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New to me LeBlond Regal Servo Shift, questions

hsracer201

Hot Rolled
Joined
Oct 24, 2015
Hi everyone. I picked up a LeBlond Regal Servo Shift 15x54 out of NC this week. My dad came over and helped unload it last night and I'm starting to clean it up a little. I'm waiting on a larger phase converter to be delivered but in the mean time I have been reading up on things and perhaps a static converter won't drive the servo shift properly? Any input on this or personal experience? It has a 7.5hp 3-phase so I ordered a converter to adequately handle it. The one I use now is only for a 3hp.

It also has one gear in the headstock missing 4 teeth. Any idea on the cost of having the gear repaired? I've heard it is ridiculous from LeBlond. Anyone here make gears?

Thanks!
 

tgw

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 21, 2005
Location
Central Texas
Re: Servo Shift

Hello,

The shop I where I worked had three 15" Servo Shift LeBlonds. They were purchased new in the early 1970's. I think they were pretty good lathes especially when they were new. By the time I went to work there in the late 90's they had or were needing repairs. The basic lathe is fine and it is a nice machine to operate. The drive system seems to be too complicated for what it does. When I went to work there the only hydraulic shift lathe I had worked with was a Lehmann Hydratrol which worked good. The LeBlond system is very different.

I don't know much about phase converters so I really can't answer that question. The servo shift system works off the small hydraulic pump on the back of the headstock. On the ones we had it was controlled by the switch that is behind the servo dial or by the forward and reverse lever. The pump motor was controlled by a separate motor starter on the electrical panel. The pump fed a shifting block in the headstock that was connected to the shifting levers. This in ours was made of plastic and some developed leaks. At one time LeBlond would rebuild these.

The shifting system also relies on a magnetic brake that is behind the drive sheave on the headstock. It seemed like a real Rube Goldberg apparatus. When you turned the servo dial to a new speed nothing happened until you placed the forward/reverse lever in the brake position. The pump came on and a set of plastic gears moved a linkage that attached to the electric brake. This rocked the spindle back and forth so the gears could line up. When the shift was completed the pump turned off and you could engage the spindle.

The key to making this work was one more component. It was called the zero-speed switch. This was a mercury switch that was installed on the end of the motor shaft. It was required to make sure the motor wasn't running during all the shifting process. If that switch fails it can lead to damaged gears. If your lathe is older it may have had this switch bypassed. LeBlond stopped making the mercury switches and developed an electronic circuit to detect the speed of the motor. All of ours had been converted.

You could still get a lot of parts for the lathe as of about four years ago. I don't think the parts come from LeBlond but the company that sells them is very helpful with information and parts.

I hate to sound negative about the lathe. They were very good lathes. It just seemed they were overly complicated for the convenience of changing speeds. Once again, I can't answer the question about the converter. I believe it would work because the pump motor does not operate when the main motor is running and vice versa.

Good Luck,

Terry
 

Mebfab

Diamond
Joined
Jun 7, 2003
Location
Mebane North Carolina USA
All I can say is a poor gear repair will transmit into the work. If this is the sub $400 machine I saw try figuring out tooth form and # of teeth. Check boston gear. Probably an internal spline though
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Location
marysville ohio
I have a Servo Shift and have been using it daily for 10 years now and it has been flawless except when an employee crashed it hard and broke a gear. I bought a complete headstock set of gears from a lathe that was in a fire. They showed no heat damage, I replaced the bad ones and still have the rest. get it apart and find out what you need as I may be able to help. What size is your chuck mount?, they came in L0 and L1.
 

Grigg

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Location
Lexington, VA
I ran one for a good while and there were several others in the shop. Don't recall any problems or repairs in that time. Remember adjusting a little rheostat for the spindle brake if swinging a large or tentatively held work piece.
Mainly I remember them being pretty complicated, as already mentioned, and thinking to myself how they were nice machines to run but sure glad I didn't own one and have to maintain and repair it long term.

I expect you need a rotary converter. If what you've bought is a static converter find an idler motor to add to it that is as large as your converter is rated.

Where in VA are you?

Grigg
 

hsracer201

Hot Rolled
Joined
Oct 24, 2015
Hello,

The shop I where I worked had three 15" Servo Shift LeBlonds. They were purchased new in the early 1970's. I think they were pretty good lathes especially when they were new. By the time I went to work there in the late 90's they had or were needing repairs. The basic lathe is fine and it is a nice machine to operate. The drive system seems to be too complicated for what it does. When I went to work there the only hydraulic shift lathe I had worked with was a Lehmann Hydratrol which worked good. The LeBlond system is very different.

I don't know much about phase converters so I really can't answer that question. The servo shift system works off the small hydraulic pump on the back of the headstock. On the ones we had it was controlled by the switch that is behind the servo dial or by the forward and reverse lever. The pump motor was controlled by a separate motor starter on the electrical panel. The pump fed a shifting block in the headstock that was connected to the shifting levers. This in ours was made of plastic and some developed leaks. At one time LeBlond would rebuild these.

