Page 1 of 2

Buying Bridgeport

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:39 pm
by medavido
I went from Houston to San Antonio to buy a mill recently, but came home with an empty trailer. It was $2000 for a series one with 2hp motor, DRO, adjustable speed, and a Kurt vice. But the seller tried to levy sales tax to increase price at last minute and pull the Kurt vice out of the deal and also disconnect the power before I arrived. I insisted on hearing run and the vise as agreed to, but still had to pass on the deal.

1)The switch had to be cycled on and off and on again to get the motor to run. It would hum not turning until the switch was cycled and then it would run.
2)The head had a clacking or knocking sound coming from just under the top cover of the head. The seller said it was the belt making noise, and these aren't the droids you are looking for.
3)Backlash front to back was 0.030" and the left to right backlash was a half turn of the crank, but the dial was in a shadow, so an exact backlash reading could not be obtained.
4)The table was all the way back, so the ways could be seen. There was 1.25" wide of scratches on the outside of the ways in the sweet spot area. All scraping marks were obliterated in these areas.
5)The left right motor drive was not operational.

Maybe I should have just bought and taken the hit whatever it was, at least I would have a mill. Any ideas on how much it will cost and how far north I will have to go to get a decent mill?

Re: Buying Bridgeport

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:54 pm
by NP317
Most disappointing to hear of your experience.
But I commend you for your careful approach to inspection.
I suspect a more appropriate mill will come your way.

Re: Buying Bridgeport

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:05 pm
by Glenn Brooks
Sounds like you made the right decision. There are plenty of Bridgeports for sale. Patience is a virtue, as they say. You might even find one on the west coast and have it shipped to you. Easy to do and the cost likely would be only a couple of hundred dollars. Just factor shipping into the price and you can’t go wrong.


Re: Buying Bridgeport

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:48 am
by medavido
I have seen a lot of, what I think look like higher quality machines in California, but I have heard mostly really high prices for moving mills. There was an auction last year up near Dallas and the rigging company hired by the Auction house was local to Houston. So asked and they told me something like $2000 to move to Houston and $1300 to come to my house with a forklift. The forklift thing was if I went up there with a two axle flat bed trailer they would load it there as part of the auction rigging and then they would come to my house to take it off the trailer and set it inside my garage.

I have read a lot, bought a machine Johnson bar, have three pieces of 3/4" pipe to roll on, two 12k-lbs short slings to go under ram and whatever that flat rear extension that is at the same height as the ram is called, various shackles to make rigging the slings to engine hoist possible (but have not tried yet, so this is a concern that it will all work to pick mill up with engine hoist so I can pull trailer out from under), two heavy 20 foot straps to secure to front and rear of trailer, two chains and two come-alongs to pull the mill to the middle of the trailer and then back to the end of the trailer. But considering the prices I have gotten, I felt I had no other choice.

So buying in California means buying unseen, that is a concern and of course bringing a ton of iron from CA to TX is going cost more than a couple of hundred dollars. at least that is what I have seen. Just bringing a Powermatic 90 Wood Lathe from Chicago to Houston is in the $700 range, at least based on the quotes I have gotten from haulers that work through the auction companies.

But I am open to new ideas, I could use one or two me thinks.

Re: Buying Bridgeport

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:22 am
by Glenn Brooks
I ran into similar pricing, but keep looking for quotes from freight forwarders. I found a very dependable freight consolidator that cut the price more than half over what rigging companies charge. They move stuff up to 2500# all the time, with door to door delivery. You just have to get it off a pallet. I use pipe, Johnson bar, couple of jacks and an engine hoist. Works fine.

For example I flew from Seattle to Pheonix couple of years ago to buy a cylindircal grinder - for $250 - from an estate sale. A freight company picked it and delivered to my shop in Washington for another $250. Same thing with a VN 12 Horizontal mill that I shipped from California. Around $250 to ship it from Sacramento. But that was 2 or 3 years ago. Maybe it’s changed.

But, Freight costs are all over the board. It pays to keep looking.

Re: Buying Bridgeport

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:43 pm
by spro
I got nailed with freight charges for a #2 milling machine. It was a "deal" at $100.00 but at the time, the freight was $500.00. That was drop off at somewhere around Baltimore. It was going to cost more further west. All the time, I knew that freight trains were running to the same area where I was using it. I wasn't familiar with their docks or means of off loading pallets of machine like this. The rail system was in a state of uncertainty around there at the time. So it happened and a lot of driving.

Re: Buying Bridgeport

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:50 pm
by spro
"a lot" doesn't seem like much to others. I had a 1 ton and the mill was tippy .

Re: Buying Bridgeport

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:12 pm
by spro
Back to point: a #2 mill on a pallet, requires some means of extraction. An engine lift isn't going to do that. Not on a pallet, okay but still on a trailer. Like maxed out with your lift. A gantry of some sorts to support the move down to level.

