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Bridgeport Availability In Your Part Of This Country

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Janderso

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I really feel fortunate. I began looking for my Bridgeport Milling Machine a few months ago. Within a very short time I found one 2 hours away. I paid $1,500 for it. It has been used. The table is not pretty but it does what I need it to do as long as I pay attention. The head is quiet and tight. The downfeed works and the back gears are quiet.
I searched the entire San Francisco Bay Area for a Bridgeport and there is one beat up machine-step pulley- for $4,500.
When I was looking on E-bay there were dozens up in the North East, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio at any given time you had choices.
I love the weather in California not the politics.
Where did you find your Bridgeport and how far did you have to drive?
Did you pay less than $3,000?
What State do you live in?
Just curious.
 
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Canada. 3 hours, $1400 clone. Wound up needing significant rebuilding. 1400 is on the low end for a mill around here.
 

Ed ke6bnl

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I got a Round Ram with a J head and smallish table. tight and quiet except the brake is at its end stage. The quy delivered it all for a cost of $600 since have put on the xyz dro and a quill dro and a power x axis and made a drill chuck drive for raising the table. love it. was able to sell my Burke mill for $1400 instantly.
 

Cadillac

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You’ll hate this. Friend called said you want a Bridgeport. I said yeah how much he said free you have to get it out by the weekend it was a Friday.
His fathers friend was moving to Florida Monday needed it gone. We drove a 1/2 mile to check it out. Step pulley jhead textron model early 80’s. Has a anilam dro on x and y. Servo 150 on the y. He threw in two sets of collets, Kurt vise,troyke 9” rotary table and center support for rotary. He also gave me a phase o matic I think to run it. I felt so bad like I was robbing him I gave him 300 bucks. I called my tow truck buddy had it in my garage in hours.
He purchased the machine for home use Has chromed ways and minimal use. One of the best deals I ever got. What a great man!
 

BGHansen

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Drove 30 miles for a very lightly used 1981 BP with a 2HP motor, 6" Kurt swivel vise, Anilam Crusader 2 CNC controller for $4000. Many options in the mid-Michigan area or Detroit area. You can pretty much pick up BP's and clones for anywhere between $1500 - $8000.

Bruce
 

markba633csi

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Pickings are slim on the west coast for lathes and mills, you'll see a few machines then a long dry spell. Rinse, repeat.
Much better luck on east coast, and east coast prices are generally lower too from what I've seen
Mark
 
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dlane

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Bay Area better than here, I like my supermax it’s quieter than most BP’s I’ve messed with
 
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Cheeseking

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Damn Cadillac. What a score No way to beat that!!
I paid good money for mine but admittedly I was looking for something nice not a fixer upper or “rebuilt” with steel wool and spray paint. When it popped up on local CL I could tell immediately it was mint and more than I wanted to spend but knew it was still good price relative to its condition so I pounced. Fortunately for me just a week earlier after much begging I caved and agreed to my wife getting another dog. That friends was instrumental in her saying yes to my 5k ask. Here in the Midwest BP’s are plentiful but most of them in the 1-2k range I found were clapped out projects. $3k will start to get you into something half decent that may need only some cleaning and a shot of oil etc. I go to quite a few industrial auctions and have seen them all over price wise but that number here will usually get you one. Ultimately tho as Cadillac is proof of its all about time and place.
 

Dabbler

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I needed to replace my Busy Bee 7X22" mill with a larger model. I approached a bunch of dealers in Western Canada, finally a guy in Vancouver found me a well used but workable 9X49 'First' mill with a Mitutoyo DRO on it. The motor reversing switch was destroyed so we had to hook up a substitute to test it. In the "far North" West, these cost between 3K dollars to 7K dollars, even with a head that needs rebuilding.
 

Silverbullet

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We're flooded with them here. You can almost name your price. Lots of good deals and still lots of high price sellers too.
 

projectnut

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I can't beat the price, but I can say I didn't have to go very far for my 1972 BP Series I machine. It came from a local high school. It sat in storage for about 10 years before the school district finally decided to let it go. It was delivered to the door & unloaded in the garage.

DSCF8078.JPG
 

Janderso

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Plentiful? Life just isn’t fair.
Let’s see, you have beautiful old iron and lots of it. You have cold winters and muggy summers.
We in the West, have no iron but we have trout streams and volcanoes, earthquakes, liberal politicians and the farming community.
I think I could move to Connecticut or New Jersey in a heart beat.
 

