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First CNC Mill advice: Bridgeport R2E3?

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  • First CNC Mill advice: Bridgeport R2E3?

    Hey guys,

    Another mill has popped up which is only a few hundred miles away from me.

    It is a Bridgeport R2E3 Series 1. Guy wants 4k for it, seems like that might be ALL the money for one of these...

    He is including a pc with some software he uses to drip feed it.

    Everything works good except the spindle speed is stuck around 3k rpm.

    He figures all someone needs to do is take the speed adjust pneumatics apart and clean everything up and it will work. No clue how this mechanism works.

    It looks like it is in nice shape and comes with a small amount of tooling.

    From what I have read this would be a great machine for a mach3 retrofit if the old control ever dies. (or if i get bored)

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated!! Cheers

    Last edited by legendboy; 10-17-2011, 11:10 PM.

  • #2
    I was part owner of a R2E3 a few years ago. We got it working but it had some intermittents in the controls and was not able to make it work repeatable. We lost interest in in.
    We had drip feed working also.
    I think 4k was about what we got it for. I believe it was sold for far less.

    I wanted to give ours a brain replacement but the other partner did not believe that Mach 3 would work so he sold it.

    Its Servos I think 100V so that means more expensive drives for a retrofit. The drives are not Step and direction. I think they are 10V analog. If i recall if you wanted to skip the Mach3 EMC rework there are some CNC controls out there that might be able to spice in. Of course its 3Ph for sure.
    Tooling was Erickson QC30 which is not that easy to find.

    Looks like that one also is a small table unit.

    It looks like it has been working so that a plus.

    Mechanically is a rather stout machine. If I had another chance at one have a go at it.



    • #3
      The only part that will be three phase is the motor and possibly a coolant pump. The rest will be single phase.

      If it works keep the existing control. Later on if it dies you can do other things like add some servo drives and mach or emc. The Dugong drives from Hungary are probably appropriate for it.


      • #4
        The speed adjust mechanism is identical internally to a manual bridgeport with the variable speed head. Externally, they removed the crank assembly and put on a air motor. The air motor has 2 inlet/outlet ports, the ports are reversed for inlet and outlet function to run the air motor in different directions. The reversing of the inlet/outlet ports is handled by a 24v air solenoid in the control cabinet. Its a pretty simple setup.

        These are 1980's machines and the iron is quite good. The electronics is of course way behind the times in terms of capability. The biggest thing to look at is the condition of the ways on the machine, that is of utmost importance. 4K would be a high price around here, 2.5k and down would be the norm selling price (not asking price)

        NMTB30 quick change tooling is not that hard to find, ebay has a steady flow of it. I picked up about 50 holders over a year peroid for a average of $35 each.

        If you later converted it to mach the existing power supply could be reused. Dugong drives would work fantastic on this machine.

        I retrofitted a very similar machine to mach a couple years ago. It works fantastic and I am extremely pleased.


        • #5
          Thanks for the info guys, i greatly appreciate it

          Regarding the speed control, sounds very simple, not too worried about it after getting a brief overview on how it works.

          Regarding the price, i was a bit disapointed when he said he wanted 4k for it.

          I have been watching prices all over the internet and do realize that i should be able to buy one cheaper. Problem is very little comes up locally and because there are very few used machines up here, prices usually pretty high.

          I have shipped a surface grinder and a mill from NJ and the cost was around 1k all said and done so I can take that into consideration.

          I am still a bit unsure if I want to buck up for this little mill. There is a compumill with daynapath delta 20 i can get up here for around 6k. There is also a leadwell 450 drill tap on ebay i can likely get up here for about 7k.

          Few different options so not too sure which way i should go.

          What sort of feeds is the R2E3 capable of in steels?


          • #6

            Metal removal rates will be similar to manual machines of the same size. It's still pretty much a gussied up turret style mill. With the advantages and disadvantages that come with that type.

            If the price is right, it's a good intro in to CNC production. But if you "take off" with it, it can also quickly become a very limiting machine.

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


            • #7
              $4000 isnt too out of line for a working machine.

              You should be able to move some decent metal with it. More than a regular BP, the head is solid back to the column so it is a lot more rigid. Thats 3 less moving joints. Also the head bolts right to the column, no adjustment.


              • #8
                Hmmm, something odd going on here.

                The same machine is on eBay now - 180739250977. Its eBay Item Location is
                given as Roseau, Minn. Wait, there is a comment at the end of the description
                that the machine is located in Alberta, not Minn.

                Perhaps the vendor noticed the R2E4 in Texas - 390121114322. Bigger table
                and a $9.5k BiN.



                • #9
                  yep he listed it on kijiji also

                  when i talked to him thats what he said: "there are lots for sale for way more money then mine"

                  typical type of response

                  i am thinking i would rather find a non running servo series 2 machine on the cheap and do the retrofit right off the bat.....not really too keen on paying thousands extra for the working boss control


                  • #10
                    Yep, I looked up the Kijiji ad first and came across the eBay listing later.

                    Might be interesting to call his bluff and throw down a bid. It is possible
                    the reserve is the same as the Ask on Ki, or it might also be lower.

                    Based on your conversation, the machine works now. If the variable speed
                    could be restored with just a solonoid or air motor, it appears the machine
                    would be fully functional again. Sub-4K for a local CNC mill doesn't seem
                    a lot for this locale. If there is some paying work on the horizon, it
                    might support itself right away and maybe fund a future upgrade ?



                    • #11
                      out with the old!



                      • #12
                        Word of caution - pick the front cover for the electrical distribution panel
                        up off the floor and reinstall it on the panel.



                        • #13
                          haha thanks for the advise, my electrician neighbour always gives me crap about it

                          the electrical in my garage is a "work in progress"

                          my new mill comes with an RPC, which will make things much more tidy


                          • #14
                            Then I suppose he has told you that it would only take something
                            falling off the left side of that Wurth cabinet in an unlucky way to
                            ruin your whole day.

                            Consider this, if a direct short occurs in the panel, what kind of arc
                            will there be and how far is it to the main disconnect?

                            It only takes a few fasteners to install the cover ...



                            • #15
                              Got the Bridgeport back to my work. Getting a bit nervous about the move home.

                              I am going to take off the spindle motor...etc to make as short as possible.

                              The machine needs to be on a skid for the move home. Not exactly sure what type of skid i need to build. Also, how to get it off the skid once its home lol