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Any advice on a Bridgeport 2J variable speed 9x42

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diamond

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My neighbor took in trade into his shop a Bridgeport 2J 1.5 horse (220 single phase) 9x42 variable speed. Power feed on x axis. No DRO. No tooling. He's willing to sell to me at $1800 which is in my price range though I was hoping to find something with a bit more tooling to go with it. Not even a vise. I have not seen it run yet. It's still sitting on his trailer & he needs to move it into his shop. I know condition is everything and it looks a little rough but it seems to be mostly some surface rust & a lot of very dirty oil from sitting and collecting dust. Maybe 6-7 tho lash in the X & Y. It has clearly sat for a while. Supposed to have new bearings, belt (belt is brand new I can see) in the head. I'm a little concerned it hasn't been used much for how long I don't know but once he gets it under power I hope to check it out more thoroughly.

Any gotchas folks know about with the variable speed series 1s vs. step pulley? I read the VS is more noisy maybe?

Sincerely appreciate any wisdom you can share.
 

markba633csi

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The variable speed heads are fine if they are in good shape, but they are a little noisier and they can be a bear to rebuild
Sounds like a good machine though if the rest of it is OK- no collets with it either? That's really a bare-bones machine
mark
 

diamond

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Thanks Mark! Hmm bear to rebuild eh? I'll have to hope whoever did it did a good job on that & did it right. Not knowing who did the work or anything about the work they did is a bit disconcerting. Getting it under power will hopefully tell a lot.

Yeah it's bare bones atm. A DRO and just some basic tooling to get up and running will easily be more than the cost of the machine. One nice benefit, my neighbor has the equipment to deliver it into my shop. There's value in that!
 

Technical Ted

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I've refurbished two variable speed 2J heads, but have never done so with a step pulley model. I believe the only real difference between the two models are the variable speed sliding pulleys on the motor shaft and spindle end. Everything else is pretty much the same. The rebuilding of these vari-pulleys involves gluing in new plastic bushings. I bought a kit from H&W and it was easy to do especially after watching their very helpful video.

The problem with the variable speed pulley models is when owners fail to replace the plastic bushing when they need to. The motor end wears out earlier than the spindle end and what happens is the plastic wears through, then the motor shaft starts eating into the movable pulley which ends up eating up both the bore of the pulley and the shaft and keyway of the motor armature/shaft. This can be an expensive repair if you buy replacement parts.

A symptom that the bushings need to be replaced is a very noisy head. Even heads in good shape are inherently noisier than the step pulley models so this can be hard to judge. Maybe some with a lot of experience can take a good guess by listening to them. Also, you can't really tell if it's just the bushings getting bad or if serious damage is done unless you open things up and take a look. This involves pulling the motor and removing the movable pulley for inspection. There are a lot of YouTube videos on this if you care to learn more.

Good luck,
Ted
 

Winegrower

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I have a step pulley Bridgeport and use a variable speed (single dial) at the Railroad museum. I think it’s way more important what accessories you have with the mill than the head design.

Since I have a DRO and lots of other stuff at home, i’m much happier and more productive at home.
 

projectnut

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If you have only .006-.007 backlash in both the X and Y the machine is either like new or someone has already adjusted the gibs a bit. That's what they are adjusted to when new from the factory. I have a similar model. The only difference is that mine is 220/440 three phase. They are good machines.
If the thing isn't beat up and all full of signs of abuse it's a good price. I paid about the same 20 years ago and the only "tooling" it came with was a vise, and a couple broken end mills in the column. Like your mine was dirty, but not abused. It came from a local high school. It sat in a store room for more than 10 years before the school finally decided to sell it.

You should be able to find a vise and collets online for very little money. Regardless of what some think you don't need an $800.00 Kurt or similar to make decent parts. Your money is best spent on quality end mills. Some of the cheap junk sold today is such poor quality it actually makes cutting metal more of a chore than a fun and relaxing hobby. Stick to the name brands. They might be slightly more expensive, but they're well worth the money.

Over the years I've added a significant amount of tooling for not all that much money. Things like boring heads, collets, tool holders, end mills, rotary tables, dividing heads, etc., etc. aren't hard to find and can be relatively inexpensive. Just keep an eye open, be patient, and look at retail prices of items you're interested in before blindly making a purchase. I've seen beat up used equipment and tooling sell on eBay for more than it could be purchased new from a reputable vendor. A DRO isn't necessarily a "must have" when you start out. I used my machine for 12 years before finally purchasing one. Even then it was more of a convenience than a "must have".
 

gmcken

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It sounds as though you may have a chance to purchase a good mill. I have a j head that serves me well. You can make a lot of parts without a digital readout. Use of dials will work for close work. Digital readouts can be added later and accessories can be found. Put the mill under power if possible and listen for strange noises. Check spindle run out with an indicator. Just my two cents worth
 

diamond

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Great advice, thank you all! Love this site. I hope he gets it off his trailer and into his shop this weekend where I can inspect it more thoroughly.

