What can't be restored on an older Bridgeport mill?
Largest Manufacturing Technology
Community On The Web
Close
Login to Your Account

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 41
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Washington
    Posts
    14
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    15
    Likes (Received)
    2

    Default What can't be restored on an older Bridgeport mill?

    Hello all,

    I'm a novice looking to buy my first milling machine. I have read a lot about what to look for when buying a used mill but I'm not very confident that I'll catch all of the issues when I go to actually buy one.

    My question is, with old Bridgeport type mills, what typical wear can and can't be easily fixed or restored? Table wear, ways, gibs, quill? If I buy a mill and get it home to realize I have worn ways am I just totally hosed or can they be rescraped etc? My goal being to eventually have a mill that functions like new.

    Thank you for the input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    9,693
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    29
    Likes (Received)
    7166

    Default

    Anything can be repaired given enough time and money.

    Every used Bridgeport on this planet has some wear in the ways. It's just a question of how much you can live with. We probably can't answer that for you. If you just want to drill holes and mill weld chamfers, the thing can be pretty well clapped out and you'll never notice.

    Ways can be ground and scraped, but that's expensive.

    Quills can be ground/plated/lapped. Again, money.

    Spindle splines can get pretty badly worn. Not much you can do there except replace the parts.

    All parts of the belts drive can be repaired or replaced.

  3. Likes crtten liked this post
  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    marysville ohio
    Posts
    8,079
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2288
    Likes (Received)
    5004

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by crtten View Post
    Hello all,

    I'm a novice looking to buy my first milling machine. I have read a lot about what to look for when buying a used mill but I'm not very confident that I'll catch all of the issues when I go to actually buy one.

    My question is, with old Bridgeport type mills, what typical wear can and can't be easily fixed or restored? Table wear, ways, gibs, quill? If I buy a mill and get it home to realize I have worn ways am I just totally hosed or can they be rescraped etc? My goal being to eventually have a mill that functions like new.

    Thank you for the input.
    There $ is $ nothing $ that $ can $ not $ be $ repaired $ on $ a Bridgeport! Try to find a good one, it's cheaper to start with a good one than to rebuild a worn out one.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    California
    Posts
    676
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    352
    Likes (Received)
    355

    Default

    What's your budget?

    Around here (So Cal) machinery has been going for rediculosly cheap prices at auction, if you aren't in too much of a hurry I'd hit a few auctions, you could get a very good BP in the $2500 range I wouldn't comtemplate getting a BP that needed any work it terms of grinding and scraping the ways.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Washington
    Posts
    14
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    15
    Likes (Received)
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by triumph406 View Post
    What's your budget?

    Around here (So Cal) machinery has been going for rediculosly cheap prices at auction, if you aren't in too much of a hurry I'd hit a few auctions, you could get a very good BP in the $2500 range I wouldn't comtemplate getting a BP that needed any work it terms of grinding and scraping the ways.
    I'm in Washington state, everything on Craigslist here seems really expensive. My budget is likely a max of $4000 but I'd rather spend less if possible. How do you find auctions?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    California
    Posts
    676
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    352
    Likes (Received)
    355

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by crtten View Post
    I'm in Washington state, everything on Craigslist here seems really expensive. My budget is likely a max of $4000 but I'd rather spend less if possible. How do you find auctions?
    Find the auctions on line.

    $4000 should get you a very nice BP with ways in good condition and a DRO, at least down here.

  8. Likes itsmeBernie, HWElecRepair liked this post
  9. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Navasota / Whitehall Texas
    Posts
    3,267
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2408
    Likes (Received)
    1765

    Default

    Be very critical of the ways and precision surfaces. Yes they can be returned to like new condition but it will cost money or a lot of your time and money.

    Just to have the table ground costs 1600.00 at a good shop in Texas. Then you have to have it, or learn to, scrape in the surfaces for final fit. Cost to grind a whole Bridgeport was right at 3600.00.

    That cost is the sole reason THIS ended up taking 1/4 of my new shop addition



    Now if you have the time and would like to enrich your skill set refurbishing old machines is a good way.

  10. Likes crtten liked this post
  11. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    221
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    219
    Likes (Received)
    53

    Default

    I think, aside from the $$$$ aspect everyone is bringing up, the location is big as well. @Swatkins brought up a shop in Texas, my shop (H&W Machine Repair and Rebuild) is in Indiana... so you would need to verify there is a capable rebuilder in your area who can grind and scrape like you might need. I dont know how many customers we talk to who get a "rebuilt" machine or get their machine back from a repair shop and they didnt do anything but clean it. Otherwise, you are looking at having to ship out the machine (or knee, saddle, and table) to get ground and scraped, which obviously is more $$$.

    For us, to grind and scrape the ways, you are looking at about $1,800 per axis so about $3,600.

