Removing grease from the Bridgeport Ways
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    Default Removing grease from the Bridgeport Ways

    I just realized that someone before me has pumped grease into all fittings used to oil the X and Y axis on the Ways.. I don’t understand why they would use the same kind of fitting that would enable someone to do that ...??
    I’ve never taken anything apart on a Bridgeport milling machine and would like to know if this is would be considered a major operation.. i’m assuming there’s really no other way to clean all that out other than to completely disassemble the table And just manually clean everything up..Any advice regarding this matter would be greatly appreciated thank you..

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    likely they thought no better with common fittings and perhaps not having a manual..if running good why not just start adding oil and wash out the grease over time..If you are up to tearing down that is fine...

    QT: [I’ve never taken anything apart on a Bridgeport milling machine and would like to know if this is would be considered a major operation.]
    Tearing down any machine is a major operation....
    With time and a manual you might do well enough.

    We had a few old grinders that ran on grease because the scraping was washed out and they needed only Ok accuracy...

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    I thought about that but I just figured that a lot of it would remain in there ..I wonder if I could remove the fittings and try to blast it out with some sort of solvent That would somewhat dissolve the grease before I started to push oil through there

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    A few weeks ago I got my Bridgeport and it had grease in the ways also... I tore it down and cleaned the oil channels out with compressed air, pipe cleaners, kerosene and brake cleaner. The Bridgeport base section (X, Y and Z travels) is a fairly easy machine to disassemble compare to a mill like my Brown and Sharpe 2B. There are a lot of videos on YouTube and the web that show owners doing this. As long as you have a safe way of lifting things, like an engine hoist (that's what I used) it's pretty straight forward. Grab a parts line on-line (free) and it will show all the parts and how they go together.

    Ted

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    Quote Originally Posted by Technical Ted View Post
    A few weeks ago I got my Bridgeport and it had grease in the ways also... I tore it down and cleaned the oil channels out with compressed air, pipe cleaners, kerosene and brake cleaner. The Bridgeport base section (X, Y and Z travels) is a fairly easy machine to disassemble compare to a mill like my Brown and Sharpe 2B. There are a lot of videos on YouTube and the web that show owners doing this. As long as you have a safe way of lifting things, like an engine hoist (that's what I used) it's pretty straight forward. Grab a parts line on-line (free) and it will show all the parts and how they go together.

    Ted
    Like Ted says, the bottom half of a BP really is pretty simple. Just get an idea of how it comes apart from youtube and be careful with heavy parts.
    It will also give you a chance to really asses the condition of the machine, make what ever minor repairs may be needed, and make sure oil will be getting to where it needs to be.

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    Match the table height to your roll around cart and slide her off. The saddle can be handled by hand. I left the knee on but removed the gib; gave me enough room to run a rag over the dove tails and see if oil was coming out when pumped in. Cleaned all the screws when they were out, oiled her up and put back together. Gives you confidence for the next time you might have to fix something.

    Now to install a one shot oiler system...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Technical Ted View Post
    A few weeks ago I got my Bridgeport and it had grease in the ways also... I tore it down and cleaned the oil channels out with compressed air, pipe cleaners, kerosene and brake cleaner. The Bridgeport base section (X, Y and Z travels) is a fairly easy machine to disassemble compare to a mill like my Brown and Sharpe 2B. There are a lot of videos on YouTube and the web that show owners doing this. As long as you have a safe way of lifting things, like an engine hoist (that's what I used) it's pretty straight forward. Grab a parts line on-line (free) and it will show all the parts and how they go together.

    Ted
    r

    I am picking up my Bridgeport this weekend. I think the first thing I will do is remove the table and clean, adjust and lube the knee pinion and screws.
    I am thinking the harbor freight electric winch will come in handy. Sliding the table off to a rolling cart is a great idea. The oilers do look like zert fittings

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    Before I'd go to the trouble of taking everything apart, I'd make/buy an oiler and see if you can even oil it. If the machine takes oil, go ahead an use it.

    There have been many threads on making and buying oilers for the zerk fittings.
    JR

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    For oiling, you'll need something with a little pressure behind it. I use Vactra #2 oil. I took a small grease gun, took the end cap off and plunger out, made an aluminum plug with a couple of O rings to cap off the end and it works very well. You'll have to hold it up side down so the oil is up to the pump plunger but that's not an issue at all. I was surprised how much pressure I could build up with it. When I first made it the end of the gun that goes on the zert was plugged with old grease. I could feel the pressure building as I pumped and POW!!! out flew the old grease!

