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Bought a J-head and I have an unusual problem

Discussion in 'BRIDGEPORT MACHINES INC. & B'PORT CLONES' started by Quattroclick, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. Quattroclick

    Quattroclick United States Iron Registered Member

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    Hi everybody! I have been a lurker here on and off for a few years. There is a great wealth of knowledge here and I would like some input on the direction I should take concerning my first Bridgeport.

    I wasn't looking for a mill as I already have a nice Brown and Sharpe vertical. But, while looking at some other machines for sale, I wound up buying a 1965 Bridgeport with a ton of accessories. There are many threads discussing the process of recomissioning or rebuilding machines of this vintage which are generally well used with significant wear. My problem is exactly the opposite. There are almost no signs at all that this machine has ever been used. After a close inspection, my guess is that the machine might have at most a few hours of light use. The belt pulleys don't show any signs of being run. I can't find marks on the original Bridgeport vise jaws. There is some surface rust on exposed metal, but it should clean up fairly easily. One hand sized area on the table is a bit worse, but I don't think it is enough to affect operation.

    I am trying to decide between flushing oil (or some kind of solvent followed by oil) through all the ways and the head and just running it, or disassembling and cleaning out any old gummed up oil before running it. I don't have a good idea of the likelihood of the old lubricants causing problems.

    I look forward to the replies, even the almost sure admonition to post pics. I will do that when I can, but right now it's under a tarp until I make space in my shop.
     
  2. JimDawson

    JimDawson Global Moderator Staff Member Director

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    Sounds like a nice find.

    Given the unusual conditions, I might flush it out with some kerosene and light oil mix if it's been sitting for a long time. The spindle bearings should be greased so just warming the head up a bit with a hair dryer (or wait until July :) ) and start by running at low speed for a while would be my choice.
     
  3. Quattroclick

    Quattroclick United States Iron Registered Member

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    I like the hair dryer idea. Waiting for July would be excruciating. I already feel like it's been Christmas Eve for almost a week.
     
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  4. Clogs

    Clogs France Steel Registered Member

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    Hi Quattrolick,
    had a similar prob with my J head........for me the answer was to disconect the lub tubes, managed to get most of the rubbish lube out with a low press air line.........then used an aerosol brake cleaner (with a long spout) up the tube followed with another puff from the airline...
    did this a couple of time on each tube untill clean............
    as for the table + knee screw, gave em a good spray with the brake cleaner to the point of it dripping off.......mop up with rags and then do it again...as for the second and third time of spraying used the high press airline this time.....as for the table screw, did 1 end then moved it to the other side............
    OK now for Lube, on the lead screw threads I use chain saw, chain oil........the sort thats got long sticky threads, u know the sort, bit like CHILD snot......hahaha...........applied with a paint brush.........
    as for the resevoir tank once cleaned I use "0-15" synthetic engine oil, making sure the pump is activated until the clean oil comes out of each tube........
    as for the spindles etc, I just filled up the drippers with 3-1 oil (very light oil) and cept topping up the drippers untill I saw the oil makeing a mess lower down, the top up with proper oil......I gradually reduced the oil top up's as the machine got more use, least ways until the proper lube interval can be used.......
    yeah, yeah I know it's not the recomended oil but I decided long ago to cut down on the types of different cans of oil/lube I have to store.......I used to have 1/2 a bloody cuppord full of the stuff gathering dust and fluff........
    my machine is not a toy and now get's regular use but not as much as would be in a machine shop.......
    good luck.....Clogs
     
  5. Quattroclick

    Quattroclick United States Iron Registered Member

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    Thanks Clogs. There is something to be said for standardizing lubricants. I have a large shelf filled with different oils, and I still regularly "need" something new. I have only a couple of instances where the wrong lube made any noticeable difference. Growing up, our chainsaw lube was normally used motor oil, and it worked just fine!

    I think I will try flushing everything out rather than doing a major disassembly. I should have it moved into my shop tomorrow night. Hopefully it will be running in a week.
     
  6. Quattroclick

    Quattroclick United States Iron Registered Member

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    I finally got the mill in my shop. I removed the zerk fittings on the table and found good old grease. I'm going to take the knee apart and clean it all out......
     
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