I am looking at buying a used Bridgemill, the guy wants $2,000 for it BUT it includes ballscrews and DRO so while its too much for a used lathe, those accessories bring it into what I think is about the right price range. Its in fine condition and minor cosmetic stuff, DRO works.
Am I wrong on the price ? or should I keep looking ?
2nd question is I have read in several places lots of negatives about the company and its owner but I make my living on the net so I know full well that one or 2 people have bad experiences and make sure the world knows it while the rest just go out in the shop and use the tools with no issues and you never hear about them so I am relieved to see to the same names over and over again, it implies they are in the minority. But in this thread http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showth...highlight=sell (Shop Task Gunmaster 17-32 XMTC Worth getting?) message #8 the poster mentions the company is for sale, if this company is on shaky ground, should I look elsewhere ?
I am not a machinist, just need a lathe to do some work on old car parts and it looks like a fun hobby. I am SUPER tight on space or I would be looking at individual tools.
I've got a Bridgemill and am stisfied with it. I got it used about 2 1/2 years ago. It is set up with CNC, and it had a fair amount of additional looling, cnc rotary table, carbide insert endmills and lathe tools and stuff. I paid $3k for the lot and can't complain. The machine is one of the last Bridgemills delivered in early 2006.
Like all have said, and what you will find in any of the Chinese machines from any vendor, they need a lot of tweeking to get things working correctly. It's never going to be able to take cuts lager machines can, but with patience, you can do pretty good
I have a Tri-Power that is about 3 years old. I’m satisfied with it, i.e. I like it, but I don’t try and do super precise things with it. There are roughing carpenters, finish carpenters and cabinet makers. I’ve never heard machining described the same way but if it was then I’d be a roughing machinist.
There are things I’d love to redesign but I don’t have the time. The Bridgemill chatters and I think it could be reinforced. Several on this forum have actually done so but I just keep making brackets and braces with the idea “precision be dammed use slots and star washers”. Sometimes I prep pieces for welding and I’ve found the machine can mill the champers much better than I can weld them closed.
JT seems to be the owner and I’ve found he is helpful ij the question is ‘can I get a spare or replacement part’ but very unhelpful if the question is ‘why does my mill quill feed chatter?’ After I got the machine and crashed it he very quickly sent me a replacement gear. But when I asked him about the quill he said take it apart and see it for yourself. As for selling the company, I’ve also seen his offer letter. I don’t think it is about a company going broke, nearly as much as it is a sole businessman that is getting old and tired and wants to retire. He seems to be the designer, parts ordered, Chinese price negotiator, receiving inspector, machine customizer, shipping clerk and company telephone operator. It’s no wonder he might be getting tired and it’s not surprising he might be curt at times.
Also, If you have the serial number, JT can or should be able to look it up and give you a little more background on the machine.
Well actually JT is the one selling it
I assume it was a trade-in or return for some reason, JT claims to have looked it over and its in very good condition. I would expect a salesman to say that about something he is selling however. It is clear that some people here trust him quite a bit and some here don't, I am still in the middle since I have no reason to not trust him yet.
My big problems and why I have not looked at used lathes is that I don't know what I am doing, so I don't know a good one from a bad one, I am a car guy who needs one to make some simple parts for his old Brit cars. The limit of my knowledge is a Sherline super tiny lathe that I have made a few bushings and some carburator jets with, I need more power but I would not know a worn out lathe from a good one.
I spoke with him today, now its just a matter of do I drive there or have him ship it, its about a 6 hour drive for me but I like Vegas.
PS- If you are into old English cars, he could probably give you some tips- he won a championship back in the 60's racing Austin Healeys- check out the "History" part of his website.
Well I hope I did not screw up !
Its on its way, I also bought a 4-jaw chuck and the mill hold down tools, I know I will need the mill tools but I am not sure about the 4-jaw, the logic was free shipping since it goes in the box with the bridgemill.
Hope you guys are ready for stupid questions, I am going to have thousands of them.
probably should start a new thread but might as well keep it all in one place.
JT said that my machine was well used by its previous owner as a CNC machine, that is why it has the ballscrews and DRO, the owner kept the CNC for the Patriot.
My question is should I change the oil and look for garbage in the gearbox and do all the other general cleanup that everyone should do on a new machine or is it safe to assume it was all done by the prior owner. I will know more when the machine gets here of Friday but thought I would ask anyway.
Checking/changing the oil isn't a big thing. After shipping I'd check alignment and torque on all the bolts. Also check tram on the mill head. Likewise, all the gibs will most likely need to be adjusted.
If you are going to run it manual, don't forget to lock down any axis you are not moving. The drag on the ball screw is much less than on the acme thread and it will be more likely to move than if it had acme screws.
going to wait a while to do full checks and adjustments on it. Garage/shop is still being built, supposed to be finished Wednesday and then I will spray white paint inside on Thursday/Friday, then the Bridgemill will be moved to its final location and I will go through it.
For now everything seems to work fine except for the tailstock handwheel, it seems stuck and may have been shipping damage, not looked into it yet as I got a new motorcycle on Saturday. I did some machining on a part that I needed for my car, lathe worked AWESOME, I am thrilled. No odd noises from the lathe or the mill but the mill I did not put a load on. Happy camper