Bridgeport J Head on a VN22L...
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  1. #1
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    Default Bridgeport J Head on a VN22L...

    Long story short, I've read and read and can't seem to find this answer anywhere. Is it possible to put a J Head on a VN overarm or is that asking too much of that bar? I do have an M Head that I have yet to mount on it.

    Oh, uses, I am looking to downsize my shop and I want to get rid of my large drill press. I only use it to drill holes and power tap. I do boring in horizontal now and I do all my milling in horizontal work either end mills or gang cutters.

    I guess I was just wondering if either the M Head was powerful enough to run tapping heads up to 1/2" taps or if the overarm was stiff enough to hold the J Head for extended periods of time.

    Thank you in advance...

    Sent from my S61 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by michael.kitko View Post
    Long story short, I've read and read and can't seem to find this answer anywhere. Is it possible to put a J Head on a VN overarm or is that asking too much of that bar? I do have an M Head that I have yet to mount on it.

    Oh, uses, I am looking to downsize my shop and I want to get rid of my large drill press. I only use it to drill holes and power tap. I do boring in horizontal now and I do all my milling in horizontal work either end mills or gang cutters.

    I guess I was just wondering if either the M Head was powerful enough to run tapping heads up to 1/2" taps or if the overarm was stiff enough to hold the J Head for extended periods of time.

    Thank you in advance...

    Sent from my S61 using Tapatalk
    An M-head on there seems fairly normal, the VN22 machine I bought had one on there for at least 20-30 years (I removed it) and the overarm bar moves in and out smoothly without any problem.

    It seems like a J-head with the 1hp motor is 200lbs or so, the M-head probably a bit over 100lbs?

  3. #3
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    I guess that the overarm should be stiff enough for a J head, if you keep it as close as possible to the ram.

    However, unless you're doing your gang-milling on a different machine, to me it seems that the hassle of installing and tramming the head for then removing it each time you need to use the arbor supports is way too much and unpractical. Generally, BP heads mounted on overarm supports were intended to be semi-permanent installs.

    Paolo

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    So I agree it does seem the norm to mount an M Head on there. I will probably be doing that before I ever find a J Head in decent shape and a good price range. My next question is can the M Head handle drilling holes 1/2" in two steps or can they power tap up to 3/8" quite easily. I guess there is always the real answer or just go and try it and see what happens.

    Sent from my S61 using Tapatalk

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    You don't specify what you are drilling and tapping, so I'd say sure, it has enough power. I'd also say, it depends...
    I've been using J-heads for a long time and my M-head is in a box right now, but as I recall:
    Since you don't get power-downfeed with the M head, feeds are up to you. 304 and harder will be annoying but you'll be fine at 1/2" if you keep your tools pretty sharp. For tapping, 3/8" will be better with a tap-matic head or similar to get some reduction but otherwise you should be fine.
    If your M-head motor is 3-phase, running a VFD would get you more range in terms of speed and power.

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  8. #6
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    Another option is attaching the J head to the cutterhead of the VN. Plenty of beef there, but you'd have to remove it more often.

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    The 22L has already limited headspace. By mounting the J head to the cutter head you'd end up with just a couple of inches between the table and the spindle.

    Paolo


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