Posts Tagged Milling

Cleaning Up My New “Albrecht” Yard Sale Chuck

keyless chuck 001


Yesterday at the CAMS Yard Sale, I parked my truck and made a frantic dash for the sellers tables before I unloaded all my stuff to start selling. This was one of the first items that caught my eye.  I had a decent size keyless chuck on my want list for a while, and there it was, and on an R8 arbor, to boot! I picked it up and it looked to be in good working condition, but maybe a little banged up, but it was an Albrecht! I started doing the rebuild in my mind before I even asked the price, and was shocked when Chris told me $40. Thats a hell of a deal for a 5/8 Albrecht chuck on an R8 arbor, and I didn’t think it would be wise to question the deal and happily paid him and went on taking some pictures.


keyless chuck 005


I got through with some mundane tasks here today, and decided to clean up my new chuck (one of two I bought). The arbor had some dings in the (more…)

Posted in: Bridgeport, bridgeport milling machine, CAMS Yard Sale, Maintenance, rebuild, shop equipment, south bend lathe

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Milling Machine Vise Overhaul – Garvin #13 for United States Machine Tool Horizontal Milling Machine

Sometimes you get a machine and start using it, and it just ain’t right. I have been using the USMT #1 for a while, and have found the mill to be very versatile, I hadn’t been real pleased with either of the two vises I’ve had on it. Theres nothing better than busting your knuckles on a vise thats too big, or having a part fly out of a vise thats too small.  The first vise I had on the mill was a Palmgren which was nice, but I didn’t trust it to hold big pieces when I was taking big cuts. I got a 6 inch Bridgeport vise which held my work much more securely, but stuck out far enough towards the operator, that you had to be careful or you would lose skin off your knuckles when operating the hand lever. This really got bad when I put the handwheel adapter on the machine, so the big vise had to go. TRY to find a 5 inch vise for a milling machine!


saw and switches 006



Luckily, the CAMS Yard Sale was just around the corner. This is a place where you can trade your surplus machine tool stuff for new surplus stuff from somebody else. Every year I come back home with the same amount of “stuff” as I left home with, its just new stuff. I brought the Palmgren down with me, sold that and bought this beauty.


saw and switches 008



Yeah, it was butt ugly, had a few “non-factory” holes in it, and stiff as a board, but looked like a quality vise, and it looked to be the perfect size for my mill. It is a Garvin #13 5″ with a swivel base, and everything works (stiff, but it works). The only thing I would have to make would be the keys that index the base to the table. I got lazy in the end and ordered a set. (more…)

Posted in: Bridgeport, Burke horizontal mill, Future Projects, Maintenance, rebuild, shop equipment, Southbend

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Fixing a Chinese Arbor Press (or Polishing a Turd)

Fixing a Chinese Arbor Press (or Polishing a Turd)

I’ve had a couple of projects lingering around here longer than normal, waiting for some press work, and decided tonight to get to work. A while back I bought a cheap 3 ton arbor press from a new (to me) supplier. From the price, it was obviously Chinese, and I knew it was bound to be a project from jump street. I wasn’t really prepared for what I got. To be fair; the company I bought it from (which will remain nameless) disassembled the press and shipped it in two boxes, so that it would meet the UPS 80 LB limit, which was good of them as it saved me a big chunk of change. I was so bummed by the quality of the press that it has sat un-used for about six months; crude would be an understatement. The casting looks like it was cleaned up by an epileptic with a chainsaw. The first time I tried to use it, the drawbar slipped in the ratchet and d@mn near knocked me out. I stuffed the turd in the corner and started looking at other options, and my projects I had bought it for sat on the shelf. I had a nice hand wheel that I wanted to mount to my horizontal mill and a $100 broach to cut the 3/8″ square hole, and no press to do it with. Tonight I decided to fix the problem. Heres a look at the ratchet ring that came on the press.



You can see that the problem is that the gear was cut with more than a 90 degree step in it, and the ratchet cog would slip right off of it. I had to get a step that would capture the cog better. I figured the best way to do that was just under-cut the ratchet tooth with a dovetail cutter. The only cutter I had was a 60 degree (would have been better off with a 45), but I figured there was enough meat there so I gave it a try.



This was the high-tech set up I used the index the part. It is a slow rotating part, so I figured this was all the accuracy I would need. It turned out to be more than adequate. (more…)

Posted in: arbor press, Bridgeport, broaching, Burke horizontal mill, Maintenance, rebuild, shop equipment, Southbend

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How Old Is My Bridgeport Milling Machine?

I’ve seen this question asked on a number of users groups over the years, and thought a better question would be: “Where are the serial numbers that date my Bridgeport mill?”. It seems that most new owners try and look up the numbers on the head itself.



The serial number for your machine is on the front of the knee, behind the bearing retainer for the cross feed screw. You may have to slide the saddle slightly to the rear of the machine, as the way covers may hide the serial numbers if the saddle is in the forward position.
If you plug the serial number into the chart below, it will give you the year of manufacture of your machine. Be advised; while most machines will spend their entire lives in one piece, many a milling machine has a later, or earlier head swapped onto it. This chart is to date the basic machine.

