Logan 200

The photo is of a generic Model 200, taken from Logan Engineering Co. product literature for 1944. Logan began making lathes for Montgomery-Ward in 1940, and offered essentially the same machines under their own name a year later. Mine is an early specimen, made in Chicago on November 28, 1941 and sold to a hardware and machine tool dealer in Rhode Island. It doesn't seem to have gotten around much, because when I bought it 61 years later it was still in Rhode Island.

There were several variants in the Logan Model 200 family - the 200-1 (different tailstock), 201 (longer bed), 210 (bench model - sans the legs and chip tray of the 200), 210-1 (210 with a different tailstock), and 211 (210 with a longer bed). Very similar lathes were also sold by Montgomery Ward under the Powermatic label. Numerous design changes were introduced over the 200's production lifetime. The big change was to the split nuts and their actuating mechanism - parts from later 200s won't fit on early ones. Another big change was to the drive box and motor mount arrangements, which were drastically shortened, apparently to make the floor mount and bench mount models share a greater number of common parts. The carriage and apron also changed a bit and can't be interchanged. Other changes were less fundamental - the motor switch, head casting, motor support pedestal, etc. The Logan 200 went out of production in the mid-1950s.

The Logan Engineering Company still exists (more or less) as the Logan Actuator Company, and Logan Engineering Company lathes are still supported (more or less). See particularly their table of lathe model features at www.lathe.com/models.htm, serial number & production data at www.lathe.com/ser-no.htm, and a FAQ at www.lathe.com/faq.

There is an active Yahoo group devoted to Logan lathes. It has a nascent serial number database in the Database section. And as always, check Tony Griffiths' site for info about machine tools.
UPDATE - Correction, two active Yahoo groups devoted to Logan lathes; the older one, lathe-list, the Logan Lathe Users Group, and loganlathe, the Logan Lathe Forum. Lathe-list is the one run by Scott Logan, and it has the serial number database, links to some pdfs of sales catalogs (though not as many as on the Logan Actuator site, lathe.com/catalogs/), etc. As to why there are two such similar groups, I can only speculate.

Actually, there's a third Yahoo group, NJ_LoganLatheOwners. I don't know anything about that one.
Plan ahead before trying to move a 200 - a Monarch or Leblond it ain't, but it still weighs over 500 pounds without the motor. The 210, without the legs, weighs in at about a hundred pounds less.

My tedious Adventures in Acquisition -
I was rummaging around the 'Net looking at the market for used/surplus milling machines when I blundered on a photo of a Logan 200 for sale in New Hampshire. I wasn't familiar with Logans but from the picture it looked like a pretty decent machine, so I did a search on "logan lathe" and immediately found another for sale, this one at a ridiculously low asking price. After the appropriate e-mail exchanges, I took the passenger and back seats out of the Tercel, dumped my wrenches in a box, found a Sharpie and a bunch of Ziploc bags, and drove down for a look. It was at a student woodworking shop, and was packed full of sawdust. I could see that it had a few minor issues but nothing serious. A few parts were missing, most notably the tool post, which had been scavanged for another lathe, and the little metal covers for the way wipers - little non-precision parts but annoyingly expensive to replace. Fortunately the seller found the little covers hiding in a box. So I forked over the asking price, then disassembled the lathe into major chunks, taking photos along the way. The photos were a sensible precaution, as I'd never had a lathe in so many pieces before. Remember that the way your lathe goes together may not be quite the way the manuals show (assuming you even have the manuals).

But back to the Logan. Small parts and machine screws went into the plastic bags, with notes as to where they came from courtesy of the Sharpie. It took an hour or two to get the big pieces apart and packed into the car. Once home I disassembled everything, cleaned off the sawdust, looked for worn and broken parts, oiled the bajeezus out of everything, and reassembled it. Carrying the bed up and down a few flights of stairs by myself could get old real fast, but I don't plan on doing it again anytime soon.

To The Engine Room

  Updated: December 8, 2004
February 19, 2005
May 9, 2008