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Help for Newbie in valuation of Round Ram J Head

Discussion in 'BRIDGEPORT MACHINES INC. & B'PORT CLONES' started by rs43506, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. rs43506

    rs43506 United States Iron Registered Member

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    Hello all!

    I am new to this forum and new to machining. I do have an old FE Reed 16" Lathe that I have been learning on and I am ready to pick up a mill to start learning on that too.

    I have found a mill that is quite close to me and am wondering if anyone can give me some guidance on what it is worth, assuming the ways, etc. are ok and everything is tight. I have an appointment first of the week to try it out powered up. I will, of course, take along my dial indicator, etc. to measure any slop.

    I am looking for a home machine basically to learn on. I have several pieces of sheet metal forming and shaping equipment, but am looking to expand my skills with a mill. I apologize ahead of time if this is an inappropriate question, but I am just starting out and would appreciate any seasoned opinions.

    http://yodermachinery.com/inventory.aspx?ti=63847

    Thanks in advance for your valued opinions!

    Ryan
     
  2. rs43506

    rs43506 United States Iron Registered Member

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    Sorry, need to post link below.
     
  3. rs43506

    rs43506 United States Iron Registered Member

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  4. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    You might be looking at a J head installed on a M mill. That might have required some grafting... It looks good in the photos, but needs to be tested and looked over to see if it is true. If I may ask, how much are they asking for it?
     
  5. Ed ke6bnl

    Ed ke6bnl Active Member Active Member

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    Thats what I have. For The price l paid no complaints. The negative is if you move the ram there is no Dove tail to keep it aligned to the table. And I have no knod. I did put an xyz dro and love it.
     
  6. rs43506

    rs43506 United States Iron Registered Member

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    They are asking $2000 with no accessoies. Is this too high?
     
  7. Ed ke6bnl

    Ed ke6bnl Active Member Active Member

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    I believe that is too much. I paid $600 delivered. $1000 at most. Any more I would be expecting a Dove tail ram J head. BUT pricing does differ in different locations.
     
  8. rs43506

    rs43506 United States Iron Registered Member

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    Thank you! That is just what i needed to know. It seemed high to me, but I am not familiar with bridgeport pricing
     
  9. Billh50

    Billh50 Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    $2000 is too much for that machine. You can get something better with some tooling for that price. Looking at the photos I see areas that are painted that should not be. Like the fine down and automatic feed area. The quill handle looks to be a bit short and not the original to me. Table is full of holes and chipped out areas. This machine is well used and not worth more than $500 anywhere even if in somewhat usable shape.
     
  10. rs43506

    rs43506 United States Iron Registered Member

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    Thank you! Your opinion and input is greatly appreciated!
     
  11. rs43506

    rs43506 United States Iron Registered Member

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  12. ghostdncr

    ghostdncr United States Active Member Active Member

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    I've been seeing a few modern Bridgeports (1970's on) for sale around locally under $2k, with the average appearing to be around $1800. Several of these machines have included good vises and some tooling. Personally, I would avoid this mill because it is well used and has probably received a quick coat of paint to cover cosmetic shortcomings. I believe $5-600 would be my ceiling on this machine, and that's if all the ways checked out reasonably true, leadscrews had acceptable backlash, and the drive seemed solid. As Ed pointed out above, that round ram will substantially complicate operations any time you have to move it, and the later dovetail rams mostly alleviate this. I frequently do plate work of a size that necessitates moving the ram midway through the job, and I'd want no part of this type work without the dovetail-style interface.
     
  13. rs43506

    rs43506 United States Iron Registered Member

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    Gostdncr, thanks for your input! Do you any opinion on the second link I posted? It appears to have a horizontal attachment, but I am not familiar with these either.

    Thanks again!
    Ryan
     
  14. ghostdncr

    ghostdncr United States Active Member Active Member

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    I have never seen or heard of that horizontal attachment, but I'm pretty sure that would be a must buy for me. That thing is cool!!! This machine has some nice features about it, such as the power feed, minimal backlash, power quill, machine is under power so you can check it out properly, plus they'll load it for you! I'd call and find out more about price on the extra tooling, especially any for the horizontal adapter. Step pulleys aren't as easy to use as the variable speed heads, but they sure are simple. I don't believe I've ever had one of these step-pulley heads apart in over thirty years involvement in the machine trades.
     
  15. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    The horizontal attachment is definitely cool, and I have not seen that before. It would only be suitable for light work.
     
  16. talvare

    talvare United States Ted A H-M Supporter-Premium

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    As others here have said, the round ram mills can be a real PITA when you traverse the ram because the head needs to be re-trammed each time that ram is moved. Also, that head has no nod capability. I've only used the nod feature on my mill a few times, but when you need it..... you need it. The second mill looks like it could be a decent machine. That horizontal milling feature is pretty cool, but without some outboard support for the arbor, it would be limited to pretty light cuts. It appears that you live in a good region (Ohio) for finding used machinery, so given that fact and what appears to be a decent budget, I would say take your time and do your homework before you jump on anything. There is a lot to learn about buying a good knee mill as well as the tooling and accessories. It's a lot easier to learn many of these things by doing your homework and asking a lot of questions than it is to deal with a machine that you may eventually wish you hadn't bought.
    Just my two cents.
    Ted
     
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  17. ghostdncr

    ghostdncr United States Active Member Active Member

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    Excellent point, Ted. I assumed there was an outboard support of some sort that clamped to the machine's spindle, perhaps like the 90 degree adapters. While not seen in any of the pics, that slender arbor would be almost useless for horizontal milling without such a support.
     
  18. rs43506

    rs43506 United States Iron Registered Member

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    Thanks for all the input! I definitely need to study up on mills before buying one.

    I spoke to he seller on the second one and he indicated that the turret was a round ram with a j head and the horz adapter bolted to it. Sounds like a hodge podge of parts. Not sure if this matters or not.

    Thanks again for your advice!
    Ryan
     
  19. ghostdncr

    ghostdncr United States Active Member Active Member

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    The Bridgeport you linked to on Toledo Craigslist definitely has a dovetail ram, if I'm reading your statement correctly. The seller may be referring to the turret as being round, but the ram is not. Even if the machine is parted together, I'd still be inclined to buy it. That setup is really speaking to me! :beguiled:
     
  20. ewkearns

    ewkearns United States Active Member Active Member

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    I hope you are over 6'-3", because with that Malnar attachment, it looks like you are stuck with a riser block...... As far as the two machines, you are comparing apples to oranges.... Yoder is the world's worst for charging fantabulous upcharge prices for a paint and buff job. The Craigslist machine is overpriced (but has power feed and dovetail ram), but less so than the green mill (no power feed, rough table, and suspiciously pristine turret assembly), which is ridiculously overpriced.

    My 2ยข.
     
  21. Dabbler

    Dabbler H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I bought my first mill (a Taiwanese knee mill 8X30") new and paid way too much for it. So I checked the internet off and on for 2 years to find its replacement. What I got was a Taiwanese Bridgeport clone in a 9X49" size, very dirty, but great ways and lead screws with a DRO. I paid a lot less for it than I expected or budgeted.

    Be patient, and you will find what you want. There are a lot of good videos on the tube about surveying a milling machine, which is a great place to start. Don't hesitate to take a more experienced machinist with you to provide a look over your shoulder. When I surveyed mine, my friend really helped me spot things I missed.
     
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