The shifting system also relies on a magnetic brake that is behind the drive sheave on the headstock. It seemed like a real Rube Goldberg apparatus. When you turned the servo dial to a new speed nothing happened until you placed the forward/reverse lever in the brake position. The pump came on and a set of plastic gears moved a linkage that attached to the electric brake. This rocked the spindle back and forth so the gears could line up. When the shift was completed the pump turned off and you could engage the spindle.

The key to making this work was one more component. It was called the zero-speed switch. This was a mercury switch that was installed on the end of the motor shaft. It was required to make sure the motor wasn't running during all the shifting process. If that switch fails it can lead to damaged gears. If your lathe is older it may have had this switch bypassed. LeBlond stopped making the mercury switches and developed an electronic circuit to detect the speed of the motor. All of ours had been converted.

You could still get a lot of parts for the lathe as of about four years ago. I don't think the parts come from LeBlond but the company that sells them is very helpful with information and parts.

I hate to sound negative about the lathe. They were very good lathes. It just seemed they were overly complicated for the convenience of changing speeds. Once again, I can't answer the question about the converter. I believe it would work because the pump motor does not operate when the main motor is running and vice versa.

Good Luck,

Terry

This one is a '77, so hopefully the mercury switch has been replaced with the newer design.

I'd been putting off a rotary converter for a while so this was a good excuse to order an American Rotary AR-15F. I'm anxiously awaiting its delivery.

All I can say is a poor gear repair will transmit into the work. If this is the sub $400 machine I saw try figuring out tooth form and # of teeth. Check boston gear. Probably an internal spline though

It is the machine you saw on CL. I'll post a picture down below in a minute.

PM your e-mail addy and I'll send you the .pdf file of My Brake Don' Work & My Lathe Don't Shift, which are essential reading for any LeBlond Regal Servo-Shift owner.

Mike

PM sent and thank you very much!

I have a Servo Shift and have been using it daily for 10 years now and it has been flawless except when an employee crashed it hard and broke a gear. I bought a complete headstock set of gears from a lathe that was in a fire. They showed no heat damage, I replaced the bad ones and still have the rest. get it apart and find out what you need as I may be able to help. What size is your chuck mount?, they came in L0 and L1.

This one is a L-0.

I ran one for a good while and there were several others in the shop. Don't recall any problems or repairs in that time. Remember adjusting a little rheostat for the spindle brake if swinging a large or tentatively held work piece.
Mainly I remember them being pretty complicated, as already mentioned, and thinking to myself how they were nice machines to run but sure glad I didn't own one and have to maintain and repair it long term.

I expect you need a rotary converter. If what you've bought is a static converter find an idler motor to add to it that is as large as your converter is rated.

Where in VA are you?

Grigg

See above, I used this lathe as a good excuse to finally get a rotary converter. I'm just across the mountain from you in Amherst County. Just off Rt 130, in fact. Stop by some time, kick a lathe leg or two.























It needs a bit of attention but it is slowly cleaning up nicely. I'll know more about what's what after I get it wired up. It'll be a fun winter/spring project if nothing else.
 

hsracer201

Hot Rolled
Joined
Oct 24, 2015
What does the mating gear look like, which meshes with the toothless wonder?

Mike

It looks just fine. It's at a difficult angle to photograph but we gave it multiple revolutions and inspected with a light and it is good to go, at least to the eye.

Thank you for the attachment via email.
 

tgw

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 21, 2005
Location
Central Texas
Re: Servo Shift

Looks like a nice lathe. Appears to be in pretty good shape. Like I said, despite the complicated shifting mechanism I thought the ones I used were good lathes. The ones we had were not worn out but they had been run pretty hard and maintenance was spotty. You can probably get it going if you can reasonably get the gear fixed. One of ours had a bad gear(not broken but worn thin) so it was marked on the dial and that speed was never used. Not a fix but it got us by.

Looking at the pictures, the mercury switch is the orange or red ring on the end of the motor shaft. The black box above it has carbon brushes that connect to the wiring. The repair kit we got from LeBlond consisted of a small printed circuit board that had to be mounted in the electrical panel. You would notice it if it was in there. The switch may be OK. I feel sure that the instruction sheet Mr. Honey is sending you should explain it in detail. When I worked with these lathes I got a lot of information from the LeBlond parts guys. They were really helpful.

Those orange gears between the V-belts are what causes the spindle to rock back and forth when you have the control lever in the gear change position. I believe the motor that runs the hydraulic pump has a gear on the back that turns this gear train.

Another thing we had trouble with was the high speed belt. It's that timing belt above the main drive. I believe it only works with the highest spindle speed. We always kept a couple of spares on hand.

Looks like a good project. You will have a nice size lathe if you can get it going for a reasonable amount.

Good Luck!

Terry
 

hsracer201

Hot Rolled
Joined
Oct 24, 2015
Looks like a nice lathe. Appears to be in pretty good shape. Like I said, despite the complicated shifting mechanism I thought the ones I used were good lathes. The ones we had were not worn out but they had been run pretty hard and maintenance was spotty. You can probably get it going if you can reasonably get the gear fixed. One of ours had a bad gear(not broken but worn thin) so it was marked on the dial and that speed was never used. Not a fix but it got us by.

