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Question about a LeBlond Regal Lathe

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  • Question about a LeBlond Regal Lathe

    Can anyone give me info about these lathes it's a 13" it has a taper attachment, steady rest, following rest, single phase electric motor, variable speed from the looks of it. Any help about the good the bad aswell as the things to look for on this machine that could make it a money pit.

    Thanks Much
    Wow... where did the time go. I could of swore I was only out there for an hour.

  • #2
    You didn't mention what vintage the lathe is. Leblond and Regal can mean anything from 1931 on...with several designs in that time frame. Just about any broken parts that cannot be fabricated could make it a money pit :-) I looked at a 19" Regal (late 50s) and called Leblond with the serial number info to verify its age. The fellow I spoke with was very helpful. I told him the owner wanted around $2500 for it and he said if it was in good shape, that was a good deal since the steady rest for the lathe was "worth $2100".....yeah...whatever. Certainly not worth that used. I did know that it had replacable way strips and asked about them and they were over $1000 each. There goes the economy. I would think you could have any lathe bed ground for $2000. As it turned out, in my case, the ways that the tailstock ran on were tapered substantially toward the headstock (wear) such that the owner had shimmed the tailstock to turn some large machine pins that were of fixed length. That would be no good if you moved the tailstock, unfortunately.

    Look for wear on the ways (a ridge will appear where the saddle does not rub on the angular way if there is much wear). Also run the head through all of the speeds and listen for a repetitive noise that would give away a missing tooth. You may be able to pull the top off the headstock and look, as well. Do the same for the threading feeds to see if there are broken threading gears.

    If it is a servo-shift model, I might tend to stay away as they were finicky when they worked and useless when they didn't. See here:

    http://www.lathes.co.uk/leblond/page13.html

    Paul
    Paul Carpenter
    Mapleton, IL

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    • #3
      Yep looked over that sight not alot of info that would help me one way or the other. It looks about like this one here. It's not this machine but has the same controls. Is this the a servo-shift model

      lebond lathe

      Thanks
      Last edited by Tinkerer; 09-08-2006, 05:42 PM.
      Wow... where did the time go. I could of swore I was only out there for an hour.

      Comment


      • #4
        Nope...that's one of the older ones. They were purportedly good lathes (I don;t know if LeBlond made any "bad" ones other than the cranky servo-sh*&%t models). The newer ones have square headstocks like the big one in the link I sent. It is those later models that may or may not be servo-shift. It will say either on or near the shift lever if it is. If I understand correctly, the shift lever was just a control for a servo that actually did the movement...and not very well at that. They were prone to failure. As a home shop guy I tend to opt for simpler and more reliable :-)

        If the one you are looking at is of the vintage of the one in the pic, there may be less to go wrong. If I am not mistaken, David Coffer (who recently rejoined us) has one of that variety....I think I saw it in a picture he posted some months back.

        Paul
        Paul Carpenter
        Mapleton, IL

        Comment


        • #5
          did you buy the leblond regal? I just purchased a leblond regal 13 x 24. It hs some small issues but looks good inside. I was considering a BOLTON mainland chinese that had a 1 1/2" spindle bore because I need that, but picked up the leblond regal instead. When I get the issues settled I will be in the leblond about the same amount as the Bolton would have cost. I hope I made the right decision

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          • #6
            LeBlond made good lathes. I am still using one that was made in 1909 and I can still do most everything it could when new. Gary P. Hansen
            In memory of Marine Engineer Paul Miller who gave his life for his country 7-19-2010 Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Freedom is not free, it is paid for with blood.

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            • #7
              For what it's worth, I wouldn't trade my Taiwan-made Jet 1024 for all three of the 13" LeBlond Regals at the school. The major drawbacks:

              No clutch---you have to turn the motor off to stop the spindle, and that takes much longer than disengaging a clutch, and there's no way to ease the spindle around by hand if it's set for low speed.

              No dial on the carriage handwheel---you have to use a dial indicator or carriage stop to return it to the same place or advance it a known amount. That's extremely inconvenient.

              Not many flat surfaces to use a magnetic base for the dial indicator.

              Roger
              Last edited by winchman; 12-16-2008, 01:35 PM.
              Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

              Comment


              • #8
                Winchman-- I think your complaints are not with Leblond Regals...but with many gear head lathes. No clutch...sure, but they have an on-off on the apron as most industrial lathes and I believe the more recent LeBlonds have a foot brake...or some do.

                I have an import gear head lathe and usually just let it coast to a stop which it will do in about a second due to friction. I save the foot brake/kill switch for emergencies so that it will not have all the brake shoes worn off the day I get a rag cought in the spindle

                As for rotating the chuck while in low range-- I found with my import that I can position the high-low range lever in between and the spindle is completely disengaged from the gears that way. Works rather nicely.

                Paul
                Paul Carpenter
                Mapleton, IL

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