If you can handle the space/weight then something bigger will be better. Bridgeports have certain benefits in terms of spares and tooling but as has been said before a Beaver or Ajax is probably a better machine. AS JS is fond of saying the Bridgeport is just a grown up mill drill anyway. For 2K you could buy a decent belt change Bridgeport, replace all the quill bearings, install an inverter and still have a lot of change.
And no before anyone asks I don't have a hiab. It's possible to move a Bridgy on your own with a transit van [ or similar ] and a machine mart folding engine crane. Not hearsay, I've done it three times.
Well guys you have really done it this time, I'm now totally "back on my head". After agonising over this for ages I (had) decided to go with a VMC until my wife was made redundant and I felt guilty about spending money. Good news she has found a job so after a short wait to make sure she doesn't feel that she is working for my toys (heaven forbid!) I'll be able to get on and buy something. Bad news - WHAT?
John I th> On Fri, 15 Jul 2005 00:29:16 +0000 (UTC), Rich
Now I'm back to looking at secondhand, through your excellent
I have found 3 Bridgeports (Trade Links) between =A3650 and =A3950. The question now is what do I look for when I go to see them. What head should I look for and am I likely to find worn out slideways (my particular nightmare), or if I go for chrome will I be OK. Any particular problem I should look for with these. I am basically attracted to the BP because I used them extensively in my training and so have a basic (very) understanding. I have also assumed that with so many about I should be able to find necessary spares at affordable prices.
John, The biggest "holdback" I had was the movement of a larger machine so thanks to your comment I can feel more comfortable with a "real" machine. I assume I need to split the machine to get in a Transit (hightop or standard?) and if so where? I'll have the (benefit?) of my
18 year old son but otherwise it will have to be movable with the folding crane. Any hints on where to sling it to lift?
Boo, Hope all this has moved your decision on a bit, despite what I said earlier I always feel a personal recommendation from someone actually using the machine (Mark) is worth more than any theory (mine). Mark seems to be happy with his version although as it has the power feeds and stand included it is quite a bit more expensive.
Charles/Peter, I like the look/sound of the Beaver and will keep an eye out although I am a bit wary of E-bay. Anything I should look for with these machines? I had looked at the Ajax but was a bit intimidated by the size weight, don't think I would get one in a Transit.
I suppose really that I always wanted a "real" machine and have just lacked the confidence to tackle moving it. Reading an earlier topic I believe that I can just get a Bridgeport in my workshop but the headroom might be a little restricted (6") although the weight is no problem.
Thanks to everyone for these ever helpful hints and tips, I'm off now to see what I will need to move to make a big enough space.
Don't buy one unseen unless it's really cheap! One man's "acceptable wear" may upset someone else so table wear etc is a matter of personal preference and depends what you're going to do. The plus of a Bridgy is that feed nuts/screws are available off the shelf.
The turret mills look to break down into (relatively) handleable lumps, so wortj considering on that score, and there are loads of Bridgie clones out there (Induma is one) to choose from.
Beaver looks to me like a better engineered machine, more "nuts & bolts" for want of a better expression, and likely to be easier to repair possibly? I am biased as I have one, but is is underpriced in my view for the quality of assembly and construction.
The thing going for the Beaver and Bridgeports is the sheer numbers out there, so parts shouldn't be a huge problem, and you'd have to go some to damage a Beaver, it's like the proverbial brick sh*t house!
We moved our beaver on our own trailer, but we did have loading/unloading facilities at each end. When we move it into the workshop it will probably have the table off and probably the head as well. Peter
-- Peter A Forbes Prepair Ltd, Luton, UK email@example.com