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J.Hayes
03-31-2011, 09:56 AM
I'd like to get a vertical mill for the garage. A Bridgeport would be awesome but heavy. Can anybody tell me the differences between a Bridgeport and the other knee mills like Index and so on?

Any suggestions on a smaller mill, maybe an import? This is a hobby and at this point .

Anybody know of any for sale near Madison Wisconsin?

Thanks
Jeremy

Dr Stan
03-31-2011, 10:07 AM
The typical garage floor can easily support a Bridgeport mill. As to an Index it too is a good mill as are several other US and European machines such as Lagun.

In general I advise people to stay away from Asian machines, especially those from mainland China as I had a very bad experience with Jet machine tools. Others will disagree with me.

For local machines check Craig's List, Ebay, and the local estate sales. Since you are new to the trade I suggest you take an experienced machinist or tool maker with you to evaluate the machines.

uncle pete
03-31-2011, 10:30 AM
Jeremy,
They also make about a 3/4 sized copy of a Bridgeport. Mine is built by Bemato in Taiwan. It weighs around 1100 lbs. For a used machine I'd stay away from a variable speed type as the internals can have problems even with a used real Bridgeport. Your better off with a 220v 3 phase motor and VFD anyway. If your planning on doing any boring then look for one with a 3 speed power downfeed on the spindle too.

Pete

Jim2
03-31-2011, 12:03 PM
I've had a ZAY7045 from Lathemaster for about 5 years now. Considering how much use it has gotten in that time, it has given me plenty of trouble. I have regretted buying it a couple of times.

That said, I think I've got the bugs worked out of it. I understand its capabilities, and it really does do everything that I want/need. If you think about buying this type of machine, you're welcome to come by and have a look at mine before you buy. I'm south of Madison between Verona and New Glarus.

Jim

justanengineer
03-31-2011, 12:58 PM
I think you should reconsider a few factors before discounting a Bridgeport or other mill. Rigidity, ease of operation, and quality of finish comes with size. A Bridgeport sized mill is easy enough to move given a few proper tools. Id recommend a pallet jack and simply placing it on a skid or using an engine crane. Usually theres just a few nuts/bolts to undo (4 on mine) and everything from the turret up comes off the machine to make major moves a breeze. Personally I highly recommend Index mills in their various forms and owners, but many of them are larger than even a Bridgeport. With imports you dont get what you pay for. As for myself, I prefer to pay low prices and spend a few hours setting a machine right rather than paying big bucks, spending time to set a machine right, and then fighting with it to get stuff done. Dont get me wrong, many on here do nice work with tiny tools, but I think the ease of use and learning curve are much better to deal with on real machines. For me, another big point is resale. If youre not concerned much about resale value, then buy an import or Bridgeport clone. If you want a tool that will typically increase in value (assuming you dont abuse it and bought it at a semi fair price to begin with) buy a Bridgeport. The value is in the name, just like SB lathes, JD tractors etc etc.

If youre willing to come down to Chicago, I bet Bob still has that Cincinnati for dirt cheap (<$500 I believe)

J.Hayes
03-31-2011, 01:03 PM
Dirk,
Waterloo Wisconsin, 20 minutes east of Madison.

What would a regrind approximately cost? There's an Index south of Milwaukee.

Jim,
What troubles did you have with your lathemastet?

Round ram or dovetail, which is better and why?

Jeremy

J.Hayes
03-31-2011, 01:53 PM
Justanengineer,

I think I called Bob and it sounded like he Just had a couple drill presses left. Chicago isn't to far, I just hate the traffic. I drove 5 hours one way for a Sheldon lathe.
All the Cincinnati mills I've seen have been huge. A Bridgeport sized mill is probably all I can fit, for some reason my wife wants to PARK in the garage, silly, I know. I do think I will stay away from the small import stuff. The more ridged the better. You can always do small stuff on a bigger machine but its hard to do large stuff on a small one.

Jim2
03-31-2011, 02:19 PM
Jim,
What troubles did you have with your lathemastet?


Well, the usual stuff of course--broken x-axis locks, and locks for the head. I made my own replacements.

