Interested in a LeBlond Regal restoration and a smaller manual lathe?
Talk to Mike Patnode, a West Coast retired job shop machinist who restored a 1963 Regal and lopped 60” off the end of the bed to fit in his “hobby shop” at home.
Mike has provided us with a few photos of his LeBlond Regal restoration.
A Brief Summary of Mike’s Resto
- Completely disassemble and pressure wash the Regal
- Cut lathe bed with a horizontal bandsaw saving 3” of the end to reattach with screws and epoxy
- Cut leadscrew, feed rod and spindle rod with chop saw
- Single point cut threads on the leadscrew to ensure fine adjustment
- Sand all parts to bare metal, paint and then reassemble.
He Did It, So Can You!
Mike was amazed how the headstock was in complete alignment after being off the bed and thinks more machinists will think of cutting the longer beds of the Regal after people see what he did with his machine.
“Once someone sees one cut down, they won’t be afraid to do it,” he said.
Biggest Challenge of LeBlond Regal Restoration
The biggest challenge of the LeBlond Regal restoration was making new aluminum levers for the headstock. It was a bit of a challenge to locate the tapered hole in the output shaft with the tapered pins going through the handles.
Mike purchased the machine off Craigslist from Waits Machine in Longview, WA. The machine was originally shipped in 1963 to Reynolds Metal Co. in Chester, PA.
“I purchased this machine because I have run LeBlond machines in the past and love them,” Mike said. “Another factor was parts availability through LeBlond.”
Patnode uses his LeBlond Regal restoration to restore old hot rods.
“I use the lathe to turn and thread trailing arms for rear ends,” he said. “I make washers, bushings, anything round I need, from door lock handles to bearings and bushings, turbo charger fittings, center caps for wheels etc.”
Guillotining Bed Should Affect Accuracy, Right?
Wrong. When the machine was reassembled, the headstock lined up with the tailstock as well as it did before Patnode took it apart.
He has maintained the accuracy of the machine. The LeBlond Regal restoration holds one thousandth of tolerance in a 6” cut.
“It’s amazing, the accuracy of these machines that you can disassemble,” Mike remarked.
Patnode got into his cars from his Father who built old street rods after returning from the Korean War in the 1950’s. The Regal and classic street rods are the only vintage items in his shop.
“When you walk in the shop, you see a neat collection of old license plates and decimal equivalent threading charts on the walls,” he said.
Check out another photo of Mike’s LeBlond Regal restoration, showing the smaller bed as well as the cut ways and leadscrew.
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