help deciding on a mill drill please

josef

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I've been looking some at old Bridgeports. I think it may take a while to find one I can afford. But anyway, could we talk about horsepower for a minute? I was thinking I need at least one hp. Some of the older Bridgeports I've seen have only 1/2 horse motors. Many of the ones for sale are 3 phase, and I know I can get a converter for that, but that's more money. From what I've read on another forum I should pay attention to the ways and backlash more than the condition of the table. Unfortunately, there is probably no good way to evaluate those things without going and seeing the thing in person. Not too many for sale around Knoxville, TN.
There's one on ebay, a benchtop unit that is horizontal and vertical. He tells me the horizontal is R8 but the vertical is smaller. Any ideas on that one?
 
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josef

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Don't know how to end these threads, but I'm ready to close this one. I've about decided that I can do much of what I need on my drill press and lathe. So it makes more sense to upgrade parts for the lathe. Anyhow, thanks for the ideas. I'm still very curious about whether anybody owns and uses a Bolton or Bailey mill drill. Tom is the only one I've found who actually has a Precision Matthews. You'd think there would be more out on the web about them than what there is.
 

cjones6108

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I am probably the one sucker who bought a Bolton machine - the BP240V variable speed lathe/mill combo. I regret having done so. While I think the lathe is basically OK (I'm very new to metalworking, having been focused on woodworking for 30 years or so), I very quickly had the mill motor burn out this past April, while milling aluminum, so I doubt seriously that I did anything that would tax the machine - I know from woodworking what an overloaded machine sounds like.

In retrospect, I actually had trouble with Bolton pretty much from the start. It took for-freaking-ever to get the original shipment, and I still don't have the replacement mill head. It's now almost September and the latest word is they have to wait for the next container shipment, due in 45 more days. There seems to be only one person who actually provides any kind of customer service, and everyone else I've talked to, even for something as simple as a status update, they have to refer me to this one man, (Dan). Nice guy, and he tries to be helpful, but jeez, where did they find the rest of their people? Even Technical Support referred me back to Dan.

So, long story short, that is my first and last Bolton machine.
 

josef

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Many thanks for the information and sorry you had such a bum experience. I had had some email back and forth with Dan and at one point asked to communicate with someone more technical and was told that he was it. I had pretty much decided against a Bolton anyhow. Glad I did.
 
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