the Powermatic versions, but it is still available. the 6500 series is NOT a Powermatic, per the Logan model number table, so evidently Logan actually made it


                      Parts store. You need the manual (also available, for $25) to get the part numbers, but you can see there is quite a lot available in terms of feedscrews, feed nuts, gears halfnuts, and other likely wear-sensitive parts to be needed. Not cheap even from them, but nothing like LeBlond pricing.


                      If that EBAY was teh southbend, have a look at the ways in the picture. No oil for decades, the ways are visibly worn, with a "Southbend ridge" that appears to be on the order of 1/16 inch.... it's basically SCRAP METAL unless a big re-building effort is put into it, and even then, it may not be very good.
                      Last edited by J Tiers; 01-29-2015, 08:32 AM.

                      Keep eye on ball.
                      Hashim Khan


                      • #12
                        Question -- Was this Logan, Model 6550 H Lathe a good lathe in it's day ???

                        Yes. In It's Day.
                        A 14 inch logan was not a heavy duty tool room lathe. None of the Logans were. They were a very good low end solution for a shop that needed a lathe and didn't need a lot of bells and whistles.

                        Now for my advice.
                        For 2500 dollars you can do a lot better than a Logan. There are used 12 and 13 inch Chinese or Japanese lathes out there that miles better than a Logan. I'm saying this as a guy who uses a 14 inch Logan every day.


                        • #13
                          3 Tiers and All,

                          1st of all, Thanks for Your Valued Input. I just called Logan Actuator Co, they have 1/2 nuts in stock for $ 223.75. More important, they have a full inventory for about anything (repair parts) I need for the 6560 H model lathe, if not they can make it. You were right, it just takes money, I will not be stuck with a lathe that I can't find parts for.

                          I forgot to mention, the Logan 6560 H has a newer Doerr electric motor on it, the lathe looks good (picture wise). I may buy it now, if not, the 10 inch Atlas is close by; I'd buy it on the way home. The Atlas 10 would be Ok for the bushings and resale it.

                          Thanks' a lot,



                          • #14
                            Double Posted, Deleted.


                            • #15
                              If you're seriously considering a 16" SB or a 14" Logan, you will not be happy with the Atlas. I would take a pass on it.
                              Last edited by Tony Ennis; 01-29-2015, 09:40 AM.