Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Discussion on all milling machines vertical & horizontal, including but not limited to Bridgeports, Hardinge, South Bend, Clausing, Van Norman, including imports.

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ronm
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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by ronm » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:00 am

OK, maybe it doesn't amaze me...maybe it just irks me because I've heard it so many times...and yeah, I know, that's what a forum is for-educate the newbies. Maybe I'm just tired of forums & becoming a troublemaker...
Or maybe the pros just think they know...

http://www.lathes.co.uk/bridgeport/page9.html

Scroll down to "Building a Bridgeport" & "The feel of a Bridgeport". Are they lying about hand scraping?

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tornitore45
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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by tornitore45 » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:20 am

Or maybe the pros just think they know...
That is a gratuitous comment, without specifics it can be said of anyone.
Why would a consensus among people that have direct professional experience and an economic stake (they make their living) in a field be dismissed so easily without even a serious counter argument?

Just wandering
By the way if you are tired, is not that difficult to move over the next thread.
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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by Harold_V » Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:11 pm

ronm wrote:Are they lying about hand scraping?
No---just exaggerating. As I said, take a look at all way surfaces, where there is no wear, and try to distinguish any scraping. There isn't any. And, I'm of the opinion that they make reference to the flaking as "scraping", but flaking lends nothing to quality---especially on table surfaces. It's "eye candy", used to promote the illusion of quality.

If you want to get a better idea of what I'm talking about, take a look at a machine tool that is actually scraped. It's obvious that there is hand work, and plenty of it.

At one time I had a copy of an internal document (from Bridgeport) in which they described the only surface of a typical mill that was hand scraped. No way surfaces were included. I'm sorry to say, I no longer have the document, as it was lost when I had issues with my computer, and I was never able to procure another copy.

Bottom line in all of this is that BP mills are, indeed, very flexible. Their design revolutionized the vertical drop spindle mill industry, but they are far from the ideal machine, as they are light duty. A very nice machine for the price, but corners have been cut in order to produce them at a reasonable price. Some of the copies are better machines. Beyond that, try comparing them to either a Gorton I-22 (Mastermil) or a Cincinnati Toolmaster. Both are equivalent machines, and both of them outperform the BP, although neither of them offer the numerous adjustments (head nod, for example) the BP offers. The features offered by BP have made them a very popular machine, but being popular is no substitute for being better.

Again, like I said, I have purchased two BP mills in my years in the shop. They were my choice, but only because I didn't have the money required for better quality, just like my Graziano lathe. It doesn't compare to an EE Monarch, but it also didn't cost like one.

Harold
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WJH
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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by WJH » Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:42 am

Harold, how do you rate the Bridgeport mill for the homeshop guy who moved up from a cheap small mill/drill?

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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by RSG » Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:23 am

Tired of following this thread yet Beeser?

You probably aren't setting up to run parts for the military right! so you might just want to consider something like this https://www.grizzly.com/products/8-x-30 ... Mill/G0730 which can be shipped right to your door. Reasonable price, reasonable accuracy and ready to start making chips right out of the box.
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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by John Evans » Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:46 am

Had one of those Grizzly G0730 mills and while it was a giant step forward from a round collum driil/mill it still had it's own issues. No spindle lock so changing collets was a pain and so was speed changes also a bit of a flexy flyer also. My biggest bitch was no ram which was what lead me to a BP style mill. And for Griz's price a decent BP or clone can be had.
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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by WJH » Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:38 pm

My BP was 2000$ but I wouldn't mind having the table, knee, and saddle ground, turcited, and hand scraped to .0005 tolerances all around, for 3000$
BUT until I am willing to spend 3000$ for that, I am ordering some SS shim stock to get the X axis gib more adjustment room, and will have to settle for only about 70% of my Y axis travel. This solution will only cost me around 20$.

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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by Harold_V » Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:23 am

WJH wrote:Harold, how do you rate the Bridgeport mill for the homeshop guy who moved up from a cheap small mill/drill?
You've missed the point. Naturally, it's a step up, but the impression I get from those who don't know (sorry, but that's how it is) is that a BP mill is the epitome of quality, the mill by which all others are judged. That's simply not the case. They're an excellent mill for the money, assuming one doesn't mind paying for machine tools built in the US, by over-paid workers.

Don't think so? Why, then, are all but a small number of machine tool makers gone from the US scene?

Beyond that, there are few, if any, US built options at one's disposal, although there are many from builders of machine tools of old. Tree offered a drop spindle mill, along with those I mentioned. I am not familiar with the Tree mill, but they were reputed to be of good quality. There are others as well, some of which are smaller than the BP, yet weigh as much.

