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APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/12/21 2:58 p.m.

A milling machine is a great addition to a home shop.  I've moved mine twice. 

Once was on my open car trailer.  The seller loaded it with a forklift in Connecticut and I unloaded it in Upstate NY with my engine hoist.

The second time was when brought from NY to NM.  I used my enclosed car trailer for that trip.  I made a sled to set the mill on for loading and unloading.  To load it we picked it up with the bucket on my buddy's tractor and set it on the sled on the trailer ramp with some tubing under the sled.  We then winched it into the trailer and off the rollers. I straped the mill to the sled and the sled to the trailer.  

To unload I just lifted it up with the Big Ass Pry Bar (BAPB) and slid the pipes back under it and gently rolled it off the trailer using the winch to keep it from getting away.  Once it was where I wanted it I used the engine hoist and the BAPB to play milling machine Jenga and get it on the ground.

I use an American Rotary rotary phase converter for power.

TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/12/21 3:57 p.m.

Since you have a variable speed head you might want to consider a phase converter instead of the VFD.  This will directly change 220 single phase to 220 3-phase.

I picked up a panel from Phoenix Phase Converters and bought an old electric motor to pare with it.  Works perfectly.

The downside of a VFD is that lower speed doesn't equate to higher torque (like a gearbox).  It's both lower speed and torque.

That said, I ran a band saw on a 1-1/2 hp VFD from Automation Direct and it worked just fine.  Cheap too!

If you only have 110 available then you need to rewire your shop...

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
7/12/21 4:28 p.m.

Ours at work has the old belt-change head on it.

I just leave it in the back gears and run it with the VFD, all the torque I need and enough speed for the hack machinist I am.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
7/12/21 8:08 p.m.

In reply to TVR Scott :

I thought about that, but VFDs are cheaper and better reviewed. I'm not seeing any solid-state converters without horrible reviews on Amazon. 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
7/12/21 8:28 p.m.

I'm getting old so I like seeing young guys tackle projects like this.  It brings me a lot of joy seeing the tough jobs getting done.  

Build a garage? No problem.  Roll a 2000# Bridgeport across the garage?  No problem.  Rebuild engines?  No problem.

Kudos to you young man.   

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
7/13/21 8:30 a.m.

Next step: Missing Parts. I'm missing my quill feed handle, which was easy to find on eBay. But I'm less sure about what to do with the right side of my X axis.

Here's what I have:

I think this thing had a power feed on it at some point that was then removed before I bought it. I found a used handle, spring, and bracket on eBay, but can't find the graduated scale that should be there. Well, I found one from China, but I'm pretty sure it's metric. Any suggestions for what to do here?

And maybe the answer is to skip the $35 handle bracket and instead get a generic $110 power feed, but I think I'd still need the scale and the handle.

TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/13/21 8:45 a.m.

Power feed + 3-axis DRO would be a very good way to start.

I've had pretty good luck with an iGaging DRO on my lathe.

Does the other side have a hand-wheel?

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
7/13/21 8:48 a.m.

Yes, here's the other side:

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress HalfDork
7/13/21 8:49 a.m.

Immensely jealous, and amazed that industrial grade equipment can be had for 2k. 

I understand and agree with the reasoning for getting a Bridgeport.

But how did you decide on what size to get? 

Also, what kind of work do you see using it for?

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
7/13/21 8:54 a.m.

In reply to CrustyRedXpress :

As far as size goes: There are a few different table lengths, but beggars can't be choosers. The way my garage is laid out I wouldn't really notice an extra foot or two of table, so I was happy to see this is a fairly large one. I think it's 9x42" but I should measure for real.

What I see myself using it for: Not having to leave the garage when I hit a roadblock that requires machining. Every single person I've talked to says "OMG you'll wonder how you ever lived without it!" so I'm not too worried about finding uses.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
7/13/21 9:11 a.m.

Oh, and I did some late-night shopping yesterday to order a few other odds and ends I'll need. Another $190 spent, but I should nearly have everything necessary to start making chips.

VFD: Ordered!

Hold-down kit: Ordered!

Collets: Ordered!

I didn't order any end mills, because I got a huge box of them for free with my lathe a few years back. I'll see what I really have before I spend any money on these. I might have a drill chuck with an R8 taper, too, but I need to check my pile.

The only big-ticket item I know I need is a vise. Still trying to figure out how to get a good one without spending $1000...

I'm assuming I want a 6" vise for this size machine?

zordak
zordak Reader
7/13/21 9:12 a.m.