    @Moonlight, love $ your $ response $ so $ much. $$ ahahah

    Jon
    H&W Machine Repair

  12. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Flushing/Flint, Michigan
    Posts
    5,870
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    226
    Likes (Received)
    4731

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by crtten View Post
    ..... My goal being to eventually have a mill that functions like new.
    .....
    If your time is worth more than $2.10 per hour you can not do this for less than the price of a new machine.
    Besides the ways there are screws and nuts, bearings, quill fitting and taper grinding.
    Functions decently is different from functions like new.
    Bob

  13. Likes itsmeBernie liked this post
  14. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    9,693
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    29
    Likes (Received)
    7166

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    If your time is worth more than $2.10 per hour you can not do this for less than the price of a new machine.
    Are you talking about a new Bridgeport, or a new "Bridgeport shaped Chinese paper hold-down"?

    If he wants the genuine article, he's got 7,620 hours to figure it out. All the things you mention can be fixed for about the cost of a Communist import.

  15. Likes itsmeBernie liked this post
  16. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Country
    CHINA
    Posts
    814
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    366

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    All the things you mention can be fixed for about the cost of a Communist import.
    The Commie ones are fluoridated but he could get one from Taiwan, that bastion of Freedom and Democracy

    I've seen a few Gortons up in Washington on Craigslist. They are a better mill than a Bridgeport and they go for less money because fewer people know about them. If'n I wuz buyin, that's what I'd look for. This is heresy but I even like the older model with the belt drive head. Faster to change speeds and less to go wrong. Model is Mastermil 1-22 or if you want to play with the big dogs, get a 2-30.

    Gorton made good stuff.

    I would avoid the Cincinnati Toolmaster, aka the "lightning mill" - never strikes twice in the same place. I'll probaly catch some flack for that

  17. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    9,693
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    29
    Likes (Received)
    7166

    Default

    Those Gortons are about twice the weight of a Series I. But don't they have a weird spindle taper?

    Sometimes you find a nice Wells-Index or Lagun/Kondia for less than a real Bridgeport.

  18. Likes crtten liked this post
  19. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Country
    CHINA
    Posts
    814
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    366

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    Those Gortons are about twice the weight of a Series I. But don't they have a weird spindle taper?
    Yes, you're right, some have 30 nmtb but a lot of them have a Brown & Sharpe #9. I just put Enco quick-change adapters on mine, either fleabay or there are other brands.

    Sometimes you find a nice Wells-Index or Lagun/Kondia for less than a real Bridgeport.
    Dui ! *(that's commie-talk for "right ! Like a stupid shit I forgot to mention those !") Those are also good. In fact, Bridgeport is maybe the worst bargain of the bunch. Until you go to sell it, anyhow.

    Oh wait, don't forget Tree. Those are the bee's knees (except I don't like them, the stupid tool change thing is awful. But the mill is real nice.)

    And if you are doing little stuff, there are other, better choices, too. Bridgeport is okay if you come across one you like but if yer lookin', there's other machines just as good.

  20. Likes itsmeBernie, crtten liked this post
  21. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Washington
    Posts
    128
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    96
    Likes (Received)
    110

    Default

    James G Murphy | Commercial and Industrial Auctioneers
    James G Murphy | Commercial and Industrial Auctioneers

  22. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    marysville ohio
    Posts
    8,079
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2288
    Likes (Received)
    5004

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HWElecRepair View Post
    I think, aside from the $$$$ aspect everyone is bringing up, the location is big as well. @Swatkins brought up a shop in Texas, my shop (H&W Machine Repair and Rebuild) is in Indiana... so you would need to verify there is a capable rebuilder in your area who can grind and scrape like you might need. I dont know how many customers we talk to who get a "rebuilt" machine or get their machine back from a repair shop and they didnt do anything but clean it. Otherwise, you are looking at having to ship out the machine (or knee, saddle, and table) to get ground and scraped, which obviously is more $$$.

    For us, to grind and scrape the ways, you are looking at about $1,800 per axis so about $3,600.

    @Moonlight, love $ your $ response $ so $ much. $$ ahahah

    Jon
    H&W Machine Repair
    Well, some time in the next year or so you are going to get the Bridgeport I have owned since 1980 to do a full rebuild on!

  23. Likes HWElecRepair liked this post
  24. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Syracuse, NY USA
    Posts
    9,534
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    15
    Likes (Received)
    516

    Default

    keep an eye on school auctions, machines tend to be 30 years old with little wear but stupid stuff like broken handles that can be easily fixed. school administrators see a 30 year old machine with a broken handle and figure its junk.

