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newbe looking for advice

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  • newbe looking for advice

    looking for good used lathe i have no experiance on a machine do alot welding metal fab what should i look for in a machine atlas southbend and logan are in my area is there a better chioce of the three thanks for any advice

  • #2
    My choice of those 3 would be Southbend, mainly because I have 2 of them and never have problems.
    If I were starting out again I'd start with a 14 or 16 inch.
    My 1st lathe was a 9" South Bend, when I wanted a larger one I bought an old line shaft machine that had an electric motor conversion. It's really larger 30" swing and covers about 15' of real estate, not for the faint of heart.
    Now most of my work is done on a 16" x 60" SB. Nice old machine which is still capable of excellent work.

    People say I'm getting crankier as I get older. That's not it. I just find I enjoy annoying people a lot more now. Especially younger people!!!


    • #3
      What type of work are you doing ��



      • #4
        nothing specific i have alot old farm equip. to repair and keep up


        • #5
          Hello stansab,


          It might help if you list your location, even just state or county, we may know of machines or are able to tell you what is better for the area your in.

          Now you're question, I have a SouthBend and it is great. I had a Atlas for a short while and the SouthBend has been a better machine even in the same sizes.
          I sold a Logan for a friend, and before it left I did use it and it was a step up from both in terms of rigidity, but it also was a 13" where my other's were and are 9", so may not be an equal comparison.
          All 3 have good used parts support on the internet, so repairs and additional pieces are available.
          Bottom line is what is selling in your area, and what can, or do you want to spend are the big question's.
          I would go for the best bang for your buck and get a Logan 1st, SouthBend 2nd, Atlas if that's what you can afford. But I'm sure other's will weigh in before long.

          Mr fixit for the family


          • #6
            It somewhat depends what sort of work and what size farm equipment.

            I would have said Logan or Southbend.

            BUT, when you said farm equipment, I start to think larger. Most Southbend are in the 9 to 13" size, Logan 10", 11" and 14", which is likely still too small to be general purpose for farm equipment. As for Atlas, forget it.

            For farm equipment, I suspect you may want something in the 16" to 20" category as for swing, and around a 6 foot bed or a bit longer. "Heavy equipment" tends to rapidly get out of the 10" area.

            There ARE larger Southbend, then you get into industrial machines such as LeBlond, Monarch, Sidney, etc. Often the larger stuff is cheaper, at least in a relative sense, because the home hobby types can't carry it into the basement. They bid up the small stuff, and the bigger goes begging. Most folks with larger stuff have a ground level garage shed or barn shop, walk-in basement, etc.

            Keep eye on ball.
            Hashim Khan


            • #7
              You really want to know the things to look for in terms of bed wear or other issues and how to examine for them.

              I've not watched them but there's a few videos on You Tube on "how to shop for a used lathe". I'd also try "buying used lathe" and "checking out used lathe" as other keyword phrases to capture any videos that might slip through the first key phrase.

              And yeah, any work on anything of any significance on farm equipment is going to want a major sized hunk o' lathe shaped iron. For this I'd consider a 14x48 as a MINIMUM size machine. And even then it would likely not be able to fit a lot of things if the farm equipment is for more than a hobby size farm. The 16 and 18 inch by 6 foot bed idea is not out of the question at all for working on regular size farm equipment.
              Chilliwack BC, Canada


              • #8
                Welcome to the forum! No idea where you're located but I have a friend (no not me) with a 16" South Bend for $500. I would rate Logan 11" or larger, South Bend, then Atlas. It depends on location & condition. We have a rule of NO SELLING on here so I'll only give out my friends name & # to Stansab if he interested.


                • #9
                  I wrote "6 foot bed", but intended to say 6 foot on centers..... that could be a 9 foot or so actual bed, as the typical "bed" measurement includes area taken up by headstock and tailstock.

                  Keep eye on ball.
                  Hashim Khan


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                    I wrote "6 foot bed", but intended to say 6 foot on centers..... that could be a 9 foot or so actual bed, as the typical "bed" measurement includes area taken up by headstock and tailstock.
                    It must be catching. That's what I meant as well...
                    Chilliwack BC, Canada


                    • #11
                      Logan is still in business. And many parts are still available for vintage machines. I recently was able to buy a brand new threading dial for my ancient 12"x35" Logan 2557V. Plus there is a Yahoo Logan forum.

