View Full Version : Retiring my Bridgeport - Deckel FP1?

01-02-2016, 02:47 PM
Well I've been putting this off much too long but it's time to get a new mill.
My BP is the poster child of clapped out mills.. but I've been hanging on.. wear
notwithstanding, its made some great parts.. I just don't have the patience for
all the workarounds anymore.

Thing is, mills aren't cheap out here.

So I haven't seen it in person, but there's a machine reseller/refurb place that
has a Deckel FP1 with a lot of bells and whistles.. no DRO, though.. am wondering
if a move to an FP1 will be difficult.

Is it true they only have 150-160mm Y travel? Granted I don't make big parts, but
it's always nice to have extra space.

I'm also getting mixed signals on what the spindle taper is. Replacing my tooling
will be a nightmare.

I could use the space I get back by downsizing -- and I plan to go have a look / kick
the tires -- but wondering if anyone has any insight / suggestions re: FP1's


01-02-2016, 03:49 PM
The older models came with either MC4 or the 40 tapper

Black Forest
01-02-2016, 05:10 PM
Tony, have you ever seen a FP1? I was shocked when I saw one the first time. They are tiny with a very low horsepower spindle.

Ohio Mike
01-02-2016, 05:34 PM
So my thoughts are its very small machine (like an American size 0 miller), potentially 60-70 yrs old and no quill. Not that any of those things by themselves are bad. Other than being a milling machine its the antithesis of a Bridgeport turret mill. It comes down to the work envelope you need and what operations you want to perform.

loose nut
01-02-2016, 05:45 PM
Sir John will want the old Bridgy, he loves them, the more worn out the better.

Isn't there anyone that rebuilds near you, might be cheaper then buying another mill.

01-02-2016, 05:45 PM
Common as *beep* machine here, either in MT4 or 40taper, nice little machines, pretty sturdy and can take quite a heavy cut without making much noise. Tooling is pretty cheep on ebay, spare parts (spindle bearings and gears) can ruin your day.

no quill.

All Deckel FP mills have a Quill :)

John Stevenson
01-02-2016, 05:56 PM
well i've been putting this off much too long but it's time to get a new mill.
My bp is the poster child of clapped out mills..


01-02-2016, 06:57 PM
Find one to look at in the flesh and look at the position of the operations cranks for all the axes, etc. IIRC the operator position is quite different from what you're used to on the BP. Not that it's an intrinsic problem, just a matter of what you're used to and where your hand moves as you machine. If you're otherwise persuaded you'll just adapt. If you're absolutely a creature of habit it could be a source of continual aggravation.

01-02-2016, 10:04 PM
I have a 40 taper FP1 and love it. Much more rigid than the Bridgeport's I have used. It has a smaller work envelope than the Bridgeport but the horizontal spindle and interchange tables can make up for it. Mine has a 2 hp motor, I think that is standard. I have yet to feel that it is underpowered. One very nice feature is the gear driven feeds. Very nice to be able to calculate and set your feeds precisely.

Fitting a DRO can be a bit difficult but doable. I'm in the middle of that project right now. The vertical table makes the space for fitting the x-axis scale quite tight.

The cool thing about Deckels are the accessories that really expand their capabilities. They can be found but often cost quite a bit and must be shipped from afar.

Definitely take a look at it. It has a very different feel than a Bridgeport and will take some adjustment but probably worth it.


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Forrest Addy
01-02-2016, 11:20 PM
If your wallet is distended with currency, consider the Deckel FP4; a bigger machine than an FP1 and whose range of axis travels overlaps the BP and whose table is considerably wider. I have a very good turret mill copy of a Bridgeport which is very well equipped but I'd swap it in a second for a good basic FP4 with 40 MMT spindles and throw in a Regency tracing table.

DRO installation hassles can be overcome by ingenuity so don't let that be an issue.

01-02-2016, 11:59 PM
I have a FP1. I use #4 Morse taper split collets that use a regular thread drawbar.
I took out the Deckel drawbar and stored it away. Of I want to use a big endmill
or take a heavy cut, use a #4 MT Weldon type holder or I also have a #4 MT to
ER40 collet adapter. The vertical ram/head has about 3-1/2" of travel.
It is a small machine. More like a Hardinge horizontal mill. It is a high quality
machine. Axis movements are silky smooth.

One story about a worn out Bridgeport (this one's for Sir John)
a guy at work had a worn out BP. The typical symptoms,
the tables was free in the middle of travel, but tight at the ends of travel,
due to wear and then tightening the gibs. Well, this guy took the table off,
did a rough survey of the tight spots at the ends of travel, (magic marker and
a straight edge), and proceeded to grind the high spots using a 5" angle grinder
with a thin 1/16" wheel. He kept re-fitting it and checking his progress and
marking and grinding some more. I think he had 3 hours into it, maybe less.
Well, it came out pretty good. I have used the mill and the table felt pretty good!
I mean, it was a shot mill and he had nothing to loose, and it really felt even.
I am sure there were some low spots from a bit of over grinding, but the way
I think about it, it will wear in a good bit before it starts to wear out again.
Is my friend a genius or insane? Always a fine line, I know.