Then the motor went out twice about a year apart. I replaced (actually I had paid someone else to replace) the switch with a 'merican drum switch the first time. The next time problems were inside the motor. I'm not sure of the details now, but I think it was the starting switch that basically disintegrated and took out the bearings? Anyway I've paid for a "good" motor a couple of times and all I have is the Chinese one it came with. . . .

I've never really used anything else, so I can't say if it's as solid as a Bridgeport or whatever. I don't really use it all that much, though I've never regretted it being as large as it is. Here's a picture from when I cut some slots to mount a DRO in the tailstock for my 15" Leblond.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v280/jasch/Leblond/Tailstock/MachiningSetup-01.jpg

I probably have 2-3 good projects per year with assorted smaller things mixed in from time to time. It'll sit idle for months at a time.

Jim

justanengineer
03-31-2011, 02:44 PM
You might want to double check if he still has it or not, the Cincinatti he had when I bought my Bridgeport had a footprint hardly bigger than a dovetail ram Bridgeport, and he was eager to be rid it. Keep in mind when fitting a mill into your space that mills can be angled into corners and fit tightly which otherwise might be wasted space. I can sympathize with wanting to park inside the garage, its why I have a two car version - so I can work on at least one inside. Round ram vs dovetail is merely a matter of preference, the key factor in figuring rigidity of a ram being the cross sectional area. Personally I love using my round ram Bridgey and wouldnt have a dovetail one due to size. My round ram's a nice mid sized mill, and if I stepped up it would be to a K&T horizontal.

Mcgyver
03-31-2011, 02:48 PM
hobby for me too.....with 3 full sized mills in the garage. There's no win in hedging, you will never regret buying a better quality/more solid machine vs smaller. If you buying used (what most do who want a full sized mill) you will get more machine for likely less dollars than a smaller lower quality import. Plus it'll have better resell value, but that line is more appropriate for a better half discussion. Of course used availability in your area factors in, but even buying new offshore, let budget be the constraint not machine size

Dr Stan
03-31-2011, 02:58 PM
Cincinnati made some beautiful vertical turret mills, much more rigid than B'port in about the same foot print. The Wells-Index is also an excellent machine.

Recently someone on the forum was asking about an Italian vertical mill that seems to be a good machine. You may want to search the forum as I do not remember the brand name.

I'm in the process of restoring a Fray #7 "All Angle" vertical mill. I don't know your skill level, but I completely disassembled the machine and made several repairs. It's also getting new paint in the process. Unless you want/need something that is "turn key" you could consider this route. Just keep in mind it is very time consuming and should be considered a labor of love.

My next project is an early 1900's Cincinnati planer with a 9' bed.

J.Hayes
03-31-2011, 03:13 PM
Jim,
That looks like a good size machine, to bad you had trouble with it.

Justanengineer
Bob was the Guy liquidating stuff in Chicago, right?

We have a two car, I've got my side pretty full, lathe, drill press, WF Wells horizontal bandsaw, tablesaw, other woodworking stuff, and the usual lawn stuff. Plus about 800 sq ft of oak flooring that needs to be cleans and installed. I need a shed.

I'm not opposed to giving some tlc, most of the stuff I have I had to fix before using it, lots of curb side finds.

J.Hayes
03-31-2011, 04:47 PM
Bob still has the Cincinnati, he's getting me more info on it. Know anybody That moves these things?

Rex
03-31-2011, 05:25 PM
Look around for one of the later Burke Millrite Powermatic MVNs. Its essentially a 3/4-size brideport, US-made, R8 collets. tables up to 8x36, but 8x32 is more common. Weighs about 1300 lbs. The later ones are green with a white racing stripe. They go for under $2000 in nice shape

this is mine. It cost $1200 at an estate sale.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c196/rburkheimer/RexsMillrite.jpg

J.Hayes
03-31-2011, 05:32 PM
Rex
That is a nice looking machine.

Rex
03-31-2011, 05:41 PM
Thanks J. that was taken when I bought it. I've since cleaned it up. Table is flawless.

