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Bridgeport Ram Adustment

bushav

Plastic
Joined
Nov 17, 2021
I just purchased my first mill. A Bridgeport Varispeed 2hp J head. I’m trying to get it fully working and tuned up.

My Ram adjustment which moves the head in the Y axis for larger work pieces was stuck. The adjuster looks like it had a small cross bar sticking out of the end but others had sheared it off and used pipe wrenches to turn the adjustment. In researching the part it appears new replacements have a hex head. This makes sense. Was this a modification to later machines? I’m thinking about machining a hex head into mine rather than buying a new one.
 

eKretz

Diamond; Mod Squad
Joined
Mar 27, 2005
Location
Northwest Indiana, USA
They normally have a hex head, but it's a separate piece. So a hexagonal part with a blind hole in it that slips over that shaft. Then a shear pin is put through both. Yours probably got sheared off by a knucklehead who didn't loosen the clamps, then was lost. Further evidence of the knucklehead is that they used a pipe wrench on the shaft. :skep:

I'd dress that shaft with a file, then buy or make a replacement hex piece to slip over it. Drill a new hole in one side of the hex when you make it and then use that hole aligned with the hole in the shaft to drill a new one through the opposite side of the hex. Drive in a pin.
 

bushav

Plastic
Joined
Nov 17, 2021
They normally have a hex head, but it's a separate piece. So a hexagonal part with a blind hole in it that slips over that shaft. Then a shear pin is put through both. Yours probably got sheared off by a knucklehead who didn't loosen the clamps, then was lost. Further evidence of the knucklehead is that they used a pipe wrench on the shaft. :skep:

I'd dress that shaft with a file, then buy or make a replacement hex piece to slip over it. Drill a new hole in one side of the hex when you make it and then use that hole aligned with the hole in the shaft to drill a new one through the opposite side of the hex. Drive in a pin.

Thanks for info.
 

Richard King

Diamond
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Location
Cottage Grove, MN 55016
Check out page 4. That ram lock design seems to always get stuck if they never move the ram. The lock is 2 blocks of steel (part # 125) on both ends that when you tighten the hex bolt ( part # 119) spreads apart in the center of the ram keyway that spreads the dovetails enough to lock it....You loosen the hex bolts and the ram is rusted stuck in that place. I would suggest cleaning the dovetails and squirting them with penetrating oil. If it moves with a pipe wrench you're lucky. I would do it that way to loosen it up before replacing it with a new part as it will sheer off too if you can't get it to move smoothly first. I have had to take the ram and that saddle swivel off the machine and use chains and a hyd. jack to get it to move when they are rusted solid. Page 4 shows a good diagram. http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/2099/5812.pdf
 

eKretz

Diamond; Mod Squad
Joined
Mar 27, 2005
Location
Northwest Indiana, USA
Check out page 4. That ram lock design seems to always get stuck if they never move the ram. The lock is 2 blocks of steel (part # 125) on both ends that when you tighten the hex bolt ( part # 119) spreads apart in the center of the ram keyway that spreads the dovetails enough to lock it....You loosen the hex bolts and the ram is rusted stuck in that place. I would suggest cleaning the dovetails and squirting them with penetrating oil. If it moves with a pipe wrench you're lucky. I would do it that way to loosen it up before replacing it with a new part as it will sheer off too if you can't get it to move smoothly first. I have had to take the ram and that saddle swivel off the machine and use chains and a hyd. jack to get it to move when they are rusted solid. Page 4 shows a good diagram. http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/2099/5812.pdf

Yikes. I've never encountered a rusted solid one. I don't doubt that it happens though, with the lack of any maintenance at all that I've seen in some places.
 

Clive603

Titanium
Joined
Aug 2, 2008
Location
Sussex, England
Dunno about rusted solid unless the poor thing has been in a very wet environment but they sure can stick.

My 2J2 had been left out in the wet long enough to wreck the bearings although Mr Machine Tool Dealer had hidden the evidence by cleaning off all surface rust (we had words!) and the ram was not in a co-operative mood.

Didn't care to risk damage by excessive whacking or improvised press "thingy" application so having got all the lock et al parts out I pulled the ram and the turret then set the pair up with about 50° downwards tilt hoping to exploit the weight of the turret to shift things. I was still working full time for MoD in those days so the pair got a decent application of PlusGas Formula A de-rusting / seized nut shifting nostrum 3 times a day. Before I went to work in the morning, after I got back in the evening and before going to bed. Along with a few whacks with my big dead blow hammer. Turned it round every couple of days. Somewhere along the third week of this treatment I went to give it the first treatment of the day and found the turret had slid down a bit overnight. By the end of the week by dint of flipping, moderate application of the dead blow and scrubbing of the ram dovetail it was sliding nicely.

After a full clean up, lubricate and reassembly all has been fine. Once a year I run it back and forth a time or three whilst anointing with way oil.

Dunno if PlusGas can be found in the USA but it is said to "pull the water out of the rust" reducing its volume so things are no longer jammed up tight by the expanding rust. No idea how true that is but the stuff works.

Clive
 
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bushav

Plastic
Joined
Nov 17, 2021
I called H&W to order some parts and asked them about this part. They said I have a version that had a handle sticking out rather than a hex head. I’ve drilled the broken stub out, retapped and will make a new handle tomorrow. Cleaning the wrench scratches up on the lathe.
 

eKretz

Diamond; Mod Squad
Joined
Mar 27, 2005
Location
Northwest Indiana, USA
That's why it's important to provide pictures if possible. You could still change it to a hex. I always found the handle ones to be a bit of a pain since you can't reposition them
 

abarnsley

Titanium
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Location
Palmer, Alaska
I just machined a 1 5/16 hex, on the pipe wrench beaver marks.

Looks a lot better, Put a Allen head setscrew in old handle hole..

Did not even bother to set up an indexer or dividing head..

Just used 60 degree angle off of top of vice jaw, rotated pinion by hand to align. Clamped, milled.

Took off about .092 thou per flat I think..
 

cyanidekid

Titanium
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Location
Brooklyn NYC
I just machined a 1 5/16 hex, on the pipe wrench beaver marks.

Looks a lot better, Put a Allen head setscrew in old handle hole..

Did not even bother to set up an indexer or dividing head..

Just used 60 degree angle off of top of vice jaw, rotated pinion by hand to align. Clamped, milled.

Took off about .092 thou per flat I think..

5/16 is a bit small for this, its 3/4 on the standard one. if you are gentile with it, might be ok, but one could also just buy the right screw, can't be much?
 

Cyclotronguy

Stainless
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Location
Northern California
OK flame proof underwear on!

I've had the ram stuck on a much larger mill than a B-port and a damn sight more rigid. One of those Govt surplus, spent the winter in the weather sales.

After soaking with penetrating lube for a couple days and lots of cleaning we hung a rairoad tie horizontally from 10 foot of chain and used it as a battering ram. Afer removing the pinion gear of course. A dozen or so good solid swings and we had progress.

Make damn sure the turret is snug, don't whack on the knuckle only the rear of the ram and maybe try this with a short bit of 6" x 6" rather than a rail road tie. The beauty of the RR tie or wood in general is high peak force, relatively long duration and no metal deformation on the part your trying to influence as a result. Suspended rather than man handled allows for some finess.
 








 
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