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Big Leblond

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Nebraska Kirk

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#1
I have been wanting and looking for a bigger lathe and found this BIG LeBlond for sale. It is advertised as a having a 16" swing and 96" between centers. 5hp, 3 phase. It is about 12' long and weighs around 6,000 pounds. It comes with a a 4 jaw chuck and a tapering jig, but nothing else. The seller claims everything works as it should, but it has been unhooked and removed from the shop, so if I went to look at it, I would be unable to power it up to test it out. Which brings me to my question, is there anything I can do, other than removing covers and visually checking gears, to check out it's condition to verify that is in good condition and everything will work when I get it home and hook it up to power?

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ronzo

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#2
Yup it is BiG. Is that an oil drip on the floor under he headstock?


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stupoty

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#3
The top of the headstock comes off easily with 4 allen bolts, you can check the gears inside, look at the condition of the oil etc.

Theirs manuals available online, "running a reagle". , if it's a screw on chuck (looks to be the mid 1940's one cant quite figure out as they look quite similar) see if it unscrews ;-) mine (smaller 13 incher) had a very very stuck chuck and i often see leblond and stuck chuck in the same posting.

Stuart
 

stupoty

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#4
Yup it is BiG. Is that an oil drip on the floor under he headstock?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Might just need a new crush washer on the drain plug.

Although check for cracks as it is heavey and you dont know how carefully its been moved about.

Stuart
 

TommyD

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#5
I used to use one a little bigger with a gap bed....HUGE mutha. I had to use a cherry picker to change the chucks. What you gonna make on that beast?

All I can say is to put it in the different gears and give it a spin and listen for any clunks, you may need a bar in the chuck jaws for the lower gears. hard to assess when it isn't under power. I do believe as stupoty writes, the top of the headstock comes off easily.
 

Silverbullet

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#7
Give it a good looking over , get down under and look her bottom over, the oil drip looks like its from a flood coolant system . Could just be they un hooked it and the hose ran over or the drain leaked some. I'm willing to bet its in good shape all over Leblond makes some great machines , wish I had that baby for my own . I'd love a little bigger lathe. The ones I ran at work had minimum 20' beds and up our baby with 60" swing and 60' bed. It came from the navy it was used to make the propeller shafts. I ran missiles and rocket casings , made some classified stuff back then. But they're all known now. Had good times with 316 stainless on the machines till I sold them on using carbide cutters.
 

4GSR

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#8
....... Is that an oil drip on the floor under he headstock?.........
Did you see the pool of oil in the pan around the headstock?
If the LeBlonde has a lower output shaft to the feed box coming out of the lower headstock housing. It probably has enough shaft/housing wear that oil is flowing through it. The drain plug on these old machines is a old square head pipe plug. Most of the time when they get removed, they don't get put in and tighten correctly because of where they put the dang thing! And that's why they leak. That's why you see cat litter piled up around the bases of these old lathes...
 

Nebraska Kirk

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#9
I appreciate all your replies! After careful consideration, I have decided not to pursue it. I am just very leery of it since I won't be able to run it to check out everything. Plus, it is a little on the large side...
 

brino

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#10

Nebraska Kirk

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#11
Than you for that, Brino! I already have a 12x36 Atlas. It is a small light duty lathe and I am looking for a more rigid, heavier duty lathe, with at least the same capacity or just a little bigger. I have used this little Atlas to do a LOT of different things! Making pins and bushings and other odds and ends for the antique tractors I rebuild for my collection. I even rigged up a table to bolt on the cross slide to attach parts too for the purpose of boring out worn pivot holes, this was before I got my Bridgeport mill.

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