Round Ram Bridgeport

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Hopsteiner

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In this series of photos, I’m rebuilding the screw on my Bridgeport vise. It seemed to be an odd thread, somewhere between 6 and 7 threads per inch. Since I was also going to be remaking the bronze nut, it didn’t matter. I settled on 6. In the first photo,you can see the old vise screw. In the second, I’m cutting the screw out of stainless. It’s a left hand screw so I’m cutting towards the tailstock. In the third, I’m squaring off the end of the handle. Doing this helped me use a crescent wrench as I continued to”chase” the internal Acme thread. I picked up a chunk of hard bronze for the nut. I was surprised it didn’t cut all that bad. In the fifth photo, I’ve cut the internal thread in the bronze nut and I’m chasing the internal thread to fit the external thread. In the 7th, this is the ground Acme thread.
 

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comstock-friend

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I fiddled with a 1941 M Head s/n BH-663 for years, cleaned up the rust and grease but never did operate. When a nice late 1950's BP J head came up for sale with a equally nice South Bend 13", both very well tooled for $5K, SWMBO OK'd the purchase. Professional machinery movers got them safely up my steep driveway and into my garage in SoCal. A fellow came from Arizona to fetch my M head, his problem now. Other than adding a thing or two on them for more capability, they have been making chips since day one. Photos show the old M head in the condition I got rid of her, the pickup from Arizona and the 'new' J Head and South Bend arriving...

John
 

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awake

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That’s nuts. Maybe if everything has been scraped true. The table has been flaked, it has a one lube system installed. Digital read out, been repainted and aluminum polished. Way too much. Look for a community college tech school that might be upgrading. Then $4000 might be a good buy.
Agreed! For comparison, I bought a decent condition 2J head (variable speed) with DRO and power X-feed for $1500 - yes, that was a very good deal, made even better by the fact that the seller volunteered to deliver it and set it in place in my garage (!!!) - but I had been looking for a long, long time to find that deal. Had I been willing to spend $2500 or so, I would have secured a similar machine much, much sooner.

Note that mine is certainly not in freshly scraped condition, but it is more than good enough for my needs - and worlds better than the old mill-drill which now serves only as a shelf ... :)
 

packrat

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Quote by Hopsteiner "I well understand. There was no shedding of tears as that M head departed. The J would be a big upgrade"

May I ask what are the problems with a Bridgeport M Head Milling Machine, there is a M head on eBay right now for $1725.00
 
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Hopsteiner

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Quote by Hopsteiner "I well understand. There was no shedding of tears as that M head departed. The J would be a big upgrade"

May I ask what are the problems with a Bridgeport M Head Milling Machine, there is a M head on eBay right now for $1725.00
I’m no expert as mine is not up and running as of yet. The fact that it has either a morse taper, Brown and Sharp or another taper which escapes me. R8 is the standard taper which is in basic use. The M head is limited to perhaps a 3/4 inch mill. I will push this limit. Mine has a 1/2 HP motor. It is round ram and not dovetailed ram which is going to be more ridgid. And in milling Ridgitiy is tandamount. Also, it does not have power down feed. if you can live with all of this and one appears at the right price. It’s a well made machine. In my case, an Atlas vertical milling attachment on my lathe.
 

packrat

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Thanks for the information on the spindle taper, sounds like the old South Bend Mill with that 30MM spindle nose, I could live with that even
if I found a South Bend Mill that had some organelle tooling that came with the machine..??
 

comstock-friend

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Odd spindle tapers can be worked with. I also have a 1951 Index 55 vertical mill that originally had a B&S #9 taper, Available but certainly not falling out of trees like R8! Wells-Index took my quill with spindle, checked out that the bearings were in good shape and ground an R8 into it. It will now hold R8's as well as the original B&S #9! (I have two horizontal mills with B&S #9 spindles, so have a fair amount of tooling, even a B&S #9 to #7 adapter and a range of #7 collets!)

John
 

Hopsteiner

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Thanks for the information on the spindle taper, sounds like the old South Bend Mill with that 30MM spindle nose, I could live with that even
if I found a South Bend Mill that had some organelle tooling that came with the machine..??
As I’ve said before, I’m no expert. I’ve never seen a South Bend Mill.
Odd spindle tapers can be worked with. I also have a 1951 Index 55 vertical mill that originally had a B&S #9 taper, Available but certainly not falling out of trees like R8! Wells-Index took my quill with spindle, checked out that the bearings were in good shape and ground an R8 into it. It will now hold R8's as well as the original B&S #9! (I have two horizontal mills with B&S #9 spindles, so have a fair amount of tooling, even a B&S #9 to #7 adapter and a range of #7 collets!)

John
 

Hopsteiner

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Must have had enough” meat” in there to grind it to an R8. Like I said earlier, all I heard was Bridgeport, when I bought mine. The guy at work was probably happy to get rid of it for the $900, he was asking. As I’ve gotten further into this mill, the table is 42 inches. The center 20 inches has been milled out and a steel Plate dropped in. T slots cut, until I had the table ground and broken out areas welded, you couldn’t tell. I was a “babe in the woods” when I bought this mill. This table must have been really butchered.These pictures were taken at the local Community College. I was taking a CNC class. They had some Bridgeports and the instructor let me bring the table in to clean it up one of the mills. Not the most accurate method which I later realized. I wound up taking it to a large machine shop with a large surface grinder. They cleaned it up, the welded areas, etc. The ironic thing is, I had the chance to buy what appeared to be a NOS 42 inch table for about $600 on eBay. I could have driven the 300 miles to Cleveland to pick it up. I tried to “lowball” the guy and lost out.
 

