Bridgeport -- transportation and putting it on casters

I think you need to look at the pictures more closely. While it is a round ram Bridgeport, it looks to have a 1J head on it which is R8 spindle and perfectly good, not the much less desirable "M" head. My Bridgeport is the same was, round ram and 1J head.
As for wear and tear, that has little to do with age and everything to do with use and care. From the pictures it appears to be in pretty good shape. I doubt there are any problems with it that would be an issue for a home shop.
Pete C.
Reply to
Pete C.
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I don't have the headroom in my shop to weigh my almost identical Bridgeport with my crane scale, but my 3,000# rated forklift doesn't even flinch lifting it. Previously I've handled it with a 2T engine hoist out at the 2,000# boom extension without issues.
Pete C.
Reply to
Pete C.
He should help you secure it while he's there. Request that!
Securely, front to back and side to side with multiple tiedowns, straps, chains, or thick ropes.
Take 4 or 5 new or used studs with you. It's usually fairly easy to put 2x4s around the bottom to secure the base from moving. Then tie down the top from every angle.
The road goes below the axle, everything else goes on top, please. ;) Oh, you meant ahead or behind the axle along the moving axis, didn't you? I always put the heaviest item directly over the axle and toss in lighter stuff in the front to optimize the tongue weight for the trailer.
Possible but doubtful due to the top-heavy nature of the mill. The easiest way to move semi-heavy machinery is to skid it. Either put a pair of 4x4s under it and bolt 2x4 braces on, with eyebolts for dragging it, or mount it to a pallet. A winch or comealong will drag it on/off the trailer.
eyebolt here and below | _ | _ rounded tips help sliding onto trailer | | v | | =======o======= 2x4 | ----------- | || || || mill || || here || || (top view)|| || || || || || || | ----------- | =======o======= 2x4 |_| |_| 4x4 4x4
If you must, build a super-low caster cart out of sturdy angle iron which will raise it only 1/4" off the cement by offsetting the casters with Z brackets. Use adjusters so you can raise or lower the casters, making the cart sit on the ground when not being moved. See picture for a lightweight version of mobile bases used on lighter weight woodworking machinery.
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Reply to
Larry Jaques
I move a 6 foot tall bandsaw periodically that is on casters. I treat moving it like the serious undertaking that it is. Clear a path, sweep the floor, go slow, after all how fast do you need to travel the typical 10' or less?
As far as tippness of the bridgeport, I have a feeling side to side is the worst, tipping backwards likely isn't as bad, not sure about forwards. The wheels will extend the foot print which helps stability.
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Shows a base w/o head and turret at a fairly steep angle.
It would be interesting to know just were the center of gravity is though the normal range of knee and Y axis positions to determine just how tippy one is and the effects on stability of increasing the footprint.
I don't suppose anyone has solid modeled a bridgeport?
Wes
Reply to
clutch
Hi Iggy. Congratulations on your mill.
When we were moving new Bridgeports in Chicago we handled a lot of trades, and while the machines with the round overarm weren't everyone's favorites, we always had a waiting list of people to buy or lease (actually, "rent") them.
That's a very neat idea for a moveable machine. As far as supporting the machine properly, I'll offer the following: Of the (thousands) of mills I've seen, I'd venture most are not sitting flat on the floor for the simple reason most companies don't have a perfectly flat floor. Not having a flat floor, and trying to keep the mill from rocking, people shim the corners. Some owners (especially for larger machines) will just opt for a leveling pad for each corner during installation. Almost no one tries to shim (and support) the entire base perimeter. What would make ME shy away from the mobile brackets would be my very limited welding abilities, because, as you know, the machine is cast material and you need to weld (braze?) to steel; not an easy proposition, if I remember correctly, although I'm sure many on thiis group have the necessary skills.
When picking the machine under the overarm I'd suggest using a 2x4 on the fork toward the front of the machine and a 1x4 on the fork at the rear. This will help compensate for the greater deflection of the front fork and allow the machine to remain more level, YFTMV (Your Fork Truck May Vary). Using the same logic one should position the more load bearing fork toward the center of the forklift and the least load bearing fork toward the outside; this allows both load chains on the forklift to bear equal loads.