Janderso

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Projectnut, that is a sweet mill. I ran into Steve Ostling, retired High School shop teacher. He told me the Administrators wanted to get rid of all that junk in the shops to make room. All that junk he was referring to was South Bend Lathes and Bridgeport milling machines.
From what I understand they went into storage for a while then they were sold off via the good ole boy system.
What do we need shops for? We don’t make anything in this country anymore, was the mentality forcing the decisions.
I hope they found good loving homes.
 

JPMacG

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We are flooded with them here too. I just wish I could fit one in my basement. Ceiling is too low, not to mention I don't know how I would ever get it down the stairs.
 

Janderso

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We are flooded with them here too. I just wish I could fit one in my basement. Ceiling is too low, not to mention I don't know how I would ever get it down the stairs.
Dang, you are very fortunate. I may have to look on Craigslist and get an idea what shipping would be. Buying a milling machine without being there is not settling though.
 

Janderso

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I can't beat the price, but I can say I didn't have to go very far for my 1972 BP Series I machine. It came from a local high school. It sat in storage for about 10 years before the school district finally decided to let it go. It was delivered to the door & unloaded in the garage.

View attachment 265009
Rotary vise, clean table, dro, what a nice machine.
 

projectnut

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We are flooded with them here too. I just wish I could fit one in my basement. Ceiling is too low, not to mention I don't know how I would ever get it down the stairs.
You can get one down in the basement just like Johnny Cash built his car, "One Piece at a Time". My Bridgeport mill started in the garage. After a couple years of heat and cold cycles it started to rust. I disassembled it and piece by piece took it to the basement shop. I did all except the column by myself using a refrigerator dolly. I hired a local moving company to move the 1,000 lb. column. It took 4 guys and a 1,700 lb. capable powered step climber dolly. In less than half an hour they had it through the house and down the stairs. They charged the company minimum of $300.00.

Once in the basement I reassembled the machine by myself. It's been in the shop about 15 years and makes chips almost daily.

Most high schools in our area gave up teaching shop classes in the early 1990's because as said "we don't make anything in this country anymore". That backfired only a few years later. Now there's more demand for skilled machinists in our area than the schools can put out. The highs schools have now partnered with the local technical colleges. Our local technical college has 4 huge shops. In total I'll bet there's over 100 pieces of high quality metal working machinery. One shop is equipped with over a dozen manual lathes and the same number of manual vertical mills. In that same shop there are half a dozen horizontal mills and half a dozen manual surface grinders.

Another shop is more dedicated to CNC machines. In this shop there are a dozen vertical machining centers and an equal number of horizontal machining centers. The machining programs have a waiting list. They even offer evening classes for those that are already employed and are looking to either change careers, or advance in their current careers.

I took some classes there a few years ago when I was looking for a new surface grinder for my shop. To use the machines you had to prove operating and safety proficiency to the instructor. Once you did that you had free reign of the facility. I was able to use over a dozen different brands and models of surface grinders to help me decide which would be the best fit for my shop. I also used more than half a dozen manual lathes, an equal number of vertical milling machines, and several horizontal mills.

It was a great experience bumping elbows with people still in the trades, and those looking to enter the profession. I loved using the machines. Every one of them looked and performed like they just came from the factory. The school has a round robin refurbish/rebuild program with several of the supplying companies. Every summer 3 to 4 of each style machine are sent out for inspection refurbishing and updating. This is a case of your tax dollars actually being put to a worth while cause.

I haven't taken a class in a few years, but I'm thinking about taking one next fall. As mentioned in another thread one machine I am looking to put in the shop is a jig bore. They have several Moore, SIP, Linley and other brands still in their shops. I'd like to try out a few before they go the way of the dinosaurs. Who knows I may even be able to talk them into sell one to make room for more modern machinery.
 
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Janderso

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That shows you the difference from State to State. Here in Northern California, the High Schools have something called "Today's Tech". I think they show movies of someone running a CNC machine. Pretty pathetic compared to Wisconsin Public Schools.
 

