This blog post is part of a regular series called Staff Spotlight where we highlight the vast experience and skills of the LeBlond Ltd. staff that give the company a record of exceptional customer service unlike any other firm in the machine tool industry.
LeBlond Ltd. Customer Service Representative John Cook has been all over the world servicing LeBlond manual lathes and other machine tools. He travelled as far as Saudi Arabia where he played golf in the desert. Cook describes the country as “all sand” to the point where there is no actual grass anywhere on the golf courses. Golfers have to carry a piece of Astro turf around with them to tee off of from the sand when playing in the oil-rich kingdom.
When he’s not golfing, bowling or tinkering with his friend’s cars, Cook can be found troubleshooting customer requests at LeBlond Ltd. The Cincinnati native has approximately forty years of experience with LeBlond manual lathes and other machine tools.
He started at LeBlond in 1971, hired to assemble 15”, 19” and 24”-Regal lathes. He then worked as a Runoff Inspector for three or so years. From this position, he transitioned to a Field Service Engineer for nearly a decade where he travelled all over this country as well as the world, including the stint in Saudi Arabia, where he serviced LeBlond manual lathes. In the ‘90s, Cook served an over-the-phone technician, a role that he still does much of with his current responsibilities at LeBlond Ltd.
Cook estimates that he has served nearly a thousand LeBlond machines over-the-phone or in person in his forty plus years of experience. This skill and training gives Cook unrivaled know-how in addressing customer issues He puts his expertise to use off the phone as well, performing many of the K.O. Lee spindle and LeBlond lathe apron and QC Box rebuilds at the company.
In his free time, Cook has a two handicap and a 212 bowling average. He also tinkers with the cars of his friends who can rely on a man skilled with tools whether they are manual machine ones or a mechanic’s set.
From Saudi golf courses that are one giant sand trap to handling customer issues over the phone at LeBlond Ltd. headquarters in Amelia, Ohio, Cook has done it all and is a unique resource for LeBlond customers who value knowledge and experience with a distinct personality.
If you are 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.
Mr. Michael Barnes,
I’m a retired aero-space machinist/engineer now owning and operating a shock absorber repair and custom manufacturing business. Because of my last name, LeBlond, I’ve always thought it would be neat, maybe necessary to have a lathe in the shop with my last name cast into the head stock! I right now have been operating a older Taiwan lathe that does just about everything I need, but it’s starting to show it’s age and is needing some repairs, mainly head stock bearings, automatic feed gears (noisy)and bearings. Other things also.
What would you suggest I look for in a used LeBlond Servo Shift lathe, somewhere around 15 by 30 inch bed? Can you give me any ideas about what problems are in these used lathes, what to stay away from and what to look for? I can’t justify a new LeBlond, my business is now a single person business, myself and not by choice, and money wise just can’t afford those costs. I live in Phoenix, AZ.
Hello Jeffrey, we are not really in the business of sourcing old LeBlond’s. I would suggest Googling your specifications. We will pass on your query to the Customer Service team. If they can be of help, they will get in touch. For immediate service, call us at 888-532-5663. Thanks.