It might be a good idea to tack some 2x4s around the base on your trailer as, if I remember correctly, your chains aren't the best. I don't remember seeing a hole in the round overarm but I might have forgotten it's being there, but if there is one DON'T use it for anything besides lifting the RAM ONLY. When unloading lift the mill (with the wood in place) and have your forks adjusted so they are level _with the load applied_. Make sure you have clearance beneath the mill, pull the trailer out from beneath the mill, and lower the mill straight down; this method is always the safest. The round overarm mills will want to swing to and fro so take this into account when traveling.
Check out that mover. I'M pretty sure neither the State of Illinois or Cook County are in business to certify machinery movers. This sounds like a phoney. If this mover is legitimate he will supply you with a current "Evidence of Insurance" from his insurance agent. Make sure public liability and workers compensation are covered as well as coverage for your machine. Try to get a list of satisfied customers. Don't allow anyone to move your machinery without the proper insurance. (
Reply to
rigger
I see you have already gotten lots of input. Here's mine:
1. If this is the mill that you are going to sell anyway, why not just have the new owner come and get it from its current location?
2. I use a farm tractor to move my stuff onto and off of trailers. The only time I have had to have help is with a 3500 pound surface grinder and I hired a local contractor who had a big skid steer loader for that one.
3. Moving it around/casters: Most of the machies that I own have 3/4 inch diameter holes for base mounting. So, I tap them 7/8-9 and I have a set of long, threaded-all-the-way bolts that I screw into the holes. I can easily raise anything with those 4 bolts and then put rollers (1 1/2" water pipe) under the machine. With those, I can push or bar the machine to anyplace I want it. I haven't bolted my mill down, but I let it down on pads under each corner.
Pete Stanaitis ----------------
Ignoramus18706 wrote:
Reply to
spaco
I pick my machines up with a 10,000 pound endless nylon sling that is made for the purpose. My tractor has a 5" slip hook welded to a piece of 4" pipe that I place on a 1 1/4" rod in the area between the front loader lift arms. The sling is great for not allowing any metal to metal contact. I use cloth or aluminum shims at pressure points.
Pete Stanaitis -------------------
Ignoramus18706 wrote:
Reply to
spaco
I'll add a few things to all the good advice:
Clamp all locks firmly, with a wrench. This keeps things from moving, and also prevents loss of clamp handles.
Extend the quill enough so the fragile spindle splineshaft is protected from being bent.
As for putting a mill on casters, I wouldn't do it. Mills are already pretty tippy. If one mounts the mill on a dolly with casters, the tippiness can be solved, but then one will always be tripping over that damn dolly.
It's easy to move a mill ten feet by the Egyptian Method: jacking it up with a pinch bar and inserting some 1" diameter solid mild steel rollers underneath, and walking the mill to its new home, and reversing the process. People use black iron pipe, but I've heard of pipe collapsing. Solid rod is cheap, available, and sure. A handful of shims cut from 0.25" plate is also useful.
Joe Gwinn
Reply to
Joseph Gwinn
And goes a very long way towards keeping the bitch from sliding on the forks as well
Gunner
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. Lazarus Long
Reply to
Gunner
I guess I already seconded this roller suggestion, but just in case its not clear, you need to understand how simple, controllable and effective it is. You need 3 pieces of round whatever, each at least several inches longer than the machine is wide. I use 1 1/2" pipe because a) I have it, and b) the bigger the diameter, the easier it is to make the machine move. Anyway, you put 2 of your pieces of pipe under your jacked up machine, at about 1/3 and 2/3 of the distance from front to back. Lower the machine onto the rollers. Then you put the third roller under the edge of the machine in the direction you want to go and push or bar the machine in that direction, making sure that the machine starts to mount that third roller. Now you roll carefully in that direction until your first roller comes out from under the machine, move that to the front, etc.. think about balance and making sure there are always two rollers under the machine. Plan ahead. Now for the really neat parts: To turn the machine, just put the loose roller under a corner of the machine at an angle, (the direction you want the machine to go) and when the machine rolls up onto it, it goes the way that roller is angled. Works like a dream! Also, theoretically at least, each roller is touching the machine and the floor at only two points, you can often use your bar to skid the machine a little bit in the desired direction. Have some small pieces of aluminum sheet so your bar isn't digging into the floor when you crank on it.
