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  • Flood coolant on a Bridgeport

    Hi all,

    I am thinking of getting the coolant system on my bridgeport up and running. I currently use a squirty bottle but after a good few cuts, the sump is starting to see some of the drain-off.

    Now i know the experts are going to advise that no home machinist needs flood coolant, but i dont see why not, if the cutters are getting hot & the chips are getting in the way then it needs coolant in my view.

    I cant afford spraymist, fog cool, or any other gizmo's, and i dont have an air supply anyway.

    So i have two questions to ask...

    1-How do you drain a bridgeport sump tank?

    2-Just how much mess does flood coolant make on a BP ? Assuming small cutters-1/16" - 3/4", i tend to squeeze my bottle quite hard and that seems ok but it really makes your hand sore after a while, plus it only leaves one hand free to twiddle the crank.

    I have Rocol Multisol coolant which does not seem to grow mould etc, i guess tramp oil will be quite high as it gets 'well' lubricated, but what does that do to coolant?

    Or, how about this, run the two drain pipes to a seperate tank, fit the pump in that and use the sump only to catch oversplash and tramp oil, but i dont have any idea how bad oversplash is (refer to Q2 above)

    Thanks in advance

    Dave
    If it does'nt fit, hit it.
    https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
    http://www.davekearley.co.uk

  • #2
    I would rather slop hogs then run a flood system on a BP, less mess and I'm no farmer.
    Mist coolant systems are about 100.00,a cheap air compressor 400.00 to 500.00.
    Keep using the squirt bottle and get an air compressor.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi,

      Coolant is a good thing. Setting your BP up with it is a great idea. And it's not messy either.

      All you need is a cheap 5gal pail, (preferably with a lid), a cheap pump, like this one, http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?P...&PARTPG=INLMK3 and a few feet of plastic hose and fittings.

      If your table isn't already drilled for drain holes, drill and pipe tap one at each end. Screw in cheap nylon plastic fittings, (the kind with the barbs one one end), I like one "street el" type and one tee. Fit cheap flexible hose between them and to the pail. hook up pump with same type cheap plastic hose and your basically set.

      You will also need to make something to attach the line to your mill somewhere. Could as simple as a plumbing pipe clamp. Or you could make a nice manifold. Or Enco has these for your business end, http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INPDFF?P...MITEM=200-2020In any case, setting up flood coolant doesn't have to be hard or expensive or messy.

      dalee
      If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

      Comment


      • #4
        J.Ramsey, great description!
        But i did mention i have no money for a nice coolant system, your example would run me about £275, i just dont have that spare at present and the neighbors would likely complain at a compressor running unless it was silent.

        dalee100, the mill is already tapped and piped, it also has the original dispenser pipe fitting and tube.

        I guess the best thing is to give it a go, if it turns out that i need to wear waterproof boots, then i guess i'll give it a miss:-)
        If it does'nt fit, hit it.
        https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
        http://www.davekearley.co.uk

        Comment


        • #5
          I posted a <$100 coolant system on www.metalillness.com it was made with a poly food-oil 35 gallon barrel, a small lil giant pump and some lines and tubing.

          I screwed up by using corn oil in water to machine aluminum, mice love to chew on it.

          The return lines was not adequate for the 3/4 pipes output. I hooked a vacuum pump to the barrel and it'd suck it dry (tAble drains), you can do the same with a shop vac.
          Excuse me, I farted.

          Comment


          • #6
            Dave. I use pieces of thin plexiglass held up with magnets to keep most of the swarf on the table and away from my face. Put the magnets in a plastic bag when you're cutting steel.
            As for cleanup. Pump as much out of the sump as you can and then go in with rags.

            Comment


            • #7
              I just set up the flood on my Bridgeport sized CNC yesterday. Was cutting hardened steel with carbide and it seemed like a good idea for insert life. I've done the same job dry before and a visual inspection of the inserts looks like it helped. I think mist coolant would have been a poor choice for this job.

              I've got no complaints about the flood system. There's a valve to regulate the flow, so it doesn't have to make a big mess. I used some scrap sheet metal to make deflectors to keep most if it in the table, but sooner or later I'll pick up some lexan and make some nicer deflectors.

              I've got both mist and flood on that machine, but I think I'll use flood most of the time now. Living in the cloud of mist generated by running the machine for hours is not very pleasant.

              Comment


              • #8
                I've always advised against flood coolant for the home shop because of the mess, splash, coolant intrusion, and potential for flood.

                I manage chips with a shop vac picking them up in small batches as I make them. Use a powerful (at least 12 Amp) shop vaq with a clear unclogged filer. I have a vac I use to suck chips on the lathe and mill and I use it for no other purpose. I use another for general clean up.

                If you really want to use flood coolant you need to build a set of spash guards on the table of your mill. These don't have to be fancy but they do have to be well designed and convenient, instantly removable without tools, and arranged to over lap so they direct coolant splash back onto the table for return to the sump. It's quite a trick to make them so you can use them with the knee in any position up or down but still not interfer with the ram or direct vision of the point of operation.

