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Old 05-12-2005, 10:05 AM   #1
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Default Bridgeport

Ok, I'm really showing my lack of familiarity here, but hopefully someone can help me out.

My dad's a mold-maker. About 7 years ago, his shop decided to throw out a Brideport series II (I believe). It's in pieces in our garage (the base alone is insanely heavy, and we never got around to putting it back together). It needs a motor controller and to be wired. Bear with me. Do these run at 240volts or higher? Can I make it run on household current? My dad's not about to take the initiative to put it together, he's too busy, but I figure that since he has ton's of bits, tools, and other machinist's stuff in the basement, I might be able to physically assemble it with some help and an engine hoist.

Where can I find a motor controller used? eBay? Are they silly expensive? Can I make it run on 240? Am I going in waaaaaaaaaaay over my head even thinking about doing this? If I post some pics, could someone maybe help me out?
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Old 05-12-2005, 10:40 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radishkid
Ok, I'm really showing my lack of familiarity here, but hopefully someone can help me out.

My dad's a mold-maker. About 7 years ago, his shop decided to throw out a Brideport series II (I believe). It's in pieces in our garage (the base alone is insanely heavy, and we never got around to putting it back together). It needs a motor controller and to be wired. Bear with me. Do these run at 240volts or higher? Can I make it run on household current? My dad's not about to take the initiative to put it together, he's too busy, but I figure that since he has ton's of bits, tools, and other machinist's stuff in the basement, I might be able to physically assemble it with some help and an engine hoist.

Where can I find a motor controller used? eBay? Are they silly expensive? Can I make it run on 240? Am I going in waaaaaaaaaaay over my head even thinking about doing this? If I post some pics, could someone maybe help me out?
I would make sure it's worth re-building before you do anything. Check for slop in the spindle bearings, check for worn ways (dovetails) in the table and base. If these components are worn and sloppy, it really won't do you any good. I haven't seen too many machine shops dispose of any machinery unless it was useless. Post some pics up, I'll try to help. Do you have all the hardware to re-assemble it?
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Old 05-12-2005, 06:32 PM   #3
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If they threw it out, chances are good that it's spare parts material. Most places NEVER throw anything out. At best, they sell it cheap when it's worn far beyond any chance of repeatability... Hell, we've still got an old Nak TMC 3(CNC lathe) that should have been thrown away/turned into a really heavy pig roaster YEARS ago, but they just keep dumping money into it to try and keep it going...
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Old 05-13-2005, 08:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRMorrison
If they threw it out, chances are good that it's spare parts material. Most places NEVER throw anything out.
Ditto that.

Who would tear a perfectly running Bridgeport apart?
Maybe the owner was bored one day.
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Old 05-16-2005, 08:08 AM   #5
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If the motor controller blown? Maybe the shop didn't want to invest the money to fix it?

Is it CNC? Lots of old CNC's are terribly expensive to fix. But a retro with "hobby" steppers is pretty cheap.

Describe "torn apart" Maybe he just took the big heavy chunks off so he could lift it out of the trailer? Or over some steps? Or to get it thru a door?

To answer your power questions. Most (all?) bridgeports run on 3 phase power. Can't get 3 phase at a typical house. But, it's easy enough to convert 220 single to 220 3 phase using a converter. Costs vary and I'm no expert but probably around $500 for a cheapie. Maybe a little less. There are dynamic and static converters. Dynamic use a 3 phase motor and by running a 3-phase motor you can draw the third phase off (works on inductance somehow). Most homeshop guys go this route. Static use electronics to generate the 3 phase. Most static allow you to vary the frequency and thus the speed of the motor.

I've also see guys convert bridgeports to DC using stepper motors off treadmill exercise machines. Looks like a nice way to go.
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