It looks like they cut the lead screw off, it should be sticking out like the other end. If the bearing on the other end is trapped in(it will not move either direction) you can get by without the other handle, not always convenient but doable.

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/13/21 9:14 a.m.

You're going to want a power feed fairly soon.  You can use the mill without one but it gets boring in a hurry and it's very difficult to get good consistent surface finishes when feeding by hand.  Most power feeds are designed to go in between the hand wheel and the leads crew so you need most of a functional hand wheel assembly.  You don't need the casting but depending on the power feed you may need everything else.  https://www.icai-online.com/ is a good source for parts.

 

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/13/21 9:19 a.m.
zordak said:

It looks like they cut the lead screw off, it should be sticking out like the other end. If the bearing on the other end is trapped in(it will not move either direction) you can get by without the other handle, not always convenient but doable.

It's been a while but I think it's just missing the dial holder and the bearing and all that stuff.  I don't know any reason why someone would cut the end of the lead screw off.

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
7/13/21 9:23 a.m.

I vote power feed and the cheapest handle & scale you can find.  The power feed will help in getting an even surface finish when facing, and they're $110 and up on ebay.  Not horrible, but machine tools are a lesson in "death by a thousand papercuts."  You'll find youself using one handle more than others, so put the nicer handle on that side. 

Also, another vote for a DRO.  Once you have a DRO - you don't find youself reading the handle scales.  I'll post up a review of the cheapo DRO I just picked up to replace my busted old one.

 

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/13/21 9:24 a.m.
Tom Suddard said:

Oh, and I did some late-night shopping yesterday to order a few other odds and ends I'll need. Another $190 spent, but I should nearly have everything necessary to start making chips.

VFD: Ordered!

Hold-down kit: Ordered!

Collets: Ordered!

I didn't order any end mills, because I got a huge box of them for free with my lathe a few years back. I'll see what I really have before I spend any money on these. I might have a drill chuck with an R8 taper, too, but I need to check my pile.

The only big-ticket item I know I need is a vise. Still trying to figure out how to get a good one without spending $1000...

I'm assuming I want a 6" vise for this size machine?

Yes, you'll want a 6" vice.  A Kurt is the standard for a reason but I've made hundreds of parts with my used Bridgeport vice that I paid $100.00 for on eBay.

You're probably starting to figure this out but the mill is the cheapest part of the setup.  It's the tooling and accessories that cost the most.

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
7/13/21 9:43 a.m.

Rotary table with index plates. You'll end up re-drilling rotors, axles and wheels for all your friends.

You don't really need a dividing head unless you're making gears but a rotary table with a three jaw chuck and index plates opens up a whole new world.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
7/13/21 9:45 a.m.


 

Hmmm. This definitely wasn't cut, but it doesn't stick out as much as the other side. Thoughts?

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/13/21 9:50 a.m.
Tom Suddard said:


 

Hmmm. This definitely wasn't cut, but it doesn't stick out as much as the other side. Thoughts?

That's fine.  There's a picture on this page ->Link that shows the parts you're missing.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
7/13/21 9:57 a.m.

Oh, and I noticed this little widget on the Y axis, too. Primitive DRO? Nuclear codes? Something else?

 

 

Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/13/21 10:00 a.m.

How tall is it with the head vertical?

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
7/13/21 10:06 a.m.

In reply to Toyman01 + Sized and :

It's One Bridgeport tall with the head vertical. Or did you want different units of measurement? laugh

I'll measure after work when I get a chance to mess with it some more, but IIRC it's about eight feet.

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/13/21 10:23 a.m.
Tom Suddard said:

Oh, and I noticed this little widget on the Y axis, too. Primitive DRO? Nuclear codes? Something else?

 

 

That's a Bridgeport Optical Measuring system.  Or, part of one.  Somewhat rare, really cool and completely useless. Here's some info on it Link

SkinnyG (Forum Supporter)
SkinnyG (Forum Supporter) UberDork
7/13/21 10:49 a.m.
APEowner said:
Tom Suddard said:

Hmmm. This definitely wasn't cut, but it doesn't stick out as much as the other side. Thoughts?

That's fine.  There's a picture on this page ->Link that shows the parts you're missing.

Looks like a sweet opportunity to purchase a power feed.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
7/13/21 10:56 a.m.

APEowner: Thanks so much for the links and advice. I think I'll be able to figure this out.

One realization I'm having: I'm definitely going to be at least removing the table to clean everything up, aren't I? What's the consensus on using Evaporust to clean machine parts? Or should I just clean and wipe down with ATF to reduce the chance of removing any material?

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