Found a Bridgeport True Trace on Craigslist
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  1. #1
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    Default Found a Bridgeport True Trace on Craigslist

    Hello,

    I've searched around for information on the true trace and the general consensus is to stay away from them. This machine however comes with manual controls (so it's not straight hydraulic - ie: I won't have to convert it to manual) It's a 1976 model with a Series 1, 2hp variable speed head.

    I went to look at it today and though the hydraulic equipment is there, it's not currently hooked up, again - not a concern and will make it easier to move if I decide to purchase. The x, y, and z axis's all move freely, everything seems to be oiled, and you can see the scrape marks on the knee (beneath the table.) the overall dimensions are about 6 feet wide (across the table feed handles) 7 feet tall, and about 4.5 feet deep (from the column to the knee handle).

    The guy will take 1500 for the whole thing, hydraulics included. There isn't any tooling or a vice. It's not under power so that's a negative as well.

    Worth 1500.00? I readily admit that I know little to nothing about milling machines, but where I am, a running, no tools included Bridgeport goes for around 3 to 5,000.00. Figured I could keep the mill and sell off all of the true trace equipment. Your thoughts? As always I appreciate the help.

    Thanks,

    Britt Bettell

  2. #2
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    Photos:

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    Britt Bettell

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    20170605_112715.jpg20170605_112719.jpg20170605_112730.jpg20170605_113201.jpg20170605_113208.jpg

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    20170605_113217.jpg20170605_113226.jpg20170605_113244.jpg20170605_113249.jpg20170605_113301.jpg

  5. #5
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    Get it powered and listen to it run. No excuses should be acceptable for that kind of price. $500 bucks maybe if you love it purchased unpowered.

    Also, I would want to know what is going on with the quill handle, it looks super janky with a that bundle of washers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nihilistic View Post
    Get it powered and listen to it run. No excuses should be acceptable for that kind of price. $500 bucks maybe if you love it purchased unpowered.

    Also, I would want to know what is going on with the quill handle, it looks super janky with a that bundle of washers.
    It is janky. It's loose actually.

    Given the price of Bridgeports here in Houston (like I said earlier) It's the least expensive by about half.

    Britt

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    I don't think 1500 is too much, but without hearing it run I would not pay more than that.

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    Moonlight, I was actually going to call you but I lost your number.

    I'm the guy with the Holbrook.

    Britt

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

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    The top of the knee seems to be a box way and different from a regular series I Bridgeport.

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    I know a man that had a Gorton tracer mill he bought to convert. Turns out the huge table could only move about about 15 inches via the x lead screw. After all that was the largest part that could be traced. That mill is still setting there years later, useless.

    I don't know if your Bridgeport would have the same problem, but I would make sure it can be converted before you buy it..

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    This equipment should be sold for junk. Anybody who thinks that it has a valid use in this day and age is mistaken. You should be looking for a cheap cnc milling machine. Can do anything the Bridgeport TruTrace could do only faster and more accurate. You should leaver-rite where you found it in Texas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Nelson View Post
    This equipment should be sold for junk. Anybody who thinks that it has a valid use in this day and age is mistaken. You should be looking for a cheap cnc milling machine. Can do anything the Bridgeport TruTrace could do only faster and more accurate. You should leaver-rite where you found it in Texas.
    Again, I'm looking for a manual mill. If purchased the true trace equipment would be removed and sold off. It has manual controls, so I don't see an issue. Just wondering if the machine was worth the price.

    Britt

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by 428Bird View Post
    Again, I'm looking for a manual mill. If purchased the true trace equipment would be removed and sold off.
    Buy a manual mill then. That is an older machine that has a newer head on it. I'm guessing a 60s vintage by looking at it. The head serial number means nothing.

    Sell of the True Trace? Maybe for scrap or less. You'll spend more money converting to manual than you would just buying a manual machine. I'm also guessing that the X ways and screw are worn out.
    JR

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    If I needed a BP that bad I'd take a road trip to anywhere North and buy the best one you can find for $2k and readouts before I bought that mill. Or, buy a Cincinnati or K&T horizontal for scrap and add a BP head to it. You can't beat 3 axis power feed with rapids.
    I spend more time setting up jobs on the horizontal because of the power feed and avoid using the BP.

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    I'll put my hat in the ring in favor of buying it, with mild reservations.

    Check out the way wear and see if you can live with it. It clearly needs tinkering and TLC, but if you've got the time, it could be worth it, esp since it's close to home.

    The knee/saddle is stiffer than the average BP, but it sure would be nice to hear it run. If there's 220 single phase available, take a halfass solidstate phase converter with you and fire it up. A big run cap will do, in a pinch. And if the seller is reluctant to allow that, assume there's something wrong with the head.

    JR's right about the attachments. Some of the hydraulics could be repurposed, but without knowing if they work, assume they're scrap.

    There's no knuckle on the ram, so no head tilting capability. That's not a feature often used, but if it's going to be your only BP, it's a consideration.

    The price is certainly attractive.

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    Appreciate the responses. I went back and looked somemore after talking with Barry Walker on the phone (from H&W machine). He explained how to check the backlash on the x and y screws (0.015 to 0.020" on the Y, 0.020-0.025 in the X) and how to look for other things.

    I don't think they have 220 in their little shop, but I honestly didn't think to ask. They also bought it from an estate sale from a widow in Louisiana. It was supposedly running in a home shop when he unexpectantly died. They picked it up with a little oddball lathe.

    Britt Bettell

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    Quote Originally Posted by 428Bird View Post
    He explained how to check the backlash on the x and y screws (0.015 to 0.020" on the Y, 0.020-0.025 in the X)....
    That's not that bad. You'll prob be putting on DROs anyway

    Not being able to run the head might be a bargaining point. What's your take on their position? Anxious to sell? Not? Can they load? (That's an important one.)

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    That is the highly desirable ballscrew Tru Trace version with hand wheels for manual use ...sounds cheap to me. However, being ballscrew the backlash should less than .0005" so this thing must have seen some high hours in its lifetime.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Nelson View Post
    This equipment should be sold for junk. Anybody who thinks that it has a valid use in this day and age is mistaken. You should be looking for a cheap cnc milling machine. Can do anything the Bridgeport TruTrace could do only faster and more accurate. You should leaver-rite where you found it in Texas.
    That's kinda funny. I ran a tracer a lot back in them olde dayes. I was even looking half-heartedly for a 2-30 Gorton Tracemaster, there's a lot of jobs I can do faster and easier on a tracer than by nc.

    These days, doing what everybody else does doesn't seem to be a winner, to me.

  23. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milacron View Post
    That is the highly desirable ballscrew Tru Trace version with hand wheels for manual use ...sounds cheap to me. However, being ballscrew the backlash should less than .0005" so this thing must have seen some high hours in its lifetime.
    Not familiar with ball screws. Do they use acme threads, because that's what is in the machine. (see pics attached to my first few posts).

    Britt Bettell


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