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Hopsteiner

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This particular piece attaches to the motor and then the drum switch attaches to it. As you can see, it’s been through the “wars.” And I‘m to blame. I was moving the machine and the head pivoted down, with the cast iron piece breaking. Well, I brazed it up and repainted it. All done right? Well, the casting base had warped. Cast iron does not bend, it is brittle. I cracked an ear off. Back to the torch to braze the ear on. This time I “spotted“ in the base with a grinder and a flat surface. Haste makes waste.
 

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Hopsteiner

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Thanks Bill, I live out west in Utah.
There’s an M head up on Ebay right now, item number 303591800572, which has been professionally rebuilt. About $2100 or offer. It’s in western Pennsylvania. I know that’s a jaunt for you but better then $4000. Make an offer, figure out the gas, one way trailer rental from Uhaul. Make a ”fun” road trip out of it. A few ratchet straps will hold it in place. It’s about 1500 pounds. Drop the knee, swing the head down, lowering the center of gravity. With gas and motels, maybe $2500 total. Again, maybe you can talk him down. Also, just thought Of this, there’s an app called Uship. Google it. You arrange and negotiate with private individuals to pick up and bring the machine to you. Sounds like this machine was a display, they want to get rid off. M heads aren’t in real high demand as J heads have more bells and whistles. You may have some leverage. Looks like a nice machine. Collets and vise, included.
 
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Hopsteiner

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Well, I finally got 220 out to the garage. Wired 110V and 220V outlets to all my tools that have sat idle for so long. Thinking my problems were over and I’d soon be making chips. Not so fast mister, the machine “gods” had other ideas. Working in a garage in cold weather presents many problems. Stiff bearings, etc. The static phase converter I have is very old. Thinking I could just plug my mill in and start making chips was the height of nativity. my mill would just sit there and “hum”, occasionally start to turn. After reading just about every post on the internet, i found that if you got any movement you probably had wired things properly. I replaced the capacitors in the SPC, both start and run. I also replaced the contacts in my drum switch, which were burnt. By this time, it was warmer. With a little hand turning, the spindle would power up to full speed. If am using the mill, and it has warmed up, it runs at full speed right away. I’m thinking it might need a little more oomph, another starter cap. in parallel. I’ve included pictures of my adventures. Pardon the messy shop, its still a work in progress. As i like to say, its 10 pounds of crap in a 5 pound bag. in one of the photos, you can see the vise, I’ve pretty much rebuilt with a new acme screw and nut. I also made the jaw inserts. In one of the photos you can see a project I’m working on.
 

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awake

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You've got it looking good! Yes, does sound like there is a mismatch between your static starter and the 3-phase motor. You might want to keep an eye out for an inexpensive or free 3-phase motor that you could turn into a rotary phase converter - you might could even use the static starter to start the RPC, but it is also easy to build an RPC using free materials from the discard pile of an HVAC shop - lots of still-good contactors and capacitors that otherwise go to waste!

I had lost track of this thread earlier, and as I was catching up I saw the discussion about the taper. I'm pretty sure the standard taper in an M-head is a Morse 2 taper. Not as common as R8, but last I checked it was still relatively easy to find a set of M2 collets without breaking the bank. M2 to JT-of-whatever-size-needed for a drill chuck are (or at least were) easy enough to find as well, but less so for one that is drilled and tapped for the draw bar. What will be much harder to find is a shank for tooling such as a boring head or a carbide facing tool ... but then again, not sure an M-head has the power or rigidity for the latter. For the boring head, you may be able to find one with a straight shank of suitable size ... or make your own, which is what I wound up doing when I had only a mill-drill with an M2 spindle.
 

Hopsteiner

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Awake, thanks for the input. 1/2 HP isn’t much power, but it‘s an upgrade from using my Atlas mill attachment In the lathe. Where to find a usable capacitor, an HVAC shop is a good idea. As an aside on the mill, I bought new feed dials for the mill. Fitted them for clearance. Working on my project, touched off on the surface to spot a hole. Only to realize, I fitted the knee dial to the X-Y axis, and vice versa. Couldn’t figure out what was going on. Putting an indicator on the X-Y and comparing the two readings cleared things up. I‘ve got an extra drill chuck laying around. I’m thinking of cutting off the tang and drilling and tapping the taper 3/8-16. Not sure about holding the body in a 3-jaw to do the job though. I was getting so fed up with three phase, I almost bought a 3/4 hp 110/220V single phase. An adapter plate was looking very good, at that time. Found one on ebay across town. Was going to buy, but seller still wanted $40 shipping for me to pick it up.
 

packrat

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Quote " Was going to buy, but seller still wanted $40 shipping for me to pick it up."

Seller was out of line to try and get shipping out of you, I have bought items off eBay that were local, seller was happy to get the cash and I was on my way.
 

awake

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Hopsteiner, keep in mind that on a static phase converter, you only get about 2/3 of the rated power, so your 1/2 HP is even less - only about 1/3 HP. That may also be a factor in how it spins up, especially at higher spindle speeds.

And I agree - charge for shipping when there is no shipping? That suggests to me the person is scamming eBay by trying to make money on the shipping, not on the sale price.
 

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