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bridgeport mill

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  • #16
    you guys are awesome! thanks for all your help and advice.


    • #17

      Well, me too, as they say. I have a '77 J-head Bridgeport that I moved into my basement with one helper. We used a pallet mule, pieces of 4x4, plywood, and a homemade ramp to get it off of the rental truck. I drove from VA to NH to get it, where it was loaded with a forklift.
      When I backed the rental up to my driveway, my neighbor asked what I had and whether I knew how I was going to get it off the truck. "It's a Bridgeport vertical mill" and "no" were the answers. Off to Home Depot for a lot of heavy wood, and 2 hrs later had a sturdy ramp. Rolled it off with the pallet jack, with a friend and a stout rope helping to keep it from "getting away". It sat in the garage for a couple of weeks, but I finally bit the bullet and rented a big truck with a lift gate. The hardest part was removing the table by myself and walking it down to the basement. Got the mill on the gate and drove the truck around back. Set her down next to the patio door, and gradually stepped it up and in the patio door. Lots of sweat, but no damage or injury. Total moving time: about 3 hours. If I ever sell this place, the mill will convey with the property.


      Whether it's broken or not, I can probably fix it - if by "fix it" you mean "make it different than it was"


      • #18

        i've moved a lot of heavy iron lately and i use the same method Marv did. buy 4 or 5 pieces of 4' 1" black pipe at the local home center. have a few nylon ratchet straps (or a 1 ton come-a-long) handy. rent a drop-deck trailer (a 4000# one should do).

        here's a few tips. when you load the mill on the trailer, put it on pieces of 2x4 or 2x6 for the trip home. 1" black pipe just fits under the machine when supported on 2x boards. when unloading the machine, sweep the floor up in front of where you will be rolling it. even small pieces of debris will stop the pipes from rolling. keep a strap on the machine so it can only move a foot at a time. it takes a bit longer to move it this way, but at least it won't go rolling over your fingers and toes or through a wall.

        andy b.
        The danger is not that computers will come to think like men - but that men will come to think like computers. - some guy on another forum not dedicated to machining


        • #19
          I managed to snag a Bridgeport base minus head from my favorite scrapyard last year. I just had them fork it into my pickup, lowered the knee and tied it down. Not the greatest way to carry it, although it was tied to the frame with ratchet straps, under extreme stress (like an accident) I was worried the box would collapse. That's a GM 3500 dually, don't try that with a light pickup, 1200 pounds in the bed just makes it drive better. With the head it would have been more problematic because of the higher CG.

          I moved another mill on a flatbed trailer. Tied down front, back and side to side. Moved that one 300 miles. Ratchet straps are your friend, but be sure to pad them with pieces of carpet or cardboard where they rub against anything. More straps are better than not enough. Chains are good too, but be sure to use good chain.

          Ideally, you want the load secured so that if the trailer tips the load stays stuck. That means side to side restraint, not just front and back.

          Saw a guy towing a backhoe who lost it going around a corner and had the trailer flip. The backhoe stayed stuck. That's the way to secure a load.

          I've used tow trucks to unload equipment. When you call them, be sure you explain what you want to do, some of the newer trucks don't have the boom reach to unload stuff.

          Don't assume the tow guy knows everything about moving equipment. I had a tow truck offload a 3000 pound lathe and the strap slipped right before it got into the garage. It only dropped 6 inches, but it made an impressive noise. No damage, but they had it ten feet in the air 10 minutes earlier.

          Mills are kind of tippy, so lower the knee and rotate the head to keep the center of gravity as low as possible. Bridgeports should have a threaded hole in the ram for a lifting eye (if you do this, be sure to use an industrial quality eye, not one from your local hardware store). That makes it easy to pick up, or use a strap under the ram. It's a lot easier to control when suspended from the top. If you use a forklift to pick it up from the bottom, be sure to use a strap to keep it from rolling off the forks. Don't listen to the forklift operator tell you it's not necessary. I got a good deal on a lathe project that had been rolled off of a forklift driven by a "pro".

          As machines go, it's not all that heavy, but from a human viewpoint it is. The knee is around 400 pounds, the table is 250, the base casting is around 750 and the head is around 250 or so. Be careful moving it around and never ever put any part of your body between a suspended mass and the ground. Try to anticipate where trouble might happen and stay out of the way. When things go wrong, they tend to do so quickly and bodies are not much of an impediment to that.

          One of the hardest lessons to learn in moving machinery is the futility of trying to do something when things go bad. It is instinctive, but reaching out will not stop 1800 pounds of iron from falling over. It can get you seriously injured or killed. Plan ahead, think about what you are doing and take it slow. Oh yeah, once it's in, have fun!


          • #20
            hi guys, thanx again for all your advice and information. in case anyone was wondering how i made out, i found a guy who has a rollback and a regular tow truck. we set the mill on the rollback with a forklift, then when we got to my shop we just put the winch on it and he tilted the bed back. she slid down right in front of the shop door. he came back the next day with his wrecker and just picked it up with a sling (yes, i remembered to torque the ram bolts before lifting), set it down on some 1" pipe and she rolled right in to the shop like butter. now i have before me the task of making her right. thanx once again to all who replied.


            • #21
              Hey fellas,
              I'm about to be in the same boat here.
              I may be acquiring an old round ram BP for a very low price, along w/ an Atlas 10" lathe. BP's head will not tram properly. It has .005 difference from back of table to front. (I think the back of table is lower than front.) Owner says the knee is worn.
              The BP comes with it's own phase converter too.
              I heard the BP's ram can be rotated somehow, to compensate for this problem??? Anyone care to comment on this?
              Please keep in mind this is my first mill, so I don't know all about them. I just know how to do basic milling on them. I don't know the machines in and out, if you know what I mean.
              Just thought I'd share. This is going to be a good first experience for me, and if nothing else, I can do all kind so of neat home projects on the mill and lathe, that were previously impossible to do.
              Just thought I'd ask you fellas, and see if I can learn something....
              Paul Cataldo


              • #22

                Check out


                the guys here apparently eat sleep and dream bridgeport grey.



                • #23
                  Chech out this guy's old round ram machine. A lot of work !!! Pretty nice stuff.


                  Other B'port stuff



                  [This message has been edited by lklb (edited 04-16-2005).]


                  • #24
                    been a long time lurker. and decided to chime in on this one. As far as moving the mill. Take a look at this page.
                    I have moved several vertical mills using this method and it works great.

                    On another note. I have a BP clone that had less than 50 hours on it that I got for free. All I had to do was move it. It can from an older lady from down the street. Her husband died about a year after buying it and it had sat there ever since. about 4 to 5 years after his death she got tired of all the machine tools in her garage so she started to sell them. all of them sold 'cept the mill. Wish I had of know about this before had, 'cause she sold his 9x36 SB lathe with all the tooling for $350.

                    I have the above mentioned mill (the only marking on it is A Select Machine Tool tag and is is an exact clone of a BP series 1.) and a Myre's
                    10x72 Lathe. I paid $200 for the lathe and replaced the bearing bushings and it does nice work. The lathe was built in the late 1890's. that about all I know about it. if any one here knows any thing about either one of the machines please let me know about it.


                    [This message has been edited by SplineDown (edited 04-16-2005).]
                    It\'s not hard being good once in a while, the trick is to be good all the time.