View Full Version : Mill tooling rack for Bridgeport?

05-20-2006, 01:30 AM
I've got a Bridgeport that came with no tool holder (or tools) and has a DRO swung from a primitive beam mounted in the lift eye hole. Now I've got enough tools that storing (and finding) them is a problem, so I want a rack to keep the at hand, but larger and better designed than the typical Bpt rack bolted to the column.

So, I’m also gathering parts to make a pair of bi-fold arms, one for a tool/work lift, the other lighter arm for the DRO and a tool tray/rack. Current plan is to use inexpensive ball or taper bearings (automotive?) at the joints for easy smooth motion. It will probably be mounted in the currently unused aux mount so it can go forward, then back to fold out of the way. Or maybe short arm from lift eye (3/4” in this case) back to the rear, then forward so that things are accessible near the front even when folded? <shrug> That’s just a minor implementation details...

My main question is, do you guys have any good/great examples of tool trays? My current thought is a single level stray from something like 16ga with dimple die holes for a full set of collets plus another 8 to 10 R8s (boring head, arbors, shells, flys, etc.), a hand full of 3/4” (and maybe 1/2”?) for straight shank tooling, a selection of smaller holes for end mills or whatever. Maybe a kind of grid to support random smaller mills? And a simple lipped tray in front for hex-keys or other “unknowns”. Pretty heavy, but should be no problem for the support I have in mind, and it will pull up into a convenient position (think monitor stand swing arm) as needed, positioned right under (beside?) the DRO.

I also want to make a light (22ga?) lid to keep of dust/grime/swarf, probably bead rolled for stiffening. Or maybe the lid flips forward to become a tray? But that's no good for storing odd stuff like chuck spanners (ER for instance) or whatever. Or use a roller slide to glide out from under, though the shanks hanging down are going to limit the options there too, particularly for leaving stuff on it “stored”. Hmmm...


Better yet, pics (or descriptions if no pics available) of tooling tray/racks that you thought were well designed?

This is all part of an effort to better organize my shop and regain the space that was lost in the chos resulting from shor-horning in a lathe and a full size mill into a small shop (1 car detached garage) that was already packed from all my fabrication gear (cut, grind, weld, hammer to fit - paint to match fabrication). I've GOT to get some of that toolig out of my boxes and off the shelfs, I can't find anything when I need it...

Thanks for ANY suggestions you may have. This will probably be the next project after my current complet reorg and the file storage discussed in another thread (with any luck, by the first of the week).

05-20-2006, 01:34 AM
Oh, and here (http://www.chaski.org/homemachinist/viewtopic.php?t=74650) is a link to another forum where I asked this question. There are some pics uploaded there (can't load attachments here) that show some approaches similar to what I envision. Since I recently registered here too, I figured I would see what you guys thought too...

05-20-2006, 05:44 AM
Fix the link.

05-20-2006, 03:24 PM
Oops, sorry. Link fixed...

Alistair Hosie
05-20-2006, 03:43 PM
Fix the link.

Now now wolfie it's "please fix the link":D remember your now the tame wolf:D so count to ten before answerring.Your pal Big Al :D Alistair

Errol Groff
05-20-2006, 04:46 PM
Take a look here: http://neme-s.org/Rollie_2003/1.htm Rollie Gaucher's shop has quite a number of good tool storage ideas.

Errol Groff

05-20-2006, 06:40 PM

05-20-2006, 06:41 PM

05-20-2006, 07:01 PM
I've got a Bridgeport that ... has a DRO swung from a primitive beam mounted in the lift eye hole.
That's the standard mounting method for DRO support arms.

05-21-2006, 01:32 PM
That's the standard mounting method for DRO support arms.
Mine is just an unpainted piece of 1x2 square tube bolted on top with long bolt and a 2" stack of washers to take up the extra bolt. A similar bolt and washer stack mounts the DRO display. Hence, "primitive". There are many others with nice arms of die bent tube and such, stamped plates for the mounts on both ends, some using the top bolt, others bolted to the column side, and so on.

And I'm not ragging on it, it works just fine. But I wanted to encorporate the tool holder rack, which requires a rework...