What can't be restored on an older Bridgeport mill? - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Before we can tell you to pass on the machine you need to tell us what you are going to use it for. It may be perfectly acceptable for your intended use. Not everybody needs a machine accurate to .001. Sometimes it's a ok machine if the motors good and it will run every time you push the start button.

    All my life I've had to use used worn out machines to build things with. Because I work in so many disciplines I can't afford to fill the shop with brand new machines of every type, I have to buy used. That is one of the reasons I have taken three scraping classes (soon to be 4 ) and have a big ass planer in the shop. I buy the best machines I can afford and then fix them up as best I can. I used to pour over the machine tool catalogs lusting after a new lathe. I always thought I would be in heaven If I could turn the crossfeed dial .003 and actually take off .003 everytime

    I amaze myself sometimes with the level of precision I can get out of some of the more worn machines. You can do good work on a worn machine, it's just a lot harder.

    Please tell us what you're going to use the machine for and the level of precision you need. The machine you're looking at might, or might not be a good fit.

    To answer your question on the bed.... You could build up the hole with liquid metal, bondo, other hard filler or even cut a piece of cast iron and fasten it in place for a repair. Welding is going to mess up the table. You can use the mill to level off the repairs even but be advised the table is probably bannana shaped with the ends down at least .010". Machines that have a hard life usually suffer from over enthusiastic tightening of hold down bolts. Excessive tightening of the hold down bolts deforms the metal lips of the T slots, stretching the metal in that area and causing the table ends to bow down. A repaired table might not look as nice but can function just as well as a pristine one...

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  3. #22
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    From the looks of the flaking on the knee the chrome is gone, and the bottom of the saddle is surely scored worse than than that. I would keep looking.

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  5. #23
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    I wouldn't think a machine that old would have chrome ways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    That's a classic clapped out Bridgeport. Here in the rust belt he would be lucky to get $500 for it.
    That's my thoughts as well. Thanks for chiming in!

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    Quote Originally Posted by manualmachinist View Post
    From the looks of the flaking on the knee the chrome is gone, and the bottom of the saddle is surely scored worse than than that. I would keep looking.
    I'm going to keep looking, thanks for the reply.

    In that regard, my short list of quality machines to look for are: (in no order)

    * Bridgeport
    * Lagun
    * Kondia
    * Wells-Index
    * Gorton

    Any others I should be looking at? Budget is about $4k max.

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  10. #26
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    Tree and Excello.

    Some of the Spanishi made Kondia mills were imported under the Doall name.

    There are some pretty decent Taiwanese clones like Webb and Sharp.

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    The one at work is a 1968 and it has chromed ways for the saddle on the knee.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crtten View Post
    Any others I should be looking at? Budget is about $4k max.
    You should say what you want to do. If you want to work on Model T blocks, then you need to swing the head way around, maybe get a riser, tolerances are not quite as tight. If you want to make jewelry, then something small and very accurate would be good. If you want to make model engines, something universal like a Deckel would be way more useful. It's easier to fit the machine to the job upfront than try to work around having something that's not as suited to your goal.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaMoss View Post
    You should say what you want to do. If you want to work on Model T blocks, then you need to swing the head way around, maybe get a riser, tolerances are not quite as tight. If you want to make jewelry, then something small and very accurate would be good. If you want to make model engines, something universal like a Deckel would be way more useful. It's easier to fit the machine to the job upfront than try to work around having something that's not as suited to your goal.
    I'm a hobbyist. I do handyman work, fixing whatever comes my way. I don't have immediate plans for it, but things I could see myself using it for is making replacement parts for various projects. Not jewelry, possibly small engine repairs, various machinery repairs, household item repair. I know that some of what I use it for will not require tight tolerances, but I'm confident that at least some of it will, and I'd like to have the capability when that time arrives. My needs are varied and not specific, so that's why I was looking for a "general purpose" mill like a BP.

    Any suggestions based on that answer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by crtten View Post

    Any suggestions based on that answer?
    From your answer I think you will be unhappy with a machine that you need to work on. Your looking at a machine that you might use for the rest of your life and because you are new to machining you don't know all the tricks to making a worn machine work well.. You can learn but that takes time and working alone you might become frustrated.

    4,000 is not going to buy a really accurate machine, unless you get REALLY lucky and that does not happen much. If I needed a good machine, that I could trust to be in great working order, I would find something on this page Machinery Sales, hop in the truck and go get it. From what I understand they go through everything, scrap the ways and make it right.

    I can also plane, scrape and rebuild the machine to like new condition but by the time I buy parts and finish the work I'll make 1.25 an hour rebuilding a Bridgeport...

    Machining done properly is NOT a cheap hobby.

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    Agree with the posters, that is not in very good condition (while that owner may have used it rarely, someone ELSE did), and considerably overpriced at $4K. I agree with CarbideBob's critique of my post in that it's hard to tell what to look for; my point was that for $4500, and by mere visual inspection of much of the flaking still visible on the ways, table not all knackered up, original paint, spindle not scored up, then those are very good indications the machine has not been rode-hard. I see a fair number of good machines advertised around here for $4500 range (I bought mine about 6 years ago for $4K in very good condition (with a vise, some tooling, and original BPT DRO which is still working, new hardness-tester). Perhaps the market is different now, or in different in varied states, but seems you should be able to find a decent machine for $4500. Anyway, that one looks worn and overpriced, you can do better with some patience I'd wager.

