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LeBlond Regal 13" Questions

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T. J.

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#1
A friend of mine sent me some pics of a Regal 13" he has for sale. I'm going to look at it in the next day or two, but I would like to get some information beforehand. I currently have a 10" Logan/Wards lathe. I would eventually like to have something in the 13" range, but I'm not really in a hurry. Here are a few of my concerns/questions based on my research so far:
  • Spindle speed - it looks like top speed is 500 rpm. This seems like it would be pretty limiting for turning small diameters or using carbide tooling. How do you Regal owners deal with that. Is there a good way to increase speed with different motor/pulley combinations?
  • Spindle size - I've only been able to find limited info on this. It appears that this lathe is from the era when they had threaded spindles, but I'm not sure. The pics I've seen of other Regals make the spindle look pretty small. What is the size of the through hole? Can it accept a 5c collet adapter?
It looks like it has a taper attachment, which is a big plus. I don't know if he has the steady rest or follower rest. Is there anything else I need to be aware of regarding a Regal lathe?
 

Bob Korves

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#3
See if you can get a good pic of the top of the speeds dial.
 

T. J.

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#4
This is from the lathes.co.uk site. I believe the dial is just a calculator of sorts. The speeds are selected by the levers on the front of the headstock.

1519323960057.png
 

benmychree

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#5
I have a 19" Regal, same machine only larger, I think top speed on mine is 425 RPM, I do not find it particularly limiting and use carbide for most work, but there is really nothing wrong with using HSS for small diameters. So far as speeding it up, it certainly is possible, but running it at high speeds for extended periods risks frying the spindle bearings, which do not get much oil from splash, which is why there are Gits oil fittings at both ends of the housing; I speeded mine up because I was doing regular wood turning on it with a hydraulic tracer, and I had to replace the spindle bearings. I speeded it up with a two speed motor so that I ended up with twice the regular speeds. It is still hooked up that way, but I rarely use the high speed range and then only for short periods and paying attention to the oiling.
 

T. J.

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#6
How hard are the spindle bearings to find if needed?
 

benmychree

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On my 19" they were standard taper roller bearings (Timken), of a precision grade.
 

Bob Korves

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#8
This is from the lathes.co.uk site. I believe the dial is just a calculator of sorts. The speeds are selected by the levers on the front of the headstock.

View attachment 259222
Yes, indeed. It appears that 500 rpm is all you are going to get without a VFD or different pulleys to speed it up. 500 rpm seems really slow for a 13" lathe. My 13" lathe goes to 2000 rpm. On the other hand, I wish I could get 25 rpm on my lathe, 70 rpm is as slow as it goes.
 

benmychree

John York
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#9
Yes, correct about the dial, it is a cutting speed calculator; on my 19" Regal, I cut it off to have more room on top for the two speed/reverse drum switch. I agree about the slow speeds being an asset; I have a broken gear in mine, the lowest speed in both speed ranges, I found some gears, and made another, but am too lazy to take it all apart.
 
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