LeBlond Tool & Cutter Grinder

Hi gang;
I just added a new machine to my LeBlond collection... It's called a #2
Universal Tool & Cutter Grinder (I think that's the official name). I
was very lucky to snap it up on ebay from Reliable Tools for the
insanely low winning price of $150. I hauled it home today, and it's a
beautiful little machine. I had thought it was from the 1950's, but I
found a greasy old tag inside claiming that the motor had been cleaned
and serviced on 7/23/44. So I guess it's late 30's or early 40's?
Do any of you guys remember these machines, or know anything about
them? I'm somewhat knowledgeable about vintage LeBlonds, but I didn't
even know that they had gotten into tool grinding machines. I'm sure it
was intended for factory tool rooms. With a few accessories, it's
capable of precision grinding all kinds of rotary and linear cutting
It's a clever and somewhat peculiar machine. It weighs about 1400 lbs,
with a 36" x 6" table. The travels are about 20"X by 7"Y by 10"Z. The X
travel has a selector between a speed crank and slow wheel. The table
has an additional vertical axis swivel for doing long tapers.
The center structure of the machine is a vertical column, about 6" dia,
with a horizontal double end spindle at the top. A long flat leather
belt drive runs up through the column to drive the spindle, from a
motor and gearbox in the base. The cool thing is that the entire table
assembly, including the knee and Z crank gearbox, can be rotated 360
degrees around the column to put the grinding wheels at any angle in
relation to the table. There are even duplicate X and Y cranks on the
back side of the whole assembly, so you can turn the table around and
operate the machine from behind the column! A strange design, but I
guess it makes sense.
The pictures may still be on ebay under item 3858925864 for a while.
Any info would be appreciated, and I'm always glad to hear from other
vintage LeBlond owners. My pride and joy is a 1905 LeBlond #0
Horizontal Mill that I'm almost finished restoring.
Bruce Johnson
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Bruce, used to own one of these machines. Mine had a 3 or 4 speed transmission(don't remember which) the speeds of which could be changed by simply moving a lever on the column base. It also had t-slots which were angeled at 20 degrees or so to the top of the table. This arrangement made it pretty hard to use other peoples attachments on the table. I still have the original manual, a motorized 50 taper work head, spindle height centering gauge and if i remember correctly a form tooth sharpening fixture all of which i don't use on my present machine and would consider parting with. If you're interesed i can send you pictures. I'm in Portland, Oregon. Tom
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very nice. Great for milling cutters and outside grinding. Is there any tooling for doing the ends of mills or similar cutters?
I noticed a really nice bridgeport from the same vendor, looked almost new. To bad its on the other side of the continent :-(
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Hello Tom;
Thanks for the info! Yes, I'd definitely be interested in any of those leftover accessories. Send me some pictures at snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net, and we'll work out a deal. I enjoy the historical aspect of these machines, as well as the functional use, so I'd like any of the original accessories I can find.
Mine is the #2 machine, which has a 4 speed transmission. The table has three T-slots. The center one is straight up, and the two outer ones are tilted. I did get the pair of static centers that fit into the angled slots with the machine.
I was just working on it a little while ago, getting it mounted down to its base. It appears to be in excellent shape overall. It was repainted sometime back, and two of the crank handles are bent, but it doesn't seem to have much wear or obvious damage. With a little cleaning and tweaking, it should be a lifetime keeper. The more I look at it, there must be thousands of useful jobs it can do with a little clever fixturing.
Bruce Johnson Johnson's Extremely Strange Musical Instrument Co. Burbank, CA
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For any of you machineheads around the Los Angeles area, I can give you a good report about Reliable Tool Company. They have their own "store" on ebay, and constantly have hundreds of machines, tooling, and industrial items up for auction. I've bought two machines from them so far, and have been very happy with what I got. They're basically just reselling what they buy from factory liquidations, so you're not getting guaranteed ready-to-run machines. But they photograph and describe their machines well, so you know what you're bidding on.
I picked up both machines at their place in Irwindale. The paperwork was quick, and they loaded them right on my truck. They apparently do a big volume of business. If you have some time, it's fascinating to wander around their warehouse and look at all the neat toys. They also have a huge store next door which has tons of surplus and new tooling. There are bins of taps, drill bits, reamers, lathe tools, etc., etc., mostly for $4 per pound. It's a great place to pick up those odds and ends.
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Next time your in there..if you see a big ugly bastard in a black cowboy hat, with his head stuck in the odds and ends bins and boxes, its probably me.
"To be civilized is to restrain the ability to commit mayhem. To be incapable of committing mayhem is not the mark of the civilized, merely the domesticated." - Trefor Thomas
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Scrounge a manual and/or some literature so you will know what you need and what to look for. You probably won't have much competition buying pieces.
Gary Repesh
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