Bridgeport Mill: How to set on unlevel floor
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  1. #1
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    Default Bridgeport Mill: How to set on unlevel floor

    Hello Again. I finally found the time to rearrange my garage and make the necessary changes to move the mill to its final working spot. I will soon be building an enclosed room around it and my other tools to make a thermally conditioned shop in the garage; our winters are harsh and rust forms quickly on metal surfaces.

    Being a garage, the concrete floor is significantly sloped to the garage door. From what I have , it seems the mill base is best set on a level concrete floor so all four corners are in full contact with the concrete. With this in mind, I was thinking of pouring a level concrete pad to set the mill on. Easy enough but when I need to rebuild the mill or move it, my engine lift will not be able to roll up and down from the pad with the mill hooked on. I also have four anti-vibration pads that I can level first and then place the four corners of the mill base on; is this a viable solution?

    I am wondering what you all have done with your mill? What would you suggest? As always, your feedback is very much appreciated.

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    I have seen some Bridgeports with leveling feet. Is this an acceptable solution?

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    I don't have a Bridgeport but both of my mills are on Sunnex leveling feet which work great. If there is a huge drop, like over an inch, you might want to level the floor or else you end up with one side of the mill on stilts.

    Sent from my XT1710-02 using Tapatalk

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    I still need to measure the drop but you may very well be right on the stilts effect!!

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    Personally, I don't think it's necessary to level a BP if all four corners are making contact. Unless you need it level for reference to make a set up. My shop floor is not level either and my BP slants a little from left to right. Looks funny but doesn't effect the accuracy as long as everything is square to its self. I guess you can shim the low corners if you have to. I wouldn't waste the money on leveling feet. FWIW, I've worked on dozens of Bridgeports in a half dozen shops since the early '70's and have never used one that was truly "level".

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    Having end mills roll off the table to the floor is a pain in the ass


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    Absolutely! Though moldcore does give me food for thought too. If I use leveling feet to some degree, I don't want to out-rig them especially on the front where they will (likely but still need to check) interfere with the engine lift legs.

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    I have a millrite on levelers. I like it level. I made a pad from 2 layers of 3/4” plywood. The levelers have long stems through the plywood pad and mill base casting. Nuts and large washers top and bottom allow the mill to be leveled. If you use wood be sure to finish it with something resistant to oils and coolants.

    You can also do this without the leveling pads with tapered 2x lumber.

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    I vote for Sunnex. Bolt 2 flat plates to the base and place one of these in each corner. Can even countersink a hole in each corner to keep each pad locked in position. Can always break everything down when moving base.

    dsc_0590.jpg

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    I have shimmed both my mills with metal plates and shim stock and have never had a problem.

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    I just shove it in a corner... if it rocks a little, eventually the chips will get wedged under and steady it up.

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    Stud mount leveling pads. That is why those holes are there.
    Rubber feet with a stud and nuts up top to jack things around.
    Why would you not have such?
    Quick, easy and you can do up to couple inches difference if you needed to.
    These type things as an example : https://www.amazon.com/Grizzly-G7159...s%2C170&sr=8-3
    I thought this was SOP under a B-port type machine.
    Bob

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    Moldcore has it right. BP is not like a lathe, in that you don't want to introduce twist in it. Set it on the floor where you want it and shim the low corners. I personally set mine at work to be a little off level in the X and Y direction so all the coolant would run to one side and out the drain hole on that side.

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    It's easier if it is level and if you are going to off axis tilt and rotary work you can stick the little bubble level on to get the 4th and 5th on the vise into position for a pocket.
    It is so simple to make it level, for sure it does not care but why not?
    You buy a milling machine and tooling and can't spring $100 or $200 for good feet?
    I have owned a lot of B-ports and clones. I'd never do without this basic mounting. Same for the small grinders which also don't really care.
    How do you rearrange the furniture in the shop without such?
    Do you never move your machines?
    Mine sit on 4x4 wood under the pads. Pallet jack and moved. Moving the bus drops takes most of the time.
    Yes, when I had ten on the floor it was rare that we would move one so they were sort of stationary but they still needed to be level for speed.
    Pads are a low cost and just plain better than fiddle farting with shimming for a stable support.

    I would never pour concrete or grout a machine tool other than maybe a very big CMM with an isolated foundation.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    Stud mount leveling pads. That is why those holes are there.
    Rubber feet with a stud and nuts up top to jack things around.
    Why would you not have such?
    Quick, easy and you can do up to couple inches difference if you needed to.
    These type things as an example : https://www.amazon.com/Grizzly-G7159...s%2C170&sr=8-3
    I thought this was SOP under a B-port type machine.
    Bob
    It doesn't work unless the holes are tapped for the stud with the nut on top to lock the position.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rons View Post
    It doesn't work unless the holes are tapped for the stud with the nut on top to lock the position.
    I don't even know how to respond to that.
    Though and clear holes work just fine, and in fact you do not want a threaded hole in the base, engage your brain.
    The bolt/stud moves the foot out of the shell to do the adjustment, the base or foot height can grow or shrink as needed.
    If way off you can put a nut an washer on the bottom side and still have adjustment.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    I don't even know how to respond to that.
    Though and clear holes work just fine, and in fact you do not want a threaded hole in the base, engage your brain.
    Bob
    Ok, how does the stud idea work without the nut underneath the base. And how do your hold the nut when turning the stud?
    Otherwise the stud does not lift the base, it just floats up and down in the hole.

    The holes in the base are designed for studs that are pointing in a foundation. Nuts area are tightened down from the top to clamp the base to foundation using shims for leveling.

    How is your brain doing on that one?

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    Only 40 plus years of using them but they have worked okay. Way off and you need a spacer or nut underneath.
    Have you tried one? They move inside and expand or contract as you screw in and out that stud, they are not fixed screw on feet.
    You are thinking that they are solid in length, they are not.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    Only 40 plus years of using them but they have worked okay. Way off and you need a spacer or nut underneath.
    Have you tried one? They move inside and expand or contract as you screw in and out that stud, they are not fixed screw on feet.
    You are thinking that they are solid in length, they are not.
    Bob
    "Way off and you need a space or nut underneath" ????

    "They move inside and ...." ????

    Your link shows a mount with a threaded rod with nut. What else in addition to that ChiCOM foot will make it work?

    I'm just guessing here, the nut in the link is underneath the base and it is expected that the weight of the mill will keep the little nut from turning as the stud is turned? Does not appear to be a workable solution.

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    My B'port sits on 4 X 4's.
    There are shims under the corners of the mill to get it somewhere near level.

    Bill


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