                My favorite material for splash guards is .040 aluminum and that cheap tough plastic at the big box store used for storm windows.

                Ideally no chips or coolant splash escapes and the operator side guard can be snatched off for access. Find a machine tool show room and look over the splash and chip containment of the CNC machines. Much of it is very clever and represents better engineering than the balance of the machine.

                That takes us to plumbing. Route the coolant supply line to the side of the head and mount a firm bracket to hold the coolant spout. You monky with the coolant spout a lot so make it so its easily accessed and adjusted. I've seen nothing to beat Lok-Line snap together coolant spout components. There are many clone versions and I think their components interchange but check. A simple little submersible pump in a 5 gallon pail with a cover cut away to clear hose and cord passage is as simple and convenient as it gets and it's easily cleaned and cheap to replace. Return hose is soft rubber automotive heater hose. Install a divider in the pail to baffle the returned coolant from the pump side so the chips and fines can settle. You want a strainer in the well at each end of the table. Mill the well cavity or clean it out with a burr to smooth it up for easy cleaning. Make a strainer from perforated metal that fits the well snugly. Install a spacer to locate the strainer above the coolant return port. Make everything easily removable for access to clogs.

                Expedients like import store arrow magnets attached to plastic work very well but they do nothing to keep coolant from seeping under them to drip on the floor, onto the knee, or from filling your pants cuffs and shoes.

                So there you are: run coolant if you must but build a good splash and chip containment if you do. There's a lot of details to work out but attending to them all makes for a minimum fuss, maximum convenience machine operation and a cleaner shop. A couple days spent making a chip and coolant containment system to eliminate 20 years of daily mess is a good investment.
                Last edited by Forrest Addy; 09-03-2007, 11:38 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks all,

                  I still have the original brass tap and dispenser pipe fitted so that'll do. I also have some perspex chip deflector panels on bendy magnetic stands so i can use them, maybe with a longer bit of same for the rear cover.

                  The table is plumbed up with 3/4" pipe so it has been used before, but i will use a seperate container/pump as the base tank is really full of crap, the pump still runs though so i could lift that out maybe and use it?

                  I'll give it all a go.

                  Dave
                  If it does'nt fit, hit it.
                  https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
                  http://www.davekearley.co.uk

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have flood coolant on my K&T Milwaukee mill, And I've used it alot.I was making a T-Slot table for one of my drill presses and it worked great.It does have a built in return which works great if you clean out the screen. I don't have any splash guards on it It doesn't make that much of a mess..

                    I don't think I could have made the T-Slot table with out it, Done it all with one cutter.And the flood coolant kept the chips wash out of the slots.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You guys are forgetting the OP is in England.The Bridgeports built over here have coolant sumps in the base with hoses back from the table.We don`t need three gallon pails.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Flood makes aluminum come out much better, washes the chips out so they don't go around and around and gall. Only reason I hooked mine up.
                        Excuse me, I farted.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 7018
                          I have flood coolant on my K&T Milwaukee mill, And I've used it alot.I was making a T-Slot table for one of my drill presses and it worked great.It does have a built in return which works great if you clean out the screen. I don't have any splash guards on it It doesn't make that much of a mess..

                          I don't think I could have made the T-Slot table with out it, Done it all with one cutter.And the flood coolant kept the chips wash out of the slots.
                          Hi,

                          Which K&T do you have? We've got 4 of the old monsters, (two vertical and 2 horizontal), all #3's. They have perhaps the worst coolant drain system I've ever seen, they drain into screened cavities in the table and then right through the top of the ways on the saddle. A design that guarantees washing of the oil on the ways and contamination of the coolant.

                          The serial number on my favorite indicates it was made 3 months after Pearl Harbor. And spent the war years making B17 parts for Boeing.

                          dalee
                          If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mark McGrath
                            You guys are forgetting the OP is in England.The Bridgeports built over here have coolant sumps in the base with hoses back from the table.We don`t need three gallon pails.
                            Curious, i thought all BP's were created identical, definatley got the sump in the base, with two screen covered holes on top for filter returns.

                            I still think i'll use a seperate collection method, the base of the mill collects tons of oil and crap, probably more than they were designed for as home users tend to over oil to protect their investments.

                            A seperate container on the return pipes only, with the oversplash going to waste will stop most contamination.

                            Dave
                            If it does'nt fit, hit it.
                            https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
                            http://www.davekearley.co.uk

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              cheap coolant system

                              You guys are all over engineering this . WAY over thinking it! Here is what you need: 2-5gallon buckets, some tubing and a shelve. Fill 1 bucket and sit it on the shelve above the mill. Run coolant into second bucket on floor. Switch buckets when appropriate.
                              Cheap! Simple. What he asked for in the first place!

                              mark61

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