I was really surprised to see that lash too, particularly since the previous owner felt it necessary to do a head rebuild. I only got a quick look at it and I was just checking by feel, I'll get an indicator on it and see for sure. Will clean some of the crud off and get a better idea of what use the ways have seen.

Thanks for the advice on the bushings Ted. I'm definitely going to look at that closely.

She could be a gem that somebody just let sit without caring for it. Judging by the condition of some of the other stuff my neighbor got from this trade, the previous owners did not keep their machines oiled up and some stuff looked to have even been exposed to weather. There was a really nice collet set that came with the lathe he also got and had obviously been left in the rain or something, it was rusted up badly.

Another benefit is my neighbor is a really great guy and if I need help he's always willing to give it. He's got tooling and machines out the wazzoo and lets me borrow stuff all the time. Including a really nice end mill sharpener. :) Great neighbor to have when you're starting up your own shop! lol
 

BGHansen

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Not a bad price if everything is up to snuff. You'll want to add a vise, collets, DRO, parallels, etc. It'd be nice to find a similar machine with all of those accessories already included; cheaper than buying new to tool up the machine. Here are a few Bridgeport options in my area for price comparison.

I use "SearchTempest" for shopping Craig's List (google searchtempest). Pretty simple to use, give it your zip code, mile range you want to shop, and a description. It pulls CL listings from all cities within your mile range.

Bruce


9x48 table, step pulley, no accessories, $1250
https://detroit.craigslist.org/mcb/hvo/d/bridgeport-mill/6690640506.html

9x32 table, step pulley, vise, r8 collets, 2-axis DRO, $2000
https://chicago.craigslist.org/wcl/tls/d/bridgeport-milling-machine/6708480229.html

9x48 table, step pulley, 2-axis DRO, X-power feed, $3000
https://detroit.craigslist.org/wyn/hvo/d/bridgeport-1hp-milling/6682641658.html

9x42 table, 1 1/2 HP vari-speed, 2-axis DRO, X-power feed, R8 collets, boring head, clamping kit, swivel vise. $4500
https://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bfs/d/bridgeport-milling-machine/6683158243.html

9x42 table, step pulley, 2-axis DRO, X-power feed, $3250
https://detroit.craigslist.org/wyn/hvo/d/bridgeport-milling-machine/6679475370.html
 

Technical Ted

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Everyone has the right to their own opinion and mine is to hold off on a DRO and invest in other tooling/items first.

I know I'm dating myself, but I've never used a DRO on a mill (other than CNC). Using dials works just fine. It's slower for sure, but for a retired hobbyist like me they are fine. I doubt very much I will ever buy one for any of my mills. I'm sure if I used one I would get spoiled, but not having done so, I'm happy with the way I'm doing it. It might not be quite as accurate as a DRO because of worn screws/nuts, but it's plenty close enough for the work I do as a hobbyist.

I'd suggest starting with the basics like a collets, end mills and a vise. Maybe a fly bar cutter or two; they're cheap, but also very easy to make. These are the ones I use most frequently. Then, pick up things as you can find them on Craig's list or where ever used or buy the ones you really need as the actual need arises.

Just my two cents,

Ted
 

Janderso

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Thank you Bruce.
That is a sweet website.
 

markba633csi

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Diamond: run the table all the way to one end and the other- depending on how much it tightens up at the ends of travel gives you some idea of the wear on the ways/gibs. The longer tables also have more sag at the ends which can be an issue if you do a lot of long parts
mark
 

Kroll

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Before you are your neighbor moves anything I would check to see if you can pump oil to the ways.Some people including myself sees a grease fitting and think its for grease(not),if you do have oil pump check it out see if it works.If not well there's little over couple hundred. And parts are still available Yahoo for that.Post some pics would love to see your mill
 

diamond

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Kroll, it has a one shot oiler. We haven't tried it to see if it works yet. If it doesn't, and it's just the pump, I bought a one on ebay for my lathe and it works fine for $45. Hoping to get it off his trailer and into his shop tomorrow to start really looking at it.
 

Kroll

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I'm going to go ahead and give you congrats on your BP,it being a single phase is a big plus.You have a lot of good help from the guys above to help with replacing those bushings and help with tooling up.Looking forward to pics of the milling setting in your shop.
 
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