If you continually need to upgrade your computer operating system and constantly switch up to faster, more powerful smartphones, then you similarly are wired to need a better paying job, bigger apartment or house and a more loving companion with a better credit score than yours.
Inherent to this typically American striving complex is the idea that you have something to upgrade from. If it’s a machine we’re talking about, then we need something relatively stable and not flimsy or shabby to trade up from.
If it’s a manual lathe we’re talking about, then there is no better one to upgrade from than the LeBlond brand. Whether it’s the classic Regal or a Baron from the 1980’s, LeBlond lathes are prime candidates for upgrade, according to Mike Willenborg of Willenborg Associates (WA), a Michigan-based machine tool remanufacturer.
WA rebuilds LeBlond lathes and other brands for “all industries including military, nuclear power, aerospace, steel mills, automotive and others,” according to Willenborg. Read our introductory post on WA here.
Willenborg describes the tradition of quality in the LeBlond name:
LeBlond lathes are excellent candidates for upgrade. They were originally built with enough mass and quality engineering in the structure to allow higher feed rates and cutting forces available to machines that are currently run by computer control. This is a huge factor, and is not true of many of the machines built by other manufacturers. A large percentage of the machines on today’s market are built much lighter and with less attention paid to the engineering of life expectancy and reliability.
In remanufacturing a LeBlond lathe, WA often upgrades the control system to allow the machine to be computer-controlled. These machines are able to produce work and allow for greater accuracy and repeatability in contrast to mechanically controlled machines that wear with age. The computer-controlled lathes have “tool paths that can be calculated and made to move as quickly as possible to cut the work,” according to Willenborg.
LeBlond lathes are built to a very high standard and a sought-after brand on the resell market. Willenborg speculates that there are over 20,000 LeBlonds currently in use, as “the name is synonymous with quality and ease of use.”
If you’re interested in new LeBlond or K.O. Lee machines or require original OEM parts for your LeBlond, K.O. Lee, Standard Modern, Johnson Press, Deka Drill and W.F. & John Barnes equipment, call LeBlond Ltd. at (888) 532-5663.