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plasmapony
03-29-2005, 09:25 PM
hello,
i have the opportunity to acquire a bridgeport mill, possibly for free. it needs a motor and possibly some other work. i'm not a machinist by trade, so i'm not thouroughly familiar with mills, however, i do know that it's a desirable piece of equipment to have in one's shop. what i'd like to know is what exactly i'm looking at. the machine has a large table at about waist height,and the the only identification i'm able to find on it, other than the name is the model number 148933, stamped onto a plate mounted to an access door on the left side. can anyone help? thanks in advance.

hoffman
03-29-2005, 09:45 PM
Welcome! Just some advice that's worth what you paid for it http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif I don't have much $$ so I acquire machines that need work. Often during teardown you'll find some surprises that can be really frustrating and can be more work than you bargained for and if you don't have any machine tools it can get expensive. Fortunately Bridgeports have butt loads of parts available on ebay but replacing a bunch of parts can get expensive in a hurry. Milling machines are also HEAVY so moving one can be quite an adventure in itself. I'd have a friend who's familiar with mills check it out before dragging it home. We'd hate to see you go to the trouble of moving something as big as a bridgeport only to find out it's a complete turd.
All my machines are turds... Sometimes a turd in hand is better than a turd under the bush though http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif

------------------
Hoffman in Warner Robins Ga

ARFF79
03-29-2005, 10:16 PM
Plasmaphony, I see that you are near me, I will gladly take that dog off your friends' hands as we don't want to see anyone get hurt with a piece of in-opperable machinery. I mean if I can drive to Warminster from mushroom county to pick up a Millrite Doylestown isn't much further for a Bridgeport.

precisionworks
03-29-2005, 10:16 PM
You may want to phone Bridgeport at 203-929-5570, and have the serial # ready. They'll be able to tell you when it was made & perhaps some other info about it.

They have a website but it's not really helpful unless you're looking for a $100,000 CNC vertical machining center: www.bpt.com (http://www.bpt.com)

Hoff has a good point. Try to find out why this Bport is cheap/free. They routinely sell for $1,000 - $4,000, depending.

------------------
Barry Milton

plasmapony
03-29-2005, 10:22 PM
thanks for the advice :} your reasoning is identical to mine. the last time i used a bridgeport mill was in in my high school shop class some 30+ years ago. i know what they can do, and that's why i've always wanted one, but probably like you could never afford one. i consider this to be one of those "opportunities of a lifetime" that seems too good to be true. i haven't been able to speak with the machinist who uses it; mind you i'm getting this information second hand from my brother-but according to him, they were using the machine and stopped because he thought he heard them say it needed to be "aliigned." so, they removed the motor. so at least i know it operates. at the very least i'd be out the expense for moving it and the replacement motor, but again, it seems too goodto be true. excuse me for being solong winded, but i'm pretty damned excited about it. now, what i really want to know is can someone tell me what kind of a mill this is; i.e. bridge, knee, etc. just from the model number. unfortunately i don't know anyone who is familiar with mills. thanks again

3 Phase Lightbulb
03-29-2005, 10:55 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by plasmapony:
thanks for the advice :} your reasoning is identical to mine. the last time i used a bridgeport mill was in in my high school shop class some 30+ years ago. i know what they can do, and that's why i've always wanted one, but probably like you could never afford one. i consider this to be one of those "opportunities of a lifetime" that seems too good to be true. i haven't been able to speak with the machinist who uses it; mind you i'm getting this information second hand from my brother-but according to him, they were using the machine and stopped because he thought he heard them say it needed to be "aliigned." so, they removed the motor. so at least i know it operates. at the very least i'd be out the expense for moving it and the replacement motor, but again, it seems too goodto be true. excuse me for being solong winded, but i'm pretty damned excited about it. now, what i really want to know is can someone tell me what kind of a mill this is; i.e. bridge, knee, etc. just from the model number. unfortunately i don't know anyone who is familiar with mills. thanks again</font>

I would get the bridgeport regardless of the condition unless it's extreamly weathered.. A bridgeport in terrible condition is still probably better than a good drill press.. On the East coast, you can buy a working bridgeport for around $1500. I've seen bridgeports without heads go for $400. If you find a bridgeport with a good head, you can swap heads, rams, and bases.

