Resurfection of LeBlond 27" Heavy
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  1. #1
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    Default Resurfection of LeBlond 27" Heavy

    That was intended to be "Resurrection of LeBlond 27" Heavy, but the spelling checker bit me again!

    Some of you were following the "FS Big LeBlond" thread, and this is the next phase of it as I am purchasing the lathe and must start planning it's return to life.

    If you missed the previous thread, it once looked like the long-bed version of this
    leblond-heavy-1916-small-.jpg
    And now it looks like this
    img_8615.jpg

    Here is the preceding cone-head version in 1911
    cone.jpg
    Here is the following single-speed belt drive version in 1920 something
    single-speed.jpg

    Mine was built in 1919
    The swing is 27"
    It has the extended bed casting for 8" between centers
    Weighs 9600 lb without tooling
    Has 4 speeds in the headstock, a back-gear, and originally had a 3 speed (500,1000,and 1500 rpm) DC (?) motor for 24 speeds
    It now has a retrofitted single speed 3-phase motor with 4-speed gearbox



    I have no fantasy of making it a museum piece, but want to get it running.
    Everything is nearly frozen, and can be moved only with considerable effort.
    I may simplify the task by setting it up for single speed belt drive from a line-shaft or electric motor as LeBlond did in the 20s. If I run the input shaft at the 1500 rpm used as top speed for the original DC motor I have 8 speeds rather than 24 and my minimum spindle speed is increased from 5 rpm to 15 rpm, but I think I can live with that. I really did not need 5,000 ft. lb. of torque anyway! Although with that much torque I could let the motor loosen up the spindle (or break the spindle).

    So the first of many questions are:
    1. What is the best method to free things up? Soak in a mix of used oil and kerosene?
    2. Any tricks to pushing rust off of lead-screws?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_8616.jpg  

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    You are braver than I am, what a beast! I would start with soaking it down with atf, for cleaning ways and any other flat areas I would scrape rust with razor blades. For derusting smaller parts invest in at least 5 gallons of evaporust, for parts like lead screws a section of pvc pipe capped on 1 end then fill with evapo, after soaking a large wire brush should get it pretty clean. Hope you have some help.

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    Semi dull way scraper great for shoving off rust on the cast iron parts

    20" Heavy Greaves Klusman after sitting out for years

    dcp_1289.jpgdcp_1317.jpg

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    You might also look into electrolytic de-rusting. It will free up stuck parts as it removes rust. You should also consider an impact screwdriver/wrench for removing stuck fasteners after a soak in penetrating oil. While it may seem violent, impact tools are often the best way to free stuff without stripping or breaking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arclight View Post
    You might also look into electrolytic de-rusting. It will free up stuck parts as it removes rust. You should also consider an impact screwdriver/wrench for removing stuck fasteners after a soak in penetrating oil. While it may seem violent, impact tools are often the best way to free stuff without stripping or breaking.
    I like the electrolytic process, but I am struggling with a technique to apply it to the entire machine... perhaps a swimming pool with a 6-ton gantry crane? But on 2nd thought a shallow pan under the machine with the electrode and a pump to shower the machine? I assume the volume of fluid is irrelevant as long as there is a conductive path back to the pan and electrode. Or plug the drain holes on the headstock and flood it with the fluid to address the gears? Are there any electrical/chemical folks out there? In such scale what voltage and current needs to be supplied?

    I also like impact, and planned to lube the machine before it is bounced 110 miles from its current home to mine in hopes that the vibration of the journey at least helps the lube migrate. I even brainstormed a big shaker to attach to the machine to vibrate it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnoder View Post
    Semi dull way scraper great for shoving off rust on the cast iron parts

    20" Heavy Greaves Klusman after sitting out for years

    dcp_1289.jpgdcp_1317.jpg
    Well I just purchased my LeBlond cutting tool grinders so perhaps my first task will be to dull the scraper with the grinding tool! (more suited to my skill level than actual sharpening!)

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    Just my 2¢ worth, Dr. Hillbilly...

    I think some level of disassembly is necessary to properly derust and clean the detail parts; ie: headstock spindle, gears & shafts, the QC box gears & shafts, carriage and the tailstock should be broken down into their component parts.

    The leadscrew in a PVC pipe of an appropriate length filled with Evaporust is a great suggestion and I have done this on past projects.
    FYI: any part soaking in Evaporust must be fully submerged or it will leave an "etch line" on the part at the fluid's surface.

    Electrolysis (using carbon plates for the anodes) works well providing you can find/construct a suitably sized container to hold the part and water.

    I've read of individuals building a framework from construction lumber and lining it with rubber or heavy plastic sheeting to serve as as a temporary tank.