I don't know Bridgeports very well, but I understand that the Series 1 machines are a lot smaller than the later ones. Might be as small as my Millrite.

justanengineer
03-31-2011, 05:42 PM
Sorry I cant help with a mover with regard to the Cincinnati, but yes, hes on the west side of Chicago and has been liquidating/closing that side of his business. I wouldnt worry too much about hiring a "mover," just hire a truck and maybe start a thread here asking for somebody around Chicago to make sure its tied down properly and doesnt get destroyed. Id volunteer if I wasnt 2+ hours away. Bob has a forklift and could pretty easily load if there was someone who could ensure the driver doesnt hurt it with chains, and you could hire a tow driver/forklift/whatever to unload at your house. I dont recall Bob's price on that machine, but having seen what he was getting for his others, I would say any machine gotten from him in the last month is definitely worthy of a tool gloat.

Rex - I restored a pair of those for my former employer last summer after they had been used in a lens grinding shop. The lens grinding attachments were interesting, but the machines were a mess, albeit not with anything too harmful. I really like those machines and would gladly recommend them to anyone, but they tend to get a bit pricey for me.

Rex
03-31-2011, 05:52 PM
Rex - I restored a pair of those for my former employer last summer after they had been used in a lens grinding shop. The lens grinding attachments were interesting, but the machines were a mess, albeit not with anything too harmful. I really like those machines and would gladly recommend them to anyone, but they tend to get a bit pricey for me.

Well, I got a good deal. And machines aren't thick on the ground here in North Texas.

I got an email a couple years ago out of the blue. Dude said he had a machine in a house he just bought, marked "Powermatic MVN". He wanted to get rid of it. I offered to get come get it that weekend. Maybe I was too eager, but it got away somehow.

Dr Stan
03-31-2011, 07:02 PM
J. Hayes,

There is a pick up truck towable trailer that lowers virtually to the ground for loading, but I cannot remember its name. Hopefully someone else will remember. They are for rent, but I do not believe U Haul has what I'm referring to, but it would make it easy to load and unload.

Stan

J.Hayes
03-31-2011, 07:14 PM
Stan
I think I've seen something like that as well.

Anybody know a reliable source for the weight of some of these machines?

Dr Stan
03-31-2011, 08:55 PM
Anybody know a reliable source for the weight of some of these machines?

Just go to the manufacturer's web site and look up the specs and it will list the weight.

Here are some examples of the trailers:

http://www.hechttrailers.com/ground_level

http://www.fsindustries.com/more_info/escalate_trailer/escalate_trailer.shtml

http://www.lift-a-load.com/

I know there is a company that rents this type of trailers. Someone out there remember the name of the rental company?

justanengineer
03-31-2011, 10:49 PM
Sunbelt Rentals has them for about $75/day. When I picked up the Bridgeport I sprung for the $20 U-haul utility trailer since its only a foot or so higher but thats an individual choice.

Dr Stan
03-31-2011, 11:13 PM
That's it. Thanks I've bookmarked it this time so I can find it again.

Cheeseking
04-01-2011, 12:50 AM
Be aware you may have an issue finding collets for that Cinci toolmaster mill. They might be available on ebay but probably $$ It's not a standard R8 spindle.

J.Hayes
04-01-2011, 01:01 AM
Be aware you may have an issue finding collets for that Cinci toolmaster mill. They might be available on ebay but probably $$ It's not a standard R8 spindle.


I was kinda thinking that might be the case, from what I can tell they used a No 40 and a B&S #7, maybe more. Might not be avalibe anymore either, just have to wait and see. Victor machinery exchange listes the #7 from 1/8 to 1/2 by 1/16 incriments at $19.50 ea, import most likley, not sure if the have anything else though. It would be quite useless without collets.


Anyone know what it takes to regrind to a R8?

Rex
04-01-2011, 07:41 AM
Sunbelt Rentals has them, but there aren't any of those in this area.

J.Hayes
04-01-2011, 08:58 AM
Rex

Yeah I saw Sunbelt wasn't in Wisconsin, not sure what I'll do when the time comes. Got a ton of crap in the garage that needs to go elsewhere. And of course the wife is getting pissy, seems if she wants something we end up getting it done, finding the funds or time or whatever but when I want something its a different story. Anybody looking for a chopper?

Dr Stan
04-01-2011, 09:04 AM
Sunbelt Rentals has them, but there aren't any of those in this area.

