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Bridgeport Upgrades

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Rick_B

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#1
Now that I am getting close on the X axis power feed install I started thinking about what else would be "nice to haves". I'm looking for suggestions/ideas based on a hobbiest shop and a guy who doesn't use a Bridgeport 8 hours a day and 5 days a week. Following are the things I am considering (in the order I think they would be the best bang for the buck). The blank spots are indication that I currently think the last two would not be a good investment. Feel free to add improvements I have not thought about or to change the order.

1. 2 axis (X and Y) DRO
2. Y axis power feed
3, More convenient control box location
4,
5,
6,
7. One shot oiler
8. Z axis power feed

Thanks for your thoughts

Rick
 

cathead

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#2
Maybe put #3 at #1... it wont cost anything to move the control box. DRO would Be #2 in my book. Also I put a VFD on my
mill and it is really great for the stuff I do, something to think about I guess.
 

Rick_B

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#3
Maybe put #3 at #1... it wont cost anything to move the control box. DRO would Be #2 in my book. Also I put a VFD on my
mill and it is really great for the stuff I do, something to think about I guess.
You are right - the control box is an easy and cheap step. I do have the Bridgeport running from a VFD - I should have mentioned it is a series 1 J head with a 1 HP 3 phase motor.

Rick
 

RandyM

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#4
What control box are you guys talking about?
 

cathead

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#5
What control box are you guys talking about?
I can't speak for Rick but I would think it would be the controls for the VFD. On my mill, I have an on-off switch,
a forward-stop-reverse switch and an emergency stop switch and a speed control using a 10 turn potentiometer.
 

chips&more

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#6
The best vise you can find. Replace the feed screws and feed nuts with new. Make sure the table and quill locks all work well (if the table moves as you tighten the lock, I would look into it). Check spindle bearings. I would forget all toys until the basic mill is in good working order, then enjoy!
 
Last edited:

mksj

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#7
1. More convenient control box location, either on the head or attached to the knee. Most bang for the buck and easy to do, either 2 wire or 3 wire control.
2. 3 axis (X, Y and Z and/or spindle depending on how you set the depth) DRO, if you are going to make the investment I would go with 3 axis system
3. One shot oiler manual? If an automatic one, then drops to the bottom of the list.
4. Z axis power feed, a real chore to hand crank up and down, I have added a powered Z to all my mills
5. Y axis power feed, low on my list unless you do a lot of repetitive work in this axis.
6. If you have a Varispeed head then conversion to direct belt drive with a larger motor. There are 2 and 3 Hp inverter motors NOS on eBay for as little as $100, but then this would require a bigger VFD.
.
.
9. A nice vise per above, something like a Kurt DX6 CrossOver
 

RandyM

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#8
I can't speak for Rick but I would think it would be the controls for the VFD. On my mill, I have an on-off switch,
a forward-stop-reverse switch and an emergency stop switch and a speed control using a 10 turn potentiometer.
Thanks, I just have the simple On/Off switch and added the optional remote lever.
Remote Switch 1.JPG Remote Switch 2.JPG Remote Switch 3.JPG
 

cathead

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#9
Thanks, I just have the simple On/Off switch and added the optional remote lever.
View attachment 226815 View attachment 226816 View attachment 226817
You did a nice job engineering a mechanical extension on the drum switch. On my mill the two speed motor
switch gave out after years usage so I opted for a VFD fix as it added capability and probably less expensive
than a replacement switch. I think your set up is reversing too by the looks of the Dayton type drum switch.
Very nice and dependable as well.
 

RandyM

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#10
You did a nice job engineering a mechanical extension on the drum switch. On my mill the two speed motor
switch gave out after years usage so I opted for a VFD fix as it added capability and probably less expensive
than a replacement switch. I think your set up is reversing too by the looks of the Dayton type drum switch.
Very nice and dependable as well.
Thank you. You are correct, it is a reversing switch as well. My speed changes are a belt change. I can not take credit for the design, it was an option that wasn't installed on my machine when I bought it. I think it is an original Bridgeport option, I think I have seen in one of their manuals. Now mind you, I did take a couple of liberties and improved it. The lower lever and swivel are the only things left of the original design. Yeah, my set up won't help you guys with the VS set-up.
 

Rick_B

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#11
At this point I'm going to take the control box off the list - easy and inexpensive so I'll just do it. It seems DRO and Oiler are the recommended top two. I'm really struggling with the oiler - time is not at a premium for me so I just need to go through the lubrication process manually. given that it seems DRO is bubbling to the top. Still open to other ideas/comments.

Rick
 

SmashingPumpkins

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#12
I added two table trays ---helps to keep track of tools etc.

Did the DRO thing first off----really gets used.

The mill came with an X power feed, and I recently added one to the Y. Was worth the effort.
 
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