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Bridgeport evaluation

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  • Bridgeport evaluation

    I get to go look at a couple of machines next week, one of which is a Bridgeport. Have no idea what series, etc. Probably a 9 x42 but I really don't know. It's been around a while in a shop. Any specifics that I should look at would be appreciated. I don't think power is available for the machines. I do know where they came from but don't have a complete history. Does a BP use an R8 spindle taper or does it vary by model? There is a distinct possibility that my 20 x 24 shop could get really, really cramped. What can I check with a dial indicator, test indicator, an Indicol and maybe a hammer - no, scratch the hammer.
    Merkel, Tx

  • #2
    Yep. Most are R8.
    Starters you can get the age by checking the serial # stamped on the front/top of the knee here -

    I'll let the others here flesh out how one goes about checking the condition of a BP Just got home from work I'm too tired to type all that.


    • #3
      How to evaluate a BP mill


      As I told you, I am a complete novice at this hobby, however I have found some good advice on these forums (and some not so good).

      I found this link on the Practical Machinist site a few days ago.

      Perhaps it will be of some use to you.



      • #4
        Power would be helpful.

        It's a shame that the machines can't be listened to under power. It's possible to discover a myriad of problems with a machine under power. Noises from bad bearings, worn bushings and keys, flapping belts and, as in the case of the Mill I bought a while back, a broken gear in the downfeed.

        Certainly you can do a lot of measurements with a dial test indicator and other test equipment, but a power-up test is very important.

        I'm not suggesting that you not make a purchase under such conditions but I would not bid as high for a machine that isn't under power. You need to have some reserve for repairs, especially with parts prices as they are.

        My 2 cents.


        • #5
          Thanks all for the suggestions. I kinda know these machines, so that helps. I haven't been in the shop where the mill used to be in about a year and haven't heard it run since then but it ran smooth last time I saw it run. I just don't know diddly about a BP except that it's big and gray and is now sitting in the corner of another shop looking neglected. And I might not get it or get to keep it - they guy that has them wanted to keep the mill but other issues surrounding this equipment may prevent his doing so and I may luck out.

          The lathe is in the 12 x 40 area, not sure the brand but most likely a well used US item. Zero tooling with any of it. Once I get some model/serial number data I can be more specific I'm sure. Racing this weekend so I might get over there Sunday - depends on if it really rains this Saturday and we get shut down and have to move a race to Sunday. The bad Saturday forecast may reduce the car count such that we have to just give it up - I love it when the NWS and the local forecasts don't jibe. 50% chance will keep a bunch home.
          Merkel, Tx