Friday, October 21, 2016


Lately I have been learning how to use a Bridgeport vertical milling machine.  Its somewhat complicated but unlike the lathe I don't have to first unlearn assorted bad habits.  This is all new to me.

Bridgeport mills are so commonly used that the brand name has almost become synonymous with this kind of machine.  Rather like all facial tissues are called Kleenex.  It is a marvelous bit of technology first built around 1930.  It was a radical advance in machining ability, so much so that they sold well even during the Great Depression.  There are plenty of units out there that are twenty or thirty years old and going strong.

These machines have their own language you work with.  Today we learned how to "stone the table" and to "Tram the head".

The little L shaped bits of metal seen here are "Trip Dogs".

Even when you update these machines the technology looks like clunky old 1980's stuff.  And perhaps this "DRO" actually is that old.

Dove tail ways....

When does a simple machine become something more?  These big solid Bridgeport mills are almost like pieces of folk art.  There's no reason really to have a tortise and a bunny designating the fast and slow spindle speed settings.

Lets make some chips.

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