We have a bunch of Bridgeport manuals that you might want to browse through or even bring along with you if you plan to go see the mill.. Here are all of the Bridgeport manuals we have:

http://www.bbssystem.com/viewtopic.php?t=62

-3Ph

lklb
03-29-2005, 11:00 PM
BRIDGEPORT MILLING MACHINE
"J" HEAD SERIAL NUMBERS


The serial number is on the knee of the machine It can be obscured by the chip shield.
Date Start S/N End S/N
1938 BH-1 THRU BH-39 Round ram
1939 BH-40 THRU BH-252
1940 BH-253 THRU BH-656
1941 BH-657 THRU BH-1549
1942 BH-1550 THRU BH-2943
1943 BH-2044 THRU BH-4105
1944 BH-4106 THRU BH-4997
1945 BH-4998 THRU BH-5930
1946 BH-5931 THRU BH-5931
1947 BH-7236 THRU BH-8814
1948 BH-8815 THRU BH-10381
1949 BH-10382 THRU BH-11378
1950 BH-11379 THRU BH-11379
1951 BH-12751 THRU BH-14489
1952 BH-14490 THRU BH-16700
1953 BH-16701 THRU BH-19367
1954 BH-19368 THRU BH-22732
1955 BH-22733 THRU BH-26962
1956 BR-26963 THRU BR-31618 Start of V ram
1957 BR-31619 THRU BR-37278
1958 BR-37279 THRU BR-42110
1959 BR-42111 THRU BR-46938
1960 BR-46939 THRU BR-52598
1961 BR-52599 THRU BR-58552
1962 BR-58553 THRU BR-64987
1963 BR-64988 THRU BR-71981
1964 BR-71982 THRU BR-79538
1965 BR-75939 THRU BR-88180
1966 BR-88181 THRU BR-98089
1967 BR-98090 THRU BR-108351
1968 BR-108352 THRU BR-118640
1969 BR-118641 THRU BR-131778
1970 BR-131779 THRU BR-138139
1971 BR-138640 THRU BR-143350
1972 BR-143351 THRU BR-149294
1973 BR-149295 THRU BR-157909
1974 BR-157910 THRU BR-167652
1975 BR-167653 THRU BR-174083
1976 BR-174084 THRU BR-180697
1977 BR-180698 THRU BR-188559
1978 BR-188560 THRU BR-196987
1979 BR-196988 THRU BR-206296
1980 BR-206297 THRU BR-216473
1981 BR-216474 THRU BR-227523
1982 BR-227524 THRU BR-231700
1983 BR-231701 THRU BR-235985
1984 BR-235986 THRU BR-241350
1985 BR-241351 THRU BR-245659
1986 BR-246660 THRU BR-248551
1987 BR-248552 THRU BR-250531
1988 BR-250532 THRU BR-252874
1989 BR-252875 THRU BR-255463
1990 BR-255464 THRU BR-257888
1991 BR-257889 THRU BR-259897
1992 BR-257898 THRU BR-262188
1993 BR-262189 THRU BP-264586
1994 BR-264587 THRU BR-267635
1995 BR-264587 THRU


Looks like a 1972 Jhead..... Bring it home..Clean it, use it for a while, then you will know what you need to do.....Play and have Fun. LK

PaulA
03-29-2005, 11:03 PM
Bridgeports aren't all that heavy, as machine tools go, but it can be challenging to move them if you're not used to moving big chunks of iron around.

The price is right; it's probably worth $150 in scrap price alone right now. If they stopped using it, there's likely a lot of wear on the ways and/or screws. Is it usable like that? Well yes, but it depends on what you're going to do with it. Sticking to 0.001 tolerance might be pretty challenging,

There are a couple of common variations. The early Bridgeports had a round ram, the later ones used a dovetail ram. Some early ones used an M head while all the later ones (50s or so) used a J head. The early J heads had a pulley speed change, then they came up with a veriable speed head. I like the pulley heads; there's less to go wrong and you can always add a VFD if you want the varispeed option.

They fit nicely into a garage.

Be warned though, if you get this one, it probably won't be your last machine tool/

vinito
03-29-2005, 11:19 PM
"it probably won't be your last machine tool"

Paul beat me to it.
It's not the cost of getting the mill running that breaks you, it's the five other machines and their respective tooling you buy next.

"Hey kid. Wanna try this machine out?
The first one's free."

Seriously, sounds like it might be worth it. HSM's spend their "free time" working on machines. Time costs a shop money, so their trash might be worth more to you. It would be good to have a knowledgable friend in tow when you go to look at it. Even better if that friend has a trailer too http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

plasmapony
03-31-2005, 04:35 PM
well, i got the machine! the guy is willing to give it to me, for free, motor included, which he was going to keep as a spare for his other mill. now, my only problem is: how do i move this behemoth?

debequem
03-31-2005, 05:01 PM
I had mine moved on a trailer that was towed by a pickup truck. The trailer that we rented could be lowered to the ground electrically. Once the trailer was lowered it was only about a 1" drop to the ground.