    Make sure you store the gun upright, since the oil will leak out if you don't.

    Ted

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    OK, had some time after honeydews.

    Here's a cheap way to build one :High Pressure Oiler

    If you want to buy one:
    DUALCO Push Type Utility Grease Guns
    4oz 1 PSI DynaFlo(R) Steel Hand Fill Push Type Grease Gun
    | Fastenal

    ATD-848 - 500 psi High Pressure Oil Spray Gun - ATD Tools, Inc.
    Amazon.com: Lumax LX-1174 Push-Type Grease Gun (3 Oz): Automotive

    We used to buy a high pressure gun from Lincoln. IIRC, it was just over $200.
    I'd even buy one of these before I'd pull the table off a mill.
    https://www.tooldesk.com/automotive/...rk-Hammer.aspx

    If the mill will take oil, there is really no sense in tearing it apart. The grease will eventually get washed out.
    JR

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    Taking the table and saddle off is no big deal. Why not pull them off and give them a good clean? I think I would try flushing the knee with WD-40 and lots of it.

    Otherwise, I would pump WD-40 or the like thru the zerks.

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    So you pump oil in now.
    Was the grease bad or a killer? JRIowa (our lube guy)?
    Rough guess from the peanut stands... not the right lube due to the thickeners and certainly it would not spread/weep as desired but not a killer deal.
    I think real oil behind it is easier than a teardown.
    Don't make more work for yourself than you need to.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamC View Post
    Taking the table and saddle off is no big deal. Why not pull them off and give them a good clean?
    Bad things can happen when the table and saddle are removed. Especially to someone with little experience. If you put a nick in the ways and don't catch it, you will have a galled spot. Not good.

    Don't flush with WD-40. It's not enough lubricant for ways!

    Bob is correct, the grease doesn't really hurt anything, it just makes things rather stiff. If they've greased the ways, they've probably neglected the lead screws which are lubed from a set screw in the middle of the table. Somewhere I have a lube chart for a pre one-shot.
    JR

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    Quote Originally Posted by JRIowa View Post
    Bad things can happen when the table and saddle are removed. Especially to someone with little experience. If you put a nick in the ways and don't catch it, you will have a galled spot. Not good.

    Don't flush with WD-40. It's not enough lubricant for ways!

    Bob is correct, the grease doesn't really hurt anything, it just makes things rather stiff. If they've greased the ways, they've probably neglected the lead screws which are lubed from a set screw in the middle of the table. Somewhere I have a lube chart for a pre one-shot.
    JR
    I’ve taken my table on and off a dozen times. With respect, it’s not brain surgery, but I get what you are saying, JR.

    I recommend trying to get the grease out because it traps debris. I’d try to flush it out with something. I’ve heard Stoddard solvent discussed here but I don’t know what that is. I would not operate the mill with WD-40 as lube.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamC View Post
    I recommend trying to get the grease out because it traps debris. I’d try to flush it out with something. I’ve heard Stoddard solvent discussed here but I don’t know what that is. I would not operate the mill with WD-40 as lube.
    Grease does get messy, but not much more that way oil.

    If you're going to flush it out, don't use anything with a low viscosity like solvent or WD-40. The low viscosity fluids will just go further in when you pump in way oil. If you want to clean, run the table all the way in one direction, clean, and then lube with way oil. Then repeat that for the other side. Even with a one-shot, you want to see clean oil running out of a BP.

    Stoddard solvent is a low order, high flash point cleaning solvent. Used to be very common in all the parts washers. Now, it's harder to get and expensive. Years ago, it was less than $.20/gal. IIRC, it was $7.50/gal the last time I filled my parts washer. I use my ultrasonic a lot more (wish I had a bigger one).

    Not everything needs to be taken apart and cleaned. Many of the new guys seemed to be fixated on that. You all seem to want a pristine machine to show your buddies. Show them what you made, and not a clean machine.
    JR

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    Had a mountain of grease packed chips in mine. Much easier to keep clean now with the grease gone. No more 'crunching' while cranking the knee...