Re: Buying Bridgeport

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:46 pm
by Bill Shields
you can pick it up with a Bobcat with a bucket or (preferrably) a set of forks.

Rent one for a $$ you will spend.

I lifted a wells-index that way 20 years sweat.

then you can 'stick it in the door' and put it on a set of skates and wheel it into place (I used 2" diameter bar rollers).

Re: Buying Bridgeport

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:35 pm
by pete
I used to work in the freight business. First requirement you need for any shipping quote is size. Height, length, width. Then the rough weight and exactly what it is. Riggers would probably be the most expensive out of anybody, and by quite a bit. Go on the net and get at least half a dozen freight company's that are around the location of where the equipment is. Then try to cross reference the same names and see if there also around your area. If not then grab another half a dozen freight company names in your area and double check by phone they can receive your shipment, possibly deliver and off load it at your location and for how much. Or if you can move it from there freight dock yourself with a pick up or trailer if they can load it onto what you can move it with.

Not all freight company's have a ramp that will get there forklifts and your machine down to ground level. Get any quotes in writing by email from them if they can deliver. Then get back on the phone and call those freight company's around the machines location and get quotes from it's location to the freight company in your area you've decided it should go to. Do the same and get those quotes in writing by email. Yes it takes a bit of time and leg work, but I've seen costs half of what another freight company wanted. The biggest and most well known freight company's will almost always be the most expensive. And if you are dealing with a big freight company for a single item it's common for them once they get the order for that shipment they'll just farm it out to a smaller freight company anyway. The big company takes there cut off the top for doing nothing more than shuffling some paper work. It's better by far to do the initial contacts by phone and not just by emails.

The shippers and destination addresses should be clearly put on all sides of the crate with at least a large felt pen and not on cardboard stapled to the crate. The same information should be inside the crate on the plastic around the machine. Lot's of items never get to there destination because those details get damaged during handling.

Load insurance for the item? Your on your own for that decision. You may slap insurance on it for it's full value, but good luck getting those types of insurance company's that do load insurance to pay anything close to what you actually paid them for even if the machines lost or destroyed in transit. And poor crating and strapping the machine to the skid almost guarantees damage and a claim denial from the insurance company so you have to be sure whoever is selling the machine understands that. The machine should also be fully wrapped in plastic even if it's inside a solid crate. It's not uncommon at all for corrosive goods that might be within the same load to get damaged or trailers to have leaky roofs. Plastic is cheap and it's pointless to not do it.There are some professional company's offering that crating service, but there really expensive and not available everywhere.Today's freight businesses work on high volume and speed. Everything gets shoe horned into the trailer as fast as possible and nothing gets tied down even if it obviously needs it.

With a machine tool I'd never ship it by rail. It's usually very slow unless you get lucky and the machine happens to get placed in with a higher priority load and rail car. It's also more than common to have hidden damage within the machine just from the high shock loads that happen while there shunting the rail cars around. I've heard some real horror story's about how much damage can happen with rail shipping. Delicate wiring, internal fuses, even precision bearings don't take those shocks well at all since they were never designed to do so.

Re: Buying Bridgeport

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:53 pm
by spro
Very good info again, Pete. Well, Bill and everyone. Some places are more difficult to access with a semi and a forklift. There really isn't any way to turn around and backing out into which became a major highway. We do what we can with materials we have. I loaded up with nuts, bolts and heavier channel beams back when I was younger. I couldn't even consider that now, hauling these 90 miles into the valley. Hills, mountains and switchbacks are an adventure with an old truck. The object was to maintain the property but heck, a few beams and heavy pipe...over and over.
It payed out in the long run as needs arose. Drill presses lathes and welders were moved there too. Enough tooling to get things done.
It HAD to be done. There was no turning back.

Re: Buying Bridgeport

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:47 am
by liveaboard
I've been shipping things across Europe; the variation in prices is simply enormous.

Right now I'm about to ship a 600lb crate with 2 motors in it; I found a company with good prices for 1/2 pallet. So it's narrow + tall.
It's around $140 door to door, 1,500 miles.
Other companies do the same thing for 4x more money, and it's really hard to find the best price for a specific move.

Another big factor is loading; if you have a forklift [or whatever] at each end it's cheaper. A few hundred pounds can be rolled on a pallet wagon and up a hydraulic tailgate but you need a smooth access to roll on.
They charge less if other freight can be stacked on top of yours.

My problem is I won't be there to receive, and delivery date can't be assured; so I'm sending it to a shop that has a forklift, and where he'll hold it for me [it's good to have friends!].
If I get my local rigging guy to pick it up and bring it the last 1.5 miles, he'll charge as much as the 1,500 miles; 1,000 times higher price.

It's all in the details.

When I'm looking at things to buy, I ask if the seller can put it on a pallet and load [second hand engine from a scrapyard, power hacksaw from a workshop...]
Second hand things are overpriced in Portugal so I buy from Holland, England, France, or Germany.