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View Full Version : Need opinion on rebuild Bridgeport



AlexK
12-08-2009, 11:55 AM
Guys,

please look at this beauty.
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/tls/1494000839.html
The guy who sells this BP buys and restores mills regularly. He sells them anywhere from 5K to 8K.


Unfortunately right now a mill is not in my budged :(
Anyway I wanted to get your opinion on how this(or similar) restored BP for 5-6K compares to new Asian mills?

Thanks,
Alex

mechanicalmagic
12-08-2009, 12:43 PM
If you haven't seen the machine in person, it's worth the drive. Don does Concours type restorations. He has the capability to regrind the tables, and does a full strip to castings, re-fill the pits and re-paint. About the only way to tell it's not a new machine is the paint on the edge of the labels. If you fire it up, you will notice no vibration, because he also balances the motor. Absolute top quality workmanship.

I wish he had been doing restorations when I bought my Taiwan clone 10 years ago. If the price is out of your range, go look at the blue Hurco knee mill, out of focus behind the Bridgeport on the left. IIRC it's about half the price of the BP. Last time I dropped by he had several machines restored, at various prices.

Note: his language is not safe for kids, he takes a nap in the afternoon. I cannot claim to be a friend, just an awestruck admirer of his work.

To your question, there is no way I would consider a Chinese mill, after seeing his work.

motorcyclemac
12-08-2009, 01:53 PM
That machine looks EXACTLY like my BP. I was thinking about an import mill but ended up buying a BP from a fellow who advertised it on machinetools.com.

I had a chance to try out a friends Grizzly BP copy before buying my genuine BP and it wasn't really as nice. My BP is a 1977 model and has NOT been restored like that one on Craigslist. Now that is my point..mine is still smooth, powerful, and everything works just like it should.

I paid $4000 for my gently used BP.. The price he is asking for a nicely restored mill is very reasonable. There is no way I would buy a Chicom with a BP available for that money.

I had used a BP for years prior to thinking about buying a Chicom mill that would have cost me $4800 or so. My brother talked me back to my senses and insisted I at least look for a good used BP. I am glad I did. It is a helluva machine.

Cheers
Mac.

mochinist
12-08-2009, 02:57 PM
Anyway I wanted to get your opinion on how this(or similar) restored BP for 5-6K compares to new Asian mills?
Professional opinion, buy the Asian clone and throw it away when it is wore out and buy another, because a properly rebuilt Bridgeport in the states will cost you twice what a new Asian mill will and when it wears out, the rebuild is gonna cost you more than a new Asian mill will brand new.

Ok this is a home shop site, screw my professional opinion.:D I have Bridgeports and one clone made by Comet. The Comet is as good as the Bridgeport as far as I can tell, and has always been a quieter machine than the Bridgeports. If I was looking for a machine for home, I would probably buy a new Asian. I guess it would also depend on what you are hoping to do, are you going to be making really precise parts or is the machine going to be used more for fabricating, drilling holes etc, where some machine wear might not effect you much. In the latter case a old Bridgeport or old clone might be the way to go.


If anyone goes to look at it check if he just ground the table top for cosmetics or if he also did the bottom and then rescraped it, if not I would stay away from it. The bottom ways and dovetails should be ground and rescraped whenever grinding the tabletop.


There is also probably a dozen or more threads on this forum alone on how to properly check a machine to see if its ways are worn out, anyone looking should familiarize themselves with how to do it, so they are ready when a good deal(or what seems like a good deal) comes up

sidneyt
12-08-2009, 04:17 PM
Compare this:

http://www.penntoolco.com/catalog/products/products.cfm?categoryID=7257

http://www.jinpu-usa.com/aboutus.html

Black_Moons
12-08-2009, 06:18 PM
Given someone of limited budget as the typical HSM is, id really recommend a chinese mill like the IH. it has more then enough capacity for most HSM tasks. Now if you had $6000 floating in your pocket with nothing better to do, sure the restored bridgeports are likey awsome quality, much better then the $2000 IH, But I don't think its exactly worth the extra $4000 unless you really have a lot of money to burn (ie like $2000 disposable income a month)

lane
12-08-2009, 06:32 PM
Buy what you can afford . For Home Shop use I makes no difference. You will not ware any of them out. I sold a very nice BP to get a NEW clone a 9 x 42 Birmingham. Just because I wanted a New mill. New is always better than old.

duckman
12-08-2009, 07:59 PM
For what its worth get a belt change model , a VFD and never have to worry about bushings wearing out or expensive variable speed belt wearing out . I lucked out and got a variable speed Bport for free just needed $300.00 worth of parts it was from a Co. that I was doing a lot of work for , and they said it was in the way take it or it goes in the dumpster so it followed me to my shop . JMHO :D