Bridgeport Purchase

Managed to get a hold of a Bridgeport Milling Machine. Bought it from an auction of a closed machining business (Faye Tool and Die) for less than even half of what I’ve seen some pretty rough ones going for on Craigslist.

The day before the riggers were supposed to move the Mill for me, I drove over to the auction to pick up a set of hold downs I won, some copper clad board for my Dad, and a couple of small vises that I figured would get me going while trying to source a “good” vise. Glad I brought my tools since they didn’t have anything disconnected/removed on the mill. Spent a half an hour undoing the DRO, rotating the head down (as shown in pictures below), turning all the crank handles inward to avoid snagging and breaking them, and the real fun part, disconnecting the electric 3 Phase and small outlet that were attached. Had to use a broom to reach up high enough to shutoff the disconnect, then cut through the 10-3 hoping it was truly off!

Ended up going with Navis Pack and Ship to get it transported from Orlando to Mount Dora. Called a few places, and either got sky high ($2k+) or even after calling multiple times never heard back. It was still pricey, but thankfully enough under $1k that I was OK with it.

The first fun adventure with the Mill was getting it down off the pallet. When they delivered it, I had two options: Have them leave it in front of my garage, but off the pallet, or put it in the garage, but on the pallet. Their forklift was 3 inches too high to make it into the garage. I decided the latter, thinking it would be simple to lift it, remove the pallet and set it down, compared to have to move it 8 or so feet. Boy was I wrong…

In the end, it came down to using 3/4 all thread, my aluminium jack, some wood, a sawzall, and a lot of wrecked nerves. I started by jacking it up enough that I could support it on bolts and be able to cut away the pallet, which was much easier said then done. From here I was able to lower it onto some 2x4s stacked, then slowly lower it down on the all thread while taking a chunk of wood out. I would turn each all thread maybe two turns before going to the next one, all the meanwhile the Mill is doing a “jig” since there’s enough slop in the holes where it rides to be able to move. Once on the ground, just a standard 3ft prybar moves it with ease. I was very glad of this, and honestly wish I knew from the get go how easy it was to move. I would have had them take it off the pallet!

Neat find while at the auction

Good ole’ TRS-80 and even a TRS-80 Model II Disk System