Miller Electric

Welding Discussion Forums

Home » Resources » Communities » Welding Discussion Forums
 
Miller Welding Discussion Forums - Powered by vBulletin

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1

    Default Need some advice on buying a mill!

    Hi guys! I have been looking into getting my own mill. I was told bridgeport mills are top of the line and thats what i should be looking at. I found a good-excellent condition older one Bridgeport Series I 2hp 9x42 with power feed, digital display, 6" kurt vise, collet set and so on. My question is the mill is from 1985 as nice as a newer Enco or other foreign models. I also found a few year old Enco in excellent condition same as the Bridgeport for $3500 and the Bridgeport was $4250. Anyone have some comments or things i should know? My gut is telling me that the Bridgeport will have much better resale since it is 23yrs old and is more than the Enco but if the Enco just as nice i could use that extra money for some more tools . Maybe a lathe!

    Josh
    _______________________
    Dynasty 200dx
    CoolMate 3
    Millermatic 180

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    S.W. Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,250

    Default

    It sounds like you've been doing home work on the going prices, That's good. As far as the choice between a used Bridgeport and a used Enco, to me the Bridgeport is worth the extra bucks over any foreign copy. I have a freind that went with brand new Jet mill and lathe and he is not happy, the lathe has been exceptionally troublesome. They cant get it to stop leaking oil from the gearbox.
    I found a 1947 Bridgeport with a J head for $600 and put about $400 in parts in it and I am real happy with it.
    You are looking at a difference of $750 between the two. That is not all that much money for the difference in quality. The real money will be spent on buying tooling for it.
    I think the best thing I bought for mine was the 10" turn table and lathe chuck. It doesn't replace a lathe, but it allows me to do a lot of things that a lathe would normally do. This is nice for me since even if I had the money for a lathe, I don't have the room.
    All said,in the future, I don't think you would regret the extra money spent on the Bridgeport.
    To all who contribute to this board.
    My sincere thanks , Pete.

    Pureox OA
    Westinghouse 300 amp AC stick
    Miller Syncrowave 250
    Hexacon 250 watt solder iron

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    WY...armpit of U.S.A.
    Posts
    659

    Default

    If those are your only two options, spend the money on the Bridgeport. I own a Jet lathe and the quality is just not there.
    Miller 251...sold the spoolgun to DiverBill.
    Miller DialArc 250
    Lincoln PrecisionTig 275
    Hypertherm 900 plasma cutter
    Bridgeport "J" head mill...tooled up
    Jet 14 X 40 lathe...ditto
    South Bend 9" lathe...yeah, got the change gears too
    Logan 7" shaper
    Ellis 3000 band saw
    Hossfeld bender w/shopbuilt hyd.
    Victor Journeyman torch and gauges
    3 Gerstner boxes of mostly Starrett tools
    Lots of dust bunnies
    Too small of a shop at 40 X 59.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    857

    Default

    For that price, I'd assume there's some good tooling and everything is in tip top shape.

    I'd suggest you put it through its paces and make sure the feeds are tight and smooth, holds tram throughout the movement range of the knee/z axis/quill, including after heavy cuts.

    Age doesn't mean much. It's like mileage. A highway mile is nothing like a Baja mile. Pay close attention to the condition of the dovetails as this is the hardest thing to un-screw-up on these machines.

    80% of failures are from 20% of causes
    Never compromise your principles today in the name of furthering them in the future.
    "All I ever wanted was an honest week's pay for an honest day's work." -Sgt. Bilko
    "We are generally better persuaded by reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others." -Pascal
    "Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything." -Pascal

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2

    Smile

    I've been a machinist my adult life and a shop owner for the last 8 years. The Chinese import machines are a waste of time and money, a poor machine will just cause you long term frustration. It is better to find a nice older mill than a new Chinese import.

    Bridgeports are good machines. I've worked with Tree and Lagun mills that I have fond memories of. Digital readouts are desirable. CNC retrofits I would avoid.

    You can find some very nice used equipment that is very affordable.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    447

    Default

    ONe thing you might want to do is check the prices on a set of the dovetail "jibs" and a set of bearings for it. Then just add that into the price *** a "Worst case cost". I can ask my machinist any questions you might have or even just give you his number and le the two of you talk.
    Dynasty 200DX
    Hobart Handler 135
    Smith MB55A-510 O/A setup
    Lathe/Mill/Bandsaw
    Hypertherm Powermax 45
    Just about every other hand tool you can imagine

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    WY...armpit of U.S.A.
    Posts
    659

