Is this there I get shunned for buying a Bridgeport clone?
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    Default Is this there I get shunned for buying a Bridgeport clone?

    I have very little experience using a vertical mill but I have always wanted one. I grew up with a smaller old southbend lathe. Hand me down from a great uncle, have the original hand written receipt from 1942. Anyways my starting budget was as little as possible and at $150 this machine hit the nail on the head. If I get some skills and it occupies more of my hobby time I might invest in an actual Bridgeport but for now I have a few projected I wanted to tackle myself as learning projects. The table is in pretty good shape (has original track marks?) and the ways look like they have hardly any wear. The shop I got it from said it had been used as a glorified drillpress most its life for drilling and tapping aluminum extrusions, basically setup a clamp and stop and go to production mode. Which makes sense because the head does look like it has the most wear of the machine. As far as I can tell it is a Taiwan made clone. The plate on the motor shows it is made there. But I can not find any markings on the mill itself. I was wondering if anyone has any idea on the brand. I am thinking it might be a Pilgrim because I have seen Pilgrim brand mills online that have the same motor but the square knee support and tower looks different from anything I can find. It seems like a J series head with some metric and some standard threads. I need to order some clutch pins and a collet set screw, other than that it is functional, as far as I can tell.

    mill.jpg

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    The Asian copies I have used and own are nicer than a "real" Bridgeport.

    I never thought a Bridgeport was much to get excited over. I don't expect they were ever anything spectacular, they just made a cubic shitload of them. Excello's are hell of alot nicer than a BP. Cincinnati made a shitload of knee mills in a much higher class than Bridgeport. But the Bridgeport name stuck and that's what everyone knows them as.

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    Might be a Chevalear. There is a popular one Ox Tool Tom Lipton uses I forget the brand. He works it hard.

    Laguns are fine mills.

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    Looks like a Webb.There are several mills with different names that are the same.Look at the rear of the column and see if there is a mfg tag.Webb and the like were made in Taiwan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ratbldr427 View Post
    Looks like a Webb.There are several mills with different names that are the same.Look at the rear of the column and see if there is a mfg tag.Webb and the like were made in Taiwan.
    The webb I run once in a while is a damn fine machine, the one in the photo looks nothing like it.

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    I might invest in an actual Bridgeport
    Why? Do you only buy Band-Aid brand medical adhesive strips. Or Q-Tip brand
    cotton swabs? Kleenex brand facial tissue (Scotts are better).

    Screw Bridgeport. There is so much more out there that is better. Wells Index?

    When I was younger and less experienced I thought the machine was called a BRIDGEPORT.
    Vertical mill, knee mill, manual mill. If you needed one it was called a Bridgeport.. Its NOT.

    I didn't realize that others made them, I didn't realize that others made them a lot better.

    I wouldn't buy a Bridgeport at this point in my career just on principal. You
    are paying 50% for the machine and 50% for the badging.

    That looks like a pretty sweet little machine to me, especially for $150(can I have a dozen please?). All buying a
    "Bridgeport" will get you is a lighter wallet and a very common name brand.

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    No shunning from me. At $150, you done way better than good!

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    there is certainly no shame in owning a Bridgeport clone . In fact I am sure there will be a certain amount of jealousy amongst the members that you were able to get a machine like this for $150. It looks like a fine machine to work with and given that it is a hobby I couldn't see it ever being justified moving to a actual bridgeport

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    Not to take away from the OP but this thread reminded me of a Bridgeport copy I got at Boeing surplus back in the early 90`s ,,, Craig the guy that ran the used equipment had walked me into the back of the warehouse to show me a used boring mill and on the way to the back he pointed out a Bridgeport looking machine that was covered with hundreds of "BUY AMERICAN" union stickers . we just laughed and on the way back by it I asked him about it ,,, he told me they had got the new machine in and right after it was put on the floor they started putting stickers on it tell it could not be used anymore and they had to pull it from the shop ,, I asked him what he wanted for it and he told me $500 with the stickers and $1000 with out the stickers ,,, I spent days cleaning all them dammm stickers off of it but under all of them was a brand new Frejoth mill ,,, used the mill for close to 20 years and then sold it for $2500 ,,,

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    Most people will say don't put the collet pin back in. It's only in there to keep the collet from spinning while tightening. If you push too hard the collet will still spin and break the pin and then probably jam it.

    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    The webb I run once in a while is a damn fine machine, the one in the photo looks nothing like it.
    Correct. It may be Taiwan-made but it doesn't look like a Webb. I have a Webb 4VH and the base shown in the picture is completely different.

    It it is a Webb, it's much older than my 1987 model.

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    Quote Originally Posted by winger View Post
    Most people will say don't put the collet pin back in. It's only in there to keep the collet from spinning while tightening. If you push too hard the collet will still spin and break the pin and then probably jam it.

    Dave
    And it will scar the taper and the collet. Just hold the collet with one hand so it does not turn until the threads engage.
    Bill D

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    Haha seems like you all are more like minded than I thought. I have 2 friends that were machinists for sometime and both of them say that unless it is a Bridgeport they suck and parts are hard to find. But the only mill that I have personally used was when I was getting my A&P license at the school they had a Webb that I made some brackets and parts for a few projects on and it was a great machine. I just finished cleaning the ways and lead screws. Looks like very little wear. I might take a stone to the table lightly to clean up a few small nicks, and by small nicks I mean just that very minor other than that the table looks great. I found some metric clutch screws on ebay I believe are the right size. Does anyone know any place in the US that carries parts for these metric machines? I might just leave the collet pin out like suggested. I took the upper housing off to clean everything and replace the belts. The spindle brake looks like it is toast. At some point in time two of the screws fell out and the phenolic brake shoes sagged and dragged on the taper in the pulley. I am not sure if it is worth ordering new shoes and hardware for $100 or just leaving the spindle brake off. Other than holding the spindle to loosen and tighten the draw bar what else is the brake needed for? Hole tapping to stop faster? A VFD I ordered arrives tomorrow and I should be able to fire this bad boy up. I am still curious on the brand. Most Webbs and clones that I have seen look almost exactly like bridgeport towers and rams. But this guy is so square. Oh and it is heavy, heavier than most bridgeports and clones spec at. Almost 2800lbs...

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    I bought my present ACCU 9x49 with ballscrews and Fagor DRO for $400. The head was supposed to be trashed. It needed $50 in bearings. It came on a rolling cart. I sold the rolling cart for $300

    I use the brake a lot. I rarely use it for anything but drilling and tapping. I always hit the brake to stop it instantly for changing tools or before I reverse the spindle.

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    When I was in Tool and Die school, the shop had hundreds of Bridgeport brand milling machines. Most of them were clapped out but like any piece of equipment you learn to make good parts on them. Anyways, every morning was a rush to call dibs on a milling machine. There was one Lagun milling machine in the whole shop of roughly 100 vertical mills. Nobody wanted to use it because it wasn’t a Bridgeport. I started using it one day because it was all that was left. It was the best vertical mill I had ever used up to that point. Had very little backlash and you could take quite a bit heavier cut with it. I wasn’t sold on Bridgeport being the best after that.

    Fast forward 20 years and I am interested in buying a vertical mill for my own shop. I received quotes from the machinery dealer on a brand new Bridgeport. It was over $15,000 at the time. The Local bank foreclosed on a manufacturer and I was able to get a very good deal on a centroid controlled off brand vertical mill. So I didn’t buy the Bridgeport. Bridgeport went through a restructuring about a year later and kept calling me to buy a mill for $7500 or less than 1/2 what they initially quoted me. I was not impressed and since that time (2009) I think the Bridgeport name has really taken a hit. I wouldn’t have any problems buying an off brand vertical mill this day and age and some of the best I have run have been off brand, Webb, Index, lagun, etc.

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    Could be an older Acer 5vk
    Acer makes a nice mill, if the picture is what you got for $150, I’d say you stole it


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeHawk View Post
    Haha seems like you all are more like minded than I thought. I have 2 friends that were machinists for sometime and both of them say that unless it is a Bridgeport they suck and parts are hard to find. But the only mill that I have personally used was when I was getting my A&P license at the school they had a Webb that I made some brackets and parts for a few projects on and it was a great machine. I just finished cleaning the ways and lead screws. Looks like very little wear. I might take a stone to the table lightly to clean up a few small nicks, and by small nicks I mean just that very minor other than that the D table looks great. I found some metric clutch screws on ebay I believe are the right size.Does anyone know any place in the US that carries parts for these metric machines? I might just leave the collet pin out like suggested. I took the upper housing off to clean everything and replace the belts. The spindle brake looks like it is toast. At some point in time two of the screws fell out and the phenolic brake shoes sagged and dragged on the taper in the pulley. I am not sure if it is worth ordering new shoes and hardware for $100 or just leaving the spindle brake off. Other than holding the spindle to loosen and tighten the draw bar what else is the brake needed for? Hole tapping to stop faster? A VFD I ordered arrives tomorrow and I should be able to fire this bad boy up. I am still curious on the brand. Most Webbs and clones that I have seen look almost exactly like bridgeport towers and rams. But this guy is so square. Oh and it is heavy, heavier than most bridgeports and clones spec at. Almost 2800lbs...
    If your machine is a Webb, there is a Webb company online that would have most of your parts. They had everything that I needed when I was refurbishing my Webb.

    Cadillac Lathes and Champ Mills | Webb Machinery

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    As others have mentioned, sometimes the "Bridgeport clones" are better than the original. We have 2 Royal brand knee mills and they run and function just as well as a BP. I ran a Lagun I think years ago and it actually "felt" much better to run than a "real" BP. And I have been fortunate enough to run a brand new BP.... nothing special or better.

    The big thing with these knee mills is their versatility. Pivot/nod the head for angles, swing it out to one side to do oddball work, etc...

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    No grief from me either, ………………..there's a lot of elitist big brand bullshit on PM, ...….the trick is to know it for what it is.

    I run an Induma turret mill, which is an Italian clone of a Bridgeport preceding the ''Taiwanese Invasion'' by at least 20 years, ……..and IMHO (and that of others) knocks the BP in to a cocked hat.


    FWIW - at $150 for a known runner begs the Q ;- just how much more do you want?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobw View Post
    Why? Do you only buy Band-Aid brand medical adhesive strips. Or Q-Tip brand
    cotton swabs? Kleenex brand facial tissue (Scotts are better).

    Screw Bridgeport. There is so much more out there that is better. Wells Index?

    When I was younger and less experienced I thought the machine was called a BRIDGEPORT.
    Vertical mill, knee mill, manual mill. If you needed one it was called a Bridgeport.. Its NOT.

    I didn't realize that others made them, I didn't realize that others made them a lot better.

    I wouldn't buy a Bridgeport at this point in my career just on principal. You
    are paying 50% for the machine and 50% for the badging.

    That looks like a pretty sweet little machine to me, especially for $150(can I have a dozen please?). All buying a
    "Bridgeport" will get you is a lighter wallet and a very common name brand.
    I disagree it is not just a brand thing. Demand, sales, and reputation are that way for a reason. I have not used a Web but I know a Bridgeport. Does that make me a brand name shopper paying 50% for the name? Does it make you a brand name shopper for web and against a Bridgeport? I do not think that either.

    I have used Lagun, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and others. I have found the Taiwan clones very good and would buy those if money were a issue.

    Just sayin.

    I do not believe so.


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