Getting a BP up and running
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  1. #1
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    Default Getting a BP up and running

    I am looking at a 1966 BP j-head. It was taken from a maintenance shop and stored under an open lean-to. The motor runs. It is no jewel(gouges on table and surface rust). What is the minimum lifting device I would need to disassemble it? Could it be 'cleaned up' without a total disassembly?

    I do not know how to value these used machines. My guy wants $1000 and I saw one on FB in a clean workshop for $250 needing a new spindle bearing and worn ways. It was too far away and the owner had a line of purchasers!

    Explaining these machines(and cost) to my wife is very difficult!

    Cheers

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    I was able to do all the service work on my BP with an engine hoist. The one I have is 2 ton which when the boom is fully extended is 500 lb. Depending on condition and location, a BP can normally go from $500 to >$3000. A thousand is not out of line for a serviceable machine.

    Tom

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    I prefer a small gantry hoist for jobs like this, but an engine hoist has had it's success too. Depending on how deep you go into the machine, the heaviest lift would be the whole machine, so 2 tons would be your maximum hoist capacity. Couple issues with engine hoists is they need to straddle the load and depending on the hoist they don't always have enough width, also they lift in an arc rather than a straight line which can get in the way. While they technically have the needed height, the boom gets in the way more the higher you go.

    Ideally, I'd recommend completely dismantling the machine so you can clean and inspect the ways and moving components, If you have a greased mill and want to switch it over to way oil, you'll want to flush all the old grease out, which is easiest to do when it's apart.

    However,
    I had a mill awhile back that I wasn't able to pull out of service to fully dismantle it, so I connected an air fitting to the grease-packed lube connection and just let it sit under pressure. Eventually, the air forced enough grease out that air was whistling through the ways. After that I started pumping mineral spirits through, then stated in with the oil. Again, it's better to give the lube lines a fresh start, but this worked too.

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  6. #4
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    With storage under an open lean to, a lot depends on how it was put into storage initially. Any rust preventative applied, oil, etc?

    It will be hard to determine the condition of the mill without a very throughout cleaning, which will require some degree of disassembly.


    One thing you could do is to remove the way wipers and take a look at the gib adjustments. Are they bottomed out, or is there adjustment left? Push around on the table and check for movement, most of that can be adjusted out with the gibs.

    What about the lead screws - how far can they be easily turned? A rough check of backlash can be done by looking at the dials.

    Any vice or tooling?

    I would think $1000 would be generous if it has been outside very long at all.

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  8. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwelo62 View Post

    Explaining these machines(and cost) to my wife is very difficult!
    Ask her why we are not eating supper with Sterling Silver utensils and crystal goblets.
    Instead we are using the stainless utensils made in Korea and the glassware made in China.

    Explain the cost of a rebuilt machine. Now you are ready to explain about your clapped out and rusted BP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by acrosteve View Post
    With storage under an open lean to, a lot depends on how it was put into storage initially. Any rust preventative applied, oil, etc?

    It will be hard to determine the condition of the mill without a very throughout cleaning, which will require some degree of disassembly.


    One thing you could do is to remove the way wipers and take a look at the gib adjustments. Are they bottomed out, or is there adjustment left? Push around on the table and check for movement, most of that can be adjusted out with the gibs.

    What about the lead screws - how far can they be easily turned? A rough check of backlash can be done by looking at the dials.

    Any vice or tooling?

    I would think $1000 would be generous if it has been outside very long at all.
    Agree with this. Above $1000 and the machine should be fairly serviceable and running, and not any significant rust. Otherwise you're taking a significant amount of risk on "what else is wrong" (which can lead to $$), and the time/cost of making it serviceable. IMO, scraping together a few more bucks (and perhaps looking around longer), is better than the time, uncertainty, frustration of fixing something that's in poor (and often unknown issue) condition.

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    QT: [stored under an open lean-to.] with no rain on it then what you see is likely the worst of.. motor running. and handles turning, nothing more than surface rust under table and where you can see. Not crazy hand wheel free play. it is such a simple machine.
    But taken out of service. often you can get a auction machine for $1,000. and a selling machine for under $2,000. guess you might ask if the seller ever ran the machine..Not good to crank the table over rust. I looked at a beautiful Thompson grinder last week that was in a fine shop, and under the grinder's table long travel ways were heavy rust. likely cleaned more than necessary and sat there for perhaps 5 years.

    This one a vise collets, power feed and DRO for $1500.

    Bridgeport Mill with XY sigital measure - tools - by owner - sale
    Last edited by michiganbuck; 04-17-2019 at 06:36 PM.

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    Does any tooling, vise, DRO, etc. come with it? These items can add up fast $$$. $1000 for a rusty, naked machine would be high priced in my area (western NY).

    Ted

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    One thing to keep in mind.

    I noticed the OP is in GA - as i assume the machine is. Snow is rare there.

    A covered lean to will keep direct rain off, but not snow or a misty, heavy fog. Just keep that in mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Technical Ted View Post
    Does any tooling, vise, DRO, etc. come with it? These items can add up fast $$$. $1000 for a rusty, naked machine would be high priced in my area (western NY).

    Ted
    It's always interesting to hear about different prices of these machines around the country. A couple weeks ago I registered for an online machine shop auction in Springfield MO (FG Machinery). Sold by Investment Recovery Services. It was a local auction which you could also bid live online. I listened to the auctioneer sell an old J head Bridgeport with a DRO and an X axis powerfeed. As far as I could tell from the pics, it looked worn. Sold for $4200+ some change. They are very expensive here.

    Actually, now that I think about it $4200+ was the actual selling price. They also had a buyer's fee of %18 plus sales tax. That would have put the seasoned machine at over $5K.

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    Auctions are crazy with people not knowing what is important or going by the auction photo and bidding way over value.

    At least looking at the ways is needed because that can mean useful or scrap.
    An older lathe with a broken gear might be scrap..


    Still the OPs Bridgeport may be worth the money....

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