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Thread: Baby bridgeport?

  1. #1
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    Default Baby bridgeport?

    I saw a small bridgeport mill awhile back at a local auction and have not seen one since. How many of these were produced and where would be a good place to find one.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Dozer's picture is of a Clausing 8520 (or possibly 8530) with a Bridgeport M head. Apparently Clausing did produce a number of machines in that configuration, I have no idea how many. They are around though.

    Bridgeport produced some number of M head machines as well, of course.

    I think if I were looking for something like a "baby Bridgeport" I'd get a Jet JVM-836.
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  4. #4
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    Bridgeport only made the one configuration machine we are all familiar with. It did grow over the years. While there are several other smaller turret mills, there is no "Baby Bridgeport".

    Bridgeport originally got into the business by making just a head to be adapted to overarm horizontal machines, and many older machines can be found with these heads. It was not until several years later that they started manufacturing a complete mill.

    The Bridgeport head is often found grafted onto many other vertical milling machines.
    Jim H.

  5. #5
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    Is a 'Rusnok' (Sp?) the same sort of thing that you mean?

    IMS Frank Ford has one I think.

    Al

  6. #6
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    I had a Round ram Bridgeport once,it was a good bit smaller than the Series 1 that came later,but at around 1100# it wasn't exactly mini.
    I just need one more tool,just one!

  7. #7
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    There are BP mills with shorter Knees and short tables but the same base. I have one of the "short" oneswhich is nice in a small shop. It sure runs out of machining room in a hurry. If you have the room get the bigger one.

  8. #8
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    Yep - i've never seen a mill that looked to big to be usefull, i've seen some lathes that looked like they'd be clumsy turning little 1/4" rod or something, but even the big vertical mills i've seen look really handy! I always seem to run out of table travel when i'm working on projects. Then you have to reclamp, indicate and continue ... which takes time.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rookie machinist
    I saw a small bridgeport mill awhile back at a local auction and have not seen one since. How many of these were produced and where would be a good place to find one.
    The only small Bridgeport was the "round ram" vertical mill. Some 22,000 were made between 1938 and 1956. Up to about 1952 these all had 9x32 tables and (usually) M heads. There were trivial changes introduced during this period, mainly to the details of the clamp for the ram.

    The J head, introduced about 1952, was much heavier than the M head it replaced, so the clevis on the end of the ram was replaced by a fixed flange. That is, the mill lost "nodding" capability, though the head could still tilt. About the same time, larger tables were offered, usually 36 or 42 inch.

    A few years later, circa 1956, the round ram mill was replaced by the "dovetail ram" mill. This mill was a bit heavier in construction overall, and so better suited to the heavier J head and the larger table sizes. The dovetail ram brought back nodding motion for the head. For a while a kit was available for fitting a dovetail ram to an older round ram-type mill.

    There was another size bump-up somewhere along the way, from 9x- to 12x- tables, but I don't know just when that was.

    The round ram Bridgeport isn't really a "small" mill; it's definitely smaller than the dovetail ram Bridgeport which replaced it when examined side-by-side, but only about 10% smaller, and maybe 25-30% lighter. The dovetail ram machine is definitely a bit taller, and of course the J head is much taller than the M head. But the round ram mill is still bigger than a Millrite, and much bigger than a Rockwell or Johansson/Clausing. A Bench-Master or Hardinge BB is much smaller - real benchtop size.

    The round ram Bridgeport with an M head is just the thing for shops with limited (say, 6' or 6.5') headroom, like in cellars.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rantbot
    the round ram mill is still bigger than a Millrite, and much bigger than a Rockwell or Johansson/Clausing. A Bench-Master or Hardinge BB is much smaller - real benchtop size.
    Great summary!

    I have an 8x36 Millrite (about 1400 lbs) with on on Bridgeport J-Head. Amazing amount of milling machine in such asmall footprint.

    This combination also lets you use all the J-Head goodies: Volstro rotary head, QRA angle attachment, ...

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