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by turboglenn View Post
    ONe thing you might want to do is check the prices on a set of the dovetail "jibs" and a set of bearings for it. Then just add that into the price *** a "Worst case cost". I can ask my machinist any questions you might have or even just give you his number and le the two of you talk.
    The heck with that!!! Before you buy any machine check out the gibs for wear. The Bridgeport uses a single tapered gib for each axis and a new set may or may not take up the wear if it is significant. Worst case cost would be a machine with gib wear but not significant...anything more leave the headache for someone else. Bearings are much the same. With the high price for a bearing set you would be better off purchasing a mill with good bearings and leave the rest to somebody that has a true and devout love for grubbing around with a worn out machine. Don't purchase somebody's headache unless you are in it as a labor of love.
    Miller 251...sold the spoolgun to DiverBill.
    Miller DialArc 250
    Lincoln PrecisionTig 275
    Hypertherm 900 plasma cutter
    Bridgeport "J" head mill...tooled up
    Jet 14 X 40 lathe...ditto
    South Bend 9" lathe...yeah, got the change gears too
    Logan 7" shaper
    Ellis 3000 band saw
    Hossfeld bender w/shopbuilt hyd.
    Victor Journeyman torch and gauges
    3 Gerstner boxes of mostly Starrett tools
    Lots of dust bunnies
    Too small of a shop at 40 X 59.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    3,145

    Default

    FYI
    Hardinge bought the rights and what was left of the tooling for the bridgeport mills.... I was at their factory about a year ago (elmira, ny)related to a new cnc mill (GX1000) and we got the grand tour... low and behold... they are manufacturing brand new "old" series I
    Bridgeports...... just like 1967 but with todays precision.... a decent used series I, 2hp machine goes at auction in the PA, NJ area for between $900-$1200...... the auctions are coming more frequently and the prices are dropping....

    hope this helps
    Heiti

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    3,145

    Default

    ABADSVT
    for a manual mill the bridgeport series I is the standard.... but I had a Wells-Index that I considered superior... and an ancient Tree... flat belt drive that was my first mill... look at the best bang for the buck... many decent to excellent machines out there... Machine shop liquidation auctions offer some great deals if you have the cash and know what you are looking at...... would reccomend that you attend a few and hang back and watch.... you will learn a lot.... over the last 5 years there have been a zillion ebay types dealing stuff... the economy and market is getting tight...(so the prices are dropping... machine shop failures are up as well... thus supply of good used machines is on the rise) if you are not in a hurry... you can score a great deal.... and yes a knee mill is heavy..... but 2 guys with a pair of 2x12s and a sheet of plywood can horse one off of a loading dock and into a pickup without much grief (have done it many times... make sure you strap it down... but 4 guys is better because they are pretty top heavy)... lots of auctions seem to have forklifts these days... much easier....
    take care
    Heiti

    BTW I have a small benchtop chinese mill/drill in my shop, 6x21 table and approx 400lbs that was about $350 ten years ago.... and that little thing does a tremendous amount of work despite my owning and having access to the latest largest cnc stuff.. so do not be afraid to start out small.....
    Last edited by H80N; 11-19-2008 at 05:42 PM. Reason: more info

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    3,145

    Default CraigsList

    ABADSVT
    had a little time this morning and just for a lark I entered "Milling Machine" in "Craigs Helper" (a search tool for craigslist) using a 250 mile radius of My zip and came up with dozens of decent looking machines for a reasonable asking price.... we are on the east coast .do not know where you are located.... might be worth a shot
    here is a link:

    http://www.craigshelper.com/

    hope this helps
    Heiti

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Warning: Non-static method PhpQuickProfiler::getMicroTime() should not be called statically in /mnt/stor3-wc1-dfw1/357822/357839/www.millerwelds.com/web/content/lib/pqp/classes/Console.php on line 77

Warning: Non-static method PhpQuickProfiler::getMicroTime() should not be called statically in /mnt/stor3-wc1-dfw1/357822/357839/www.millerwelds.com/web/content/lib/pqp/classes/Console.php on line 77

Warning: Non-static method PhpQuickProfiler::getMicroTime() should not be called statically in /mnt/stor3-wc1-dfw1/357822/357839/www.millerwelds.com/web/content/lib/pqp/classes/Console.php on line 77

Warning: Non-static method PhpQuickProfiler::getMicroTime() should not be called statically in /mnt/stor3-wc1-dfw1/357822/357839/www.millerwelds.com/web/content/lib/pqp/classes/Console.php on line 77

Warning: Non-static method PhpQuickProfiler::getMicroTime() should not be called statically in /mnt/stor3-wc1-dfw1/357822/357839/www.millerwelds.com/web/content/lib/pqp/classes/Console.php on line 77

Warning: Non-static method PhpQuickProfiler::getMicroTime() should not be called statically in /mnt/stor3-wc1-dfw1/357822/357839/www.millerwelds.com/web/content/lib/pqp/classes/Console.php on line 77

Warning: Non-static method PhpQuickProfiler::getMicroTime() should not be called statically in /mnt/stor3-wc1-dfw1/357822/357839/www.millerwelds.com/web/content/lib/pqp/classes/Console.php on line 77

Warning: Function split() is deprecated in /mnt/stor3-wc1-dfw1/357822/357839/www.millerwelds.com/web/content/lib/footer.inc.php on line 82

Welding Projects

Special Offers: See the latest Miller deals and promotions.