How should I level my Bridgeport mill? - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    I've got Barrymount levelers under my mill. I've seen many done just like Danny stated. If you've got a shaper mounted on the back, I'd bolt to the floor. They are tippy SOBs.

    Now, for the reason. I've found it's a lot easier to set-up a part when the machine is level, that way you can use a level. I can get close with a level and then indicate.
    JR

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  3. #22
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    I set up my mills to be a little bit off level left to right. That way all coolant would drain in 1 direction. As for as using a level, just to use a wild example,put the level on the bed first. If it shows a half a bubble off, put your part in the vise half a bubble off. Puts you back to square with the world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazygoat View Post
    put your part in the vise half a bubble off.
    I'd like some of your work. My level is in tenths/foot.
    JR

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    Quote Originally Posted by JRIowa View Post
    I'd like some of your work. My level is in tenths/foot.
    JR
    I did say the half bubble was a wild example. I did not realize you were doing that close of work with a level.I did not mean to step on any toes.Still, if your mill was setting at a 45 degree angle, your table travel would still be parallel to the face of spindle.
    Last edited by crazygoat; 02-06-2018 at 08:14 AM. Reason: replaced spindle with face of spindle

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  7. #25
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    An to think.. all the 10+ knee mills I have moved and installed with a four foot pry bar, twelve one foot long 2x4, pallet jack or forklift. Leveled with a carpenter level or the bubble on a starrett combo square with some smims on the floor..

    Wrong all wrong..

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  9. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by BGL View Post
    Wrong all wrong.
    Nope, done a bunch myself that way. That's what they wanted, so that's what they got. I do mine a little closer.

    Years ago, I did a prototype swash plate for a place that was going to make pressure washers. I started with 4" dia 4140 PH. What a headache! Angles were +- 1/2 deg. most everything else was +-0.001". I probably had 10 set-ups plus had to make 2 EDM electrodes for the hub OD. All that work. The prototype worked great. They had the production part stamped with at least twice the tolerance I was given.

    Stuff like that are the reason my mill, surface grinder and lathe are all as level as I can get them. Also why the little hair that I have is all gray.

    Many of you guys misunderstand me. I'm not telling you how to do it, I'm telling you how I've done it. Sometimes, you get an exclamation sometimes not.
    JR

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  11. #27
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    Another name for a pry bar, crow bar is a "Jimmy Bar" I have seen machines setting on nothing, shimmed on one corner, setting on Unisorb levers, etc.

    I have seen Bridgeport's leveled and not leveled and have been using the ship anology for years. But I like to see a Bridgeport level to so I can use a level when setting parts in the vise or setting on the table.

    As Tyrone and JR said it. We Old farts who have been in this business for years have done more then 1 machine. It's insulting seeing some rookie tell you your wrong when you have leveled machine's for 40 + years and never had a problem. We don't need bigger font letters in blue to make a point either.

    I tend to not read big font blue posts as a matter of fact. If you look at the base of a "real" Bridgeport you see a small opening where you insert a Jimmy/Crow/Pry bar to lift it. I have also raised it from above using the 1/2/13 tapped hole with eye bolt, raised it with fork lifts, etc, etc.. Why not ask the Riggers in the rigging forum? Bottom line is if you want it level...pry it up and be careful..lower the knee down low to lower the center of gravity. Move the ram back a bit so head is in center of gravity and if your really afraid swing the head down to the bottom. Take little steps and shim as you go. I have used black felt and also leather that we glued to the bottom of shims that hit the floor and also never used the pads on the plate. Different strokes for different folks. One could also use the teeter toddler method too, but you Rookies already know what that means....sighhhhhh

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  13. #28
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    I like these. The idea is easy to copy.

    dsc_0590.jpg

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    Richard, JR, et al. - keep in mind that you are reacting to a 9-year-old thread, and objecting to a poster (pinion) who hasn't posted for 2.5 years!

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    Quote Originally Posted by specfab View Post
    Just my $.02 worth: I have used a couple of different methods of lifting and moving the I have also used the standard "cherry picker" engine hoist (the special Harbor Freight 2-ton version with high-tensile orange paint) to lift the mill and work all 4 corners at once,
    I know this is from 2009 but I saw this and wondered how one could get an engine hoist to span around the base of the Knee Mill 69514_w3.jpg

  16. #31
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    The old school engine hoists have a wider stance, and if you fabricate, it's pretty easy to cut and weld a better frame to a hoist. Mine is heavily modified, with thicker tube steel, and I can lift much heavier machines now with it fully extended without an issue. I basically replaced everything with heavier wall tube steel. Less than $75 (my cost) for material picked from a guy going out of business, and enough to make 2 welding table supports, too. It was a sweet deal.

  17. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raul McCai View Post
    I know this is from 2009 but I saw this and wondered how one could get an engine hoist to span around the base of the Knee Mill 69514_w3.jpg
    No problem at all: the standard 2 ton engine hoist is the perfect fit. You set the arm to 1 ton and the reach will allow the legs of the lift to straddle the base and lift from the 1/2-13 lug. You can see my recent thread on this with pictures of it lifting: Found Bridgeport Mill: Buying Help?.

  18. #33
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    I just used my trusty old cherry picker to do this. My rig is from another country, but has served me well for 30 years. It is on its 3rd hydraulic cylinder. Anyhow, my B'Port was sitting in a corner on 2 layers of 2X blocks. I made arms out of some 1X4 steel I had laying around. I drilled and tapped 5/8-11 holes to match the base, then drilled holes for levelers outside of the base footprint. I extended the cherry picker, and lifted just the back of the mill first. I got the rear arm in place and set it down. Then I moved the cherry picker, and did the same thing on the front. I used a precision level to dial it in close (off of the table), and called it good. It doesn't mill any better (or worse), but it looks shipshape, and round stuff doesn't fall off. I also find the B'Port more comfortable to operate a couple inches higher.

    I had to use another old trick to make the 28" long arms on a mill with only 18" of travel. I drilled a tooling hole in the middle, hit 'zero', then moved over 10" for the first hole; 13" for the second. Then, I turned the part around, zeroed off of the tooling hole, and did the other two holes. I didn't actually indicate the tooling hole. I just dropped a 1/2" dowel from the spindle into it. Close enough for this application. If it had to be closer, I would have indicated it.

    img_20191112_082613509.jpg

    When you're working alone, out in your home shop with limited equipment, you use what you have. I've lifted machines with a pry bar and blocking, too. BTW- mills aren't as tippy as you'd think. I had one delivered on a roll back one time. The guy just tilted up the bed, and let out the winch, controlling the descent as the mill slid down the bed. Scared the crap outta me, but he was a licensed rigger, and did it all the time. I'll bet that bed and mill were tipped close to 30 degrees.


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