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  • Hey Thrud! (et al)

    I picked on Thrud because I KNOW he'll have an opinion. I started sniffing around for a small mill last week, and ran across a BH Bridgeport. When I talked to the folks on Friday, it didn't sound too promising, as there was no tooling, obsolete M2 spindle, and almost $3,000. But today (Monday) they scared up some appropriate collets and a boring head, dropped the price $600, and sent a bunch of pictures. This thing has all the frosting on the ways still, my guess less than 100 hrs run time? Vintage mid- 50's machine. Been saving for a mill almost 15 years now, but something always comes up, broken cars, teeth, shoot the wrong gun, etc. Recent events make me say 'f-it, life's too short to go without the good stuff. For the price of a Tiwanese mill drill I can have some sweet old metal. Guess I'm looking for someone to put a shoe factory in my butt. Thrud, this is where you come in...Would prefer a self releasing taper (for both mill and shoe factory) and a spouse that understood such things, but there are concessions to be made in this life time. Going without a mill any longer doesn't seem to be a worthwhile one!

  • #2
    Giz, Giz, Giz

    Sometimes you have to say, "I don't need on stinkin' teeth - there is always oatmeal and beer". Or, as the dentist tells me a root canal is $1800 - "So, for $35 I get novacaine AND the tooth pulled..." Novacaine is just a bonus - I would have done it with out the drugs! HA-HA-HA-HA! (Doctors wince when you tell them that.

    I see two problems here - tooling for MT#2 is difficult to find: ER-25 is the largest precision collets you can use (1-16mm), biggest drill chuck is a Jacobs 18N as no commercial shanks are made for the 20N, MT#2 shanks should all be drawbar equipt, and the largest boring head shank available is 7/8"-20. Plus it's painted grey.

    So you are limited to 5/8" maximum shank on cutters and flycutters - the largest facing mill I have (or have seen) is 1.25" triple insert. If you are willing to turn your own special tooling shanks to allow things such as 1-1/4" bore saws or larger mills, etc. then go for it.

    I would prefer a R-8 spindle, but as has been proven all over europe machines with MT#2 can still do outstanding work. And it sounds like it has been taken care of - that counts for much. A qaulity machine in good shape is hard to beat.

    I would still see if you can get them to cough up more goodies - tell them the wife is bitching at you (even if she is a sweetie pie) tell them you are serious but, you need that little extra "something" to close the deal - it may work. If they go for it, jump on it. Blame me.

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    • #3
      Consider it done! The blaming part anyway.

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      • #4
        The hell with the root canal and novocaine, left it alone and 20 years later it fell out by itself. Saved the $35.00 too.
        I take it you have not seen the mill in person. This adds moving to the picture as well. The MT #2 tooling is a drawback as I see it. Aside from difficulty in locating, you can't take advantage of the Bridgeport power as well. Probably has a 1/2 HP motor. Probably also is a round ram machine, so you may be able to locate another head with R8 spindle.
        I frequently see very nice Bridgeports going in the $1000-$2000 range at auction and some private sales. When you get over $2000, it should have power feed(s) or DRO's.
        You are wise in avoiding offshore mill drills and looking for a Bridgeport or similar. Offer them $1500 and see what they say. Mention having to replace head with the real deal etc.
        If you have just started looking, dig around some more. I would guess this mill will be available for a while if you decide to buy it.

        [This message has been edited by JCHannum (edited 09-10-2002).]
        Jim H.

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        • #5
          Dear Gizmo I am not happy with your heading Thru et al.
          there is only one al on this chat forum and he has not been et by thrud to date although if he did he would be in for a shock as I would probably taste like an old boot signed Big Al the chat forums pal
          Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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          • #6
            Did you say they dropped the price $600.00 or the price is now 600.00. If the price is now 600.00 then buy it. But you can pick up at auction bridgports that are a lot newer for $2400.00.With small shops goin out of business right and left. The last bridgeport I know about sold out of a factory as surplus went for $2000.00.2hp varispeed head with hte factory motorized table.Personally I'd low ball the he$$ out of them and look for a better deal.my.02

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            • #7
              True one could pick up a B'port at auction, if one was at the auction. The trouble with this approach is that not only is time money, but so is fuel. If you are lucky enough not to live somewhere where the are multiple weekly/monthly auctions, you may have to pay more for a piece of equipment that is available locally. This upfront cost is offset by saved days, wages, and fuel. Spotting a item in an auction flier, taking the day off etc. does not guarantee that you will either be able to purchase said item, or that said item is worth purchasing.
              I paid 2650 for mine. It is a mid '60s, and has some wear, but not as much as I have seen in some others. I would have liked to have paid the guy $25.00, but.... It has a DRO, and came with some minor tooling. I do not think either the seller or myself were too badly hurt. The question is whether or not I would have a mill now if I had decided that I could get a steal at an auction. Probably not, but I would have a lot more miles on the vehicle, motel bills, and less days to go hunting this fall. Life is a series of trade offs. I preferred to trade a little more cash on a good running mill and possession of my life.
              Gizmo may be in the same boat. WY is not an industrial center.
              I have noticed that there has been quite a bit of MT collets on ebay lately. They must be imports, and sets are selling for $20-70. I had pretty well settled on buying an RF45 type of mill drill. I spent about 9 months trying to find a good used lathe at a fair price and within a few hours of here. I then purchased an import. I did not want to go through that again while mill hunting.
              I am glad I stumbled (it more or less found me) onto this B'port. As many times as I have raised and lowered the table, I would have strangled the dog out of frustration had I been lining up the table on a regular mill drill. Mike