01-03-2016, 12:43 AM
Sounds awful but thinking about it I don't suppose it was going to get worse, with nothing to loose worth a go, although an angle grinder sounds a bit on the edge to me, small die grinder would be the most I'd go to, I'll leave the 9" makita in the van for concrete lintels!
Think sir j would use the 9" to cut it up whilst wearing a hockey mask and laughing hysterically
"Here's Sir Johnny"
why I have that picture in my head I don't know lol
No offence Sir J, I know how much you like Bridgeport's

01-03-2016, 01:08 AM
I have the Maho equivalent offering to the Deckel FP1 (this style has been made by numerous companies). I love it. The concern areas identified above are worth considering, but they should not be show stoppers - it is a great little machine. I was fortunate in that the initial find was of a fairly well dressed machine. Then a couple more fortunate events (finding accessories), and I have quite a well dressed unit (still looking for the high speed head and more collets). Mine has the #40 taper (with the S20x2 buttress thread) and there is plenty of power. I added a DRO Pros 3 axis read out, I ended up making all my own mounts, and it turned out very well (really compact and tucked right in). This smallest size machine does not have Y-axis power feed, and no power feed on the quill (I believe the FP1 is the same) - I have not found these to be significant issues. Although these are small mills, they are still a pretty good chunk of iron - #2000 with the vertical head installed and no table bolted on. This style machine can take on tasks that wouldn’t fit in an equivalent sized knee mill – but then every different design of machine will handle jobs that other machines would have a tough time at. If you are able to get the main attachments, then these become very versatile. I’m sure you understand that by saying “versatile” that also means slow. True, you can set up all manner of crazy things, but it does take time.

My main frustration with this machine has been the limited space under the spindle (the other being the low top end spindle speed). With a vise on the table and a drill chuck in a spindle adapter there is only a few inches for the work piece and the drill bit. I now have numerous cut off drill bits and reduced shank drill bits (to fit the closest next smaller collet).

This style of machine really shines when using collets - putting the tool load right inside the bearings, keeping things as close and stiff as possible. The two main types of collets are the long narrow U2 collets that go up to about 5/8" and larger SK40 collets that go directly into the #40 taper (which are hard to find in Imperial sizes and really expensive in metric sizes). The direct #40 collets are an awesome idea, I have never seen them available for the regular NMTB40 spindles.

Also, the spindle speed is a bit slow - tops out at 1560 rpm – it has a great low speed of 100 rpm on the vertical and 60 on the horizontal.

Someday I'll get an integral, direct mounted drill chuck to #40 taper. I'm rather economy minded, so that means getting the BT40 version and making a "Deckeladapter" for the pull stud. The real deal is available out of Europe, just expensive.

In fairness, I must confess that I have taken a rather heavy handed approach of increasing the available space under the quill (about #3000 pounds worth of Cincinnati iron). I had opportunity to get a late model (~1970) Toolmaster 1D, with only a 6" Kurt and an MT4 adapter for tooling, for very cheap. Main issue was it was dirty (didn't show well), and various handle issues (probably the result of several careless moves): bent pr broken off and was missing the z-crank and spindle wrench. I fussed around with it for about a year, sorting out the issues, tracking down basic tooling - it is now also a very nice machine to operate. I feel fortunate to have the space in my shop so I don’t have to choose one mill over the other.

Okay, next confession – I think you really need two good mills of different style – then you can cover a lot of bases (sometimes the dividing head stays on my Maho for months). I’m sure you get the idea.

Let us know what you finally land on.

01-03-2016, 01:12 AM
I have a 1d toolmaster too, motor fault at the moment so need to fit a new, thinking of VFD even though there's a belt variable in the head.

01-03-2016, 07:19 AM
Wow I just taped out the dimensions on the floor/wall.. i didnt think it was that small. I'm curious
now as to all the hubbub, I think I'll go have a look personally.

The rebuilder also has two FP3's (FP3a?) .. they're cnc.. sort of.. from what I've been reading they
appear to be a PITA. though they are bigger. Wonder how hard it would be to just strip it back down
to manual.

There are also a lot of "Rambaudi" mill out there.. beefy things.. but they appear not to have quills.

01-03-2016, 12:32 PM
This is a good link which discusses FP3A's


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01-03-2016, 01:57 PM
Not sure how big the Deckel is, but I have a Hardinge UM which is a small horizontal. It is amazing how solid a horizontal is when compared to a Bridgeport. The work envelope gets small at times, but it is a pleasure to work with a machine that is worlds more stable than a Bridgeport. You will need a couple good angle plates...

You will probably want to keep the Bridgeport, there are some things that are just easier with a quill...