It's pretty simple. Unless you, or anyone reading, has ever operated one of the better mills, you're well served to reserve judgment in regards to an opinion. The machines I mentioned outweigh the BP, perhaps by double. That, in and of itself, is reason enough for a wise individual to understand that BP mills are light duty. The difference provided by the added weight shows when it counts, something you may or may not begin to understand, although when you notice a difference between the BP you just purchased, and the mill/drill it replaced, you may then understand that even more robust machines are even better. That's the point. Cuts that challenge a BP are generally taken in stride on a Gorton, for example.

I'm surprised by the knee jerk reaction to my comments. I have put my money where my mouth is, buying BP mills, in spite of my attitude towards them. It's not like I'm trying to tell each and every BP owner that they have a piece of junk. That's not the intended message. However, if even one person who needs a mill that is capable of serious work learns anything from my comments, it's time well spent. I've shaken my head in wonder as I've read comments by some individuals, one of which was concerned that the mill he hoped to buy was "just" a Gorton I-22, not a BP. If only he knew.

Harold
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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by Patio » Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:30 am

I stared machining some 4 years ago and am not an expert by any means. I am a tool junkie now and have looked at a lot of machines.

My .02 worth goes like this!
Harold is right as to the BP and clones are not "the best" machines. The larger the machine the more rigid and usually driven by larger HP motors. The more rigid a machine is and the more HP it has the faster it can remove material and when working for gain that is important.

The "best machine" for any one person, depending on what one is using it for, and the amount of space that is available, is a different matter.

I have a BP clone a SB 10L lathe and a Logan 7" Shaper. I believe the BP and clones are the best value, for a hobby shop or small business, machine shop, because of their size vs rigidity and versatility. A Sharp clone has a substantially larger knee, for the same foot print, making it a farther reach to the draw bar. Everything is a trade off!

I think one should invest in the largest machine one can afford and has the space for, for the type of work one is going to do with it. You can do small work on a large machine, it just isn't likely to be as easy, as a "right sized" machine.

I watch CL and wait, patience pays here. I bought my mill for $1500 and the guy gave me a bunch of tooling with it. I think the best deals are the ones that come with tooling.

I also believe that, any machine in the right hands, can produce fine work.

With all that said, if one has the space and funds I would recommend, for most repair and machine work in a home shop, would be a 10" to 14" swing by 20" to 40" between center lathe with at least close to a 2000 rpm spindle speed. Some sort of BP clone or knee mill with a nodding head. After those, and the machines I still want, would be a surface grinder, and a universal cutter grinder, with all the tooling one could afford for all said machines.

I do not think that this set up is for everyone, but I do think this would work well for most people wanting to have machining capabilities at home.
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rudd
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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by rudd » Sat Jul 11, 2015 11:19 pm

I am not a "pro making his living" off my machines. Now, that is out of the way.

Bridgeports tend to command a value based solely on the nameplate. There are many other just as capable machines out there that don't have that price factor. If you look on Ebay, you'd think Bridgeport made every milling machine ever sold, and Southbend made every lathe, sellers use those names as keywords. Doesn't make them great machines, but obviously it sells "stuff". I can buy "Southbend" round brass stock if I want!

Wells-Index. Great machines, company still in business.
Van Norman - get your horizontal and your vertical in one quality package.
The Tree mill Harold mentioned.
There are plenty of others. Don't get hung up on having to get something that says "Bridgeport" on it.
And, yes, I've run one. At a RR museum. We got it for 600 bux. Every time you'd sneeze you'd knock the head out of tram.

I started out with a smaller horizontal and turned my head sideways for a while till a nice vertical came along at a decent price. Ended up with a nice 1950's Brit vertical mill for 200 bux. You've never heard of the brand. Still have that horizontal and another I bought after I got the vertical. Haven't had to tram either one. :)

There are also lots of horizontals out there with vertical head attachments. Don't get stuck thinking inside a box.

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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by John Evans » Sat Jul 11, 2015 11:24 pm

Any vertical mill that the head will either tilt or nod can be knocked out of tram ,but it is not as easy as sneezing !
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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by spro » Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:29 am

I agree and there were different ways to get that "nod" Old news now but when you look at an Index vertical and some other mills, they accomplished it differently. The head fixture section was opposite the Bridgeport's. You already knew that but it is still interesting. I think Bridgeport's design was better and patented. This is so old now but we can see the other ways they resorted to, heavier heads and heavier yolks.

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