There are four in Chicago, but that would require two round trips. The best bet may be to use a U Haul open trailer. The new Bridgeport series 1 weighs 1950 lbs and U Haul's 6 X 12 trailer is rated at 2110 lbs. It also has a ramp to ease loading & unloading. However you would probably need to place supports under the ramp to keep it from collapsing. From the pics on their web site it also looks like it has a surge brake. Make sure you get some well made 2" ratcheting cargo straps to tie down the machine.

If you do not have any experience moving heavy equipment I advise you to get help form someone who has.

As for collets, etc for the Cincinnati I'd check to see if the machine comes with any tooling and of course the spindle taper. You may also check with Anderson Tooling http://www.usedtooling.com to see what they may have available.

Rex
04-01-2011, 09:19 AM
And of course the wife is getting pissy, seems if she wants something we end up getting it done, finding the funds or time or whatever but when I want something its a different story.

I solved that with my 2nd marriage. dual incomes, dual accounts. She has her money, I have mine, household expenses are shared.
I also bought a shop building away from the house for all my toys. Life is good

J.Hayes
04-01-2011, 09:47 AM
I solved that with my 2nd marriage. dual incomes, dual accounts. She has her money, I have mine, household expenses are shared.
I also bought a shop building away from the house for all my toys. Life is good


We do tend to get wiser with age don't we. I'll get what I want, it just may take a bit more time, a big mill is kinda hard to hide, unlike all the lathe tooling and firearms. :D

Dr Stan
04-01-2011, 02:12 PM
We do tend to get wiser with age don't we. I'll get what I want, it just may take a bit more time, a big mill is kinda hard to hide, unlike all the lathe tooling and firearms. :D

We too have separate accounts for our "play" money. However it does help to be married to an artist so she understands the need for equipment and supplies even though she does not have any thing that weighs approx 6500# like my planer. :D

One time when we were moving she made the mistake of saying something about selling my stationary tools. :eek: I said sure, right after we sell all your paintings. That topic has never been brought up again.

justanengineer
04-01-2011, 02:26 PM
Even on the days when I dont learn anything new about working metal, I learn a life lesson...thanks guys! :D

edit: Just remembered a tidbit about that Cincinnati at Bob's...It had some sort of a collet chuck in it when I picked up my mill...ER32 maybe? which would solve the collet problem relatively cheaply even if its missing the actual collets.

J.Hayes
04-01-2011, 02:30 PM
We too have separate accounts for our "play" money. However it does help to be married to an artist so she understands the need for equipment and supplies even though she does not have any thing that weighs approx 6500# like my planer. :D

One time when we were moving she made the mistake of saying something about selling my stationary tools. :eek: I said sure, right after we sell all your paintings. That topic has never been brought up again.

My wife has her hobbies as well. Her CNC machines cut paper and use thread. My stuff just takes so much room, I think I need to quit the woodworking stuff.

Rex
04-01-2011, 02:37 PM
I read once years ago that most marriage arguments wer e over money, one way or the other. Looking back over 20 years of marriage, I realized that was very true.

So years later, 2nd time around, I got started on the right foot. Both of us made decent money, no kids. Fiancee started talking about a joint account, both our checks auto-deposited there etc. I said "Not going to happen like that". So we figured out how much our household needed to run - rent, utilities, dinner out a few times a week, and some cushion. We both set up an autodeposit for enough to cover that, in proportion to our respective incomes. Everything else was our own money to do with as we pleased. If we come up $200 short due to unexpected expense, we each chip in $100.

It took her a while to get used to that concept, but now she loves it, as do I. We don't argue about money, or anything else. We're joint on all accounts, but I couldn't tell you how much she has in hers. And I always have cash now when a good machine or firearm deal comes up.

sidecar580
04-01-2011, 02:58 PM
My advise......buy a better machine than you think you need.

1. It takes more skill to make good parts on a junk machine.

2. As your skill level increases your view of a "good enough to get by" machine decreases.

3. Most home shops don't upgrade....so whatever you buy ....you will likely live with forever.


John Fahnestock
J&L Scraping Service
508 892-4856

J.Hayes
04-01-2011, 08:40 PM
Yup, money can wreck a lot of things. All mine is direct deposit into a joint account, I never see any of it, good thing I've got a few side jobs here and there. Unfortunately they usually pay when somebody's birthday or Christmas is around the corner, kids come before me, but that's okay, I like to see them happy.

