LeBlond Lathe

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H&NERY
Posts: 206
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:46 am
Location: Hillsboro, Wisconsin

LeBlond Lathe

Post by H&NERY » Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:40 am

So I have been looking for a bigger lathe for a while and have stumbled across a 15x30 LeBlond. It's a 1981 model. It does not have any chucks with it other than a 3J Collet chuck from what I was told. It has the L1 tapered spindle, 7.5 HP 3 Phase motor, will do both Inch and Metric threads. He is asking $5000, I think that may be a little high considering there are no chucks with it. But good old iron like that is hard to come by. I may go look at it this week end. I know I will have to spend some money on some chucks and and a quick change tool post.
My question is is it worth it? I know I will also have to by a rotary phase converter or he said he was going to hook it up to a VFD. I have been looking at import 14x40 Lathes but just can't get convince myself to buy one of those.

rrnut-2
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Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:40 pm
Location: New Hampshire

Re: LeBlond Lathe

Post by rrnut-2 » Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:47 am

That sounds like a good find, if it is in good shape, even missing chucks.

Jim B

LIALLEGHENY
Posts: 332
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:36 am
Location: Bohemia, NY

Re: LeBlond Lathe

Post by LIALLEGHENY » Tue Jan 11, 2022 1:32 pm

That's a reasonable price considering it does both inch and metric threads. Does it come with the threading chart and dial for metric,, or just the change gears ? 1980's is when Leblond started to introduce metric threading on all their lathes, later they switched over to the camlock spindles and increased the bore on the spindles, and also added the extension on the end of the ways for the tailstock. Chucks/ backing plates and tool post are all readily available. The question is can you pick it up yourself and load/ unload or do you need to pay to have it moved? Figure that cost into your purchase if there is one.

Nyle

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H&NERY
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Location: Hillsboro, Wisconsin

Re: LeBlond Lathe

Post by H&NERY » Tue Jan 11, 2022 2:18 pm

Its about 2 hours from me, I have the means to haul it and move it. My biggest concern is having enough power in my garage to run it. I've looked at other LeBlond Lathes, and it seems like they are going anywhere from $6500 up to $12,500 depending on how they were tooled up. They guy was getting ready to paint it and ordered all new tags, ID plates, and threading charts for it from LeBlond, he said over $900 worth of new stuff. It was a $12,250 Lathe from LeBlond when it was new in 1981. To bad it has been repainted a time or two.
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earlgo
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Location: NE Ohio

Re: LeBlond Lathe

Post by earlgo » Tue Jan 11, 2022 2:40 pm

My friend has a Leblond Regal and it is able to do almost everything but make hot coffee. His is attached to a phase converter. He really likes it for whatever, although it is a bit big to do smallish stuff, so be aware of that.
--earlgo
Before you do anything, you must do something else first. - Washington's principle.

LIALLEGHENY
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Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:36 am
Location: Bohemia, NY

Re: LeBlond Lathe

Post by LIALLEGHENY » Tue Jan 11, 2022 2:55 pm

Do yourself a favor, pull the collet cuck off and check the spindle taper. When I got my Leblond, the taper was all buggered up from chucks being installed without cleaning the taper first. I wound up having to regrind the spindle nose on mine .

Nyle

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H&NERY
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Location: Hillsboro, Wisconsin

Re: LeBlond Lathe

Post by H&NERY » Tue Jan 11, 2022 2:56 pm

I've run in to that with my 17" at work, where I have had to take things home and do it on my 10" Atlas. I was hoping to find something in that 13 to 14" range. I like my little Atlas but it is can be a pain with change gears and I could use a little bit more rigidity.

pete
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Re: LeBlond Lathe

Post by pete » Tue Jan 11, 2022 4:20 pm

A nice sized lathe from a well respected manufacturer. Even with the imports there's usually a large step up in weight and rigidity once you get into the 14"+ swing range. And that inevitably comes with a fairly large price increase if it's decently designed and made. Right there your already well above his $5k asking price for a new but definitely lesser machine. We all know with used machine tools condition is everything. So properly going over any used machine sure isn't something to do half way. There would be a long list of what to check, but it depends on how much you already know. Myself I'd prefer a cam lock spindle, but the L1 would be my second choice, and some think it's better than the D series anyway. But also ask if he still has the proper L1 wrench. Bed wear would be one of the main items to check, as well as finding out a bit about the machines past use would help. I'd also prefer a VFD over rotary because of the multiple functions it allows. Plus you don't have a secondary motor idling away every time your stopped for tool changes, measuring etc.

Considering my off shore lathe cost me over $3500 with roughly 2/3ds the swing, 1/50th the quality and much more involved screw cutting capability, then as Nyle's said it's a reasonable price if it's still in decent condition. I'd also start any checks with a used lathe by inspecting the top slide and head stock side of the carriage/cross slide for signs of any crash damage. That say's a lot about the past operators, possible spindle or internal head stock damage etc. And decent operators who have few minor or no crashes will normally look after the machines maintenance and lubrication a lot better. The condition of the head and tail stock tapers is also a pretty good indicator. The big ticket items to have rebuilt to as new condition are those tapers, bed and slide wear, feed screws, head stock gearing, the spindle and it's bearings. I'd also be sure to check inside any wiring panels. Jumpers, signs of burned areas, hacked up wiring could be a future headache you don't want.

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neanderman
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Re: LeBlond Lathe

Post by neanderman » Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:38 am

As a LeBlond owner, I'd jump on this.
  • The L1 spindle is two sizes bigger than my L00, so the through spindle should be larger.
    Look at the headstock gears; make sure none are chipped.

    Look at the lead screw for wear. Unless a LOT of threading was done, or the operator used the lead screw for routine longitudinal facing, it should be in good shape.

    Is there a taper attachment? Follow and/or steady rest?

    Check the bed and cross slide for wear -- are the oil checks still visible? My crossfeed would definitely benefit from a new screw and nut.

    What tool post does it have?

    Definitely go with a VFD.
Start a thread to document your progress, and good luck!
Ed

LeBlond Dual Drive, 15x30
US-Burke Millrite MVI
Atlas 618
Files, snips and cold chisels

Proud denizen of the former "Machine Tool Capitol of the World"

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