BH-1 THRU BH-39 Round ram 1938
BH-40 THRU BH-252 1939
BH-253 THRU BH-656 1940
BH-657 THRU BH-1549 1941
BH-1550 THRU BH-2943 1942
BH-2044 THRU BH-4105 1943
BH-4106 THRU BH-4997 1944
BH-4998 THRU BH-5930 1945
BH-5931 THRU BH-7235 1946
BH-7236 THRU BH-8814 1947
BH-8815 THRU BH-10381 1948
BH-10382 THRU BH-11378 1949
BH-11379 THRU BH-11379 1950
BH-12751 THRU BH-14489 1951
BH-14490 THRU BH-16700 1952
BH-16701 THRU BH-19367 1953
BH-19368 THRU BH-22732 1954
BH-22733 THRU BH-26962 1955
BR-26963-THRU BR-31618 Start of V ram 1956
BR-31619 THRU BR-37278 1957
BR-37279 THRU BR-42110 1958
BR-42111 THRU BR-46938 1959
BR-46939 THRU BR-52598 1960
BR-52599 THRU BR-58552 1961
BR-58553 THRU BR-64987 1962
BR-64988 THRU BR-71981 1963
BR-71982 THRU BR-79538 1964
BR-75939 THRU BR-88180 1965
BR-88181 THRU BR-98089 1966
BR-98090 THRU BR-108351 1967
BR-108352 THRU 118640 1968
BR-118641 THRU 131778 1969
BR-131779 THRU BR-138139 1970
BR-138640 THRU BR-143350 1971
BR-143351 THRU BR-149294 1972
BR-149295 THRU BR-157909 1973
BR-157910 THRU BR-167652 1974
BR-167653 THRU BR-174083 1975
BR-174084 THRU BR-180697 1976
BR-180698 THRU BR-188559 1977
BR-188560 THRU BR-196987 1978
BR-196988 THRU BR-206296 1979
BR-206297 THRU BR-216473 1980
BR-216474 THRU BR-227523 1981
BR-227524 THRU BR-231700 1982
BR-231701 THRU BR-235985 1983
BR-235986 THRU BR-241350 1984
BR-241351 THRU BR-245659 1985
BR-246660 THRU BR-248551 1986
BR-248552 THRU BR-250531 1987
BR-250532 THRU BR-252874 1988
BR-252875 THRU BR-255463 1989
BR-255464 THRU BR-257888 1990
BR-257889 THRU BR-259897 1991
BR-257898 THRU BR-262188 1992
BR-262189 THRU BP-264586 1993
BR-264587 THRU BR-267635 1994

I will update this list as info becomes available.

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Posted in: Bridgeport, Free Download

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Moving a Bridgeport Milling Machine Into A Basement Shop

How do I move a Bridgeport Milling Machine? Well, this is how a bunch of old croakers do it…………..
At long last my buddy Dave Bluett pulled the trigger on buying Robert Vogel’s  Bridgeport mill.  I wasn’t present for the negotiations, but judging by the amount of time they took, it must have been excruciating.  Finally, moving day arrived, and a tow truck was hired to do the grunt work. I wasn’t present for the 1st half of the load, but was told it went very smooth.  On hand were Mr Vogel, Dave, Eric Hoffmeyer, Sharon, Kenneth (Sharon’s son), and myself (at least at the offload).
**New** added 9 pictures for “Loading” mill, Thanks to  CAMS member Mark Long, who was kind enough to allow their use here. Mark was part of the crew that loaded out at Robert Vogel’s house and provided the pics and descriptions. A story without a beginning isn’t complete, so Thank you Mark, for filling in the blanks.

1. Sitting in the basement stripped down ready for load out…

2. Moved outside and staged to be lifted out by chain-fall…

3. Upward lift begins…

4. Everybody needs a chain-fall attached to their home…

5. Just about out of the basement…

6. Rolling on pipes across the stones toward the truck…

7. Ready to come-along up the ramps into the truck…

8. Rolling up the ramps into the truck…

9. Tied down, ready for the drive to Dave’s home. No free beer, but there was a free lunch courtesy of Robert and his wife Helena…

**Back to Mick’s Pictures…

Heres Dave (on the left), and Eric (on the right) rigging the ram with  some strapping.  The rigging strap is pulled in on the rams ways when the load is lifted, binding the strap stationary (at least that is the theory in a static universe).

There is Eric hooking the wrecker up to the mill as Kenneth looks on.  We took a few minutes to get the Mill set squarely on the wreckers wheel dolly, because we were headed down an off camber hill, in a fairly rain soaked back yard, and wanted the base pretty secure.

This is the point I started to get nervous, the ground was VERY soft, and the wheel dolly was flexing more than I wanted to see. As it tuned out, the dolly acted more to just keep the base steady (stationary) during the trek across the sloping back yard. Eric was quick to put us all at ease by repeating the phrase: “Don’t worry; I’m an Aviator!”, and shouting out Gyro readings during the move. It had a great calming effect. Eric proved to be an expert loadmaster, all kidding aside.

