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Benchtop Bridgeport - what would you do?

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cederholm

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#31
Frank,

Thank you for your input! Certainly food for thought. I think in the end I would certainly want a heavy duty base for it as you make some great points.

Regarding the drill press, I have a decent one. (see below)


You wouldn't enjoy a 350hp V-8 stuffed into an MG Midget.
--frankb
I LOVE this quote - I own two MGBs and many of my MG friends dream about an MG V8. ...I however do not.

Thanks for your candor - I value it.

~ Carl

photo%2011.jpg
 

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franklynb

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#32
Frank,
Regarding the drill press, I have a decent one. (see below)
Carl

That seals the deal. :)) You live in New York City! Put an ad on C/L for an
"M Head looking for a Cinci Mill to Marry" in the tools section for $500. Someone will be all over it.
Its just a matter of time. My bet? Less than 24 hours.

That head is only worth $200 in the trunk of a guy in Bridgeport CT. Here in LA
its a thousand dollar piece of unobtanium. The New Britain sales types never made it
that far west I guess.

--frankb
 

mattthemuppet

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#34
yeah, bolting the XY table to the base (and the base to a bench) would be the best option. To be honest though, you're going to spend a fair chunk of change tooling this up (collets, drill chuck, table, vise etc) with stuff that's fairly specific to this machine - probably $2-300 in total. And you would still end up with a not very rigid benchtop mill with a small work envelope. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but for similar money plus the value of the head (or trade + cash) you might be able to end up with a small but decent import benchtop mill or a horizontal to add the head to.

It's certainly something that would be worth exploring (how much do those M-heads go for, especially around you? are there many small mills around?) before you start putting money into it. Either way you'll end up with something that can mill, which is totally awesome (this coming from someone with a drill press, collet chuck and import XY table), but you could end up with something really capable that you'll take a lot longer to grow out of. I know for sure that I can't wait for the day that I get a proper mill, even an X2 or X3 would be a step up!
 

Eddyde

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#35
you take a chance of flipping that tiny split clamp table right around the post every time
you hit some hard spot in the material -- or mis-gauge your initial depth of cut guess!

Don't waste your money on
an X-Y table -- only to discover its a dangerous idea as the part comes flying off with the table. Or the entire table cracks
off the post at the clamp!

--frankb
With all due respect, I think you are being a bit overly dramatic there. For about 8 years I would occasionally mill on a drill press with a shop made XY table and an end mill in a chuck. Was it very accurate, no, but if i took my time, i could do one off work to a few of thousandths. Was it powerful, no, light passes & slow feeds. did it leave a great finish, no, but it got the job done. Sure it wasn't a real mill or an ideal set up but at no time did it exhibit any of those nightmare scenarios you predict, not even close. Some of the things I did with that set-up: Mill keyways & flats on shafts, cut slots in plates for adjusting bolts and cutting openings in electronics enclosures etc. I would bet that Bridgeport head and a quality XY table would do much better than what I had.
 

cederholm

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#36
Lots of great feedback everyone. Certainly lots to think about. If I decide to keep it the ultimate goal would be to find a proper base. In the mean time I need to practice and the small mill that I already have. As stated before I have a lot to learn.

~ Carl
 

Billh50

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#37
I have been using a drill press with a cross table for milling for a couple years now. I have had no trouble holding a couple thousands. I can't take more than .030 to .040 off at a time in aluminum. and less in steel. But then I have all kinds of time to get things done. The only thing I have to watch for is if I move the head up or down I have to make sure it is real tight on the column or the head can swing while cutting. It did happen to me once. I got the drill press for nothing and the cross slide was just under $200 in ebay. Considering this drill press is over 50yrs old and the bearings are just now starting to show wear I think it did very well. But even with the bearings starting to go I can get things to within .002 of what I need and closer if I take the time to make multiple passes.
When someone can't afford the proper tools they make do with what they have or can afford.
 

mattthemuppet

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#38
Same here Bill - it's not great and something I hope to remedy in the future, but it's better than not having anything to mill with!
 

Quatroclick

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#40
If i were you, I would fit the head to an old full sized drill press base, or add a longer column, and get a good chuck. You would then have, if not the best, certainly one of the coolest drill presses in existence.
 

Alittlerusty

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#41
See this is thread is getting old but definitely will be a light light duty setup. First project should be to fab up a stiffer base setup,nthe table clamp under neath and on the riser will twist veerrrrry easily while milling.
 

scwhite

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#42
Hi all,

I am a novice machine hobbyist with a with benchtop Bridgeport mill that I would love to use. My father bought it at an auction and never hooked it up. When he passed I inherited it. The problem is that it doesn't have a cross feed bed. Can they be purchased? Is it worth messing around with this?

My hope is to use it for small projects.

Would love any advice/thoughts. Pictures below.
~ Carl

View attachment 180324

View attachment 180325

View attachment 180328
I like it
It is a Bridgeport M - head
Mounted on a drill press .
Clausing sold the 8540 horizontal milling
Machine equiped with this head for a year or two
You have a great piece there .
I would buy a X- Y mill table at Grizzly
And mount under it .
 

itsme_Bernie

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#43
Totally cool little M head machine! X Y table and you are all set. Looks, and functions pretty much like a Rusnok that way!
You may do as well (as mentioned above) to sell the M head and buy something else, as the column on that drill press isn't too stout.
Let us know what you do!
 

Silverbullet

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#44
If it were mine , id shop around till I found a small horizontal mill , rockford, standard, Hardinage, kent, even atlas . They would have sturdy tables to use and are usually fair priced. I just saw a few under $500. In working condition. Yupp if I wait and watch id find one.
When I wanted a plasma cutter it took over a year to get what I wanted at my price. Esab 875 as new few dents but no damage. Way less then half price of new.
Mills are out there save some money get the horizontal and then youll have both in one.
 
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