17in LeBlond Regal help

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Aug 20, 2012
I inherited a 1943 WWII LeBlond Regal 17in lathe (serial # D6856). It looks like it’s had a hard life, but its built like a tank and still turns straight and true. I’ve used it a few times, but nothing complex.

When I got it there was a cheap 110v motors mounted to plywood powering it. I’ve installed a 220v motor and wired it to run both directions with the drum switch.

How crazy can I get cleaning this thing? I looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in 30 years. I’m thinking about removing the headstock, carriage, leadscrew, and legs from the bed and cleaning them in sections. Is that a bad idea? Would the headstock need to be aligned with the bed again? Not looking to do that if so.

I have some gear movement inside the headstock, and I’m not sure if it’s normal. I’ve never noticed this while operating the lathe normally. I’m fabricating a belt guard for the lathe. I placed a bar sideways in the chuck to remove the nut holding the hand wheel and pulley. When I did this there was some play between the hand wheel and chuck. So I removed the inspection cover to take a look. It looks like the A-B gear selection handle has some play.

Video of the gear movement:

Where can I get replacement parts? I have 1 gear totally stripped and its mate has a few chips. I would also like to get all new seals, this thing leaks out the top inspection cover after running, and its 70 years old now. I’d like to get an exploded diagram with part numbers so I can order service parts.

Large picture of the broken gear: http://fireguy50.com/private/lathe-broken-gear.jpg

Tom Griffin

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That looks like it would make a fun restoration project. I would definitely disassemble as much as possible to make it easier to handle. The headstock probably sits on the ways so there probably won't be any alignment required. Even it it doesn't, realigning it would be as simple as indicating a test bar in the spindle.

The damaged gear will likely be a problem. I know Plaza Machinery has lots of old lathe parts but the chance of them having that specific part are probably pretty slim. You may have to invest in a gear cutter and make one yourself, or buy a standard off the shelf gear and modify it to fit. You should be able to make a new gear, turn down the damaged shaft and press fit the new gear using a key to keep it from rotating.

If you decide to restore it, be sure to take pics. We would love to see the progress.


Tony Wells

Jan 22, 2011
We did have a LeBlond factory service guy among us, although I haven't seen him post lately. Maybe he'll chime in.
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