Here we are at the basement stairs (it took about a half hour to get lined up).  I started to get nervous again, because the rigging straps had shifted a little, putting the knee side of the mill a little low.  I was kicking myself for not bringing my eye hook to screw in the top of the ram, as this would have given us a hard point to snatch the load, and allowed us to level the load by moving the ram, but I forgot it, so…………

That’s Eric and myself wrestling the base into position, to rotate it, and drop it down the stairwell. The tow truck driver waited till we had 1500 pounds hanging 6 feet over the stairwell to ask us if we got that strap at the Dollar Store.  Thankfully, Eric knows a bit or two about rigging, and bought the good stuff.

Kenneth has the base on some rollers, and Eric is on the inside with his Johnson bar. I’m on the camera, trying to get my legs to stop shaking, and Dave and Sharon are handing over some shekels to the tow truck driver.  I have to give credit to the driver, I don’t know if I would have attempted to do this move, given the rain soaked ground, and the motley crew  we had on hand, but he did a great job of getting the mill in place.

Eric and Kenneth move the base on rollers with Eric’s Johnson bar, to get it to its final resting place.

Here it is in place after some other equipment was shifted slightly, so that the drawbar could be raised between the floor joists. A minor point, but a good thing to get straightened out before you fix the tool in place. At this point everyone was pretty whooped, and the decision was to quit work for the day, and finish assembling the mill tomorrow.

Here is the old Chicken thief hisself, and his willing accomplice, Sharon, happy to have the mill in the basement. Time to call it a night, and get back to it tomorrow……………..

……….Continuing on day two:

Here’s some of the hoard of parts that awaited us on Sunday morning (there were lots more).

Here’s the spindle head installed. I can laugh about it now, the two of us were huffing and puffing while Sharon tried to keep the four long bolts aligned in the spindle head (that thing got heavy!). In hind sight I would nod the ram head so that the four long bolts faced downward, laid the spindle head on the table, and raised it up to the ram head. It woulda been easier on the arms, for sure.

Dave inspects the pulley head, much lighter, and a one man job.

The motor is next. Two nuts, and your done. Dave found a couple of really nice quick change nuts in the loose parts box, that will make for fast belt adjustments. They didn’t show up till after the pics.

With the VFD Hobb-Knobbed together (temporarily),  we couldn’t resist a little test run. Dave fills the oil points before we fire it up.

With the head complete, we installed the table. It seemed to make sense to get the overhead stuff done before we were tripping over the table. Here’s a shot of the table gib in its proper orientation, which is installed AFTER the table is partially installed.

While Dave slides the table in, I slide the gib in from the other side. The gib screw fits into a slot on the gib that slides it into a taper between the table and the saddle. this takes up the slop in the table. Proper adjustment here will make the table slide like its on glass with no sideplay.

Dave has to “jiggle” the table as I feed the gib in, to get it seated all the way.

And me adjusting the set screw for the gib.

Time to oil the table screw, and install it.

We temporarily installed the handle to run the screw through the saddle nut, and the installed the end cap for the screw bearings. (Get a load of Dave’s “steel toed sandals”!).

Next is the power feed, pretty straightforward, its keyed to the screw with a woodruff key (as are the handles).

Dave tries out the power feed. The table feed is as smooth as it gets.

We installed the DROs next, and tried them out. This was a little nit-picky, but a bit of patience goes a long way here. The scales are very delicate and deserve kit glove treatment. As it turns out, one of the scales was damaged and we got an error code on the X axis when we turned on the display. This was the low point of the day.

With all the fiddly work done, it was time to plug the thing in and try it out. After adjusting the belts again, and checking the oil, Dave sat down to play with his new toy. Aside from the DRO problem, He was very happy to have the mill in place, and running. It was another long day, but very satisfying.

All things considered, what seems like a monumental task to anyone that’s never done it before was not really that bad. Most everyone involved had moved something heavy before, so a 2000 pound mill was not that big a stretch for us. This was the first time I had dropped one down into a basement, and would advise anyone doing this to use a eye hook in the ram head, for sure. It allows you to balance the load PERFECTLY while moving. This is the way shown in the factory manual (along with a forklift). I moved my mill with an eye hook (off my trailer), and the seller,  Fred Eisner (another CAMS member and recommended dealer)  loaded the mill on my trailer without incident. Above all, we moved slowly, and carefully. No-one was in a hurry to get hurt. Nobody ever got “confident”; I think everyone had a queasy feeling in their stomachs when we had the mill hanging off the back of a tow truck over a narrow stairwell. I know I did. We double-checked everything, and SAFETY was job one. Everyone went home happy, and in one piece. At the end of the day Dave had a VERY NICE  (undamaged) mill in his shop, for much less than it would have cost to have professional riggers to do the job. I would say that this move is within the capabilities of most people, if they can employ the help of enough friends that have tackled the task before. Just be patient, and above all; be careful.

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Posted in: Bridgeport, Future Projects, Maintenance, rebuild, shop equipment

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