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              • #8
                Ain't nothin' wrong with Morse #2 tooling. The only potential drawback I see is the tooling size limit (1/2" shank). As long as you can live with that, don't worry about it. If you need (REALLY need) heavier tooling than what you can get with M2, then it's a problem. Otherwise, no. What size work are you planning to tackle?

                That mill will be slightly smaller overall than an R8 B'port, which may be adventageous depending on how much shop space you have.

                As Thrud says, a quality machine in good shape is hard to beat. If it really is in good shape, and it will meet your needs, I'd be tempted to go for it. Don't worry (too much) about a couple hundred bucks. You'll have the thing for 20 or more years, and if it really is a nice mill that you enjoy using, a year from now you won't remember what you paid for it.
                ----------
                Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
                Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
                Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
                There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
                Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
                Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

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                • #9
                  Thanks to all. When you lust for something it is hard to maintain perspective, which is exactly why I posted! I knew you guys would see it from different angles. Like that movie 'Shallow Hal', the way I'm seeing this beauty may be slightly skewed.
                  I am not completely thrown off the scent yet, but I am going to slow down a bit. University of Wyoming sold off their entire machine shop about four months ago, and that would have been a golden opportunity for a bargain. I previously lived in NW Indiana, Detroit was only a skip and a jump away by western standards, and they had warehouses full of Bridgeports, each with buckets of tooling. Such is life. Out here where the buffalo roam different sorts of chips are the mainstay. Millng machines are not quite as common. I currently have NO space, so a smaller unit is in order. A mill/drill probably makes the most sense. But for several years now Projects in Metal has at least one article per issue of someone trying to turn their Asian mill drill into something useful. I think I'd rather spend similiar money on a solid platform. I've done all my milling now for the last 15 years on the lathe! (surpising number of ways to tackle the problem, really) So I can look a couple more weeks, certainly.
                  All your advice is most welcomed and insightful, except I must say to Alistair-Exception noted, Overuled! If 'Thrud et Al' then I suppose HE'D be the one complaining about it.

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                  • #10
                    Have you looked at the Jet JVM-626 or the JTM-830? If you are cramped for space, those might be good options. Also a used Clausing or Rockwell mill would be worth considering, if you can find one.

                    Personally, I'd avoid the mill/drill route. I don't think you'll ever be truly satisfied with it and will always want a "real" milling machine. If it's the best you can do, a mill/drill is certainly better than nothing, but for the money you're talking about I think you can do better. Those machines I mentioned above don't have much more of a footprint than a mill/drill, maybe the same.

                    ----------
                    Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
                    Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
                    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
                    There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
                    Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
                    Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You're fogettin' the other Al (Hi Al!!) might a been him got et.


                      <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Alistair Hosie:
                      there is only one al on this chat forum and he has not been et by thrud to date [/B]</font>
                      Tel

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                      • #12
                        I agree with SGW. I would avoid the mill drill. There are several smaller knee mills available that are smaller than the Bridgeport, and very useful in the home shop.
                        All Bridgeports are on the same base, and have a large footprint compared to those mentioned above.
                        There is nothing wrong with eBay, especially if you can find one in your area. You may be able to inspect before bidding.
                        Jim H.

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                        • #13
                          Gizmo. I didn't know you lived in Wyo. Some guys have all the luck. Around here(Chicago suburbs) there's an auction just about every week and stuff is going for silly prices, especially the smaller auctions that dealers won't go to.Right now I'm between jobs or I'd hit more of them and pick up some stuff. At any rate this doesn'r help your situation. If you back to em you could mention that Morse taper is obsolete and you d give them whatever and see what they say.Also JCH is right. If it is a round ram it just isn't worth their asking price nomatter what shape its in.Good luck to ya.
                          As for mill drills; sometimes its all the rest of us can afford or at least have room for. (my allotted space in the garage is 8x12 feet)

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                          • #14
                            Is there anyone here that would like to compare a Grizzly G3358 with a JET JMD-15? Seriously.

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                            • #15
                              Rustybolt, The guys living in Idaho have all of the luck. Those in WY only have part of the luck. However, I think those in WY have more of the antelope, and I am jealous. Mike

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