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Bridgeport Authenticity

meshein

New member
I recently purchased a used Bridgeport mill for my own garage, a dream of mine since using them in college. Still in the clean up process and addressing a few broken and missing parts. I came to wonder about the authenticity of parts of the mill noting that there were various clone units out for sale (not sure if there were any counterfeit units). Here is the mill, a j head. It shouldn't be lost that regardless, the mill seems solid, in decent shape and I am excited to get to using it!

20220113_145401.jpg

The head unit has matching serial numbers that both align with manufacturer dates around 1968.
20220115_195133.jpg

There are a few strange things that stand out though.

1. The knee does not have a stamped serial number.
20220115_195139.jpg

2. The ram is missing emblems. It looks like this one had plastic emblems, which did not seem to be consistent with 1960s manufacturing dates.
20220115_195145.jpg

3. The base appears to have a different style footprint than most I have seen in photos.
20220115_195152.jpg

4. The rated speed of the head and motor are 5440 rpm and 1.5 hp, not a very common combination, but I think this was a real manufactured type.

Would appreciate any ideas and thoughts anyone may have!
 

bsg

Active member
I recently purchased a used Bridgeport mill for my own garage, a dream of mine since using them in college. Still in the clean up process and addressing a few broken and missing parts. I came to wonder about the authenticity of parts of the mill noting that there were various clone units out for sale (not sure if there were any counterfeit units). Here is the mill, a j head. It shouldn't be lost that regardless, the mill seems solid, in decent shape and I am excited to get to using it!

View attachment 339565

The head unit has matching serial numbers that both align with manufacturer dates around 1968.
View attachment 339570

There are a few strange things that stand out though.

1. The knee does not have a stamped serial number.
View attachment 339569

2. The ram is missing emblems. It looks like this one had plastic emblems, which did not seem to be consistent with 1960s manufacturing dates.
View attachment 339571

3. The base appears to have a different style footprint than most I have seen in photos.
View attachment 339572

4. The rated speed of the head and motor are 5440 rpm and 1.5 hp, not a very common combination, but I think this was a real manufactured type.

Would appreciate any ideas and thoughts anyone may have!

Bridgeport head on Import base, not that uncommon......

Kevin
 

meshein

New member
Was this likely done aftermarket? Or did Bridgeport import bases to fit their heads on to? If it's the former, what is the likely reason for someone do do this, cost?

Anything I should be worried about or mindful of during use or when performing maintenance?

Sorry for all the follow up questions. Thank you!
 

bsg

Active member
Was this likely done aftermarket? Or did Bridgeport import bases to fit their heads on to? If it's the former, what is the likely reason for someone do do this, cost?

Anything I should be worried about or mindful of during use or when performing maintenance?

Sorry for all the follow up questions. Thank you!

Likely the head swap was done because it was the cheapest and quickest way to get the mill back in service?

The belt head is not a bad option, an excellent candidate for a VFD conversion!

As far as maintenance, find a manual for a Jet mill online and use it for reference on the base, do the same for the Bridgeport head……..

Kevin
 

gustafson

Active member
Back in the 60s/70s Bridgeport could not at all keep up with demand and when its patents ran out, the Firsts and Hartfords came about in droves

Bet the shop had a flogged bridgeport and a newer import with a dead head. Swap the pieces sell the swarf

Pretty sure Bridgeport had that high speed head option in the old catalogs, but not that common
 








 
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