Sidecar

I do believe I will go with a larger old USA built unit, I just may have to wait a bit for the right one.

sidecar580
04-02-2011, 10:21 AM
Contact me ...I try to keep a couple reconditioned Bridgeports in stock .
John Fahnestock
J&L Scraping Service 508 892-4856




Sidecar

I do believe I will go with a larger old USA built unit, I just may have to wait a bit for the right one.

J.Hayes
04-08-2011, 12:22 AM
What can anybody tell me about Lagun? Where are they made?

Mark Hockett
04-08-2011, 03:44 AM
What can anybody tell me about Lagun? Where are they made?
Great mills, made in Spain. I like them much better than Bridgeports. The new ones beat a Bridgeport in almost every spec, heavier, more power, better Y axis way design, will run at full power longer and some other stuff.

PeteF
04-08-2011, 04:41 AM
I'd definitely like a Bridgeport (sorry Sir John ;) ) But the issue is not just the footprint, that I may be able to juggle, but the headroom simply won't work. Man-Cave (basement) dwellers like me may also find that a bit of an issue.

Pete

Dr Stan
04-08-2011, 09:26 AM
Great mills, made in Spain. I like them much better than Bridgeports. The new ones beat a Bridgeport in almost every spec, heavier, more power, better Y axis way design, will run at full power longer and some other stuff.

2X on that. Probably the best turret mill I ever ran.

softtail
04-08-2011, 09:47 AM
What the consensus on a VanNorman universal mill for home shop use? I've been looking for a BPort or smaller vert mil for ages, and found nada. There is a van Norman available though... looks about the same size as a BPort.

Is a universal a negative as compared to a vertical for a guy who already has a small horizontal(Nichols)? Is Van Norman difficult to get parts for?

st

Dr Stan
04-08-2011, 12:05 PM
Is this the Van Norman with the head that can be set up as vertical or horizontal (and of course all angles in between)? If so I had one in a school lab and it was a good machine.

Good range of speeds and feeds.

The universal table can be useful.

The one I had was 3 phase, but the way the motor was mounted it could easily be swapped out for a single phase if desired.

However, two draw backs.

1) No quill. Drilling requires feeding the table in the up direction.

2) Collets. I forget what it uses, but they are not the typical ones. Maybe a Brown & Sharpe but as I said not sure about that. They're not impossible to find just more expensive than the typical R8's & RC's.

I thought about getting one for my home shop and retrofitting on a BP head, but found my Fray instead.

hardtail
04-08-2011, 12:27 PM
We too have separate accounts for our "play" money. However it does help to be married to an artist so she understands the need for equipment and supplies even though she does not have any thing that weighs approx 6500# like my planer. :D

One time when we were moving she made the mistake of saying something about selling my stationary tools. :eek: I said sure, right after we sell all your paintings. That topic has never been brought up again.

Isn't the goal to sell the paintings?.........grin

Buddy had a similar issue with his first wife of many years, he was always buying selling machine tools and his wife thought this was robbing their joint bank account so they started seperate accounts and kept the joint account for monthly expenses, 8 months later his had grown to 17K and she would still occasionally dip into overdraft......guess that backfired on her......course she did well on the divorce.........frown

Dr Stan
04-08-2011, 01:50 PM
Isn't the goal to sell the paintings?.........grin

Sure is, but have you every heard of the "starving artist"? :(

Want to buy some? I have a house full.

softtail
04-08-2011, 02:11 PM
Is this the Van Norman with the head that can be set up as vertical or horizontal (and of course all angles in between)? If so I had one in a school lab and it was a good machine.

Good range of speeds and feeds.

The universal table can be useful.

The one I had was 3 phase, but the way the motor was mounted it could easily be swapped out for a single phase if desired.

However, two draw backs.

1) No quill. Drilling requires feeding the table in the up direction.

2) Collets. I forget what it uses, but they are not the typical ones. Maybe a Brown & Sharpe but as I said not sure about that. They're not impossible to find just more expensive than the typical R8's & RC's.

I thought about getting one for my home shop and retrofitting on a BP head, but found my Fray instead.


Ah, the point about the quill is a good one. I'm not sure on the specs of the machine, as it a bit of a drive, and not all that cheap. The lack of a quill (which looking at the pics, it's now obvious it doesn't one), is a deal killer given the price and location.