Looking at the pictures, the mercury switch is the orange or red ring on the end of the motor shaft. The black box above it has carbon brushes that connect to the wiring. The repair kit we got from LeBlond consisted of a small printed circuit board that had to be mounted in the electrical panel. You would notice it if it was in there. The switch may be OK. I feel sure that the instruction sheet Mr. Honey is sending you should explain it in detail. When I worked with these lathes I got a lot of information from the LeBlond parts guys. They were really helpful.

Those orange gears between the V-belts are what causes the spindle to rock back and forth when you have the control lever in the gear change position. I believe the motor that runs the hydraulic pump has a gear on the back that turns this gear train.

Another thing we had trouble with was the high speed belt. It's that timing belt above the main drive. I believe it only works with the highest spindle speed. We always kept a couple of spares on hand.

Looks like a good project. You will have a nice size lathe if you can get it going for a reasonable amount.

Good Luck!

Terry

Ahh, so it does have the mercury switch. Thank you for all the information. I ordered a manual because I couldn't find a Servo Shift pdf online but I received the wrong one. Correct one is on its way, but in the mean time, 2 questions:

1. To switch between metric and inch threading I manually remove and flip the double gear, right?
2. On the QCGB chart there is reference to "G", a pull out or slide gear on the left. There is a rod with threads on the end, presumably missing a knob, that slides in and out about 3/4". This is "G", correct?

Thank you all for your help.
 

tgw

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 21, 2005
Location
Central Texas
Re: Servo Shift

I can't help you with the QuickChange question. The ones we had were inch only, no metric threading.

You may be OK on the mercury switch. If the brushes are intact there is little to go wrong. I wouldn't change it unless you are sure it is bad. I think LeBlond automatically sold the conversion kit when someone called for help with shifting questions. You should be able to test it when you get the proper wiring diagram. I believe it interrupts the circuit to the hydraulic pump motor starter whenever the main motor is turning. The pump motor comes on when the apron lever is in the stop position. If it checks out, I wouldn't bother trying to change it. If you have any trouble it will probably be with the brake and the linkage that rocks the spindle. This linkage gets a lot of slop in it. Also, we had to change the brake assembly in ours. Doesn't work very good when they get oily.

If you get the right manual you shouldn't have any problems figuring out how everything works.

Terry
 

hsracer201

Hot Rolled
Joined
Oct 24, 2015
Received, assembled and hooked up the rotary converter last night and the lathe does work! Starting at the lowest RPM and working my way up I would let the machine change gears and then put it into neutral and rotate the spindle multiple times to make sure it wasn't on bad gear. That allowed me to assess that the 436 RPM gear is the stripped one without running it and possibly damaging the mating gear. All other gears operate quietly and smoothly.

I'm still waiting on the correct manual and in the mean time I do not know how to engage the spindle reverse. It is mechanically locked out. If anyone knows what to push/pull/twist to unlock it I would be grateful for the information. There is a knob on the right of the twist switch located on the QCGB but it doesn't appear to do anything?

Thanks.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Location
marysville ohio
Received, assembled and hooked up the rotary converter last night and the lathe does work! Starting at the lowest RPM and working my way up I would let the machine change gears and then put it into neutral and rotate the spindle multiple times to make sure it wasn't on bad gear. That allowed me to assess that the 436 RPM gear is the stripped one without running it and possibly damaging the mating gear. All other gears operate quietly and smoothly.

I'm still waiting on the correct manual and in the mean time I do not know how to engage the spindle reverse. It is mechanically locked out. If anyone knows what to push/pull/twist to unlock it I would be grateful for the information. There is a knob on the right of the twist switch located on the QCGB but it doesn't appear to do anything?

Thanks.

The knob on the qcg and on the carriage should reverse it. look at the linkage, seems like a pin backed out on on mine years ago and jammed the linkage on mine.
 

Whetstone

Cast Iron
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Location
Providence RI
PM your e-mail addy and I'll send you the .pdf file of My Brake Don' Work & My Lathe Don't Shift, which are essential reading for any LeBlond Regal Servo-Shift owner.

Mike

Mike, if possible ill send you a PM to get a copy of the "lathe wont shift PDF" as I just of a leblond regal servo shift that wont shift. I think its the zero speed switch as I can see some mercury. Any one know how to check if it is a bad switch?
 

rmw

Cast Iron
Joined
May 3, 2007
Location
Northeast Atlanta, GA
I believe the headstock gears are the same whether servo shift or not. I have a parts machine that may have what you need. You'd need to take the whole machine though - no cost. Northeast of Atlanta. Good luck with your lathe.
Greg
 

Whetstone

Cast Iron
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Location
Providence RI
Thanks mike, the info was helpful and it solved some of the problems. Next is a issue with the break that I am going to look at


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 








 
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