Winegrower

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I don't agree with the lack of iron on the west coast...just helped my friend today to purchase a Bridgeport in good shape, single dial variable speed, pneumatic drawbar, X axis power feed, name brand DRO (can't remember what it was! ) and an amazing collection of accessories including boring head, an indexing worm gear head, a spin indexer, probably 20 slitting wheels and arbors to suit, a toolbox drawer of reamers, boxes of endmills, some large face mills, R8 and 5C collet collection, Mitutoyo height gauge, and a couple more boxes of stuff. Total was $5k plus $100 and seller delivered!
 

Janderso

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Mr. Winegrower, your experience with your friend's purchase sounds like he got a fine piece of equipment. I am simply saying if you log into Craigslist or a wholesaler tool supply and you compare the inventory of available Milling machines, I think you will find a 10 to 1 ratio. I noticed the North East and the Mid West had an ample supply of Bridgeports' and other top brands compared to the West Coast.
IMHO Sir.
 

Dabbler

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In our area things are quite dry, but great deals can still be found, for the people who never quit.
 

Winegrower

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I appreciate what Janderso says. I do not know what it's like away from the West Coast. I just observe that at any given time, there are maybe 3 mills available in the Northern California area. That could be small compared to elsewhere, I can't say.
 

Quattroclick

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Pretty slim pickings in Colorado. There are always a couple of decent but expensive mills available, but you generally have to be patient to find a good deal. I found one after looking on and off for about 2 years. I'd actually given up on a BP or clone and had a Brown and Sharpe vertical. I went to look at a surface grinder and one of the machines being sold was a 60's j-head with a slottting head, power feed and a bunch of tooling for $2250. I didn't waste any time and pulled out cash. Aside from the dirt, surface rust and grease pumped into the way oilers, it is a nearly unused mill. Cleaned up to like new condition with only a few hazy areas on the table from the rust. I got pretty lucky.
 

Janderso

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How about some pics of that beauty Mr. Quattro.
 

gasengin

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Here in North Dakota there are nearly none for sale. I can think of only 4 listed for sale that I know of in the last couple years. We need to go to either Minneapolis or Denver to find anything (600 to 700 miles one way). I got my clone out of Denver. Mill had almost no use (likely less than 50 hours) with X power feed and came with many collets, 2 vises (one import, one Kurt), boring heads (2 and 3), rotory table, end mill holders, and a few other things all in a large cabinet. Had to pay $4500 with tax and everything, but I am very happy with the mill. I also know of another mill in the area that recently came from Denver.
 

Janderso

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$4,500 for what you got is certainly a fair deal in my mind.
Clearly the manufacturing hubs in the 1970's is where the bulk of these old mills seem to be.
 

ericc

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Hi Janderso. The supply is kind of tight in the Bay Area, but not bad. Just keep an eye out, and steer clear of the fakes. There are some dealers out here too, who know the hobby market and don't jack up their prices. If you see a Craigslist ad which says "rare, very rare", the item is probably overpriced. I kind of find that people are image oriented around here, and a beater which is really solid deep down will sell for quite a bit less. There are also a lot of collectors who push up prices by buying and not using, as well as wannabe flippers. But, I really got a shock when a fellow blacksmith moved to east Oregon. It is totally dry out there. Everything is scarce and overpriced, and basically, Craigslist and Ebay are impossible. You just have to bide your time at farm auctions.

By the way, how's life in Paradise, CA? I know a few smiths who are looking that direction, but are a little concerned about the remoteness and the drug news. Is quality of life decent? If so, you can probably take a few lumps from lower machine tool availability like my friend in Oregon.
 

Janderso

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Well Eric, life is good in Paradise. My wife and I moved here in 1986 from Walnut Creek. We were neighbors you and I. Sunnyvale is just a hop, skip and a jump from Walnut Creek.
I keep checking Craigslist in the Sacramento area and the Bay Area. There are a few Bridgeports in California, nothing like Connecticut, Ohio, New York etc.
Richard King sent me the name of a re-grinding outfit down south. I may go that route on my worn table/saddle.
Patience is the golden rule as they say.
 

Cadillac

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Any state that touches the Great Lakes will have good inventory of machinery. Along with the east coast. I have a bathroom book that talk about industry in late 18 early 1900's. Just about everything was made in Chicago it seems. Amazing how much and to drive through some areas that are abandoned still because the whole town worked for that huge factory.
 
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