Good info.

st

J.Hayes
04-13-2011, 10:52 AM
I've got a chance at a Lagun FTV 1 about an hour from home. The Lagun website states the height at 105 inches, this seems really tall, anyone know if this is accurate? He wants 2k says its early 80's and has a Newall DRO and a BP power feed in X. Not sure what else for tooling comes with it. Might be a bit big for a first mill and my garage. Owner states there is some wear in X at the middle, I'm not sure how much though. Pushes my budget but might be worth it.
Thanks
Jeremy

Dr Stan
04-13-2011, 11:25 AM
I'm fairly certain Lagun knows how to measure the height of their machines, so 105" is probably on the money.

Lagun's are better machines than BP's and parts, if needed, are readily available.

The wear "in the middle" of the X axis could be the screw, the gibbs, or the table. Only a close inspection can make a determination. You could go ahead and get it and plan to rework the table down the road.

The power feed and the DRO are certainly good options to have.

Make an offer, just don't insult the owner. You could check with some machinery dealers web sites and EBay to get an idea on its value.

J.Hayes
04-13-2011, 05:49 PM
The owner measured his at 80 inches, I called Lagun seems the new ones have a big heat dissapater on them increasing the height.

Dr Stan
04-13-2011, 06:58 PM
The owner measured his at 80 inches, I called Lagun seems the new ones have a big heat dissapater on them increasing the height.

That makes sense.

Charlie W.
04-13-2011, 11:33 PM
I've got a chance at a Lagun FTV 1 about an hour from home. The Lagun website states the height at 105 inches, this seems really tall, anyone know if this is accurate? He wants 2k says its early 80's and has a Newall DRO and a BP power feed in X. Not sure what else for tooling comes with it. Might be a bit big for a first mill and my garage. Owner states there is some wear in X at the middle, I'm not sure how much though. Pushes my budget but might be worth it.
Thanks
Jeremy
I have an early 80's FTV-1 Lagun. It is about 10% bigger than a Bridgeport. Quality machine. I know the end of the drawbar is about 10-12" higher than the Bridgeport. It also weighs around 600 lbs more than a BP. Mine has a base with a coolant pump inside the column.

J.Hayes
04-16-2011, 10:51 PM
http://i941.photobucket.com/albums/ad257/earringboy2000/1303008246.jpghttp://i941.photobucket.com/albums/ad257/earringboy2000/1303008244.jpg
What is it? I was told it was about the size of a BP, but details are sketchy at this time. It is a KT, but what one? I was thinking
1H maybe. Anyone know where to find more info on KT?

J.Hayes
05-19-2011, 10:48 AM
What do You all think of the round ram Bridgeport?

J.Hayes
09-22-2011, 10:55 AM
Okay, I pick this up on Sunday. A mere 7 miles from home $500.
http://m941.photobucket.com/albums/earringboy2000/KT%202BS%20Universal%20Mill/?src=www
Kearney & Trecker 2BS Universal, 3 hp single phase

saltmine
09-22-2011, 11:49 AM
There's a fellow here, where I live, that thought it would be a good hobby to get into. He does have marginal mechanical skills, but no experience with machine tools.

Without a second thought, he read about a used Bridgeport mill a guy was selling in an adjacent town, and drove over there. A deal was struck, and cash changed hands. That's when his troubles began. He was of the belief that he could simply pick it up and toss it in the back of his Ford pickup.
This particular Bridgeport was not one that you could easily carry in the back of a half-ton Ford truck. In a couple of days he had managed to contact and hire a rigger who had a big enough truck, with a crane, to transport his new "toy". It took nearly a Platoon of Marines to unload the machine, and wrestle it into the guy's garage. Once home, he decided to "plug it in" and make some chips....OOPS! no plug. Finding a junction box on the machine with an unusually large number of wires inside prompted him to call an electrician friend of his. They soon discovered that the machine was truly an industrial workhorse, with a 480Volt motor on the spindle and 220Volt motors for various traverse and feeds. The coolant pump and lamps were a more mundane 120Volt variety. His friend made him a "deal" and charged him a discount price to bring the proper wiring into the garage to feed the monster. After running the spindle and trying the various feeds, he placed a canvas cover over the machine. Nothing was said until one day I mentioned that I'd purchased an Asian import milling machine to perform some hobby work I wanted to do. "Oh, you know how to run a milling machine?" he quipped."You should have said something before you went out and bought one...I have a nice one sitting in my garage, all ready to run." I agreed to come over for a look. But had no intention of getting rid of the import machine I already had.
Once at his house, he opened the garage door and there sat the hulking Bridgeport in all of it's glorious ugly green paint. I gave it a quick "once over".
Yes, it's a nice machine. Where's the tooling and clamping gear? What?
You need to clamp a part to the table before you can mill it....and you have to have measuring instruments to properly set up the part and the cutter before you can mill anything...He looked dumbfounded... Apparently, he had the idea it was like an oversized drill press, and could hand hold the stock while milling it with an empty R-8 collet spindle.... I don't know if he still has the machine. He never said anything about it after I looked at it.
But, sometimes it's actually better to "get your feet wet" with an inexpensive, import machine, than to buy a serious metal working monster that is way beyond your skill level and abilities.

