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Hope this "New" LeBlond is Old Enough for Forum

John in OH

Aluminum
Joined
Feb 7, 2002
Location
SE Ohio, USA
Often times, it seems that circumstance and dumb luck are better than conscientious planning and diligence!

In past posts, I’ve mentioned that I’m gathering a collection of machine tools for my retirement and as support for my main hobby which is restoring antique farm tractors. Towards that end, I’ve ended up with several lathes and other tools. The current flagship of my small fleet is a No. 1 x 30 (12” x 30” btc) Hendey General Purpose lathe. Although never coming even close to reaching the capacity of this 12” x 30” lathe, I’ve watched with envy those on this board that have found and saved bigger machines (Southern Belle for example). So I have usually kept watch on eBay postings and local ads waiting for something to “save”.

A couple of months ago, an eBay posting showed up for a “LeBlond lathe” about 25 miles from home. Very little info was provided, photos were fuzzy and the opening price was too high, but just for fun I sent off a couple of questions to the seller. Seller responded with some info and invited me to come see the lathe, but since the price was too high I let the matter drop and watched the eBay posting expire with no bids.

A week or so goes by and the seller sends me another email … he really wants to sell this lathe and again encourages me to come take a look and offers a lower price. It’s still too expensive, but I figure, WTH, so I take a long lunch hour on a Thursday and go take a look. Turns out the lathe is part of the assets of a shop being liquidated for legal reasons. The guy I have been emailing was from an out-of-state liquidation company and was responsible for getting the shop totally cleaned out by Friday (the next day). Most items were gone and the remaining cabinets, material, etc. was being thrown into a scrap dumpster. The guy hated to see the lathe get scraped but his efforts to sell it had so far failed and the next stop was the dumpster.

Turns out the lathe is a 17” x 8’ bed LeBlond Regal (slightly over 19” actual swing and about 56” btc) in what appears to be really nice condition with some extras. Taper attachment, steady rest, micrometer stop, Aloris tool post, 3-jaw chuck, spindle clutch and a 5 drawer tool cabinet full of stuff. Ways look good and carriage feeds are snug. Only items of note are a broken half-nut handle and a missing taper attachment bed clamp.

He gives me another price (again lower than before), I yield to temptation and counter, and we split the difference at $900.

Next morning with rented trailer in tow, they load the lathe and it’s off to my storage barn. Following are a couple of photos as it is being unloaded for storage.

Front4s.jpg


HeadStocks.jpg


CarriageLefts.jpg


EndViews.jpg



Now for my question ….

According to LeBlond, this lathe was built in Oct. 1948 and has a 2-7/8” x 5 tpi spindle mount. In Nov. 1948 LeBlond changed this lathe spindle design to the L-0 style mount. My Hendey is equipped with an L-0 mount and is well equipped with chucks, faceplates, collet chuck, etc. Does anyone know if an L-0 LeBlond spindle would be a direct fit/replacement for the existing threaded spindle?
 

Bruce Johnson

Stainless
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Location
Burbank, CA USA
Hello John;

That's a great old machine! It'll serve you well. I have a 1949 Regal 17, similar to yours but with the shorter 6' bed. For reference, I paid $2000 for mine in 2007, with a full set of tooling. Yours has the optional pedestal bases, spindle clutch/brake, and apron spindle control. All nice features to have.

Yes, I believe that you could convert yours to L-0 with a new spindle. You can probably get one from LeLblondUSA, but it will cost twice what you paid for the lathe. I don't know where else you would get one; there aren't really any LeBlond junkyards around. For that price, you're probably better off living with the threaded spindle, making up a couple of threaded backing plates yourself. Did you get any other chucks with it?

Mine is an L-0, and it is quite nice. I usually keep a 10" Buck Adjust-Tru on there. I also have a 12" 4-jaw and several face plates. I picked up a 16" 4-jaw for cheap, which I'll eventually set up to fit on there for odd large jobs.

I also have a 1947 Regal 13, which has the threaded spindle. The Regal 17 is a much nicer lathe to operate. The extra HP and cast iron make a lot of difference, and I like the apron controls better.

You'll need to get the Running A Regal manual, which is commonly available on ebay.

Loggerhogger: That dial is a speed calculator, a standard feature on many of the "roundhead" Regals. My 13" has it; my 17" doesn't. It doesn't control anything.
 