We rolled it off placing 1" iron water pipes under the base and into my garage.

Later we dismantled it and carted the peices into my house and down the basement steps. Took three hours to dismantle, move, and reassemble the mill.

In both instances we had a total of three people working together.

Check with your local rental companies and see if you can locate a trailer like I discribed. It lowers flat to the ground and does not tilt. It is a very easy move.

Just plan things out and go slow.

You lucky dog!

Marv

lklb
03-31-2005, 05:23 PM
Click on Enco move 1-5 to see a guy moving a mill by himself..............

lklb
03-31-2005, 05:23 PM
Click on Enco move 1-5 to see a guy moving a mill by himself..............


http://www.metalworking.com/dropbox/

[This message has been edited by lklb (edited 03-31-2005).]

lynnl
03-31-2005, 05:30 PM
I moved mine (B'port and leblond) on a dual-axle trailer lent to me by the seller. Paid auto wrecker/tow truck about 40 or $50 on each end to load/unload on/off the trailer.

Once home with 'em the tow truck operator was able to kind of 'swing' them into my garage for me. Pipe roller movement from that point was easy.

John Stevenson
03-31-2005, 05:38 PM
Have a read of this post from a while ago.

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//Forum1/HTML/002513.html

John s.

plasmapony
03-31-2005, 07:18 PM
you guys are awesome! thanks for all your help and advice.

Wirecutter
03-31-2005, 09:04 PM
Well, me too, as they say. I have a '77 J-head Bridgeport that I moved into my basement with one helper. We used a pallet mule, pieces of 4x4, plywood, and a homemade ramp to get it off of the rental truck. I drove from VA to NH to get it, where it was loaded with a forklift.
When I backed the rental up to my driveway, my neighbor asked what I had and whether I knew how I was going to get it off the truck. "It's a Bridgeport vertical mill" and "no" were the answers. Off to Home Depot for a lot of heavy wood, and 2 hrs later had a sturdy ramp. Rolled it off with the pallet jack, with a friend and a stout rope helping to keep it from "getting away". It sat in the garage for a couple of weeks, but I finally bit the bullet and rented a big truck with a lift gate. The hardest part was removing the table by myself and walking it down to the basement. Got the mill on the gate and drove the truck around back. Set her down next to the patio door, and gradually stepped it up and in the patio door. Lots of sweat, but no damage or injury. Total moving time: about 3 hours. If I ever sell this place, the mill will convey with the property.

-M


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Whether it's broken or not, I can probably fix it - if by "fix it" you mean "make it different than it was"

andy_b
03-31-2005, 10:39 PM
plasma,

i've moved a lot of heavy iron lately and i use the same method Marv did. buy 4 or 5 pieces of 4' 1" black pipe at the local home center. have a few nylon ratchet straps (or a 1 ton come-a-long) handy. rent a drop-deck trailer (a 4000# one should do).

here's a few tips. when you load the mill on the trailer, put it on pieces of 2x4 or 2x6 for the trip home. 1" black pipe just fits under the machine when supported on 2x boards. when unloading the machine, sweep the floor up in front of where you will be rolling it. even small pieces of debris will stop the pipes from rolling. keep a strap on the machine so it can only move a foot at a time. it takes a bit longer to move it this way, but at least it won't go rolling over your fingers and toes or through a wall.

andy b.

PaulA
04-01-2005, 12:58 AM
I managed to snag a Bridgeport base minus head from my favorite scrapyard last year. I just had them fork it into my pickup, lowered the knee and tied it down. Not the greatest way to carry it, although it was tied to the frame with ratchet straps, under extreme stress (like an accident) I was worried the box would collapse. That's a GM 3500 dually, don't try that with a light pickup, 1200 pounds in the bed just makes it drive better. With the head it would have been more problematic because of the higher CG.

I moved another mill on a flatbed trailer. Tied down front, back and side to side. Moved that one 300 miles. Ratchet straps are your friend, but be sure to pad them with pieces of carpet or cardboard where they rub against anything. More straps are better than not enough. Chains are good too, but be sure to use good chain.

Ideally, you want the load secured so that if the trailer tips the load stays stuck. That means side to side restraint, not just front and back.

Saw a guy towing a backhoe who lost it going around a corner and had the trailer flip. The backhoe stayed stuck. That's the way to secure a load.

I've used tow trucks to unload equipment. When you call them, be sure you explain what you want to do, some of the newer trucks don't have the boom reach to unload stuff.

