Bridgeport Lubrication??

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May 28, 2012
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In rebuilding the Bridgeport 1-J I came upon some conflicting advice regarding lubrication. Below the gearbox is where the main lubrication for the quill and other gears get lubrication.

Looking at these pictures you see a lubricating tube as it sticks through the housing. Below is a felt pad.

At issue is:

1. the sleeve as it goes through the quill housing.

2. The feed drive gears.

3. The spindle where it moves up and down through the splined gear hub.

It seems that rebuilding the spindles now is done predominately with bearings sealed both sides which makes oil both redundant at the very least. The spindle rebuilder that I used who specializes in spindle rebuilding told me not to use oil in that area because it works through the bearing seals and reduces the life of the sealed bearings. He recommended removing the oil cup and lubing the sleeve by bringing it down and lubing it.

This leaves the question of how do you lubricate the quill sleeve, the gears, and the spindle spline. Shortening the tube would put the bulk of the oil in the casting cavity but would leave the gears and spline un-lubricated. The oil could also run right in on top of the felt and down to the bearings.

My question is how to address this dilemma. I could drill the housing, tap 1/8" NPT threads and locate some drip cups more appropriately or?

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.



Feb 10, 2012
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i am in the process of getting a 1J bridgeport mill home to restore. Per suggestion of the net i purchased a book on rebuilding/refurbising the bridgeport mill. the original lub system was called a total loss system because you put oil in the top and it trickled down through the bearings and dripped of the spindle nose. this was why they reminded you to wipe the oil off the spindle before you started it. this is also why they used unshielded bearing in the spindle housing. I would suggest you get one of these books off of ebay (they were under $30)as they give you a lot of good information when working on this still of mill.

Tin Falcon

Well-Known Member
Jul 9, 2007
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spindle oil for the spindle way oil for everything else. typically Mobil Velocolite 10 . for the spindle vacra 2 for the ways etc.

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