Pete Stanaitis --------------------------
Joseph Gw> >
Reply to
spaco
You're right. I stand corrected.
Rare to see a machine of this vintage that isn't clapped out. Of course anything is possible and you may just find a gem. From the looks of it, with the sloppy redone paint, I would suspect worse rather than better. The knee ways are the worst wear point, reducing the machine to a glorified drill press.
Reply to
Richard J Kinch
All you really need to move the mill is some nylon skid plates under the machine and a come along. Pull it only at the base or it will tip. A strap around the base or a chain in a rubber hose to protect the paint will work fine. I move our machines around the shop using that method but I also put steel flat stock under the nylon skid plates and add a little oil to decrease friction a little because most of our machines are over 20,000 lbs.
John
Reply to
john
I really have to +1 this. I still help out at my old Voc school (17 or so years later) and we have moved the whole class shop around using this method. That's 7 Bridgeports, 9 Lathes (Clausing and Nardini), grinders, bandsaw, EVERYTHING. Even jockeyed the SuperMax CNC lathe into position that way. Works a treat. As with everything (and already stated many times), go slow, plan ahead, and be careful.
Best,
Weyland
Reply to
Weyland
Richard, is there some way to quantify whether a mill is clapped out. Such as to measure a backlash at some points, or the play in quill, etc.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus18842
Very nice description Pete. Another idea would be to have the person feeding the rollers not wear gloves which can easily get trapped beneath a roller; there are few common things which will crush a finger so rapidly.
When we rolled Bridgeports into place we'd only use 2 rollers with one person both pushing and balancing (this takes some practice) at the balance point of the machine, and the second person moving the roller from rear to front (there are two ways to do this). I don't suggest this for the average person and mention it only if you happen to be stuck with only 2 rollers.
As far as roller types we always used 1" bar on this size machine unless there was a problem with the floor surface. Black pipe will also work for weights far beyond a Bridgeport as long as it's fully supported.
dennis in nca
Reply to
rigger
I think you may have missed the fact that the base isn't welded to the machine, the base is angle iron welded into a square then the machine is set into the base. What looks like welding to the machine is in fact just painted Bondo to fill the joint and keep the chips out.
Roger
Reply to
Roger Paskell
And a fine job of Bondoing it is too. Thanks.
dennis in nca
Reply to
rigger
Inspect the ways for obvious wear and damage. Look at the table condition as well, if it's in good shape with few holes, gouges and divots in it the machine in general is likely in decent shape. One key thing to remember is that these things will have a fair amount of backlash. They came from the factory that way as did pretty much every other manual mill. Only the CNC mills get the preloaded ballscrews with hardly any backlash. If the leadscrew isn't badly worn, the lead nut has provisions for tightening and reducing backlash.
Pete C.
Reply to
Pete C.
I moved a 10,000# 40' cargo container over rough terrain using about the same method. Used about a half dozen logs 10' x 6" dia, some chains and a Highlift mechanical jack both to lift the container and to pull it.
Pete C.
Reply to
Pete C.
Simply visually you can see if the knee ways are worn by comparing the fish-scale flaking pattern at the ends versus the middle, and inspecting for grooves made by trapped swarf, gouges from dropped tools or work, and brazed repairs to the like, on the way surfaces.
If you have a scraped straightedge, such as a machinist's precision square that you have scraped to fine-tune the flatness, which fits along the exposed portion of the knee ways, you can quantify the way wear with feeler gages slipped underneath. One thou is a lot, and a few thou are trouble. The flaking is only about a thou deep itself, so if it is worn off in the middle that's an ominous sign.
You can take along a magnetic-base dial gage and quickly measure the TIR on the spindle. You can run the head (if under power) to listen for noise and test all the power feeds and backgear.
These simple tests are all that is usually practical when going to inspect and evaluate a candidate used machine. You can't typically be laying inked-up flatness gages on the table. But like a woman's hands, a quick inspection usually tells the true age of the specimen, even though the rest of the apparatus may have been painted up or surgically altered to look younger, or may look older than apparent due to some hard tasks in life.
Reply to
Richard J Kinch

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