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  • Bridgeport clone attributes

    Over the years and again more recently I've read about some Bridgeport clones being more robust than the originals.

    Specifically many of the Taiwanese machines.
    I'm seeing a lot of Supermax, Alliant, Chevalier, etc.

    How much truth in this please?
    Len

  • #2
    I've owned a new Chevalier, a used SuperMax & seen Alliants, none are heavier duty than the same series 1 or 2 Bridgeports & will never hold resale anywhere near what Brideports will. There are heavier duty mills than Bridgeports but not the 3 listed. I think some of the asian clones over rated the HP. I had a Supermax that claimed 5HP where the same machine in Bridgeport showed 4 HP.
    Last edited by flylo; 07-29-2017, 02:14 PM.

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    • #3
      There are "clones" and then there are "clones". Strictly speaking a "clone" of a Bridgeport would be an almost exact copy, right down
      to the wobbly structure and light weight. But there are many clones out there that emulate the design of a Bridgeport but outperform
      them by a wide margin because of their overall greater mass. I have a Taiwanese made "First" mill which has all the features of a
      Bridgeport but outweighs one by nearly 1000 lbs.

      There are a myriad of Bridgeport copies out there and, from what I've seen, anything made in Taiwan or Europe is going to be just fine
      as a home shop machine. Chinese stuff tends to be a little more crudely made but performs OK when new and if kept in decent shape.
      In my view anything new is going to be better than a worn out old POS that is more of a project than a tool...
      Keith
      __________________________
      Just one project too many--that's what finally got him...

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      • #4
        There are many clones that continued to evolve the basic BP design which stopped on the 70's with the varispeed head. The heavy version is the VH4 (generic base type, many names) with box ways, bearing to support the bottom motor pulley, more Y, more Z and and a host of incrementally better features. oh.. weigh in nearly 1000lb more than the typical BP.

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        • #5
          Acra and Acer are great also. The larger mills have square ways not dovetails that always seam to be cracked on old Bridgeports. They are much heaver also. For what a new Bridgeport cost ($15K to $17K) you can get a 5hp, #40 spindle, DRO, 50x10 table and 3 way power feed and still have money left over. Like others said they are a different class of machine.

          http://www.aceronline.net/acergroup/em-5vk.htm

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          • #6
            Originally posted by H380 View Post
            Acra and Acer are great also. The larger mills have square ways not dovetails that always seam to be cracked on old Bridgeports. They are much heaver also. For what a new Bridgeport cost ($15K to $17K) you can get a 5hp, #40 spindle, DRO, 50x10 table and 3 way power feed and still have money left over. Like others said they are a different class of machine.

            http://www.aceronline.net/acergroup/em-5vk.htm
            I'm going to stay in the sub $6k range.
            Surprisingly a bit tough around here with clapped out going for up to $3-4k and refurbs at $9k-ish on up.
            Len

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            • #7
              Originally posted by QSIMDO View Post
              I'm going to stay in the sub $6k range.
              Surprisingly a bit tough around here with clapped out going for up to $3-4k and refurbs at $9k-ish on up.
              I decided to spring for new when I bought my BP clone (made in China and claimed to be 2223 lbs)...and it just struck me that it's getting to be almost 20 years old now! Back than it was $8,100 including taxes. I figured that was just a few years of what some people spend on cigarettes with nothing to show for it.
              Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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              • #8
                My local dealer.

                Acer Electronic Variable Speed Vertical Mill - R-8 Spindle - 9 x 49'' Table Size - 3HP - 3PH - 220V Motor $7740 + Shipping. Check your local machine dealers you might be able to get close to your price on a demo or misordered machine.

                http://www.rex-supply.com/cgi/CGP2SR...68157601714207

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                • #9
                  H380, that's a great price on a very good machine IMHO.

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                  • #10
                    Those heavier built mills you are referring to are copies of
                    the Bridgeport series 2 special. It has box ways and is
                    stronger built in every regard. Lagun in Spain copied this
                    design and changed it some, even offered a 40 spindle taper.
                    I think this is what most China makers copied.

                    -Doozer
                    DZER

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                      Those heavier built mills you are referring to are copies of
                      the Bridgeport series 2 special. It has box ways and is
                      stronger built in every regard. Lagun in Spain copied this
                      design and changed it some, even offered a 40 spindle taper.
                      I think this is what most China makers copied.

                      -Doozer
                      Any tips on detecting excessive wear on box ways vs. dovetail?
                      Never seen one in person actually.
                      Len

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                      • #12
                        All three of my Laguns have Dovetail ways. Never even heard of one with box ways. They are about 500-1000 lbs heavier than a BP depending on model and in my opinion more robust. The design of the high low selection on the head is better as well.

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                        • #13
                          The Acer E-mill shown by H380 is one of the best ones out there. Sometimes a used one will be under $6000.
                          Kansas City area

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                          • #14
                            Plus one on the Acer.
                            If I was ever to lose my Bridgeport , I would opt for a Acer . Their scraping skill level is higher than the average apple
                            Rich
                            Green Bay, WI

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lakeside53 View Post
                              There are many clones that continued to evolve the basic BP design which stopped on the 70's with the varispeed head. The heavy version is the VH4 (generic base type, many names) with box ways, bearing to support the bottom motor pulley, more Y, more Z and and a host of incrementally better features. oh.. weigh in nearly 1000lb more than the typical BP.
                              Correct on all points. I have a Taiwanese 3VH Webb Mill. It has the features you mention, including the extra motor bearing, 3 hp induction motor, Box Ways, central oiling and weighs in according to the literature at 3,500 pounds. According to the people at Webb where I got my parts when I was refurbishing it, they use the Meehanite cast iron process for all of the castings. It's a 10 X 54 size. I use a Chinese X servo on the X axis that I bought from CDCO and I also have a 2 Axis Mitutoyo KA DRO with a Mitutoyo scale on the Z Axis. It was formerly a CNC machine and I converted it back to manual so I kept the ball screws. There is almost no backlash on either axis.

                              Webb is still very much in business and stock all of the parts for the machines that they sell.
                              Last edited by GNM109; 07-30-2017, 06:40 PM.

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