Don't assume the tow guy knows everything about moving equipment. I had a tow truck offload a 3000 pound lathe and the strap slipped right before it got into the garage. It only dropped 6 inches, but it made an impressive noise. No damage, but they had it ten feet in the air 10 minutes earlier.

Mills are kind of tippy, so lower the knee and rotate the head to keep the center of gravity as low as possible. Bridgeports should have a threaded hole in the ram for a lifting eye (if you do this, be sure to use an industrial quality eye, not one from your local hardware store). That makes it easy to pick up, or use a strap under the ram. It's a lot easier to control when suspended from the top. If you use a forklift to pick it up from the bottom, be sure to use a strap to keep it from rolling off the forks. Don't listen to the forklift operator tell you it's not necessary. I got a good deal on a lathe project that had been rolled off of a forklift driven by a "pro".

As machines go, it's not all that heavy, but from a human viewpoint it is. The knee is around 400 pounds, the table is 250, the base casting is around 750 and the head is around 250 or so. Be careful moving it around and never ever put any part of your body between a suspended mass and the ground. Try to anticipate where trouble might happen and stay out of the way. When things go wrong, they tend to do so quickly and bodies are not much of an impediment to that.

One of the hardest lessons to learn in moving machinery is the futility of trying to do something when things go bad. It is instinctive, but reaching out will not stop 1800 pounds of iron from falling over. It can get you seriously injured or killed. Plan ahead, think about what you are doing and take it slow. Oh yeah, once it's in, have fun!

plasmapony
04-14-2005, 09:25 PM
hi guys, thanx again for all your advice and information. in case anyone was wondering how i made out, i found a guy who has a rollback and a regular tow truck. we set the mill on the rollback with a forklift, then when we got to my shop we just put the winch on it and he tilted the bed back. she slid down right in front of the shop door. he came back the next day with his wrecker and just picked it up with a sling (yes, i remembered to torque the ram bolts before lifting), set it down on some 1" pipe and she rolled right in to the shop like butter. now i have before me the task of making her right. thanx once again to all who replied.
ben

Paul Cataldo
04-14-2005, 10:31 PM
Hey fellas,
I'm about to be in the same boat here.
I may be acquiring an old round ram BP for a very low price, along w/ an Atlas 10" lathe. BP's head will not tram properly. It has .005 difference from back of table to front. (I think the back of table is lower than front.) Owner says the knee is worn.
The BP comes with it's own phase converter too.
I heard the BP's ram can be rotated somehow, to compensate for this problem??? Anyone care to comment on this?
Please keep in mind this is my first mill, so I don't know all about them. I just know how to do basic milling on them. I don't know the machines in and out, if you know what I mean.
Just thought I'd share. This is going to be a good first experience for me, and if nothing else, I can do all kind so of neat home projects on the mill and lathe, that were previously impossible to do.
Just thought I'd ask you fellas, and see if I can learn something....

bob_s
04-15-2005, 10:23 PM
Paul:

Check out

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bridgeport_mill/

the guys here apparently eat sleep and dream bridgeport grey.

regards
bob

lklb
04-16-2005, 10:38 AM
Paul,
Chech out this guy's old round ram machine. A lot of work !!! Pretty nice stuff.

http://home.att.net/~kayfisher/private/workshop/bp.html


Other B'port stuff

http://bridgeport.rubberdinosaurs.com/bridgeportlit.htm

http://www.frugalmachinist.com/bp1j.html

[This message has been edited by lklb (edited 04-16-2005).]

SplineDown
04-16-2005, 12:33 PM
Hello,
been a long time lurker. and decided to chime in on this one. As far as moving the mill. Take a look at this page.
http://truetex.com/movebpt.htm
I have moved several vertical mills using this method and it works great.

On another note. I have a BP clone that had less than 50 hours on it that I got for free. All I had to do was move it. It can from an older lady from down the street. Her husband died about a year after buying it and it had sat there ever since. about 4 to 5 years after his death she got tired of all the machine tools in her garage so she started to sell them. all of them sold 'cept the mill. Wish I had of know about this before had, 'cause she sold his 9x36 SB lathe with all the tooling for $350.

I have the above mentioned mill (the only marking on it is A Select Machine Tool tag and is is an exact clone of a BP series 1.) and a Myre's
10x72 Lathe. I paid $200 for the lathe and replaced the bearing bushings and it does nice work. The lathe was built in the late 1890's. that about all I know about it. if any one here knows any thing about either one of the machines please let me know about it.

Thanks,
Jody

[This message has been edited by SplineDown (edited 04-16-2005).]