1930s Leblond 20x60" Belt Drive, Am I asking for trouble?
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  1. #1
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    Default 1930s Leblond 20x60" Belt Drive, Am I asking for trouble?

    Hi Guys,

    I am just getting started in the hobby and have been looking for a lathe and knee mill.

    I like old cool stuff as much as the next guy but would I be asking for problems with a machine like this? It comes with lots of tooling 3 chucks, is basically local to me and is single phase 5hp. (I am in BC, Canada, so that makes things really tough)

    00o0o_da4rw4pfuqsz_0ci0pr_1200x900.jpg01616_awryeurc3sez_0ci0pr_1200x900.jpg00r0r_3gu6fthvs9yz_0ci0pr_1200x900.jpg

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    What are you making? Tiny parts and that machine will be a little cumbersome.

    On the other hand if restoring similar sized large equipment it could be handy. I doubt such a machine would have much of a value above scrap around here but your location may be different.

    Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk

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  4. #3
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    Use it - fix it if needed.

    Do note the brazed carbide tooling has mostly been on display - you'll need the typical Baldor double end diamond wheel grinder to have your way with such tooling - I expect such grinders in good shape / well equipped are worth more than the lathe

    The lathe is from the twenties

    Here is its big (25") brother in North Dakota

    00000_2hmd01xmizx_1200x900.jpg00505_iikqhnpqcex_1200x900.jpg

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    Very high quality lathe. Depends a lot on what you want to do with it. If you decide to get it try to find out if a steady rest is on hand to go with it, because that won't be a common item (although you may be able to adapt one from another machine.

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    Any lathe is better than none, an old one is better than a horror freight one. And like rabbits, if you have one, more will soon show up! Happy machining!

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    I mostly do automotive stuff and fabrication. Originally I was thinking a 1340 kind of lathe and this one popped up, so it is definitely stretching my space and the needs I have for size.

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    My first lathe was a belt-drive LeBlond similar to yours, and I still use it. Forum members have coached me through the problems that I could not fix on my own. That lathe will spin the crankshaft or cam from an inline 6. In terms of fabrication you can use it for metal spinning, and the back gear will get you down to about 15 rpm for metal coiling, etc.

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    Wow, I just heard back about this one though!! Asking 6800 maple dollars but on the other side of the country.

    imag2399-20200203-162006625-sm-lathe1.jpgimg_4195-002-.jpg

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    Assuming it's a runner and in reasonable condition I'd stick with the belt drive, .....IMHO an ideal learning machine - if you dig in or have a ''whoopsy'' the belts slip or come off, and damage is minimal, (less clean underwear required as well) ...gear heads usually aren't so forgiving.

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    I don't see the thread dial so be sure to ask about it if not on the machine.. Nice lathe for big work.

    Get the feel for rolling in the gears with a little chuck roll.

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    Quote Originally Posted by salem747 View Post
    Wow, I just heard back about this one though!! Asking 6800 maple dollars but on the other side of the country.

    imag2399-20200203-162006625-sm-lathe1.jpgimg_4195-002-.jpg
    man, I hate it when people paint the rim of handles on machine tools. Makes it look like a trophy instead of something to be used.

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    I always figured they are too f#$%in' lazy to buff 'em out properly. I like to polish them out completely and paint only the [as cast] spokes.

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    Nice, but be careful, that's a big lathe for a newbie. That thing will chew you up and spit you out.

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    Do not forget about the cost of rigging and transportation. Maple-land is BIG. Part of what I love about the belt-drive machines is that they largely pre-date carbide tools. So they were not designed to handle the higher cutting loads of carbide tools. That kept even some of the large machines relatively light and low-powered. (more suitable for most of our garages as they do not crack the floor or dim the lights)

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  22. #15
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    Nothing wrong with a bigger machine. Dad picked up a 20" Flather and I started on it when I was 14 yrs old. I have since inherited the Flather and it is my go to machine. Granted, it is more difficult to machine small stuff. So I now have 3 lathes. ~1917 20" Flather, 1940s 13" LeBlond and a 1950s 9" South bend. All have their purpose. You will find that if you only had a smaller machine, there will be some project that is just too big for it and you will wish you had a larger one.

    The Leblond you are considering looks to be a pretty nice machine. If it is complete and nothing major is broken, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it.
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  24. #16
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    More solid goodness from RKL

    6b44_3.jpg782e_3.jpg7515_3.jpg

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    I'm leaning towards the Standard Modern in the second photos. Just more modern and more HP.

    However, shipping to me is ~$2500 and it is 3 phase so I would be looking to replace the spindle motor. But it has a Maple Leaf on it!

    This machine was with the military since new and was just traded in. Gone over and obviously treated well.

    Does anyone know what year that is? All the manuals for the 1600 series have the newer controls.

    imag2399-20200203-162006625-sm-lathe1.jpg

    PS, no idea why that one photo likes being upside down.
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