Post By mbraddock
Post By specfab
Post By Mr Bridgeport
Bridgeport Vise Serviceable?
I have just about finished my 67 BP rebuild. The ways have been planed and scraped, new X&Y screws and nuts, bearings replaced (or cleaned and repacked)that were needed and anything else that was not serviceable was replaced. All that is remaining is to putty and paint the knee and saddle(needed due to damage done from stripping the chrome ways).
My real question is how serviceable is the 6" Bridgeport vise that came with it. The vise does not appear to have been abused as there are just a handful of marks in the jaw plates and a few more in the body and bed. I tore it down the other night to cleaned it up and check for wear. The original hardened jaw plates have some wear and are not 100% flat(these could be reground or replaced) and the moveable jaw body has .004 of vertical and side to side play.
For a hobbyist does this vise sound like it is serviceable as is? Should I repair/replace the jaws and remove the play in moveable jaw body? Or find a good used Kurt D60 or similar?
Thanks in advance as I certainly value the opinions of those that post here.
Last edited by wewing; 07-28-2012 at 07:27 PM.
It sounds like you have a great vise that at most just needs to have the jaws lightly dressed on a surface grinder and it will provide decades of reliable service on your BP. If I were in your shoes I would gladly use that vise and put the money you save towards tooling or mill accessories...
Thanks for the input Mike. That is what I am leaning towards doing. The local machine shop(where I bought the mill & vise) has a surface grinder and should be able to true the jaws up for me.
Last edited by wewing; 07-28-2012 at 07:24 PM.
These BP vises were everywhere 25-30 years ago, at least in my observations. The Kurt vise (and its clones and imitators) is a more recent workholding advance, although not without some rationale. The force vector from tightening the clamp screw is split by the internal bearing hardware so the part of the force is downward clamping and the remainder is lateral clamping. This does provide some advantages in keeping the part down in the vise, and making it less necessary to beat the part down against the parallels (or vise bed) while tightening the vise.
That said, if the BP vise is in good shape without much wear in the sliding fits, it should be good to use for routine machining tasks. If you begin to work on parts needing high-precision flatness and parallelism, you may start to see some limitations of the vise, or at least some inconvenience, assuming the machine rebuild makes it capable of producing good results.
Thanks and understood. But how do you define what much wear is? Mine has about .004"-.006" vertical play and .004" lateral play. I am guessing that that is not too bad for the type of work I am wanting to do with it(hobbyist), but also that that this much wear can effect accuracy and as I want to do more accurate work that the play/wear will have to be taken into consideration.
If you will accept the vice as is why did you bother rebuilding the machine? Take it apart, you should be able to tighten it up some. Or if nothing else buy a new Kurt, they don't cost all that much when compared with what it must have cost to rebuild the machine.
Go ahead and us the BP vise. That type of play is normal on one of their vises.
After you've been machining parts for a while, and have trouble seating parts on parallels, you'll be ready for a change.
I used a Bridgeport vise for years and finally got a good deal on a Kurt clone. Never went back to the Bridgeport vise, sold it off. The Kurt design is that much better. If you don't care about your parts kicking up when you clamp them, than it don't matter. Problem with the Bridgeport vise is that the jaw lifts and its hard to get the part flat on the parallels. Smack it with a dead blow and the jaw just bounces down and than back up. Only use I see for one is a drill press vise. My 2 cents worth.