J.Hayes
09-22-2011, 12:22 PM
Hmm, nice story, was it meant to discourage me or encourage me?

It's wired for 220v single phase with the same plug as my welder and lathe.

Inexpensive old American iron is far superior to modern import stuff, most of witch will require more work than this mill will. The size of this machine is manageable, I am well aware of the weight and floor space required.

jlakes85
09-23-2011, 10:11 AM
I am pretty new to the hobby, but I have found myself in the familiar spot of hunting down some old American vertical mill iron. I reside in northern NJ, and I've found a few prospects: a couple Bridgeports and the odd Wells Index. My budget is around 2500 to 3000. I'm just curious where the market pricing is for these machines in decent condition, with a minimum amount of tooling included. I know, that's a pretty open ended question, but for perhaps better clarity, I am looking to do live steam work with this machinery. My biggest fear of course, is spending serious money on a lemon from an unscrupulous machinery dealer, or much more likely, my own ignorance. I am aware of a few basics to look out for, such as the condition of the scraping of the ways, the tightness of the table cranked out to extremes, the squareness of the spindle to the table, the condition of the table, the condition of the spindle and the squareness of the knee to the column. I have also "read" that bringing indicators, squares, e.t.c. along on a potential buy is considered a no-no, at least if trying to maintain a decent relationship with the seller when negotiating a final sale price. I'm trying to stay with buying from a private seller, but the Craigslist market is pretty quiet in my area at the moment. There were some interesting items on ebay, but the prices seem somewhat high, and I was considering maybe putting in an offer for 50-70% of the stated buy it now price. I know this is a lot of info for one post, but I'm trying to paint as complete a picture as possible. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

John

rickyb
09-23-2011, 10:13 AM
I recently purchased a Rockwell 21-100 vertical knee mill and love it. It runs on 110 single phase and is about 3/4 the size of a Bridgeport. So watch out for 3 phase power machines as you will need a special converter to use them. I bought this model since it is for my basement. The largest part weighs in at 180#, total somewhere around 900#. A Bridgeport is just too heavy for me.

When buying a used mill you should concern yourself with the condition of the duplex bearings in the quill. If they need replacement they can cost many $100s. The Rockwell uses semi-precision bearings that cost about $50 each so not as large a risk as other mills. There are two sets so the cost is still significant.

The Rockwell also comes in a vertical/horizontal configuration which would be worth your consideration.

J.Hayes
09-23-2011, 10:49 AM
Check this out for a used machine
http://www.j-lscraping.com/

jrude
09-23-2011, 11:13 AM
I have been wanting a knee mill for years and about a month ago I was finally in the position to buy one. I bought a Bridgeport specifically, because of the used parts and new replacement parts availability.

I got what I think is a good deal, it's a J head step pulley machine with a working DRO, three vises, and a Servo brand x-axis auto feed. It needs a little work, the screws have about .080 backlash on the x and .040 backlash on the y, but the lash can be adjusted out somewhat. Worst case scenario, I can buy new lead screws in a couple years, but with the DRO, I don't really know if I care that much. For 50 year old machine that was $1200 I really can't complain.

The hardest thing for me to overcome was the concept of the three phase motor. I at first planned on retrofitting a single phase motor, but after doing research and reading the instruction manuals (available online) for variable frequency drives that convert single phase to three phase, I realized three phase isn't that daunting.

