I’ve heard old machinists say “if you can’t make it on a Bridgeport, it can’t be made”. This is a great machine, and yes, I’m pretty sure if you have the patience, skill, and time, you could make anything on a Bridgeport. I had wanted a mill for a long time, searched for a Bridgeport, they’re out there, but finding a reasonably priced machine in good condition is tough, and then if you do find one, you have to move it…………….they average about 2400 pounds, and they’re top heavy. I was resigned to buying a small import bench top machine when I made a last ditch phone call to Yancy Martel of Tri-Angle Metal Fab. Tri-Angle is the “real deal”, building and fabricating for the aerospace, ordnance, defense, and electronics industries………….they have a whole line of these mills, some old, some new, I was hoping they may be retiring one in the near future……….yes they were!! Dumb luck for me, and very fortunate to have a good friend in the fabrication industry.
Ryan and I moved the Bridgeport on his car trailer………….getting the machine off the trailer took some doing. First a skid steer, nope, then a mini excavator, nope, call in a friend with a wrecker, that moved it.
Landed. Now it was time for disassembly and clean up. Parts are readily available for these old machines. They do require 3 phase 220 power………..I had 220 single phase so a phase converter was necessary (the box sitting to the left of the mill).
Cleaned, painted, and reassembled
One thing to consider when thinking about buying a mill is, like a tig welder, there’s a lot of support tools needed to run the machine………….machinist vise, phase converter, clamping set, various parallels and set-up blocks, dial gauges and the clamps, brackets, and magnetic bases to hold them, calipers – external, internal, and depth, collet set, the mills or cutters themselves which come in a mind numbing variety, and at least a 2-axis digital readout (optional, but indispensable in my opinion). I’m sure I’ve forgotten something.
Steering shaft bearing retainer………starts above……
Finished and mounted.
Milled alloy blocks to mount Spal fan to radiator housing instead of using the cheesy plastic clips.
Top radiator mounts for the 200TDi
Exhaust hanger on the Special (the rotors on the bike were cross-drilled on the Bridgeport too)
Carb hose manifolds (ball milled to match the exhaust hanger)
Milled down top triple tree on the Special
Milled slot for safety chains on The Bars’ new trailer hitch