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View Full Version : Bridgeport repair costs???



Rookie machinist
08-16-2007, 11:38 PM
Just wondering if anybody has had their ways rescraped and the table refinished? I am thinking of having mine redone if the cost are not too high. I plan on having this machine for a long time and would like to get it in "like new" condition. Hopefully forest addy will chime in on this one.

mochinist
08-17-2007, 12:35 AM
Well I'm no Forest Addy, but it would be around $3000 base price unless the mill needed a lot of replacement part or head work here in AZ.

Forrest Addy
08-17-2007, 01:24 AM
Well I am Forrest Addy (which with a couple bucks will get you a cuppa.) My best guess for you to have a qualified rebuild shop restore your old Bridgeport to like new performance, accuracy, and longevity will cost from $3000 for a re-scrape of a machine in mild wear to $9000 to restore a worn out, used up, machine where all the parts are present. Add for missing parts.

What you first need is a survey where the actual condition of the machine including its way bearing and spindle wear and error are quantified, the condition is assessed, and a list of work is prepared for an estimate.

This first step is crucial. If you don't distinguish the worn items that need repair/reconditioning from the items you could probably live with it could cost you a ton of money you may not need to spend.

Generally the tip-over from repair to replace is about 2/3. If a new replacement machine costs $7,000 and your estimate from the rebuilder is $5000 buy the replacement and sell off the Bridgeport. It's that simple.

There is nothing magical about a Bridgeport. There are many turret mills (that's the generic type of which Bridgeport is but an example) on the market that are equal or even superior given like condition. A better quality Asian import is superior to a worn-out Bridgeport merely because the one is new and the other is used up.

If you treasure your particular machine and it's in good basic condition then a good re-scrape may be all it takes to make it a life time partner in your home shop.

But the first step is to conduct the survey of the machine's total condition and the subsequent assessment. Without that you are only guessing.

wierdscience
08-17-2007, 01:26 AM
What Mo said,scraping and re-building small lathes and mills makes the price of a quality import look better.

cijuanni
08-17-2007, 02:34 AM
I picked up a worn and complete BP j head for free and considered rebuilding it.

I am in Phoenix, there is not an abundance or machine rebuilders here. So I looked as far as LA, Oakland,CA and Salt Lake.

Estimates for scraping the column, saddle, table and a table regrind ranged from $4000 to $8000. $5000 seemed to be the average price.
Most wanted to use Turcite in the rebuilding. That wasn't a plus to me.

New lead screws, nuts, bearings for the bottom end probally another $400-$500.

I have rebuilt the heads before. Scoring some of the more expensive parts off ebay, (can't be in a hurry) about $500 including a spindle regrind.

If I was going though all of that I also would do a great paint job with quality 2 part paint.

All totaled about $6500 plus the cost of the machine. Plus any shipping.
I have a BP clone (Atrump) in excellent condition with Newall DRO and table feed. A bargain, I payed $1700 for it.
I couldn't justify rebuilding the BP.

After kicking it around for a couple of months I stripped off all the valuable parts, about $600 worth and sold the carcass at the scrapyard for $85.

Sad.

BadDog
08-17-2007, 02:47 AM
In Phoenix eh? Happen to still have the table?

cijuanni
08-17-2007, 10:35 AM
In Phoenix eh? Happen to still have the table?

Yes. 42".
One of the reasons I considered rebuilding it was the table had no holes and few marks.
I believe it would clean up to 99% when ground.

mochinist
08-17-2007, 01:15 PM
I picked up a worn and complete BP j head for free and considered rebuilding it.

I am in Phoenix, there is not an abundance or machine rebuilders here. So I looked as far as LA, Oakland,CA and Salt Lake.

Estimates for scraping the column, saddle, table and a table regrind ranged from $4000 to $8000. $5000 seemed to be the average price.
Most wanted to use Turcite in the rebuilding. That wasn't a plus to me.

New lead screws, nuts, bearings for the bottom end probally another $400-$500.

I have rebuilt the heads before. Scoring some of the more expensive parts off ebay, (can't be in a hurry) about $500 including a spindle regrind.

If I was going though all of that I also would do a great paint job with quality 2 part paint.

All totaled about $6500 plus the cost of the machine. Plus any shipping.
I have a BP clone (Atrump) in excellent condition with Newall DRO and table feed. A bargain, I payed $1700 for it.
I couldn't justify rebuilding the BP.

After kicking it around for a couple of months I stripped off all the valuable parts, about $600 worth and sold the carcass at the scrapyard for $85.

Sad.My company specializes in restoring bridgeports to better than new conditions and is here in Tempe Az, we also work on most other machines as far as mechanical and electrical repairs. Restoring a Bridgeport is not cheap and with the clones getting better in quality it is hard to justify doing nowadays.

Atrump with table feed and a newall is absolutely a bargain, nice find.

BadDog
08-17-2007, 01:47 PM
My table is a bit chewed up due to some moron with a drill and no concept of stand-off/parallel use. How hard/expensive is fitting a new table? I'm guessing the minimum is a regrind/scrape of the table ways? Probably not worth it, particularly since my table is still perfectly functional, but it bugs me every time I stand in front of it... <sigh> I'll probably just plug the worst of the holes someday.

Rookie machinist
08-17-2007, 06:57 PM
Thanks for the help guys was only planing on spending $2000. Think I'll keep my machine the way it is. The wear is not bad enough to justify 3 to 5k. I would by a new import if I was going to spend that much.

pcarpenter
08-17-2007, 09:26 PM
Plan B if you are skilled and patient could include learning to do rescraping work. It includes far more than the actual scraping technique. Learning to reference one bearing surface to another and learing to figure out ways to gauge your work are critical. For me it has meant a sudden slow down in work on my mill. I stalled out for well over a year while I found a straightedge (and scraped it in) and large surface plate and some other pieces and got started on the actual scraping work with limited time available.

I was blessed to find an experienced machinery mechanic with many years scraping experience to mentor me. So much of machine rebuilding cannot come from a book. To top it off, he refused to charge me for his time. He knew I was on a budget and that I had spent most of it just to get the mill in the first place. For me, with the acquisition of some other old machines since the mill, having an understanding of machine archetecture and some rebuilding skills should pay off beyond the initial machine. It seems to me that the folks most interested in this are those who already have a machine that needs work. I don't know that seeking one out that needs work, would otherwise be a good idea as the others have pointed out. You have to get a real bargain on a machine for a "handyman special" to make sense. I think I am making a hobby of restoring old tools. If you don't want that, forget it.

Its a can of worms, and perhaps I should not have opened it, as Forrest will, I am sure, attest. Its not a game, but for those of us with limted budgets and an eye for detail who get a lot of satisfaction out of the sense of independence derived from being able to repair our own tools, I think it can be worthwhile...at least it was for me.

Paul

Rookie machinist
08-17-2007, 10:02 PM
I thought about rescraping it myself, but after reading several post by Forrest and others, I decided not to. I don't want to take a machine that operates good for my uses and turn it into scrap metal.