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I want a mill...which one to get?


Cast Iron
Nov 14, 2011
Enid, Oklahoma
Ive got a hartford BP clone in northwest oklahoma I would sell for around 2400. Could also deliver for the right price

Rigid ram, step pulley J head style.Single shot lube, X axis power feed. IMO it needs a readout, and unless you have 3phase, a motor conversion or a vfd. Throw in a couple extra hundos and ill square away and install the vfd for you.

It will come with vise and an a few R8 collets. I'm sure i can throw in a few other things as well.

I bought it to start a machine shop at my home shop, but then my day job offered to sell me their shop instead.

Just been sitting since. I can load on your truck or trailer. Probably weighs just north of 2k?

I can get some pictures if you re interested.

Bill D

Apr 1, 2004
Modesto, CA USA
A Bridgeport weighs about 2,200 pounds. each piece weighs about 200 pounds leaving a bare coluumm at 600 pounds. there is a threaded lifting eye at the top of the ram. that size started at 1/2 and went to 5/8 maybe 3/4 in the latest models.
Index, laugan, clausing are as good as bp and cost less then then name brand.
Bill D.
Government auctions like to steam clean all the grease and oil off then sit them in the rain for a few mounths to rust.


Nov 22, 2015
San Francisco
It was a sweet deal, but I got my working Bridgeport in decent shape for under $500 in Dallas 6 or 8 years ago. I'd guess you could find something with a little patience well under $5k. Better machinists than me have made good parts on tiny cheap machines, but it's a whole ton easier on something the size of a Bridgeport or similar. I've used some seriously clapped out Bridgeports (free play in the spindle bearings, rounded off gibs that had 1/2" play at the ends of the tables before adjustment, 3/4 turn of lash in the X and Y). Even those were easier to make parts on than a brand new $2600 junk import, and I've had to use those too. Plus, some gib adjustment and a few hundred dollars in spindle bearings and suddenly the Bridgeport is an order of magnitude more useful.

Joe Miranda

Oct 19, 2004
Elyria Ohio
Hello, All.

Some background: I have a Horrible Freight lathe I bought 20 years ago for a project. Didn't use it much after that project until about 3 years ago I decided to mess with maching some rifle barrels. While the lathe is not premium, and I'm no machinist, I have successfully chambered and threaded barrels (yes, I got range rods and a dial indicator and grasped the basics). My most awesome piece (for me) is a 6mm barrel I chambered in 6x45 (.223Rem necked up to 6mm projectiles) then threaded and which I shoot through a Yankee Hill Turbo (22CF suppressor) without baffle strikes.

All that to say: I can get some stuff done even using mediocre equipment.

I want a mill. I've never laid hands on a mill. I don't know which brand/make/model to get. I don't need CNC, at least to get started. I don't know if I'd ever get into it enough to want CNC. I don't know which size to get. If I had a mill right now, I would be surfacing a 6" diameter aluminum circle. I'd like to be able to more-precisely drill holes in steel and aluminum. Using a boring head or a fly cutter to true-up and open up rough-cut holes would be desirable. I've read/heard of "power cross feed" or some such and I imagine that means the work table has a drive mechanism to move from one side towards the other to regulate material feed speed to the cutting tool.

I've read folks asking about Horrible Freight and Jet and Grizzly and the responses of "spend that money on a used Bridgeport or similar". My problems are: having zero mill experience, I don't know what I'm looking for to determine the quality/serviceability of a used unit or how to repair one if it's in need of work, and I'm in a kind of rural area, about 90 miles NW of Dallas so used equipment isn't likely to be nearby.

For a baseline, if I just picked one I'd looked at to give an idea of where my mind is, if I bought one right now (foolishly) without seeking input, I'd be buying the Horrible Freight Knee mill priced about $2,600.

Anyway, thanks for your time.

I have a Bridgeport Clone with a new spindle motor and a set of collets and a drill chuck I would sell you for that much right now. The machine is wired for 220v 3ph but you can get a static phase converter for about $400 to run it off of 220v single phase. The machine I have is branded as "Manford", it is a Taiwanese clone of a Bridgeport. It had a Centroid controller on it that bit the dust and I am not going to replace it. So it is left with the servos on all three axes - which is a plus for some people.


Jun 28, 2012
Mt Clemens, Michigan 48035
You can sign on to Bidspotter and often find a mill that you can go to inspect, finding one at a nice shop and asking a question or two to have a good idea of the condition.
Agree if you have space a 26" for gunwork is best, import might be square and straight, But also have short life factors that can put it out of commission.
*look for grind grit lines on machine ways, a sign of abuse, and a mill to pass.

Oh, you can hand/bench finish a 6" dia aluminum, and you should be able to spot and dril/tapl within .010 location on a drill press.
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Mar 4, 2006
Gortons (22") and the nicer Bridgeports (36 and 42" tables) can't do that either :(
According to the Bridgeport sales brochures the older (circa 1970's) Series I machines with the 42" table and power X feed have a travel of 26 1/2". The machines with the manual X feed have a travel of 30"

The current machines apparently only come with a 49" table and those with an X power feed have a travel of 33" while those with the manual feed have a travel of 36".

1971 Bridgeport brochure:

2018 Bridgeport brochure:


Nov 17, 2015
A lot of hobby guys like the Precision Mathews import machines. (sorry; not sure if that vendor is taboo here). If going that route try to save up for a machine from Taiwan, as opposed to mainland China.

You can also look around for old American iron, such as Rockwell or Clausing, which are maybe half the size of a Bridgeport.