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  • A zillion times better is a ...

    In Snowman's "Sorry John...I'm giving in" post, Ringer commented on there being machines out there that are a zillion times better than a Bridgeport (for a 1/4 of the price). As always it depends on what you are trying to do but for those of us that have lead sheltered lives (or only had Chinese machines to use), what are these under rated (priced) machines?
    My question relates to typical general purpose HSM sized machines - I saw a Huron MU4 the other day at a dealer but apart from a general interest didn't pay much attention as it would not fit in my limited space. It was surprising how much machine was attached to the back of it's table. Deckel's are another machine that have a fine reputation but price wise are usually out of home workshop budget range, especially if there are accessories involved.

    Michael

  • #2
    A zillion is a million times 26.

    Not to be confused with a brazillion which is how many times a Balding Beaver is better then a bridgeport..
    Precision takes time.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Ringer
      A zillion is a million times 26.

      Not to be confused with a brazillion which is how many times a Balding Beaver is better then a bridgeport..
      Hey my mill resembles that remark.

      In no order and probably UK slanted.

      Beaver,
      TOS
      Ajax
      Town and Woodhouse
      Rambudii <sp>
      Acton
      Elliott


      All are the same size or slightly bigger.
      All have beefier spindles most 6" or in the case of the Acton 8" travels.
      Most have fine feed to the quill With graduations.
      All have better feed gearboxes.
      Most have locks to hold the head in tram in case it's windy.
      All have larger drive motors.
      Most have box ways not dovetails.

      .
      .

      Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



      Comment


      • #4
        Mills

        One of the best deals out there now is a Clark. It's a Bridgeport copy, same size. Variable speed. Comes with power X feed, X & Y DRO for $5995 brand new. www.Penntoolco.com Model B3V-800P.
        Last edited by Toolguy; 07-05-2010, 07:01 PM.
        Kansas City area

        Comment


        • #5
          Cincinnati Toolmaster is another candidate for the "Better than a Bridgeport" listing.

          Comment


          • #6
            You Guys are starting to hurt My feelings bad mouthing Bridgeports
            It's a good thing I have a Kempsmith at home next to the Bridgy and a Cincinnati #5 at work or I'd probably pout or start name calling or worse, threaten to leave

            Steve

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by reggie_obe
              Cincinnati Toolmaster is another candidate for the "Better than a Bridgeport" listing.
              hooray thats one for us
              mark

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by reggie_obe
                Cincinnati Toolmaster is another candidate for the "Better than a Bridgeport" listing.

                Yeah, but they got that odd ball collet system which limits the accessories.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Wait!
                  Before comparing a Bridgeport to mills, the first question should be: "Is a Bridgeport a mill?".

                  Definition:
                  Bridgeport: Ugly contraption, often sold as a mill. Scrap yards refuse to accept them, so they have to be sold at eBay.


                  Nick

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't know why people bash the Bridgeport turret mill and its clones. A turret mill offers milling capacity over a sizeable range if the turret swivel and ram extension is taken into account. You can work parts nearly as large as the table travels. The nod and tilt knuckle brings compound angles to the work anywhere on the table if you're willing to do the math. Given carefully wrought strategy and a good DRO, a turret mill will work to near jig borer accuracy but sub-thousands expectations have to be augmented with mapping the machine's errors and properly compensating for them.

                    True, the Bridgeport's spindle is limited in power and rigidity and the over-all design has some built in performance limitations but when it comes to bang for the buck, the Bridgeport and all its clones are all but irreplaceible for maintenence work, limited production, schools, and the better equipped home shop.

                    It's a shameful practice to sneer at and degrade a perfectly capable machine tool serving a market niche very well. Impressionable noobs lurk here who may take irreponsible remarks as gospel, relegating in their minds Bridgeports and turret mills in general as unworthy when in fact they do a lot of work quite well.

                    All machine tools have some limitations. There was never a machine tool designed that was perfect for all applications and those who attempted the task gave to the world some ingenious but in the end unworkable products; most "3 in 1" machines are prime examples. A fully equipped "serious" milling machine having the same capabilites of a turret mill would cost several times as much and be considerably larger in footprint for the same work envelope.

                    If you choose to defame a machine tool that's enjoyed world wide distribution for 70+ years and copied by possibly hundreds of manufacturers maybe you're objecting to Bridgeport's success and not its actual merits.

                    I'm not that fond of Bridgeports myself. If I had my 'druthers I'd have a B&S Univeral Mill with all the attachments in their 1952 catalog. But who has that kinda money and space? And for that matter where could I find one that's well equipped in good shape? In fact, I own a Bridgeport clone that's so faithful a copy its manual is identical to Bridgeports down to the same IPD illustrations and part numbers. It really is hard to beat for the buck and it's served me well (I've grumbled a few times) for thirty years.

                    Bridgeport mills as a category are far better than nothing so lighten up you turret mill bashers unless you have a clearly superior alternative. My vote is for the Lagun - most any of their turret mill models. Hell of a machine and it's still in production. I have come to favor the Deckle for it's flexibility in ther smaller models but they are expensive. Another good alternative is the Cincinatti Toolmaster but they have been out of production for many years; good ones are very scarse.

                    Whatever you settle on, try for a machine that does NOT have an R8 spindle. Go for a machine with a MMT 40 quill/spindle designed for it. The 40 taper equipped J head is merely an extended R8 spindle with a #40 taper in it. Same quill, same spline drive, same bearings but in this option they're 2 1/4" away from the spindle nose. Good positive keyed flange drive on a rubber spindle. But if you can't find a #40 equipped turret mill, an R8 spindle will do. I've cussed one for years.
                    Last edited by Forrest Addy; 07-06-2010, 03:44 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Forrest Addy, it's called "running gag".
                      The Bridgeport runs and is a gag.


                      Nick

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by John Stevenson
                        Hey my mill resembles that remark.

                        In no order and probably UK slanted.

                        Beaver,
                        TOS
                        Ajax
                        Town and Woodhouse
                        Rambudii <sp>
                        Acton
                        Elliott


                        All are the same size or slightly bigger.
                        All have beefier spindles most 6" or in the case of the Acton 8" travels.
                        Most have fine feed to the quill With graduations.
                        All have better feed gearboxes.
                        Most have locks to hold the head in tram in case it's windy.
                        All have larger drive motors.
                        Most have box ways not dovetails.

                        .
                        I will add

                        Saimp
                        PRVOMAJSKA
                        Precision takes time.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I`ve never seen an Acton mill.Who made them?

                          Mark.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Forrest Addy
                            I don't know why people bash the Bridgeport turret mill and its clones.
                            All in a bit of fun, Bridgeports are OK for work in their work envelope..

                            Their reputation is partly wrecked by less then satisfactory clones that use things like ISO30 spindles and very large tables which makes people think you can do heavy milling with them...

                            The ISO30 spindles on a Bridgeport are a disaster as it means you need a collet chuck which reduces rigidity even more by sticking the cutting tool 4 inches or more from the spindle bearings...

                            A bog standard R8 with 9X40 table is quite a handy machine for any work within it's capabilities..
                            Precision takes time.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Changing the R8 to a 30 Taper was the best thing I could have done for my Supermax. Makes the machine much more productive. No collets to slip and the er chucks i use are very rigid. I can plow through aluminum 60 ipm, 1/4" DOC with a 1/2" endmill. Could go faster if I had more power. Leaves a beautiful finish.

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