    PS. Below is a picture of the knee chrome ways with very little wear, almost all of the flaking is still intact on that, but as long as you can still see some flaking present in the chrome, that's pretty good. Your pictures appear the chrome is completely worn off--that's a lot of wear and other damage likely. Good Luck,
    img_0638.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by crtten View Post
    Any suggestions based on that answer?
    Ah, okay. Then yes ... don't be so picky. With a manual machine, tolerances are part of the machinist, not the machine. For instance, your complaint about backlash in the handles is irrelevant. You always come at the work unidirectionally and machines all have backlash in the handles. And they all sag at the ends and the movement in the handles is not the same for the full travel cuz the middle will be more worn and and and ... those are things you have to learn to deal with.

    Your idea of 'tolerances' is exaggerated. I wouldn't buy one that was falling apart but clean, moves smoothly, spindle doesn't clank and clunk and the bearings don't rattle will do fine for you. Hell, it'd do fine for any of us. (The one you posted looked pretty bad tho, the scoring on the cross-slide is ugly, I'd agree to pass on that.)

    Put a guy with experience on a fonky Bridgeport and you'll get a good part. Put a guy with no experience on a Dixi and you'll get scrap. Sorry, metalworking really is a skill. It takes practice, you can't just buy it.

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    How were you measuring deflection? Can you detail your process? Thanks for the help!

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  21. #34
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    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.
    No, you will not be able to catch all the issues. But table wear (holes, etc) and worn ways are known at a glance. Crank the handles, turn it on. Maybe a little more inspection if you are lucky.

    What can't be restored is the time you waste thinking about what can't be seen or known.

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    The machine is not good.
    There is a lot to be said for learning to hold tenths on a machine that is not good but the lessons can be painful.
    I'd never worry about ding, cuts, or damage to the table top. It is a working plane. Holes don't count.
    The gib was bottomed out, no bigge.
    Not sure how you determined the x axis readout off. They work or do not, suspect abbe error but you can work around or fix this.
    All quills have some movement unlocked, all have scarring from the lock.

    Then you ask if you can rebuild such an animal.
    Sorry, but mostly I see someone who has spent too much time reading on the net and has no chips in his shoes.
    The answer to rebuilding with your knowledge and no mentor is a firm "not gonna happen".

    You may well be better served by a brand new bottom line Enco import.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacksquat View Post
    How were you measuring deflection? Can you detail your process? Thanks for the help!
    Jacksquat,

    I used this method: Milling Machine Maintenance: Adjusting Gibs and Ways - YouTube

    The only difference is that I made measurements for end and middle positions on each axis, where as Keith (in the video) only makes measurements on the ends. I'm a novice, but this seemed to work well for me. You will need a dial indicator and a magnetic dial indicator holder to do this. I recommend NOGA holders if you don't have one yet. You can get by with a cheap dial indicator, but a good holder is far more important.

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    You are correct in your assessment. I've read a lot and watched a lot of videos, and have no real world experience making chips. You have to start somewhere. I want a machine that I can grow into and not grow out of, which is why I'm trying to do my homework. Thanks for your input.

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  26. #38
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    It will be so much easier to learn on a new "low-buck, cheapo" import clone.
    Do not be fooled by those that say you need a "real" B-port.
    That is kind of a status symbol sort of thing which explains why you see so much of it. "look at me, I have a genuine Bridgeport mill"
    I've owned many of both and ran them all into the ground in a 24/7/365 operation.

    You want to spend your time learning machining not how to scrape ways and fit bearings.
    Bob

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    The problem is that the "low buck" import is going to cost him at least $8,500. He can buy a good enough used machine for half that. It seems that he has a good idea how to weed out a bad one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by car2 View Post
    Agree with the posters, that is not in very good condition (while that owner may have used it rarely, someone ELSE did), and considerably overpriced at $4K. I agree with CarbideBob's critique of my post in that it's hard to tell what to look for; my point was that for $4500, and by mere visual inspection of much of the flaking still visible on the ways, table not all knackered up, original paint, spindle not scored up, then those are very good indications the machine has not been rode-hard. I see a fair number of good machines advertised around here for $4500 range (I bought mine about 6 years ago for $4K in very good condition (with a vise, some tooling, and original BPT DRO which is still working, new hardness-tester). Perhaps the market is different now, or in different in varied states, but seems you should be able to find a decent machine for $4500. Anyway, that one looks worn and overpriced, you can do better with some patience I'd wager.

    PS. Below is a picture of the knee chrome ways with very little wear, almost all of the flaking is still intact on that, but as long as you can still see some flaking present in the chrome, that's pretty good. Your pictures appear the chrome is completely worn off--that's a lot of wear and other damage likely. Good Luck,
    img_0638.jpg
    There are probably 20x more BP's without chrome ways than with chrome. I would bet that the one the OP is looking at was never chrome to start with.

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