I just became the owner of a 13" LeBlond regal lathe the the number on the ways is B 9860. The lathe seems to be in good shape, came out of a trade school, everthing seems to be tight and the gears show little wear, I do wonder about the 3/4 hp motor though just seems under powered. Does anyone use one of these and is it a good lathe worth fixing up and gettting tooling for(only tooling is a 3-jaw chuck). I don't have much invested in this lathe but just hate to see something this good go the the scrap metal pile. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks Mac
First thing... LeBlond was among the best of the best. Second thing: HP labels have changed since then. I'm not sure, but I believe HP in the days of your B9860 were calculated at 1,700 rpm and today's electric motors calculated at 3,600? so it may be that your 3/4 HP is equivalent to today's inflated 2HP or more.
Older lathes have hand-scraped bearing surface ways and many of us old timers think the hand-scraped ways are better than even the laser calibrated ground ways of today's machinery.
I'm probably wrong on both these counts... but they may be worth following up on. LeBlond is one hell of a good lathe!
DUMPSTER????? LeBlond REGAL!!!!!!!!!! How dare you put the two terms in the same paragraph, you fiend!
Seriously good lathe. Way good lathe. Farking excellent lathe. Good stuff Maynard. Assuming as you indicated that its in good shape, its a marvelous lathe. Tooling as far as it goes, depending on how good your scrounging skills are, is easy as most types of tooling that will fit any 13" lathe, will fit it. There are a lot of 13" Regals around and things like spindle nose 5C adapters are available, though if you buy them new, wont be cheap.
The 3/4hp motor will so some serious work, if you dont try for blue chips, but if you find its underpowered, you may easily enough install a 1.5 or even a 3hp.
You did well to find this machine and if taken care of, will last the life span of your grandchildren. Please post some pictures.
I should mention as a further encouragement, that I, with all my toys, would be proud to have a 13" Regal in my shop. So take it as an approval on your score
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
Horsepower has ALWAYS been calculated at the motor's true running RPM. This gets messy with multi-speed and variable-speed motors, but for constant speed motors, it has always been done the same way. (Ignore the craziness with recent air compressors and shop vacs. The legal system is finally restoring truth there, too.) But, yes, 3/4 Hp sounds a bit weak on a really heavily-built machine. I have a 15" Sheldon, and it has a 5 HP motor!
No. Hand scraping can definitely produce a very flat and striaght bedway for a machine tool. Often better than any surface grinder can produce. But, a properly calibrated and trued precision bedway with flame-sprayed hard surfacing will last a LOT longer. Most machines with hardened beds are NOT precision trued after manufacture, though, so in a sense you are quite right. It's not a matter of what is POSSIBLE, but what is actually done in industry practice. Hand scraping or other hand truing techniques are just too time consuming to be done on most machine tools.
Motor power output is not a fixed relationship to motor power in. a 3/4 HP motor is one that generates an honest 0.75 horsepower (560W) at the shaft -- this will take at least 560W on the input, it _will_ take more (10% more would indicate a darn good motor) and could take anything at all above that (e.g. a 100HP motor, running at rated speed and delivering only 3/4 HP may take 15kW just to keep turning).
That doesn't work on hardened beds, though! (Don't ask how I know. OK, I'll tell you. I did the closest I could think of to hand scraping a hardened Sheldon bed. I used a "test carriage" made to have the same shape as the Sheldon carriage on the bottom, just shorter along the bed (about 6"). I used a hand scraped straightedge with marking medium (spotting dye) and a Taylor Hobson Talyvel electronic level. With the test carriage and the straightedge, I identified local high spots, and the Talyvel was used to keep an eye on long-span variations along the bed. I used an air die grinder and Cratex rubberized and cloth-bonded polishing wheels to remove material where needed. I finally finished the surfaces with bench sharpening stones that had been rubbed together to obtain a nearly flat stone. These stones, when rubbed over the bed with a heavy application of light oil, would remove a tiny amount of metal from even more localized high spots, and leave a beautifully polished surface. But, it was backbreaking work (although more fun than working out on a Nautilus machine.)
Anyway, I finally got the 6 foot bed down to +/- .0005" or so over the entire length. I could have kept working, but I thought that was as good as I'd ever need it. The tricky part is to get the front/back motion of the carriage as it travels along the bed down to a minimal amount.
It's not the speed that affects the horsepower. An induction motor can be built to operate just shy of the line rate (60Hz = 3600 cycles per second), or just shy of 1/2 the line rate, or just shy of 1/3 the line rate, etc. So a two-pole two-phase induction motor will spin around
3500 RPM, a four-pole two-phase will spin around 1750 or 1700, etc.
Back in the day, however, motors tended to be rated _very_ conservatively, because everything was done with a slide rule and paper. To make sure they were telling the truth they way over designed things. This is why an older 3/4HP is "better" than a newer one.
And today's "2HP" for an itty bitty motor is just a lie -- see all of the threads about compressors.
I suspect that a hand-scraped way done with care is _way_ better than a laser calibrated ground way done by someone who doesn't give a shit. I also suspect, however, that a good, careful guy with a laser-guided grinding setup that's kept in good trim can at least turn out stuff that's as good as hand-scraped and probably faster.
The hottest-shit setup would probably be a laser interferometer plus a really bright, committed guy with a scraper, though.
I think it's harder to tell on a lathe or a drill press when to change the motor than in an application with a fixed load, though. I have a 58 year old single phase 3/4 HP motor on my SB 10L and I think it slows down and stalls too easily. If it was running a compressor I'd put an amprobe on it and see what it was trying to pull at full load. However I don't have any simple way of putting a known 3/4 HP load on it. Most motors will continue to spin at a lower load even after their prime, for example, if you lower a compressor or pump setpoint a marginal motor will keep going for a while.
Sigh. When I was young I wanted to be a jet jockey. Now that I'm wise I realize that I often screw things up the first time around. I do well with what I do now because I can always double-check my work.
And yes, 60 cycles per second doesn't equal 3600 cycles per second, but it does equal 3600 cycles per minute.
I have an earlier 13" LeBlond Regal with a 3/4 HP motor and find it sufficient for my hobby requirements. Perhaps if you were using carbide tooling at high speed and high feed rates it would be insufficient. Top speed on this older model is only 500 RPM. Mine dates from 1943 and I purchased it at the auction at Grumman Aircraft. - Joe
Thanks for all the responses. I am going to post a picture when I can get use of a digital camera. A friend has one and he said I could use it. So, we will see. Looks like its going to cost about half what the lathe cost to get it going, but still I think it will be worth while. I did find a 2hp 3 phase motor, for free, and ordered some parts from Mcmaster to build a rotary phase convertor. Ordered a rocker type tool post and found some tool holders in a scrap bin. So if I can figure out this schematic for this rpc I may get it runnig tomorrow. Again, thanks for all your responses. Mac
Sorry for the slow response. Kind of a newbie, just found the group. :) I wonder if this is a single phase motor? The machine was almost certainly 3 phase when built and if someone put in a single phase motor that may have been all that was handy or perhaps (some installations are VERY tight) because of the necessarily larger frame size (on a single phase motor of the same hp), that's all that could be easily stuffed in place?
I think it came with the 3/4 or if it has been replaced it was a long time ago. The motor has the same paint as the rest of the lathe and it is a 3 phase motor. I have got the RPC going and have used the lathe a little. Since it only has a 500 RPM top spindle speed I think the 3/4 might be enough for what I plan to use it for. Thanks, Joe