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I need Help fixing my Bridgeport Mill

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  • I need Help fixing my Bridgeport Mill

    Today I was turning the crank, milling a part when all of a sudden the table stopped moving. The crank turns but the table does not move IN and OUT. The left/right still works fine. Something inside has broken, worn out or come loose?????

    I can grab the table with both hands and pull it forward all the way to the front of the machine. I can push it by hand all the way to the back of the machine. It slides back and forth and the handle does not move and there is no sound of the threads on the screw dragging on anything. This machine has a 48" table, it also has a variable speed head.

    Is there an online manual?

    Does anyone have an idea what happened?

    How do I get this apart to fix it?

    Where can I buy parts?
    Last edited by gary350; 03-11-2010, 04:25 PM.

  • #2
    I'm no expert Gary, but how long can you turn that handle for? forever?
    Sounds to me like the key broke. . . take the nut off of the end of your
    handle and check -- it might be a little woodruff key, I don't remember.



    • #3
      I can't believe that owner's of Bridgeports still don't know how to download the free manuals from the factory.

      I have a different type of BP than most folks (it used to be a "Line-A-Mill") so my machine probably is different from yours (but then again, you don't say what type of BP you have), but I have shaft couplers between the handle shafts and the actual leadscrews. Look first at your "X" axis, since you can crank the table to the extreme right and look underneath. If you have a shaft coupler, then maybe that's the problem with your "Y" axis. I had that happen once to me. I do believe that Series 1 BP's have a continuous leadscrew where the handle attaches to the end, but again, we don't know what kind of BP you have.
      Last edited by Jim Caudill; 03-11-2010, 04:12 PM.


      • #4
        If the table will slide by pushing/pulling it, then the leadscrew nut must have come out of the housing.
        Paul Compton


        • #5
          iam no bridgeport tech but the leadscrew nut must have come out is a defent for sure if handel turns and you can push and pull the table in and out then its let go or stripped very badly .. one of the 2 for sure,,


          • #6
            If the saddle can be moved by hand, something happened to the nut. There is a chance the nut just came loose or it could be broken.

            Bridgeports are very easy to work on. They are far from being rocket science. Just take your time. I would start by removing the "Y" axis handle assembly. Remove enough stuff and you will be able to see inside.

            You may need to remove the table which is not difficult. You will need a table or cart under the table for when it disengages from the dovetail. Use the knee to raise and lower for the right height. Also use pieces of wood for the table to rest on.

            This could be an opportunity to make your Bridgeport better than ever.

            Let us know what you find.
            Last edited by outback; 03-11-2010, 08:32 PM.
            So much to learn, so little time


            • #7
              I don't know where to start first. I would like to talk to someone that has worked on this problem before. I can not tell much from the online photos. I don't want to take a bunch of things apart then find out I took the wrong thing apart. It would be nice to know how to do the the correct way.


              • #8
                Sorry to break this to you Gary but:

                The mill is toast.
                Parts are unavailable.
                New parts can be fabricated by HSM guys but must be made from Unobtanium.
                Unobtanium is difficult to get.

                The good news is:
                I'll buy this mill from you because I think you're a nice guy.
                PM me.

                My Dad always said, "If you want people to do things for you on the farm, you have to buy a machine they can sit on that does most of the work."


                • #9
                  Gary , guys might be lining up at your door to help fix this thing but who knows where the hell you are? How 'bout a location? You might be next door, how do we know?


                  • #10

                    There should be 4 bolts on the "Y" axis crank handle attaching it to the knee. Remove the 4 bolts and I think the crank handle assembly will come out with the feed screw. You should be able to see your problem imediately.

                    It is all very simple. Come on, get busy. It goes back together the same way it comes apart.
                    So much to learn, so little time


                    • #11
                      MotorradMike: lol.

                      gary350: if you know what end of a wrench to use on a nut, then you can figure out how to take apart a bridgeport. Its *WAYYY* easyer then working on a car, more like an IKEA bed in complexity level, just heavyer.

                      a couple good hints however would be to remove the gib before trying to slide the table off, or it will bind once almost completely removed without fail, and then you'll have to hold one end of the table up while someone hits it with a hammer and its just.. not good for anything.

                      Be aware that little metal shims may be hiding, and need to be put back where they came from, and the same number of them (same shaped shims may be used in multiple locations, with diffrent counts of each in each location)

                      Also, other parts that look identical may NOT be identical, if you ever come across two parts that look the same, mark them and where they came from to insure the correct one goes back where it came from, or things may bind.

                      Table and everything else will be unexpectly heavy, insure the person helping you (You can't lift a table alone without a crane or something, and its allways best to have someone around incase something big falls on you even with a crane) is informed that its VERY heavy and to lift the table UP before slideing it off, or they may drop it when its weight hits them. (Slideing the table around with no gib makes it feel like its 30lbs! its more like 300lb)

                      Basicly just take it apart and look at the part that connects the big acme screw to the table. :P Fix whatever no longer works.
                      Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


                      • #12
                        Bridgeport Help

                        I just jumped into my new/old BPT and I pulled my saddle off yesterday. On the front of the knee there are 4 hex socket screws holding the bearing / dial bracket. Take those out and pry the bracket off of the two roll pins that align it on the front of the knee and pull the crank handle toward you. Looking at the design, I'm betting that the backlash adjusting screw came out and the whole nut assembly is just sliding in and out of the housing. Mine was loose which was why I had about 30 thousandths play in my dial. Just for reference, I purchased a copy of the manual in the link below and it was a huge help in getting me going. I had never touched a bridgeport before a few weeks ago and I'm having no problems. I do not have any connection to this seller but I highly recommend it if you've never done it. I was surprised. This is not one of those xeroxed bridgeoport parts manuals. This book goes through the whole tool step by step including the procedure your're asking about. Henry



                        • #13
                          I had mine apart last year. The guys talking about the nut are probably right on. If your neck can do the exorcist thing look up from the bottom with a bright flashlight. Also the comment about taking the screw out by undo-ing the 4 cap bolts on the front should be right on as well. If it needs that much repair (brass nut came out of housing) I think the table will have to come off to get access. Simple but heavy.


                          • #14
                            Bridgeport Help

                            Hi Abner, you may be right but if the nut did come out, it appears you should be able to get the nut and locking screw back in the housing without having to pull the table off. A long screwdriver with some sticky tape on the end to hold the screw on it should work (if the screw can be found in the bottom of the knee). It looks like you unscrew the feedscrew as far as it will go and pull the saddle to the front of the knee. There is a gap there and the book shows doing the nut adjustment through that gap with a long screwdriver so I would imagine that there is enough room to get the screw back in. Henry


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tdmidget
                              Gary , guys might be lining up at your door to help fix this thing but who knows where the hell you are? How 'bout a location? You might be next door, how do we know?
                              I am in Murfreesboro, TN.