Honestly the hardest part for me is getting the 2000 lb machine off the trailer and in my garage. My engine crane won't get it off the trailer. The factory it was sitting in loaded it with their gantry crane for free. I may be calling a wrecker and have them pick it up with the boom and then set it on the ground, where I can then roll it on lengths of black pipe. Right now it's still on my trailer and for the last week the whole trailer is in the garage. :) It comes off on Saturday.

In the $2500-$3000 price range, for me, the machine better be pretty nice and ready to run right now. Whatever tooling you can get for with the purchase, great, but R8 is dirt cheap on ebay. I've been told by a local old timer who knows my dad, that used tooling is fine for a beginner like myself, because I'm just going to ruin it anyway. :) He said buy nice tooling after I figure alot of it out.

john11668
09-23-2011, 04:59 PM
If headroom is a problem you could look for one of these!

http://www.lathes.co.uk/deckel/index.html Not as "common" as a Bridgy.

They are not very tall, I look down on mine and I am only 5'8"
Wide range of accessories but maybe a bit pricey. Sought after too so a decent one will hold its value. If you find one the resale value will not concern you cos you will not ever want to part with it !

Rex
09-23-2011, 05:03 PM
Or a Millrite - 3/4 size BP

uncle pete
09-23-2011, 09:52 PM
Or a Bemato or Jet 836 type. Their also 3/4 sized Bridgeport clones. I can measure mine if needed. Not sure about the Jet but you can get a powered downfeed on the spindle for the Bemato at least.

Pete

ScubaSteve
09-24-2011, 08:53 AM
Wow, those are nice! Nothing like a fresh scraping.

J. Hayes- Have you made any progress with the mill? You're about one of the only guys around on these forums who also has a 2BS...I'm just cleaning mine up right now, but if you've got that beast up and running I'd love to see more pics. :D

J.Hayes
09-24-2011, 12:31 PM
Steve
If it's not raining I pick it up tomorrow. Fortunately for me mine will plug right into my existing power supply.

ScubaSteve
09-25-2011, 06:06 PM
Yeah, that's kind of an issue with mine, but I knew it going in....I figured that into my budget, but it still takes work and research. I think I have it all mapped out now, just need to finish a 15" SB Lathe restore before I start messing with the mill too much. Parts are all over the garage right now!

J.Hayes
09-26-2011, 05:40 PM
The rain kept me from getting the mill yesterday, I did get a chance to go through some of the tooling that came with it though. Added some new pictures

http://s941.photobucket.com/albums/ad257/earringboy2000/KT%202BS%20Universal%20Mill/

J.Hayes
10-03-2011, 05:16 PM
It's home, it runs. I had a bit of trouble with the spindle, ended up taking the quill apart, easy fix, luckly.
More pictures have been added, nice machine, I like it
http://s941.photobucket.com/albums/ad257/earringboy2000/KT%202BS%20Universal%20Mill/

uncle pete
10-03-2011, 05:31 PM
If you don't already have one then pick up a second hand Machinery's Handbook, You'll need one just to set up that universal dividing head.

Pete

Rosco-P
10-03-2011, 06:12 PM
Ah, the point about the quill is a good one. I'm not sure on the specs of the machine, as it a bit of a drive, and not all that cheap. The lack of a quill (which looking at the pics, it's now obvious it doesn't one), is a deal killer given the price and location.

Good info.

st

How expensive is "not all that cheap"?

A full set of new 5V or "C" style collets can be had for under $200. The mill converts from a vertical to horizontal mill in under 5 minutes. More rigid than a Bridgeport or the Grizzley/RF-45 clones. If I'm drilling a lot of holes, I use one of my four drill presses.

J.Hayes
10-03-2011, 06:18 PM
If you don't already have one then pick up a second hand Machinery's Handbook, You'll need one just to set up that universal dividing head.

Pete

I do own an old copy, 72 or something. That DH is nice, came with the machine when new. When I picked up the mill the po said he probably has a couple more plates for it somewhere and possibly the tailstock. He is only 7 miles from my place so I may end up with more stuff yet, hopefully. I also offered to machine stuff for him if he needs anything.

Jeremy