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    Similar advice as others have stated. My Burke knee mill has zerk fittings that just beg for someone to pump it full of grease. Some day I'll take apart the saddle and table but in the meantime it's travel is smooth and I had good luck:
    1- Removing the zerks and flushing the channels with a suitable solvent (brake cleaner, purple power, thinner)
    2- Running the table and knee to the extremes of their travel while continuing to flush with solvent and hand-wiping away any shmoo
    3- Compressed air to remove as much of the solvent as possible
    4- Repeating the limit of travel exercise to remove anything else that makes its' way out to the visible ways
    5- Re-installing the zerk fittings (or better- replacing with gitz fittings) I retained the zerks on mine.
    6- Fabricated a high-pressure way oiler using a cheap zerk grease gun by removing the plunger assembly and threading on a solid end cap. I think I had to rethread the end cap of the oiler to accept a standard pipe cap thread.
    Works great at injecting way oil and avoided the expense of a high-pressure oiler.

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    DD, Several comments on yours
    1. NO, NO, NO, don't use any solvent to flush out!
    2. See #1
    3. No compressed air which contains moisture
    4. Yes
    5. No Gitz or other type oil cups, you need pressure to oil the ways on a knee mill.
    6. See post #10
    JR

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    Quote Originally Posted by JRIowa View Post
    Grease does get messy, but not much more that way oil.

    If you're going to flush it out, don't use anything with a low viscosity like solvent or WD-40. The low viscosity fluids will just go further in when you pump in way oil. If you want to clean, run the table all the way in one direction, clean, and then lube with way oil. Then repeat that for the other side. Even with a one-shot, you want to see clean oil running out of a BP.

    Not everything needs to be taken apart and cleaned. Many of the new guys seemed to be fixated on that. You all seem to want a pristine machine to show your buddies. Show them what you made, and not a clean machine.
    JR
    JR,

    Could you elaborate a little bit more on this issue please? You are a pro, but I'm a new guy and trying to decide if it's worthwhile to remove the table, saddle, and knee while I have the head off of my recently purchased mill. The mill and ways are very dirty. Like you mentioned, I don't place much (if any) value on showing off a pristine machine, but I'm wondering if there is worth in removing the aforementioned parts to remove harmful grit and inspect for damage?

    I'm fairly competent in working on general machinery (farm equip, engines, etc) so I think I can avoid damaging parts, but wondering if there is any gain in disassembly of the base, or is it your opinion that any grit/grime will eventually be washed out of the ways with normal lubrication?

    There seems to be a wide variance of opinion on this subject, and I'm just not sure what to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Randalthor View Post
    JR,

    Could you elaborate a little bit more on this issue please? You are a pro, but I'm a new guy and trying to decide if it's worthwhile to remove the table, saddle, and knee while I have the head off of my recently purchased mill. The mill and ways are very dirty. Like you mentioned, I don't place much (if any) value on showing off a pristine machine, but I'm wondering if there is worth in removing the aforementioned parts to remove harmful grit and inspect for damage?

    I'm fairly competent in working on general machinery (farm equip, engines, etc) so I think I can avoid damaging parts, but wondering if there is any gain in disassembly of the base, or is it your opinion that any grit/grime will eventually be washed out of the ways with normal lubrication?

    There seems to be a wide variance of opinion on this subject, and I'm just not sure what to do.
    Thing is, there really is no "right" answer to your question, just a list of pro's and con's for each approach. You decide what is best for you. I had earlier listed some reasons why I feel that a complete tear down, clean, lube, and adjust is a good idea. Because of the overall simplicity of a BP, I still favor this approach. You'll need no special tools, it's an easy enough procedure, doesn't take much time(maybe a day or so you don't find any major damage) and will result in a cleaner machine that will be adjusted and lubed correctly and potentially be more accurate and wear better long term. That's what I would do, because of my specific situation. But, others have made very valid arguments against a complete tear down. If you don't have a good way to support the heavy parts, don't have the time to invest to complete the project, or feel unsure about the procedure, perhaps it's best to just clean the oil passages out as best you can and get the machine working. You can always invest more time in it later if you feel it's needed, but damaging parts now out of ignorance or haste, or tearing it down and not having the time (or money to address issues you find)to get it back together, do no good.
    The machine has probably been run in the condition it's in for years, you giving it a quick cleaning and running it a bit more until you decide how deep to go will not make that much difference!
    Like I said, what ever suits your situation best is what you should do.

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