View Full Version : How to evaluate Bridgeport without power?

04-26-2003, 12:58 PM
Hi Guys,
How do you best evaluate the condition of a Bridgeport head without the unit being under power? I'm going to a couple of auctions next month to look for a machine and I know power won't be available. The ways and leadscrew are fairly easy to check out, but the head? The machines are all varispeed models.

Paul Gauthier
04-26-2003, 04:38 PM
Grab the rotating portion of the spindle and attempt to rotate it back and forth. There should be very little if any movement before you feel the tension of the belt. If there is a lot of movement and a clacking noise the head may need some work and may be noisy when running.

Thats all I got.

Paul G.

04-26-2003, 05:53 PM
Frequently the owner, or an employee is available. If that is the case, grab him by the neck and shake vigorously back and forth until he reveals any problems with the machine. This method works with lathes and other mnachinery as well.

04-26-2003, 07:37 PM
Make them guarantee? at least a promise of parts reimbursement. Shine it on or take a risk otherwise.

Funny note, after remodeling my bridgeport I kept tripping out the head, then I noticed it had a pnuematic brake, on of course.

04-26-2003, 07:38 PM
Unfortunately these are big bankrupt company public auctions with 200 or so people there. I'm lucky if I can spend two hours there because of work. Finding an employee of the defunct company is impossible. I'm beginning to hate these auctions (been to two) because that rotund guy "reliableendmill" from ebay is there every time with a bunch of his gofers, they buy everything that's good and sell it on ebay the next day! They don't have to worry about 8.25% sales tax or a $600 riggers fee to get the machine home (you typically have 48hrs to move it or else!) so the guy who wants a machine for home is at a huge disadvantage.

04-26-2003, 08:05 PM
I know what you mean Kenc. Couple of years ago a local surplus disposal auction here had what was billed as about 15,000 lbs of aluminum (acft) that McDonall Douglas was disposing of. Much of it was huge plate (up to about 15 or 16" thick, and up to 8 or 10' long, etc.. But it was divided into lots and also had lots of pcs that folks like us, and local small shops could use. Generated a lot of interest and bidding. But a local steel/salvage/recycling Co. bought it all as one lot. They kept it just 2 or 3 weeks to sell at $2/lb to people like me. Then disposed of all of it as scrap! (at probably .50 to .60/lb) I couldn't understand that. They had plenty of space in their yard to keep it.

The Co. driver who picked it up to haul to their yard told me it was actually closer to 40,000 lbs.