Bridgeport- What to Check Before Buying

I might be looking at a Bridgeport this weekend, don't know the exact model number yet. I do know it's got a 208 3ph motor. The pic shows it's been painted, the bare parts are "brownish" but don't look too horrible-

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What should I be checking on this beastie for wear etc. ?



Reply to
Howard Eisenhauer
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I think that the brownish stuff looks suspicious, I would investigate. It is not where it should be. If the painted surfaces were brownish, and the bare metal were grey, I would like it better, but it is the exact reverse -- bright paint and brown bare metal. Makes be a little suspicious.

The Spray paint job on it looks very hasty.

The motor is not the original and one begins to wonder what happened to it. Did it burn out? What else is in trouble if the mill was that overloaded?

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He didn't even tape the knee ways before he painted it. You can see paint on them. Dave

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Well off the bat it is missing the x table lock. That rust doesn't make me real thrilled from here.

I don't see an oiling system on it. I guess the older ones didn't have it but oil and working wipers are vital to the health of the machines ways. These might get greased. I've never actually touched one this old.

I'd look close at the sliding surfaces. There is scraping and flaking. Flaking is the bigger divots that holds lubricant. Look at extreme end of travels then compare how the ways look in the middle of travel.

Check the taper to see if it looks okay. Run the motor and listen to it. Try the power feed both up and down in all three ranges.

See what kind of lash you have in the lead screws. Check it in various places to see if you have signifantly more wear in the middle than at ends.

Extend the quill and see how it deflects when you push on it. I think Gunner said 0.002" would be about max back a while. My memory could be wrong.

Reasonable price is whatever scrap goes for and up. ;)

I'm not impressed by the sloppy paint job. Warning Master Robenson.....


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Probably painted right over the dried oil.

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I'll give you a different opinion...

Don't judge a book by its cover. We can see its had a hasty rattle can paint job. Many folks do that, knowing paint helps sell. And its sat in that shop a while giving it that orange surface rust. That won't hurt it. It does have a new motor. So?

Price is everything. You shouldn't expect a cherry for $1K, or a sow's ear for $10K.

Reply to
Karl Townsend

--Bring a dial indicator with you; chuck it in the quill, run it out to full extension, touch the table and wiggle the quill back and forth to check for runout. There's a kewl book called "Machine Tool Reconditioning" that has checklists for evaluating various finds; well worth printing one out and taking it along. Confronted by an 'informed buyer' a seller may bring the price down..

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Looks like it has "zerks" for an OIL gun. Just like the one we overhauled at school to remove the cursed grease in the ways. Way oil makes a world of difference. :-) ...lew...

Reply to
Lew Hartswick

I have found bridgeports for as cheap as $500 - this was when I was looking for a mill - eventually I settled on the Abene VHF-3 for which I paid 3500 - the real issue is that the cost of repair plus tooling may well outweigh whatever you paid originally

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Reply to
William Noble

The quill is a near-interference fit, and should have NO play at all, other than actual deflection of the whole stack up. You can get up to .001" or so with 50 Lbs side load. The spindle should have less than .001" deflection, that is the space that the oil takes up when the spindle is turning.


Reply to
Jon Elson

Vactra has to be better than grease.


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On most machine tools, when you find a Zerk on a moving part..its for Oil, rather than grease. Particulaly Clausing mills and most European machine tools.

There is a special "oiler" that looks very similar to a "Yankee" push drill.

Gunner, who once filled the headstock bearings of a Lorch lathe with greese..and it got hot enough to blister the paint of the headstock..and required a full disassembly and adjustment, then proper oiling

Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical liberal minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

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Gunner Asch

I seem to remember threads on web based lists talking about converting grease guns to oilers now that you mentioned oil and zerks.

I have a Yankee push drill. Grandpa's. One of my mementos.

At first it seems counter intuitive to find too much lube being a bad thing. Then we learn.


-- "Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller

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