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Bridgeport mill set-up

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  • Bridgeport mill set-up

    I have two questions on setting up my BP mill. Why do I have to level it? What ill effects will I experience if any, if the mill isn't level? Right now using a Starrett protractor head with bubble level and 7inch base, my mill table is setting at 1 degree. Not level by any means.

    This mill has a 1hp 230/240 volts 3 phase motor. I have a 1 1/2 hp RPC to run it. The problem I have is when I have the speed selection lever on the right hand side of motor in High range and I turn the power switch on the left hand side of the motor to High I get no motion. If I move power switch to Low spindle spins in CW direction at high range rpms. When I move speed selection lever to low range and put power switch in low spindle spins CCW at low rpms. With power switch put in high no motion. I would like to have my mill to run so when speed selection lever is in high and power switch in high it would run properly. Also to run properly in low range. Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Level, relatively level for convenience. A good quality carpenters level would work for this task. Level, so tooling, round parts, etc. don't roll off the table if left unrestrained. Level, so coolant or cutting fluid don't pool at one end of the table and overflow onto the floor.


    • #3
      It's my understanding that it isn't that important that it's level. A Bridgeport should be rigid enough that nothing is going to bend out of alignment if it's tipping one way or the other slightly.

      Where it can be useful is for setting up parts on the machine (you can use an inclinometer to set a part to 45 degrees in the vice, for example). May also help if you have flood coolant. Lastly, if you're doing something like inspecting, rebuilding or scraping the machine, it can be useful to have some or other part of it level so that you can compare this to other parts.

      Other than that, leveling is far more important to lathes where it's the most practical method of untwisting the bed, or tall mills like my RF45 where the column is unsupported and more liable to bend left or right if inclined. Even then, the error would be a minute X shift over the whole Z travel.


      • #4
        it does not have to be level, but if you can precision level it, it will allow you to use level as a reference for setups.


        • #5
          How many positions on the switch ? 3 or 5 ?

          If 3 then it's only forward or reverse, if 5 then it's a two sped motor.

          It's very confusing as the 3 position switchs have anything on them depending on what Bridgeport's got an offer on.
          Low, off, High
          1, 0, 11
          Fwd, O, Rev
          Splutter, off, sparkle, think that was the Lucas model.

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


          • #6
            John, you forgot to say that being a Bridgeport there's no point in levelling. It wil sag and flow until it is level!
            Paul Compton


            • #7
              John, you forgot to say that being a Bridgeport there's no point in levelling. It wil sag and flow until it is level!
              Paul Compton


              • #8
                If there ever comes a time that you want to hold and machine a screw ball part and you use a level to hopefully set up the part, don't forget to compensate for the amount your machine is off. But hey, what does it mater if you junk a few parts until you figure out what you are doing wrong. All the Bridgeports I moved into place were leveled for the reason stated above.



                • #9
                  Mine done the exact same thing when I hooked it up... Had a smart electrician help me with getting the correct amps through the lines...It turned out that it had something to do with the way the switch was wired...Not sure what he done, but that's where you need to focus your attention....