Bridgeport mill

Discussion in 'Foundry tools and flasks' started by Zapins, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. Zapins

    Zapins Silver

    Interesting sale. Multiple bridgeport knee j head mills for sale. Not sure if I could get one in usable shape. I don't know enough to be able to piece together what I need and I am concerned that it would cost 300 bucks per missing part to buy bits and pieces that are missing to fix one up. What do you think?

    They look in very good shape though and only 800 bucks is very cheap?
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
  2. DavidF

    DavidF Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

  3. Jason

    Jason Gold Banner Member

    800 is cheap if you can haul it ALL off. The chinese are knocking off stuff like handles etc. The most expensive wearable parts I've seen so far are the spindle bearings. ~250 so still not really hateful.
    I hate to say it, but even a pretty worn out bridgeport is better than no bridgeport. With shims on the gibs, you can get it plenty tight enough for the girls YOU go out with. If the location is within a couple hours of you zap, I'd make the drive.
  4. Jason is right, it'll do the job nicely until the perfect example comes along and the fact that you'd have one seems to speed up the process somehow.
  5. Jason

    Jason Gold Banner Member

    Yeah, you are not going to convert a clapped out machine to cnc... It'd cost you a fortune in ball screws. At least with one of these you can get your dick wet pretty cheap.:D
    I know the old girl I have has been given a rough life so I'm slapping some fresh parts on it and I'll see how it goes. One thing is for certain, if I ever sell my mill, I KNOW I'll make a few bucks off it.
    So far, the VFD and the DRO has arrived. Time for a parts order. I'm thinking new lead screw nuts, belts, that pin thingy for the collets, new oil tank and some shim stock. I'll fire it up and if she doesn't need much more tlc, I'll rip it down for paint and a good cleaning. I'm picking up an engine hoist now to move about the heavy parts.
    Photos soon and maybe even a video:eek:
  6. Melterskelter

    Melterskelter Silver

    Caution: they are listed as "project" machines. If a guy wanted to take one on for the fun of getting them back in running order whatever that takes (likely months to a year and who knows how much money), fine. But if you are interested using a machine to make parts for your foundry habit, I'd look around. On the East Coast there are a lot for machines for sale. Buy one that works and is in good condition with tooling. I love my Bridgeport, but I love it because it works and I do not have to screw around with it. I did not pay a lot of money for it either.

    Petee716 likes this.
  7. OMM

    OMM Silver Banner Member

    Dennis, isn’t everything a project??? Time wasted on anything has its pros and cons.

    most machines I would like to see running and feel before purchasing. but I am a little bit old school.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
  8. Petee716

    Petee716 Silver Banner Member

    I'd let it go. Logistics, space for a machine that doesn't or possibly will not work for the foreseeable future, time and expense to rebuild. The best running machines in the shop in their complete form don't usually get cannibalized, so it probably wasn't great to begin with and its a true basket case now. I'm with Denis on this one. Now that you're looking for one keep your eyes open. I ended up with a Clausing 8520 that came with a bit of tooling for $500 which turned out to be a perfect fit for me and my needs as a hobby caster. Granted there was some luck involved. It had one minor issue that was easily repaired.

  9. Al2O3

    Al2O3 Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    Totally agree with other's comments and would add by the time you transport it and bear the expense and time of placing it, the purchase price wont seem like such a bargain.

  10. DavidF

    DavidF Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    I still say pass...
    I've seen Bridgeport's with chromed ways sell for about $1600.0 .
    Better off spending a little more up front, then to get yourself into a months long project..
  11. Melterskelter

    Melterskelter Silver

    To add to the above. There is a very good chance that the absolutely essential feature of the mill needs repair—-the ways. It is one thing to buy new spindle bearings or a motor and change them out. There is some expense and not a lot of time involved in that. But, if the ways are worn, they need to be scraped or ground. The cost of having it done would be at least 3 times the advertised price or you learn how to scrape and align the ways and do it yourself. That would take at the very least a few months of concentrated effort. And then you still have lead screws, motors, bearings, wipers, oilers etc. Simply cleaning the grime off a machine makes for pretty pictures but does nothing for the function of the machine. As a person new to milling machines, it would be hard to assess a machine even if it is under power, but a basket case sitting abandoned for years should be considered an incomplete kit of parts from which a machine could be made given a ton of time and money.

    I’d be looking for some older guy who has had a machine in his basement that he has lovingly used and for which he has bought a bunch of nice tooling. He’ll proudly demonstrate how well it works and give you a few tips. Might cost 3 times as much (or very well not) but then you will know you have not gone down a year-long rabbit hole.

  12. The seller of those mills doesn't know much about them and just wants them gone, so would be open to a lower offer. They would be worth a visit with an expert to assess how complete/incomplete they are, from the photos it just looks like the motor off the head but is visible in the photo which I understand is a common problem for some models. So you could point this out to the seller, offer him $500 and get the motor tested and repaired as necessary. The machine is what it is: a cheap but working place holder until something better comes along to replace it, but still much better than the alternative: drills, hacksaw and files.

    Edit: They look like the ideal mill to be making beginner's mistakes on, before graduating to a better/expensive mill.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
    Jason likes this.
  13. OMM

    OMM Silver Banner Member

    Sure, it is a snipe for used parts. Industry has right offs. Anybody turning a profit is looking for new machines and more right offs. There is about a dozen guys working the scrap for profit before it hits the melting pot auction block.

    My wife’s cousin is part of an international ring of auction block scrappers. She’ll put 50,000 pounds of scrap in a sea container and put it on the auction block. She is one of my sources of small scrap.
  14. DavidF

    DavidF Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

  15. Jason

    Jason Gold Banner Member

    My only reservation about clones is parts. MOST bridgeport parts fit them fine. But with my luck it would be that one piece long outta production that would render me screwed.:(
    I do find it semi-facinating how well these clone makers copied the bridgeport. Lot's of parts to these puzzles...:eek:

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