The mill purchase

This is worse than trying to find the right vehicle to purchase...
So I found this Bridgeport not too far away. Several things make me
like it, a few make me want to shy away..
Starting with the things that bother me.
A) I found it listed in Ebay with no bids. I wrote the seller an
email, we corresponded. I suggested he put up a "Buy it now" or "Make
offer option" He replied with "Just make me an offer".. I did, we
negotiated via email. Towards the end of negotiation he used the
"Someone else offered X, you match it and its yours trick" I backed
away, he came back with "Mr. X can't take delivery for over a month,
I'll take your last offer"
B) During this time, a bid has been placed on Ebay, I don't know how
the seller plans on handling this. I asked in last email and am
awaiting a response.
Things I like about it.
A) It is within driving distance
B) Comes with a DRO, Two vices, a broken power feed, and some
tooling...
C) Price is @ $3800, within my SWMBO Budget criteria and possibly a
bargain if in halfway decent shape, I don't think this is all that
great of a price for 1976 Bridgeport Series 1 but I honestly don't
know.... I'm also not in any dire need to buy it NOW, but you know
how kids and toys go :)
D) Supposedly the chrome plated ways still show "Checking" and the
head is "quiet"
On the last topic, how loud is loud, how quiet is quiet with regards
to a Mill head? Do Chrome plated factory ways show checking? Where
are the most common locations for wear and how much should I worry
about?
Any suggestions or advice?
Reply to
James Lerch
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without any other information, the price seems very high - when I was looking around here (Los Angeles), I was finding bridgeports for $500 (poor condition) to $1500 (pretty good) to $2500 or 3 grand (really nice, at a dealer) - price is particularly high if it comes with no tooling or power feeds
. "
Reply to
William Noble
For the 3800 you are willing to spend, I'd spend the time and money to actually see and listen to the thing since it is in driving distance.
WEs
Reply to
Wes
not good
not really a great price. I have a 1976 Bridgeport with a stepped pulley.
Mine is very quiet, a lot quieter than a electric kettle, for example.
they do when the mill has nt been used much, soemtimes called "fish scale pattern".
I would look for a better price.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus24273
Just to give you a data point. My bridgeport 1J will be for sale if I buy a Lagun on Wednesday.
Step pulley 1J in good shape, Acu-rite DRO, quill DRO, complete collet set, complete endmill holder set, drill chuck, power feed on X. PLUS (here's the really good part) a free bushel of apples.
$2600 cash or MO. its in Dassel MN
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
The condition is uncertain at best, seller sounds unethical, and the price sounds high. I'd keep looking. YMMV
James Lerch wrote:
Reply to
RoyJ
Gee, he was trying to screw ebay out of their fees. Your asking him to put the BIN or make an offer on the offer speaks well of you. Consider that in dealing with him.
Looking at your webpage it seems you are in Florida. 3800 would be high up here in the rustbelt unless it was damn fine. Mebee things are pricer down there.
What kind of head is on this? Varidrive? 1.5 hp or 2 hp?
When new those chrome ways had a fairly uniform depth. Crank saddle full front and full backwards and see if the pattern in center matches the ends.
Quiet in a head is relative. When I fired my bridgeport up for the first time I thought, wow is this thing loud, well normally when I've run one it has been in a factory with masking background noise.
Firing up a known good one on a night I started up the plant before turning on the noise makers put my mind at ease.
Check the column ways on the bp. Chips can get down there past wipers and accelerate wear. Mine is a bit hurt there but nothing I can't work around. Felt wipers are cheap but most people don't spend the money.
Use a brush and not compressed air to get chips off of your ways.
Make sure the one shot oiler is working and has oil in it. While looking at machine keep pumping the handle each time it settles. After a bit you should see oil oozing out of the knee, saddle and table mating surfaces. If you don't, theres a clue on likely condition.
Likely the ways will not be adjusted. Crank table and sadle so that a piece of small work would be fairly centered under the spindle. Now snug up the table and sadle locks a bit until you just feel drag and crank table and sadle to limits. Might tell you something.
If the tooling includes collets and they looked dinged to chit from user not cleaning the taper, that is a clue too.
Wes
Reply to
Wes
Per your website and address your somewhere in west coast central Fl. Tools aren't to easy to find, but they are out there. $3800 seems a high, you can buy a new mill from Wholesale tools in Tampa for less than that. ( Tampa, Florida 9212 Adamo Drive 33619 ), or you can drive to Sanford, to Acme surplus. they usually have a couple used BPorts on hand. IMHO keep looking.
Gary Owens Deltona Fl
Reply to
Gary Owens
coating site)
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(My 15KW generator project)
The "scrapping" (to hold oil) on chrome plated ways will wear away eventually, although much, much slower than non-plated ways.
I could never understand why peoplewould continue to order non-plated Bridgeports, especially considering the very low upgrade pricing at the time (1970, or thereabouts and, IIRC, about $350.00). Those knees held-up so well you definitly couldn't make any snap judgements about a mill's overall condition.
dennis in nca
Reply to
rigger
The seller is a sleazebag. Walk away. Consider a nice drive to MN, if Karl buys a new mill - the trip will be fun, and will cost you less than the overpricing from a sleazebag local to you.
Reply to
Ecnerwal
Price seems higher than you need to pay. The market in various areas of the country is different though.
There is no substitute for actually seeing it before buying it.
Chrome on the ways is a good feature. If the scraping marks are still visible and fairly uniform, there can't be more than a few tenths, maybe a thousandth, of wear. Unfortunately, it's difficult to set up an interferometer to check these directly :-) A sanity check is just to lay a high- quality scale edge on as much of the ways as you can expose, to look for gross wear. Anything more requires setting up some indicators and being reasonably detailed.
Noise in operation is subjective, but generally, the machine should have a "smooth whine", without rattling, knocking, ticking, or other sorts of periodic anomalies. The spindle housing should not get overly hot from just having the spindle running.
The seller's ethics are mildly questionable, but there are always many ways to view certain types of behavior. Playing one offer against another is classic revenue enhancement....
Matt
Reply to
matt
He can also stop by my house to load up on 5C collets, indexers, vises, motor drives, etc.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus24273
Im looking for a bunch of 22D collets for a collet nose I picked up. Do you have any of them?
John
Reply to
john
I have bought from reputable dealers over the phone, but I wouldn't think about buying that mill without inspecting it first. What might be a "reasonable" price depends strongly on regional availability; $3800 would be way high for a 1976 BP in MN unless it was in like-new condition.
Ways that still exhibit frosting, chrome plated or not, are probably not worn. A home shop machinist would never wear out a mill, chrome or otherwise.
Hard to describe how loud is loud. J-heads certainly are not silent. Visit a machine shop to get calibrated.
Reply to
Don Foreman
I have a little over 100 of them. A very nice lot. Round, square, hex holes, etc.
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i
Reply to
Ignoramus24273
He can call me on the phone and I will let him listen to the sound. I consider mine to be very quiet. For example, I can easily talk to someone without raising my voice, when the mill runs.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus24273
I cannot get your url to load. Do you have a list of sizes? I would be interested in them. You can contact me directly through the email address.
John
Reply to
john
The mill is probably the quietest running machine in my shop too. Seems to me if noise is present, that means something is moving in an uncontrolled way?
Reply to
Dave Hinz
Sorry. Wrong hostname
try
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i
Reply to
Ignoramus24273
I would agree with that. Rattle is not normal in a Bridgeport mill.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus24273

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