                      Avoid bare machines. Find one that comes with a bunch of tooling.
                      12" x 35" Logan 2557V lathe
                      Index "Super 55" mill
                      18" Vectrax vertical bandsaw
                      7" x 10" Vectrax mitering bandsaw
                      24" State disc sander


                      • #12
                        Welding and farm repair, I'd look for a big old hunk with a large hole in the spindle and a four jaw chuck, longer the bed the better.
                        Some wear on the ways won't matter unless they are NASA tractors. A little thought and you can still do bearing fits.
                        Facing off welded up stuff, boring castings, fly cutting true surfaces, drilling big holes, PTO shafts,etc. all stuff a big lathe can do.
                        You can do small work in a big lathe but not vice versa.
                        If you intend doing small work then get a small lathe.


                        • #13
                          Any one of those in good working condition is better than no lathe at all. Although I've never worked a South Bend, they have a good reputation and used parts availability. Logan, a less recognized manufacturer than South Bend is what my 10" lathes are. I find them to be quite stout for a small lathe and, going only by what I've read elsewhere, a bit more rigid than a South Bend. No doubt I'll get some backlash from that assertion. As someone previously posted Logan is still in business can can provide parts new, but they aren't cheap. Logan parts are available used just as those for South Bend but perhaps less plentiful.
                          My Dad has an Atlas 10" lathe that I have used several times. Some say Atlas lathes aren't rigid but I've encountered no issues with chatter or inability to turn true, straight shafts. Cutting off hasn't been a problem since I added an Asian Aloris type tool holder. The Atlas machines are lighter and their gears aren't cast iron like those of Logan or South Bend. Several parts are made of a zinc alloy, Zamak, but if abuse isn't intended they work fine. Some people have said that the Zamac parts crystallize and break apart over time but that has not been the experience we've had with Dad's lathe.
                          Comparing Dad's Atlas to my Logans, each as some things I like better than the other. The Logan is definitely more stout and rigid with it heavier larger castings. Mine is flat belt driven with cast iron cone type pulleys on the secondary drive which has only 3 belt positions. The Countershaft supports on my Logan had been broken at some point prior to my ownership (built 1943) and I've seen them broken on other Logans as well, probably due to belt slippage issues and too much tension being applied in an attempt to stop it. I ended up repairing mine and it ended up much stronger than the original although not as elegant in appearance. Until I got rid of the leather belt (some still say they are the best) I fought with belt slippage but after replacement with a synthetic the problem disappeared. The Atlas is V belt drive and has 4 belt positions. Both have back gears but the Atlas are Zamac while the Logan's are cast iron. The Atlas has an indexing capability with holes drilled around the Bull Gear in the Headstock, the Logan does not. If you want to use a milling attachment the Atlas has a nice compact and fairly rigid setup that is easy to attach, The Logan requires a Palmgren or home built attachment on top of the Compound, reducing rigidity somewhat. Reversing of the lead screw on the Atlas is accomplished by a gearbox with clutch dogs and it can be done while the lathe is running. The Logan uses the more conventional Tumbler Gears which require stopping the lathe to change lead screw direction. I find neither to be of great advantage or disadvantage.

                          If you get a plain change lathe be certain to get all the change gears regardless of manufacture. If you can find a lathe with a quick change gearbox it will be worth some extra money spent for that feature, in my opinion, even if you don't often do single point threading. Feeds are controlled by the lead screw as well and with a QC gearbox can be changed to suit the job in a few seconds. Lathes equipped with a QC gearbox can be 50% higher priced than plain change lathes so whether the cost difference is worth it to you is a personal choice.

                          I believe the South Bend and Logan lathes were aimed at industrial use and some models were equipped with turrets for production. I believe the Atlas machines were targeting small shops and home shops and built to meet a competitive price point to be used in less than high production industrial settings. This is not to say the Atlas is not a good machine, Atlas did offer turret attachments and tail stocks for their machines as well so they obviously designed them to be capable of some level of production.
                          Last edited by firbikrhd1; 08-24-2016, 07:08 PM.