John in OH

Aluminum
Joined
Feb 7, 2002
Location
SE Ohio, USA
Dial Function

Loggerhogger,

No, the dial next to the switch on top of the head stock is not a speed control. It is a simple spindle speed calculator .... I'd have to go take another look at it to be sure how it works, but if I recall correctly you set the dial to select the material that you are turning (steel, brass, etc.), then find the diameter of the workpiece on the dial scale and opposite that scale is the recommended spindle rpm. Or something like that! Pretty handy for someone that will only occasionally be turning anything other that steel or bronze. But other than give you a recommended spindle speed it has no actual function.
 

Regal13

Cast Iron
Joined
Feb 28, 2008
Location
Richmond, KY
Bruce and John, you may already know this, but I'm just trying to be helpful. That running a regal manual is freely available for download online.

Nice find, John. Lathe looks pretty good but the feed gears have been through a wrench at some point. By the looks of that Boston quadrant gear, I'm guessing that you have a commonly available size of gear...unlike the 13" Regal which has 14 DP feed gears.
 

Joe in NH

Diamond
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Location
Stratham, Cow Hampshire
Old Iron 1
Wife, Television, regular lifestyle 0

Nurse will be by with your pills shortly. Afterwards you'll be so far in la-la land you'll even be able to watch "Desperate Housewives" and look like you're enjoying it. Just to get rid of you she asks "Why don't you go out to the shop and play with your new toy?" This is known in the old iron game as the optimal domestic condition. That's when the nurse starts lowering your dose.

The nurse knows. Stick with the nurse.

The Great New Hampshirac sees a planer in your future.

Best,
Joe in NH

p.s. nice score!
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Location
Hesperia, SoCal
John, I'm with Bruce, I'm very pleased with my 1940 17 X 54. Your headstock looks nearly identical to mine, the exception, "17" cast where yours sports "LeBlond". Oddly, mine swings only 17-1/2" and I can't see where LeBlond added the height to yours. Clearly no riser as was done with other lathes. Also your tailstock looks identical to mine. Must be just a subtle stretch to each or maybe yours is a "19"????

The belt guard on mine is a cast iron pair, split around the outside edge and wrapped tightly around the pulleys/belts, rather than across the flat like yours. Getting the back half off is a PITA, gotta' remove both the countershaft pulley and the motor pulley. Looks cool and sleek though and ooh, my 12" aluminum handwheel on the countershaft, gonna' polish it.:smoking:

Wont make up for what replaces it on yours though, I'm really jealous of your spindle clutch, wish mine had it.:drool5:

Enjoy!

Bob
 

Bruce Johnson

Stainless
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Location
Burbank, CA USA
Bob;

My Regal 17 swings about 18 1/4" over the bed. I think the difference is in the width of the bed. Mine is 13 3/4" wide. Yours is probably the narrow series, around 11 1/2" (?). The headstocks are the same height, but different widths at the bottom.

It seems that LeBlond made the "roundhead" Regals in two versions of each size. The ones that say "LeBlond" on the headstock have the wide beds, while the ones with the number size on the headstock have the narrow beds. There's been speculation on here whether the narrow ones were "trainer" models made for trade schools, or were wartime specials with reduced iron content, or something else. I don't think we've ever found the answer.
 

John in OH

Aluminum
Joined
Feb 7, 2002
Location
SE Ohio, USA
Go forth and measure

Now you guys have me doubting my first measurements! I'll get back to the storage barn next week and try to get some more accurate measurements on both swing and bed width.
 

Bruce Johnson

Stainless
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Location
Burbank, CA USA
John;
Yes, your Regal looks like a 17" "wide bed" like mine. I suspect that the swing is actually about 18 1/4". If it were a 19", the swing would be just over 20".

It sounds like the first issue will be the broken half-nut lever. With luck, the lever itself will be somewhere in the included parts.

I also notice the Trav-A-Dial installation on the carriage. That's handy. I've thought about adding one on mine. Now that Trav-A-Dials have been almost completely obsoleted by DRO's, they turn up for cheap on ebay. A piece of machinery history in itself.
 

John in OH

Aluminum
Joined
Feb 7, 2002
Location
SE Ohio, USA
Yup, You Guys are Right

Bruce,

I had the opportunity to re-measure the bed width and swing and I was off on my first effort. Actual swing is, indeed, between 18 and 18-1/4 in. as you predicted. The bed width is 13-5/8 in. This does now make more sense and is in line with the other 17 in. lathe information. This lathe's serial number is D9510 which the old LeBlond files identify as a 17" machine.
 








 
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