  25. Likes crtten, HWElecRepair liked this post
  26. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Apex, NC
    Posts
    967
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1
    Likes (Received)
    421

    Default

    Lots of people think they're going to run across the "find of a lifetime", of a very good condition BP for $1500-2000; while that's not impossible, it's highly unlikely. Try to find a good condition one (not used in production), and go ahead and plan on paying $4000-4500K for a good condition one, no repairs required, will hold good tolerances, etc. unless you want to "hunt" forever. Never made much sense to me that folks will buy a worn-out machine for the ~$2000 difference generally required to get a good one. Lots of info here on what to check out; some obvious visual things are chrome ways with flaking still intact, spindle taper smooth and undamaged, original paint, table in good visible condition, reasonable backlash in dials, quill not worn/scored. Buying something sight-unseen is very risky, and I wouldn't do so unless I had someone to check it out. Also as noted above there are other good brands to consider.

  27. Likes crtten liked this post
  28. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Flushing/Flint, Michigan
    Posts
    5,870
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    226
    Likes (Received)
    4731

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by car2 View Post
    ..... Lots of info here on what to check out; some obvious visual things are chrome ways with flaking still intact, spindle taper smooth and undamaged, original paint, table in good visible condition, reasonable backlash in dials, quill not worn/scored. ......
    Easy to say these things once you know your way around but I remember buying my 1st used at a auction in the 70s.
    Had this same type advice and still knew nothing about what I was bidding on. Got lucky sometimes, not so lucky others.
    It's easier to judge condition once you have owned a dozen, hard to describe "good" in words to someone who has not.
    Bob

  29. Likes crtten, MichaelP, HWElecRepair liked this post
  30. #19
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Washington
    Posts
    14
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    15
    Likes (Received)
    2

    Default

    Hello all,

    Thank you for your replies. I went to checkout a Series 1 J head today. The owner has owned it for 20 years, used it seldomly, and knew very little about it. I'm a novice, and I was teaching him how to use it toward the end of my visit. He used it mainly, from what I could gather, as a drill press. He is selling it because he's moving out of state and does not want to move it.

    From the serial number I found the mill to be made in 1969. It is a 3 phase, step pulley J head, It's seen a lot of use and wear in it's life. I stayed for 3 hours to test all of the things I could think to test. My initial reaction is to pass on the machine, but I wanted a second (and third) opinion to make sure I'm making the right decision here. This is literally the first mill I've ever gone to buy.

    The owner wanted $4000 for the mill, vise, and some tooling. At the end of my visit I told him it's worth more like $1.5K w/o tooling and maybe $2k w/ tooling. I think it's really worth more like $1K all things considered, but again, I'm a novice and I'll defer to your guys' expertise. He agreed on the $2K price, but I'm confident I could get him lower, because he now sees the issues the machine has.

    What I found:

    1. The machine was covered in oil/grease/dirt/chips, even though he was trying to sell it.

    2. The table had a big chunk milled out of the middle, which was covered initially by the vise. Is this fixable?

    3. Powerfeed motor was missing.

    4. DRO X axis was not accurate, Y axis was fine. (likely fixable, but I'd probably replace the DRO as it was very old)

    5. 45 thousandths of backlash in X and Y axes. (likely adjustable)

    6. Turret, ram and head moved in all directions (yay!)

    7. The X axis had 3 thousandths deflection toward each end and 1 thousandth in the middle.

    8. The Y axis had .5 thousandths deflection toward the end nearest the column and 8.5 thousandths toward the opposite end.

    9. The Z axis had 5 thousandths deflection.

    10. The quill had 2 thousandths deflection from side to side, and also scoring on the right side from the quill lock.

    11. The spindle itself had .5 thousandths runout when running not under load.

    12. The ways on the Z axis looked good, still plenty of flaking/frosting (not sure the correct term for that)

    13. The ways on the X axis were not visible because the mill was in a small room and the X axis couldn't be fully transversed.

    14. The ways on the Y axis looked highly worn, Flaking visible on the extreme ends but the middle was smooth as glass.

    The Y axis was by far the worst of the 3 axes, so I took off the guard and the wipers to adjust the gibb. The gibb was bottomed out already (a previous owner must have done this, since the current owner didn't even know what the gibbs were, what they did, or where to find them)...

    So like I said, my initial reaction is to pass on it, it seems like a worn out machine that's been misused. But if the wear to the ways can be fixed in a reasonable fashion, then it'd be a decent machine.

    My questions:

    1. can the slop in the Y axis (8 thousandths difference from one end to the other) be fixed either by scraping, shimming, etc, in my own shop, or is that too far worn?

    2. can a milled/damaged bed be fixed by filling with weld and remilling it flat using the mill itself?

    3. Should I just make a hard pass on this mill and keep looking like my gut is telling me to do?

    I've attached images, hopefully they work.

    Thank you for your replies.

    img_7166.jpgimg_7167.jpgimg_7158.jpgimg_7159.jpgimg_7160.jpg

  31. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    9,693
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    29
    Likes (Received)
    7166

    Default

    That's a classic clapped out Bridgeport. Here in the rust belt he would be lucky to get $500 for it.

  32. Likes crtten liked this post

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •