Who has a New Bridgeport series 1, how do you like it?
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  1. #1
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    Default Who has a New Bridgeport series 1, how do you like it?

    What options did you get?
    What do you wish you had ordered?
    What do you not like?
    I am omly thinking at this time, but thinking I am. I do not need one but it sure would be handy now and again. I sold my old one 20 some odd years ago as I ran out of room and my helpers used it to stack shit on so it was a job to get near it if I did want it.

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    Nobody has bought a new Bridgeport?

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    If I was going to get a new mill, I would get a Wells Index vertical mill. It is a bit beefier than a Bridgeport, great support and is still made in the US.

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    I work in a maintenance shop and we got a new one about 10 years ago with Accurite digital and servo brand feeds on the x and knee, and power drawbar. I think it was an early Hardinge one. Showing some wear and the two feeds are getting rough. x drive burns through a lot of brushes.
    Wish I had asked for power on the Y. I just turn the vise if needed.

    It has been a good machine, but last year I used a friends Acer with electronic variable speed. I really like that over the Bridgeport variable. Tapping control was easier. It's quieter too and has digital speed display.

    I haven't had to replace the drive belt yet but our old one used a belt every couple years. Not fun. That job would push me to electronic.

    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by crrmeyer View Post
    If I was going to get a new mill, I would get a Wells Index vertical mill. It is a bit beefier than a Bridgeport, great support and is still made in the US.
    I understood Hardinge was making the Bridgeport here, is that not the case?

    I never thought about the Wells, I will look at it some, thanks

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    They started importing a while ago. Rumer was first batch was horrible.

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    I bought a new manual mill at a prior job in 2013. At that time Wells were ~27k fully optioned, a decent quality import with power feeds and DRO was ~21k, and I ended up buying a 2-axis ProtoTrak for 22k. I found the Prototrak control fall off a log easy and worked great for simple stuff, especially bolt patterns, and it still worked just fine as a manual mill.

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    I am sad to hear about the Bridgport, I did look around at the Wells website, and what they have to say looks good. They are using ballscrews, how do folks like those, I had heard they maks climb cutting a problem, is this true?

    I would prefer a machine made here, power feeds X and Y, I have plenty of VMC's and don't really think I want a DRO.

  11. #9
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    Whether ballscrews are a problem is generally related to the pitch of the screw and the forces involved. I've run machines where it was a big problem and those on which it was no problem at all. I think on a manual machine if you are hand feeding I would very much prefer to have something like a band brake on the shaft of the table screw. That would solve most any problem with that pretty handily without affecting the gib and way wear.

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  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kustomizer View Post
    I am sad to hear about the Bridgport, I did look around at the Wells website, and what they have to say looks good. They are using ballscrews, how do folks like those, I had heard they maks climb cutting a problem, is this true?

    I would prefer a machine made here, power feeds X and Y, I have plenty of VMC's and don't really think I want a DRO.
    Yes you want a DRO! If you are buying new order it with one so they install it. You have an Indian to work on. that is much more productive than drilling and tapping about 50 holes in cast iron to install the DRO that you should have ordered when you bought it and don't forget the power drawbar, one of the big time savers in the manual mill world. Get a Servo feed for the knee as well.

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    My neighbor recently bought an import model on special from MSC. It's the step pulley head with a VFD, powerfeeds and ballscrews. He's really happy with it.

    Frequency drive spindle works so much better than the noisy belt varispeeds.

    I have a Taiwan BP copy about 20 years old. Mine has the ballscrews and I think they're great. They have a thou or two lash in them now, could be the end bearings, but they're a lot better than standard screws.

    I would say that the screws do not match the hand dials perfectly. I use the DRO for everything, but I did rip a scale cable out once and came to realize the ballscrews probably aren't top notch accuracy. I would still choose them though.

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  16. #12
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    I would think that any machinist that is aware that the mill they are using has ballscrews would be able to make appropriate compensations in technique. Like, don't let go of the crank handle while climb milling (if the ballscrews can back-drive). The basic no-backlash characteristic of ballscrews can be a big advantage in a general sense.

    And like Moonlight Machine says, of course you want a DRO. That has to be the single biggest improvement in usability and productivity in the last 50 years of manual machining.

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    Look at Acer, Kondia and Lagun. I have two Kondia mills. IMO way better than Bridgeport.

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    For wells-index, anybody know what the difference is between the model 747 and model 847 manual mill?

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    Look at the photos. The 847 has a stouter base and knee. The 747 is proportioned more like a Bridgeport. I am pretty sure the 747 and 847 use the same head though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eKretz View Post
    Look at the photos. The 847 has a stouter base and knee. The 747 is proportioned more like a Bridgeport. I am pretty sure the 747 and 847 use the same head though.
    To be honest with you, I am not seeing the difference in the photos, but maybe I am not looking at the pictures you are. In any case, Wells Index is a hell of a nice mill and we are currently looking at them. We have been using bridgeports that were made in the 50s and are looking for an upgrade.

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    I looked at the pics again and I think I see what your saying. The 847 does look a little beefier

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    I manage to buy a new step pulley model in 1981, made by Textron, they didnt have a great reputation back then, but my machine was great.
    That was the only new machine I had that was brand new, and new is real nice! with a mini wizzard, and kurt vise!

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    Here's one on Dallas craigslist. It's not new, but it does have a fresh Krylon overhaul and a nicely messed up table.

    Index Milling machine - tools - by owner - sale

    Pictures for posterity.



    Sent from my Nokia 7.1 using Tapatalk

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  31. #20
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    That index also has a horizontal spindle. I have used newer style Index mills, and they are very good.

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