    Congrats on saving this old LeBlond lathe!

    Mike

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    I built a temporary 800 gallon electrolysis tank out of 2 x 4s, OSB and plastic liner for a large iron item.
    I used many boxes of washing soda and a low voltage from my arc welder.
    I have a picture somewhere..
    It did remove the surface rust, mostly turning it black, but had no effect on anything internal that was stuck.
    Further reading called the process "line of sight", as in only that directly exposed would be affected.
    I certainly found that to be the case.
    Further reading of "hydrogen embrittlement" from the process has kept me from using it again.
    I am not a chemist or a metallurgist so I now choose caution over possible damage to important (to me, anyway..) ancient artifacts.

    I was successful on a large stuck shaft by standing it on end, with the shaft vertical, brazing pipes to soup cans to fit in the oiler holes, a gallon of WD-40, and kerosene and a turkey baster, along with a lead hammer.
    Every day I would suck up the fluids, reapply and fill the eventually emptying cans and giving a few whacks with the lead mallet.
    Took a while, but success with no damage.

    Mike

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    Big as it is, you might research dry ice blasting and soda blasting.

    You'd have to hire the dry ice work, AFAIK.

    Soda you can equip for. Your gear won't have to do but this one job, so no need for the best stuff. Cheap goods and extra care & labour should do.

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    Dry ice blasting is expensive, for all your non precision areas, especially the paint, get a needle scaler.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnoder View Post
    Semi dull way scraper great for shoving off rust on the cast iron parts

    20" Heavy Greaves Klusman after sitting out for years

    dcp_1289.jpgdcp_1317.jpg
    Is semi-dull just enough that one cannot shave their fingernail? Like using a stone to put perhaps a .005 radius on the tool?

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    Is semi-dull just enough that one cannot shave their fingernail?
    Its just right if it shoves off rust without cutting the iron. You can imagine this situation has a range of "semi-dullness" that works fine. You are in no way trying to do anything fancier than getting the rust off without cutting up the iron

    I'd say not shaving your nails would be a definite place to be to do what was needed

    I'd also say this would degrade over time but still shove the rust off

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    There are as many ways to remove rust as there are people here, here's one of my experiences.

    A couple of years ago I had the need to remove the mill scale and plasma dross from a lot of large plasma cut steel (Cor-Ten) parts. I built a frame out of 2x lumber and plywood, lined it with a couple of layers of heavy plastic sheeting, and submerged (and weighted down) a piece of insulpink closed cell foam insulation to protect the plastic (and provide a thermal barrier to the colder ground). I filled it with a couple hundred gallons of water and probably about 5 gals of hydrochloric acid (sold at Home Despot as muriatic acid) and left the parts in overnight, less if the acid was fresh or if I heated the solution. This worked really well - the metal came out shiny. I consulted a metallurgist out of concern over hydrogen embrittlement, he said it wouldn't be a problem, and it doesn't appear to have been.

    The parts would flash rust while drying out after removal from the acid bath. I mixed about 10 lbs of baking soda in a large trash can and would dip, brush, splash, etc the parts as they came out of the acid bath. I could then let the parts air dry and they wouldn't rust. Any baking soda residue did not appear to be a problem when the parts were welded.

    This was an ongoing process for a few months, so I eventually tried citric acid (mixed from powder) because it was cheaper and less caustic, although the hydrochloric acid was weak enough that I could reach in without gloves. It also worked well. With the citric acid I mixed it by taste (it was food grade) - if I thought "this needs more gin" then it wasn't strong enough. Both acids, used, are relatively harmless so disposal wasn't a problem.

    I really like Evaporust, but it gets expensive for large parts, the advantage of the acid treatment is that it's cheap. The downside of the acid is that hardened steel parts will develop a black smutty layer if left in too long. Evaporust will do this too, but it takes a lot longer - I once accidentally left an end mill in evaporust for over a month and it came out looking mostly like an end mill but I could crumble it with my fingers.

    As mentioned, with acid or Evaporust the parts must be fully submerged or they will be etched at the water line. I also used some PVC tubing to separate steel plates so acid could get between, there was some light etching where the metal was in contact with the PVC.

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    Wow, congrats! I thought for sure that old girl was destined for the scrapper! I love old machinery but you'd have had to put a negative price on it for me to haul it off. Good on you, I think you're braver than a lot of us. Lots of chemicals in your future for sure, but elbow grease is probably the primary!

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    There is no getting around taking the sliding parts apart to clean them.
    Anything less, you are NOT going to get all the dirt, and as most of us
    know, one speck of grit that gets in between the way surfaces will gouge
    them, and deep. No free ride. If you think you can wire brush the ways,
    oil it up and use it, you are foolish.

    -Doozer

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