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Still Learnin'

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  • Still Learnin'

    I don't post this kinda stuff to try and impress anyone, Lord knows my machining skills aren't up for that! It's more like if I'm doing something really stupid someone will tell me .....

    When last heard I was searching for a non-existent drawbar for a 15" LeBlond Regal. Turns out it has a perfectly lovely collet chuck so we don't need no stinkin' drawbar! There's some finger grips on it and sure as hell, they unscrew the collet.

    Cool! Let's get some 7/8's stock in there and make some parts. Bear in mind there's a full set of 5C's for the Logan, R8's for the B-port, but ya might know, we're light on the 2J's. No 7/8's.

    Well I gotta learn to put a chuck on there sometime.

    Of course 1st I have to get the collet chuck off and I did find this funny lookin' tool that I suspect has something to do with it. Half circle with a notch on one end and a handle on the other? I dunno what it's called but I start pokin' the machine with it and find a round thing it seems to fit on. Turning that just turns the spindle tho and I'm looking for it to be like the Logan. Put it in back gear, pop the pin in the bull gear, and the spindle's locked up ready for whatever I want to do to it. Uh uh. Not on a LeBlond.

    Plan B is partially out of "How to Run a Regal" so I'm not taking the full blame for this. The book says to use the motor at low rpm with a piece of wood in the jaws to crack the chuck loose. But we ain't got no jaws! LOL! It's a collet chuck. So I settled for a woodblock on the ways and hit the switch. Next thing ya know I'm over at the grinder putting a new notch on that funny tool ....

    Lucky it didn't hit me in the head.

    After some lengthy head scratching cuz I still had one to scratch, I started looking at the 3 jaw I wanted to put on there and realized I was turning it the wrong way. External RH threads on the chuck and that round thing the whatchamacallit fits on is actually a collar. Has to be. It's the only way.

    I wasn't quite willing to use the motor just yet after that last episode, so I geared her for 52 rpm, locked the funny tool the other way, and started pulling on the handwheel that I hear all LeBlonds have. That generated a ton of force from the gearing, you could tell, but still no satisfaction. She wouldn't give it up. A BFW on the handwheel nut was up next and that finally got the job done. I was so glad. If that didn't work the motor was gonna be next!

    Chuck went on fine which when I consider the way things had been going was more than surprising. Indicated less than .001 on the body but the 7/8's stock was wobblin' near ten about an inch out. Then I remembered some threads about how to tighten a chuck and miraculously the #1 jaw brought it in at less than .002.

    Cool. Let's make some parts! Didn't I say that before?

    The plate in the compound to mount a toolpost has the same thread on both machines so I grabbed the QC offa the Logan, with a bit I had hopefully and lovingly sharpened the night before BTW, but when it came up an inch short at least I knew why ....

    I've been down this road and shoulda known better. The Logan's an 11" AXA and that ain't gonna reach a 15" swing. But ya know, I saw an old lantern style post during that fruitless search for the non-existent drawbar. Where was it?

    After another digging lap it turns out it was only part of a lantern style toolpost. No wedge. I'm not one to give up easily tho so I tried stacking a buncha bits and whatever I could find under it, and now I know why you don't run a parting tool in there too low! LOLOL! Ca-chunka-chunka-chunka ....

    You could see the bite marks in that little groove from 4 feet.

    I continued to mess with getting it higher and eventually reached the chatter stage, but there's no substitute for having the correct tools. I have found out since that McMaster sells wedges individually as well as rings. Just gotta measure the lantern up and make sure I buy the right sizes.

    Oh well. Never did make those damn parts.

    Far from discouraged tho. On the way out I pulled the turret offa the Logan and it's currently in bits and pieces all over my garage. Cleaning. Painting. Sheared taper pin on the kingpin gear. What? So that's why that locking thingamabob never worked!


  • #2
    You know how good it's gonna feel when you do make your first part on that one?
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